The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Wellington man distributed pictures of children being sexually abused


A Wellington man, was convicted today for distributing pictures of children, including young infants, being sexually abused by adult men.

Judge Walsh said that the man's offending was on the borderline of deserving a jail term, which the Department of Internal Affairs had asked him to impose. He was sentenced to 300 hours community work, one-year’s supervision and was ordered to attend psychiatric assessment and counselling as directed by a probation officer. The court ordered the computer and images to be forfeited and destroyed.

The Acting Director of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Peter Burke, said that it might shock most New Zealanders but this case is similar to what the Department’s Inspectors deal with again and again.

“Earlier this year we made the deliberate decision to stop labelling what we deal with as ‘child pornography’ and, instead, to describe it as what it is: pictures and movies of children being sexually abused,” Mr Burke said.

The accused was distributing pictures of real children—young infants and toddlers to 16-year-olds—being abused, being forced to perform sexual acts and being sexually posed.

“The children suffered appalling harm. Even those being sexually posed were abused and exploited by those actions. Their images may be on the Internet forever, and knowledge of that can haunt the victims for life.

“Offenders like this man contribute to that suffering and incite the abuse of more children. They clamour for more images and for more extreme images, and they spread the false message that sex with children is acceptable.”

This case began in August 2002 when the Department received information that a New Zealander appeared to have exchanged on the Internet more than 400 pictures of children being sexually abused.

Inspectors tracked the man to Wellington and identified him.

In November 2002 they executed search warrants on his home and work. He kept one of his own computers at his work. Both computers were seized and analysed.

When interviewed by Inspectors he admitted that he had been exchanging pictures of children being sexually abused for at least five years.

He at first pleaded not guilty and the case was set down for a defended hearing. He later admitted the charges.

He is 45 years old and at the time of the warrant was employed as an engineering storeman. At that time he was living with a partner and three children.

Media contact:

Peter Burke
Acting Director Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 242 1447

Vincent Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 027 272 4270