A South Waikato teacher has been sentenced to seven years in
prison for sexually abusing and supplying drugs to a child at
a Maori immersion school.
Reuben James Parinui Tapara, 33, was sentenced today at
Hamilton District Court on 11 charges of sexual conduct,
sexual violation of children and supplying drugs during the
three years he was assistant principal at Te Wharekura O Te
Kaokaoroa in Putaruru.
The victims were a boy who Tapara had carried sexual acts
with for two and a half-years for various amounts of cash and
two others who had been fondled above their clothes in the
In his sentencing, Judge Thomas said the acts had been
"planned and premeditated" and been carried out in a "cynical
and calculated way" over a number of years.
He said Tapara had abused the trust which not only of the
young boys and their families, but the school and the wider
community and the effects on the victims would be
"significantly traumatic and on-going".
Friends and families of the victims in court to hear the
outcomes cried at news Tapara would be in prison for seven
The mother of the victim most seriously abused told the court
Tapara had "killed her sons childhood".
She said when she had trusted the school and teachers with
her child, she had never dreamt she would have to worry about
him being sexually abused.
"I have not had a full night's sleep since finding out what
he did to my son."
Tapara's lawyer, James Gurnick, said his client was "deeply
remorseful and regretful".
- By Nikki Preston of the New Zealand Herald