The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Second child pornography case in four days, 25 more before the courts

The Department of Internal Affairs’ second child pornography case in four days concluded in the Tokoroa District Court today with the sentencing of a Mangakino man, on 21 charges of making and possessing objectionable material.

On Friday, the Masterton District Court had imposed fines and costs totalling $5,110 on another man who pleaded guilty to seven charges of possessing objectionable material.

In this new case the defendant was ordered to do 200 hours community work (formerly called periodic detention), and had the computers and disks on which he stored objectionable material seized and destroyed. The images included four-year-old children being sexually abused by adults.

Judge McGuire said that the man's offences came close to warranting imprisonment. Under the sentencing guidelines, community work is one step below imprisonment, and 200 hours is the maximum the Judge could impose. A Judge cannot impose both a fine and community work.

The General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the Department has another 25 cases before the courts and at any one time has a further 20 to 30 cases being investigated.

Since the seven-person Censorship Compliance Unit was set up in 1996 it has investigated 460 cases involving New Zealanders. To date 98 people have been convicted and no cases have been lost.

“What we are dealing with is international sexual abuse of children,” Mr Manch said. “The Internet is used to distribute pictures and movies of the abuse worldwide.

“Our Censorship Compliance Unit actively monitors the Internet for child pornography and we will continue investigations and prosecutions here, and to pass information on to overseas enforcement agencies to support their cases.”

In this case the man had a collection of more than 58,000 sexual images on three computers and many CDs. Of these images, more than 2,700 were objectionable, being of children aged between 4 and 15 being sexually abused by adults and in sexually explicit poses.

He had three computers linked together scanning the Internet and produced professional quality CDs including photographs and indexes on the cases. Two of the computers were also used to store objectionable images.

“New Zealand law prohibits all child pornography,” Mr Manch said. “The law is about protecting children. Even if the abuse depicted actually happened overseas, allowing the images in New Zealand would give the false message that sex with children is acceptable. It is not, and we will continue to take action against child pornography because children are abused to make it and other children are endangered by it.”


The Films Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 prohibits objectionable material, including child pornography.
Penalties under the Act are:

  • Possession of objectionable material, fines of up to $2,000 per charge (section 131)
  • Distributing or making copies for distribution, fines of up to $5,000 per charge (section 123)
  • An individual knowing that an image was objectionable, fines of up to $20,000 per charge and up to 1 year in prison per charge (section 124)
  • A organisation knowing that an image was objectionable, fines of up to $50,000 per charge (section 124)
  • Courts can also impose orders to seize and destroy objectionable publications, which includes computers and CDs (sections 116 and 136)

Media contact:

Keith Manch
General Manager Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

Steve O’Brien
Censorship Manager Phone 04 495 9371

Vincent Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 025 272 4270