Report online harm or illegal content
There are a range of organisations you can report harmful content to. Each of the organisations covers a specific area of content and has a role to play in protecting people from harmful and objectionable content(external link) online.
- The Covert Online Investigation team is a specialist Police unit that protects children from online abuse. If you are concerned about objectionable material online, see How to report a crime or incident(external link).
- Netsafe helps people and schools experiencing harmful communication(external link) online, including harassment, bullying, abuse, grooming and privacy breaches under the Harmful Digital Communications Act(external link). If you see any harmful content online, you can report it on their website(external link).
- The Classification Office is legally responsible under the Classification Act(external link) for determining if a film, video or publication is illegal or banned in New Zealand. If you suspect or think the content should be illegal or banned, you can contact the Classification Office(external link).
- Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is responsible for enforcing the Classification Act (external link)specifically around objectional material. Find out more on the DIA website: What is objectionable and restricted material?(external link)
- The Digital Child Exploitation Team in DIA investigates complaints and prosecutes people who collect and distribute child abuse material online and ensures publications considered to be objectionable are not available to the public. You can report objectionable material on their website(external link).
- The Digital Violent Extremism Team in DIA investigates complaints and prosecutes people who collect and distribute terrorist and violent extremist content (TVEC) online and ensures TVEC publications considered to be objectionable are not available to the public. You can report objectionable material on their website(external link).
Once these agencies receive your complaint or query, they will investigate and get in touch with the provider about the content in question.
It can be hard for young people to know if the information they read, listen to, watch and share online could be misleading or even harmful. We collated some advice to help students think critically and figure out what's real and what's not online:
- What is misinformation(external link): outlines the different types of misinformation young people can be exposed to online.
- How to research online(external link): equips young people with advice on how to effectively read both laterally and vertically online.
- When people get it wrong on the Internet(external link): outlines information about online trolls and memes as a form of misinformation.
- Sharing our values(external link): provides students with information on how to build positive supportive relationships and communities online.
- The Eggplant | The Special Report Special | Bonus Episode(external link): a drama-crime-comedy online web series to help young Kiwis safely navigate the internet. This episode highlights how easily and rapidly misinformation can spread and provides young people with advice on how to think critically about the things they see online.
Support for vulnerable communities
All young people can be exposed to harms online. However, some groups are more vulnerable than others, for example, rainbow youth or youth with neurodevelopmental disorders. There are a range of organisations you can reach out to for additional help and support:
- OutLine(external link): a Rainbow mental health organisation providing all-ages support services across Aotearoa. Free call 0800 688 5463 between 6pm-9pm for support, or contact details for organisations supporting rainbow young people.
- BeThere(external link): provides information and resources for rainbow young people and their families, including rainbow support groups.
- Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura(external link): provides resources for rainbow people of all ages focused on healthy relationships, consent and seeking help.
Kids and Gender Toolbox(external link) is a resource for families to support their Rainbow children and young people. Research shows that safe and welcoming families reduce negative outcomes associated with isolation, including online harm.