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Reuben Tapara Investigation

Reuben Tapara Investigation

Thursday, 5 December 2013 - 3:46pm

National News

The Western Waikato CIB are conducting an investigation to establish whether there was any criminal offending by Mr Tapara during his time as a teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa, Oparure (now Te Wharekura o Maniapoto), near Te Kuiti.

Mr Tapara has recently been prosecuted for offending against students at a Putaruru school where he was teaching.

The Investigations Manager, Western Waikato Police, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Whitehead said "Police are making enquiries to establish whether there had been any offending against students at the kura.

A first step will be to establish the names of students who attended during the time that Mr Tapara taught there.

Police are still waiting for records of his employment and school rolls but understand that Mr Tapara taught at the kura for several years before leaving in 2008."

Once the total number of students for this period is known a decision will be made on the best method of identifying any who may have been offended against. With the passage of time, past students may be widely spread around New Zealand or overseas.

Mr Whitehead said, "I encourage anyone who has been subjected to or has witnessed what they consider to be inappropriate behaviour to contact the Police. We would also like to hear from anyone who has any information that might assist the investigation.

The Police can help with putting people in touch with counselling and support services. Their complaints will be treated discreetly and the identity of victims will be protected during any court hearings that might result from the investigation."

End

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