A school teacher has been arrested at Auckland Airport after Customs found child sex abuse images and videos on his phone.
He faces representative charges for importing and possessing objectionable publications.
The man appeared before the Manukau District Court on Thursday afternoon. Investigations are ongoing and further charges haven't been ruled out.
He initially came to Customs' attention in late 2019 after overseas law enforcement partners provided a tip-off.
He returned to New Zealand late on Wednesday night after a one-year sabbatical in the United Kingdom, where he was met by Customs officers.
"Numerous" images and videos depicting child sexual abuse were found after his phone was searched.
Customs investigations manager Bruce Berry said in a statement there is a global network of law enforcement agencies and partners that work together to stop individuals who commit crimes against children.
"Customs has a dedicated team of specialists who work around the clock to target and catch people who commit cross-border offending relating to child sexual exploitation. While we are based at the New Zealand border, law enforcement has a global reach," he said.
"This should be a further warning to people who commit child sexual exploitation offences.
"Whether you’re carrying the illegal material on your devices physically across the border, travelling overseas for child sex tourism, or downloading or uploading objectionable images and videos across the cyber border - Customs will catch you."
The 2019 Budget allocated $10.2 million over a four-year period to Customs to help boost its efforts in combatting child sexual exploitation across New Zealand's cyber and physical borders.