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'A very small minority' of students accessing porn at school, despite high interception numbers

The head of Network 4 Learning (N4L) has clarified that only a "very small minority" of students are attempting to access pornography in New Zealand schools, despite rising instances of porn being blocked.

The NZ Herald yesterday reported that N4L, a Crown-owned company which provides broadband to schools, had blocked 5.15 million "attempts to access porn from the school network" in the three months to September 30.

The article was in the greater context of Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin's plans to restrict New Zealander's access to online porn.

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Even if they don't seek it out, increasingly they're stumbling onto it online. Source: Seven Sharp

However, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, N4L CEO Larrie Moore clarified exactly where those numbers are coming from.

"First, it's important understand the size of the network - we have 2500 schools, 800,000 students, a huge number of devices and during the day they're trying to connect to the network," Mr Moore said.

"Sometimes they're connecting to things like social media, or they're connecting to things like gaming.

"Behind such sites you sometimes find things that we call pop ups - pop up advertising - and sometimes those pieces of pop up advertising contain things which are rated as R18 or could contain pornographic content.

"Our service is there to keep all of the schools and all of the children safe - these bad guys never go away and they're always trying to get to vulnerable people - so that's the reason why we are seeing the increases."

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The study found 67 per cent of Kiwi teens have seen porn, a quarter before the age of 12. Source: 1 NEWS

Asked by Breakfast host Hayley Holt to clarify if the high numbers are due to students and teachers increasingly searching for, or trying to access porn, Mr Moore said "no".

"No, and I think that's really important for people to understand - we're talking about a very small minority of people who do try to access porn, but we block those people as well.

"We're talking about the bad guys here who are trying to reach vulnerable people."

Tracey Martin has said she has directed officials to prepare for law changes which would more tightly restrict access to online pornography, despite England backing away from requiring mandatory age checks last month.

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Larrie Moore of Network for Learning says the high numbers are based on popups – not access attempts. Source: Breakfast