Police investigating allegations of historical abuse at St Peter’s School


Waikato police are investigating allegations of historical abuse at St Peter’s School in Cambridge.

St Peter's School, Cambridge

St Peter’s School in Cambridge. Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro

Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley says detectives are meeting with the schools’ leadership team to discuss matters raised in yesterday’s statement.

The school announced that 19 boys had suffered sexual, physical or emotional abuse between 1936 and 1981, in cases involving eight staff.

Pitkethley said any allegation of potential criminal offending would be thoroughly assessed.

He would not say whether charges will, or could, be laid.

Yesterday, St Peter’s School board chairperson John Macaskill-Smith described child abuse as a “detestable betrayal of trust”.

In a statement, Macaskill-Smith said “On behalf of the St Peter’s School Trust Board, today I want to acknowledge and apologise for historical cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse against former students at our school by former staff members or anyone acting in that capacity.

“Child abuse is a detestable betrayal of trust, the consequences of which can have lasting effects throughout an individual’s lifetime. For these historical cases of abuse, our trustees offer a sincere and heartfelt apology.

“Today we have communicated directly to all alumni to say we are sorry to all former students who suffered abuse while in our care, and for the failure of St Peter’s to protect them from such abuse occurring. Current students, staff and parents were also included in this communication.”

St Peter’s is regarded as one of the country’s most prominent boarding colleges.

The independent Anglican school was established in 1936 and became co-educational in 1987.

Today, it has a roll of more than 1200 students in its day and boarding prep and secondary departments covering years 7 to 13.

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