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The man entered the guilty pleas to three representative charges of indecent assault against teenage boys following an appearance in the Greymouth District Court this afternoon.
The offending occurred at Gloriavale between 2015 and 2018 when the offender was himself a teenager.
He has been remanded on bail to appear for sentencing in September.
He has been ordered not to associate with his victims.
Police and Oranga Tamariki conducted four days of interviews at Gloriavale last week. Police said a "significant number" of community members were spoken with over a range of alleged offending and further inquiries were needed.
The community had been the subject of allegations of sexual abuse and abusing workers' rights.