Topic: Crime

Former teacher to re-appear in court over sexual allegations

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The dust hasn't yet settled with more allegations circulating the South of Waikato regarding Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, who's former employee, Reuben Tapara, is now facing allegations of having committed sexual offences against a young person while he worked at a Māori immersion school in Putāruru. 

Hone Te Rire, newly elected chairman for the board of trustees of Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, says the stress is hitting home. 

“From the children to the workers, they're all under a dark cloud, but the board is here trying to lift the morale of the children and teachers.”

Reuben Tapara was employed by the school from 2003 to 2008.

During that time, an allegation was put forward by a pupil that he indulged in improper and indecent behaviour with that pupil.

At the time, the board investigated the allegations and sought independent legal advice from NZ School Trustees Association.

They found the allegations lacked substance and evidence to go any further.

However, this information was withheld when Reuben Tapara applied for a job at another immersion school.

Tomorrow, Reuben James Parinui Tapara will re-appear in the Hamilton District Court and is yet to enter a plea against the allegations he faces.