The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Conviction for electronic pictures that promoted sexual exploitation of children


The conviction of a man in the Christchurch District Court today reinforced that trading or collecting sexual images of children promotes the exploitation of children.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification (the censor’s office) had classified images from the man's computer as objectionable, concluding that they “promote and support the exploitation of children or young persons for sexual purposes”.

Judge Jane McMeeking described his collection of 241 objectionable images and six objectionable video clips as abhorrent and degrading of young children.

She sentenced him to 200 hours community work and one year’s supervision during which he must have undergo psychiatric assessment and treatment as ordered by a Probation Officer. She also ordered forfeiture and destruction of his computer and objectionable material.

The General Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs’ Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that a key message the Department always tries to convey to the public is that such cases are, ultimately, not about pictures on a computer but are, instead, about helping protect children from abuse.

“Sexual images of children reinforce the false view held by some that sex with children is acceptable,” Mr Manch said.

Most of the Department’s cases are against people who traded or collected electronic video clips and pictures of children being sexually abused.

In this case, some of the offender's collection was images of young boys being sexually abused, while most of it was of young boys in sexual poses and urinating.

“The Censor’s conclusion is important,” Mr Manch said, “because we still have people like this and others telling us they see nothing wrong with sexual images of children.”

The man said that he was copying the images to an Internet newsgroup so that “other people might enjoy them”. The Censor concluded that what he was distributing internationally through the newsgroup promoted the sexual exploitation of children.

The Department’s investigation began when the German State Police found a New Zealander posting sexual images of children on a newsgroup in January 2002.

The Department eventually identified the New Zealander as the accused and tracked him to a Christchurch address, executing a search warrant in April 2003. A computer system and 57 diskettes were seized and analysed.

He is 58 years old and is unemployed. He pleaded guilty to a total of 16 charges of distributing and possessing objectionable material.

Media contact:

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

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