Police examine paedophilia allegations

Awanui Black.

Police are seeking further information into allegations of paedophilia made on social media against Awanui Black.

Black's widow Anihera made the allegations on Facebook saying she "didn't have a choice". 

The allegations have been met with strong responses, including a local Tauranga artist removing a mural of Black, and a Labour MP publicly commending Anihera. 

"We lived as husband and wife for 26 years, share five of his children and I'm the only person of authority to speak about him in the way I'm about to," says Anihera.

She relayed that she had been torn listening to accolades about him at his funeral.

"The pain and suffering he caused others will live on for generations to come if things go unsaid.

"So the truth is when Awa was a young boy his father stole his soul and made him keep the secret and repeatedly sexually abused him over a lifetime in turn creating the same in Awa. Awa became a paedophile and over the years waited to steal the innocence of others. 

"I wondered why Awa invited so many young people through our homes over the years...I know differently now."

She apologised for what Black had allegedly done and asked all his alleged victims to speak up and take the power back.

"He became a predator, a recruiter, a teacher, a pimp, a ringleader of one of many child sex rings in his beloved Tauranga and took it nationwide with his various contacts..."

Anihera said the family had decided not to go through with an unveiling ceremony for Black's headstone as it made her feel like an "accomplice" of his actions.

Anihera has been contacted for comment.  

Labour MP Kiri Allan took to Facebook to address the issue. While Allan didn't name either Anihera or Awanui in her post, it appeared she applauded Anihera for her "courage".. 

"She shared a story of being married to a man, widely known and respected as a leader, and the pain of carrying hurtful truths, before and after his death - that he had live a secret life causing pain and vulnerable children," Allan said. 

"E te whaea, your courage is an act against violence," she said. 

Allan hoped by speaking up it would help break the cycles of intergenerational trauma for the next generation. 

Tauranga artist Graham Hoete, aka Mr G, announced on Facebook on Saturday he would be removing a mural of Awanui Black immediately.

"Ani (Awa's wife) contacted me directly this morning to inform me about her video and her disclosure of Awas secret paedophilia to the public and I have contacted the team at Council and will be REMOVING the mural I painted of Awa effective IMMEDIATELY!!!," the post said.

"Obviously had I KNOWN about all that disgusting damaging behaviour I would NEVER have even entertained the thought of painting a mural to honour him...I wholeheartedly stand with and support Ani and her whanau and pray love, healing, comfort & strength to all the victims and their healing process."

The mural was painted by Hoete in 2017 and it depicted Black doing a haka. 

A police spokesperson said they were aware of the video posted on Facebook and would be seeking further information about the allegations. 

 - Stuff/ CATRIN OWEN


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