The Films, Videos and Publications Classifications Act 1993 and The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Amendment Act 2005 define what material is classified as ‘age-restricted’ and what material is ‘objectionable’.

In most cases age-restricted material is illegal to sell or give to a young person under the specified age (usually 18). Objectionable material is illegal for anyone to possess or look at.

What happens to someone who looks at age restricted pornography?

Anybody who supplies, distributes, exhibits or displays a restricted publication to someone who does not meet the age criteria specified is committing an offence.

What happens to someone who looks at ‘objectionable’ material online?

Objectionable material includes looking at material involving dead people, cruelty, severe violence as well as abusing children and animals, – and viewing this material is illegal. If you come across objectionable material accidentally you should leave the site immediately.

Law enforcement officials will prosecute people actively trading (distributing or swapping) or who have a large amount of objectionable material. If you knowingly make a copy of an objectionable publication and/or supply objectionable material to another person, you may be sentenced to a fine of up to $200,000.

Can people be prosecuted for trading in material you can buy at the dairy?

No, the cases you read about in the paper usually involve illegal child pornography. These are images, films, and sometimes live footage of children being abused or tortured. Trading in these images perpetuates the abuse of these children and encourages the abuse of other children to create new material.

Can you be arrested for accidentally visiting a site with child porn?

Technically if you visit a site your computer has downloaded the images and you possess them.

Law enforcement officers are not looking for people who download one or two images accidentally, but they do prosecute people who are trading or who have a significant amount of this material.

If you knowingly make a copy of an objectionable publication and/or supply objectionable material to another person, you may be sentenced to a fine of up to $200,000.

Do people make money trading in child pornography?

Sometimes but most of the cases you read about involve trading the images to build collections. For example, ten images of the abuse of six year old ‘Anna’ might get you one image of infant rape. There are indications that organised crime is starting to get involved in the creation and trading of these horrendous images to make money.

Are young people involved in trading in child pornography?

Some vulnerable young people could be traumatised by looking at the images, and some, unfortunately get involved in trading. Effective intervention and support for these young people is extremely important.

Will my child find pornography if they are online?

Nobody’s immune from seeing sex online, whether they want to or not. This should not deter parents/caregivers from encouraging their children’s use of the internet as it is an amazing learning tool and source of information for them.

Do pornographers target children online?

Pornographers try to ‘capture’ children by having common homework search words turn up porn, using site names that sound like they are for kids or site addresses that are just a keystroke off a legitimate kids’ site (to catch the inaccurate typists).

Pornography sites can be extremely difficult to get out of. Sometimes new sites keep opening (called ‘mousetrapping’). They can also insidiously load themselves into your ‘Favourites’ folder or put themselves right on your desktop. Such sites can also be a computer security risk, adding trojans, viruses, re-dialer programmes or spyware such as keystroke loggers, to a computer during a website visit. A rigorous firewall is essential.

What NZ agencies deal with cases involving objectionable material?

The New Zealand Police, the Censorship Compliance Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Customs Service could each handle cases involving illegal material and they often work cooperatively. The Censorship Compliance Unit handles the bulk of cases involving objectionable material and usually this material is child pornography.

How to prevent children from seeing pornography

There are a few things a parent (and schools) can do:

• Install an internet filtering programme or use a filtered Internet service.
• Teach children about good searching skills.
• Talk to your children about the images they may come across and how to deal with them.

If children have sound information and reasonable explanations of their parents’ concerns most will turn away from this sort of material and let their parents know if they come across it.

How to stop getting pornographic emails

If you’re getting these type of emails you’re probably receiving spam. There are a few things you can do to help yourself:

• Install spam filters to limit receiving this kind of stuff.
• Delete the emails when they arrive.
• Don’t click on the buttons to unsubscribe or be removed from the mailing list as this may make the problem worse and add your email address to other distribution groups.

How to report emails advertising child pornography

It’s important you don’t open emails advertising child pornography or forward the material you receive, you should take note of the address or link so you can report it.

• Report child pornography to the Internet Watch Foundation.
• Forward any material with an ‘.nz’ address to censorship@dia.govt.nz and then delete it.

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