Ani Black speaks out, some refute claims of pedophilia

By Leah Te Whata

A week since Anihera Black's post to Facebook, the wife of former te reo advocate and regional councillor Te Awanuiarangi Black, has spoken about allegations her late ex-husband was a paedophile.

Anihera Black says, "People have come and told their stories, they're not allegations, it's their truth."

Her close friend, Piata Tiakitai-Turi says, "There are definitely three that are irrefutable."

Anihera said she'd received three disclosures, which led to her Facebook broadcast. One, she says was eight years old at the time of the alleged abuse, with the ages of the other two, unknown.

"They haven't disclosed an age but very similar I would say because one had disclosed that he was suicidal at the age of seven."

Te Awanuiarangi Black died in 2016. Anihera said she'd found alarming content on his electronic devices and claimed he was at the centre of a child-sex ring. But no further evidence was given.

"One particular photo would be a teenage girl the other photos I've seen have been with women."

People who worked in the community arena with Te Awanuiarangi Black and others who've known him for years refute the claims.

Tauranga Moana elder, Parengamihi Gardiner says, “I’ve let him teach my grandchildren, I have no concerns whatsoever because it’s not true.”

A lawyer and a close friend of Te Awanuiarangi, Willie Te Aho says, "To have that done after he's dead where he doesn't have the opportunity of response is something I totally object to."

Anihera Black feels the need to bring the allegations to light to stop abuse in her line and allow people to walk in their truth

"Firstly, I love my children and I also loved things about Awa but the way he was being portrayed was not true to who he was."

Complainants have not made a formal statement to police.