Abuse claims against principal kept from police

Manawatu Standard 9 November 2007
The Ministry of Education has admitted it knew about allegations of sex crimes at Hato Paora College but did not instruct the school to contact police. College principal Tihirau Shepherd, 46, was arrested and charged on Wednesday with four sex offences from June and July this year and two others dating back to March 1990. The Cheltenham school’s Board of Trustees stood him down as principal when the allegations arose, but did not inform police, choosing rather to hold an internal inquiry. Its investigation cleared Shepherd of any wrong-doing in August. Police only became aware of the complaints when the Manawatu Standard brought them to light…..(National Spokesman for Education Katherine) Rich said it was stunning that in the same year one school reported a parent to CYF for smacking their child’s hand, while another tried to handle allegations of sexual abuse internally.