The 50-year-old was sentenced in Wellington District Court on Tuesday on 40 charges of possession of an objectionable publication, to which he had previously pleaded guilty.
He was caught in 2009 after authorities were alerted to an internet chatroom set up by an Australian couple who had been sexually abusing one of their children and posting pictures of the abuse online.
The man claimed to have been doing surreptitious research into the pornography market, but Judge Bruce Davidson said that excuse for having the material was devoid of reality.
Judge Davidson said the offending was premeditated and the exploitation of children was an aggravating feature.
He sentenced the man to seven months' home detention and ordered him to carry out 180 hours' community work.
Judge Davidson also ordered the destruction of the images, which included bestiality, and forfeiture of the man's computer equipment.