The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


New Zealander jailed and 130 arrested overseas in international operation


A 19-country operation against Internet child pornography had a sequel in New Zealand today with the jailing of a Lower Hutt man for six months on 25 child pornography charges.

The Acting General Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs’ Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Peter Burke, said the man had a collection of 5,200 images of boys, some as young as six years old, engaged in sexual acts with adult men and other boys, and in sexualised poses.

Judge Peter Butler said that the prison sentence should be seen as society’s denunciation of people dealing in child pornography and as a deterrent to similar offending by others.

Judge Butler said that children are forced in to the abuse that is inflicted on them to create child pornography because of the actions of people like the accused.

“There should be no public misunderstanding about what child pornography is and why it is illegal,” Mr Burke said. “The tragedy is that the images are real.

“This man and all others who trade and collect child pornography incite the abuse of children by demanding more images and more extreme images. They perpetuate the suffering of the victims by recording it permanently for a global audience and taking gratification from it.

“The Department’s enforcement actions are not about pictures on computers or erotica. They are part of international action against exploitation of children.”

In August this year he had pleaded guilty to five charges of copying and distributing objectionable publications and 20 charges of possession. The publications were images of young boys in sexual activity.

He was sentenced in the Lower Hutt District Court today. Judge Butler imposed six-month jail terms, to be served concurrently, on each of the five copying and distributing charges. He was convicted and discharged on the 20 possession charges, as he has no money with which to pay fines. Offenders cannot be imprisoned for possession.

Judge Butler also ordered forfeiture and destruction of the computer system and objectionable material.

In 1984 and 1991 the same man had been fined for performing indecent acts.


In 2001 Britain’s National Criminal Squad carried out “Operation Landmark”. It identified 30 Internet newsgroups dealing in child pornography, found thousands of new images being posted and found that 10,000 people visited the newsgroups in two weeks. About 400 of those people visited the newsgroups more than 10 times in that fortnight.

Interpol co-ordinated international action in 19 countries, New Zealand, Britain, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, North and South Korea, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States. In total, 130 arrests resulted.

In August 2001, Interpol provided information to the Department that a New Zealander was among the 400 frequently visiting the newsgroups.

The Department tracked him to a Lower Hutt address, identified him and executed a search warrant in November 2001. Two computers, floppy disks and printed documents were seized during the search.

Analysis of the computers found that one of them contained the 5,200 images of boys.

Subsequent investigations have found that after his computers had been seized, he used an Internet café to continue to access objectionable material in the form of text stories about adult men and teenage boys.

The Department commenced court action in March 2002.

Media contact

Peter Burke
Acting General Manager
Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone 04 495 9456 Cellular 025 242 1447

Vince Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350 Cellular 025 272 4270