Widow of late iwi leader Awanui Black gives four names to police

The widow of a Bay of Plenty Māori leader says she has given the police the names of four people she believes may have been involved in, or have knowledge of, what she's calling a paedophile sex ring of which he was part.

Te Awanuiārangi Black died in 2016, aged 48, and Anihera Black last week released a video in which she accused him of paedophilia.

Ms Black said three victims made direct disclosures to her after Te Awanuiārangi Black died.

She told Checkpoint she had no doubt the accusations were true - "I irrefutable believe in those that have disclosed to me about Awanui," she said.

She said there were other people who had come forward through other people.

Awanui Black died in 2016 but this weekend, his former wife's alleged he sexually abused multiple children - allegations that left tribes reeling. Source: 1 NEWS

"He sexually abused children and destroyed their futures as was his future destroyed by his abuser."

Anihera Black said childhood friends of her husband, told her on the day he was buried, that he had confided in them that he was abused.

"His father was also convicted of paedophilia and spent time in prison so it's a cycle of destruction."

She wants victims to feel like they can come forward.

"It's really about giving them the space to be able to speak their truth and be free and heal and that's my wish for all survivors of sexual abuse."

Ms Black said she had given four names to police of people she believed were involved in sex rings along with her late husband.

Ms Black said at one point in their marriage Awanui had told her that he was viewing pre-teen porn of young girls.

"I was disgusted by that... it was at a point in our marriage where he had also made many disclosures about infidelity, he was trying to be honest in terms of trying to win me back."

"The person I thought he was, wasn't who he really was."

Some former friends have strongly rejected the accusations against Te Awanuiārangi Black.

Allegations of paedophilia have been levelled at dead iwi leader Awanui Black, and some are worried about the fallout for potential victims. Source: 1 NEWS

"They only see one side of the man... they don't know what goes on behind closed doors... we would all like to believe that Awanui was the man he projected himself to be, but his behaviour showed that he had a whole lot of other things going on," she said.

She said she believed the police had taken her accusations seriously and overall there had been an outpouring of gratitude after her revelations.

"People are giving me their accounts of their own personal stories, they're talking about opening up to their own family members about things that have happened in their past ... it is pretty incredible the amount of freedom people have found through my post."

Anihera Black repeated allegations that her late husband Te Awanuiārangi was a paedophile. Source: 1 NEWS

McLaren Falls homicide: Police seeking vehicle sightings near where man found dead in water near Tauranga

Police are asking the public for help as they investigate the homicide of Mitchell Paterson, one of three recent homicide investigations that fall within the Waikato region..

The body of Ngāruawāhia man Mitchell Curtis Rehua Paterson was found in the water at McLaren Falls near Tauranga on Friday.

Three violent deaths in Waikato linked to gang crime, police say public not at risk. Source: 1 NEWS

Police say they would like to hear from anyone who saw vehicles in the vicinity of McLaren Falls, lower Kaimai McLaren Falls Road between the hours of 5am and 7.30am on Friday 13 July.

They are particularly interested in any light coloured 4x4 and any other vehicles that appeared to be travelling in convoy or singular in and around the McLaren Falls area.

Police say the homicide investigation into Mitchell's death covers both the Bay of Plenty and Waikato areas.

Over 60 staff are working on the three concurrent cases, and other specialists have been called in from around New Zealand.

Click here to read more about the gang connected investigations.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to contact Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200.

Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Wairoa River as seen from McLaren Falls Road bridge


Prison system so stretched it would be unable to cope with riots or natural disasters

New Zealand's prison system is so stretched it won't be able to cope with a natural disaster or riot, documents released today have revealed.

It comes after a decision was made not to build a planned mega-prison in Waikeria, near Hamilton.

The scale of the problem is outlined in the documents, which show most of the 900 prison beds set aside for a disaster are currently full.

There are also concerns the "extreme overcrowding" could have an impact on staff safety, as well as increase the levels of violence, disorder and suicide rates behind bars.

The papers suggest more double bunking, even in smaller cells, would help ease the pressure on the prison system.

The government also has plans to reduce the prison population.

The scale of the problem is outlined in documents released today on the decision not to build a planned mega-prison near Hamilton. Source: 1 NEWS