Widow claims late husband was a paedophile

Sexual abuse of children is a long term and serious problem in New Zealand. It ruins many people’s lives, and some victims (a minority) become abusers as adults, perpetuating the problem across generations.

It is known to be a serious problem in the Māori population, and Māori have been criticised for not standing up and speaking up to confront the issue.

Anihera Black has spoken up, and has caused quite a stir, claiming her husband (who died in 2016) was a paedophile who had also been abused as a child.

RNZ: Widows claims of late husband’s paedophilia – ‘brave’

The widow of Te Awanuiārangi Black, a prominent iwi leader who died in 2016, has posted a video to social media saying he was a serial abuser of children.

Awanui Black, who died two years ago, was a Bay of Plenty regional councillor and member of the Māori Language Commission.

In the video Anihera Black, at times distressed, said he was a predator who groomed and abused children over many years.

She said she was speaking on behalf of herself and family and that she was speaking out now because silence about such matters was violence to the soul.

“I am so extremely sorry and devastated.

“I’ll do what I can to help navigate through your healing process, but here’s where you take your power back.”

Ms Black said she and her family gave any potential victims permission to speak “your truth”.

In her video Mrs Black said her husband Awanui Black was himself abused as a child and that had created the same behaviour in him.

The family had decided not to unveil Mr Black’s headstone as it would perpetuate the illusion of who he was, she said.

People who new Awanui Black have voiced surprise over these accusations, saying they had seen no sign of abuse – but paedophiles have often got away with keeping abuse secret.

It will only be addressed if peoeple who do know of abusers, like Anihera Black, speak up.

There are issues in this case as the accused is now dead so cannot defend himself. But I think that the claims have to be taken seriously – otherwise the problem will keep being swept under the carpet.

NZH: Widow of Awanui Black claims he was a paedophile

Sobbing back tears and occasionally wailing in grief, she said: “I have an announcement to make on behalf of my kids and I and perhaps it will shock a lot of you and perhaps it will help some of you find some comfort.”

It was, she said, “something that needs to be done”.

“Those good deeds Awa did for individuals will live on in the memory of their lifetimes.
However the pain and suffering he caused others may live on for generations to come if things are left unsaid.”

Anihera Zhou Black said her former husband had come across as a larger-than-life leader with a booming voice but was actually “a shrivelled up cowering soulless shadow of a man”.

Throughout that time, she said he lived a double life that – she believed – stemmed from sexual abuse he had suffered as a boy.

“In turn it created the same behaviour in Awa. Awa became a paedophile and over the years, honing his skills, waiting for that perfect moment he had preordained to steal the innocence of others.

“I wondered why Awa invited so many young people through our home over the years and I thought it was to be a good aunty and uncle. I know differently now.

“He became a predator, a recruiter, a teacher, a pimp, a ringleader of one of the many child-adult sex rings here in his beloved Tauranga Moana and he took that shit nationwide with all his contacts in every stream of life.

“They would recruit the innocent…. share them around like a box of beer, consume every last drop and discarding the empty vessels into the gutter, soulless, cold and broken.

“I am so extremely sorry and devastated. You are all my babies now and I will do what I can to navigate through your healing process.

Anihera Zhou Black said those who were victims had “permission to speak your truth”.

“Take back the power of the secret. It has no power in the light. Give yourself permission to be heard, be it a whisper or a bloodcurdling scream.”

She said the thought of going ahead “made me feel like an accomplice”.

“The people I would talk to in passing would extol his virtues and I would smile politely and on the inside be swallowing back my own vomit.”

It can be very difficult for those caught in proximity to cultures of abuse. Breaking the silence, even if belatedly, is far better than letting abuses continue.

Obviously Awanui Black can no longer abuse, but encouraging others to speak up can help reduce other abuses.

Reactions to the video have included shock and anger.

These claims will have shocked some people, but more people need to speak up to confront a shocking record of abuse of children in New Zealand.


  1. Gezza

     /  July 9, 2018

    Anihera & clips of Awanui & his tangi were shown on 1ewes last night. It was dramatic & one chap who described himself as his friend who had known him all his life & never knew him to be a paedophile said he was it was difficult to come to terms with this (or words to that effect). But he didn’t seem to deny it; it seemed he believed Anihera.

    I hope if it is true that some of his victims will come forward if not publicly then to the police & confirm this serious allegations, which need to be confirmed. And as it is claimed others were involved, they will equally hopefully be identified, investigated & prosecuted where proven to have done the same thing.

  2. George

     /  July 9, 2018

    Hell has no fury etc

  3. Grimm

     /  July 9, 2018

    So far there’s no victims, no corroboration, and no investigation?

    Seems legit.

    • Gezza

       /  July 9, 2018

      A police spokesperson said they were aware of the video and would be seeking further information about the allegations.
      More …

      Best thing. Do things properly. Although she alleges a police officer is part of the alleged Tauranga paedophile ring.

      • Gezza

         /  July 9, 2018

        Well, to be accurate, she says this according to the article:

        “She said she would be speaking with police but believed an independent investigation could be necessary as one of those she believed was involved had been a police officer.

        “We don’t know where the cover up will begin. There are compromised police here in Tauranga that are part of that ring. I know of one.”

        She would also not name a number of suspected victims, again because it could jeopardise the police inquiry.

        “It’s an unknown figure, to be honest. I have knowledge of some but whoever else is out there, we’ve just had so many people come through our lives.”

        There’s a lot of history here, & a lot of hearsay so far.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  July 9, 2018

          I tend to be a bit dubious about paedophile rings. I’d have thought that a paedophile would not want to risk others knowing, and it’s hard to see how they would make contact with each other. They can hardly advertise.

          This is quite different to the kiddyporn websites. There probably are ‘rings’ of those who are into this sort of thing.

  4. Blazer

     /  July 9, 2018

    you would assume his wife knows what she’s talking about.

    • “Estranged”

      • Blazer

         /  July 9, 2018

        says widow…had they separated?Brave woman all the same.

        • Gezza

           /  July 9, 2018

          Yes they had separated. She complains of his alleged infedelities. See the article I posted above.

          • Gezza

             /  July 9, 2018


            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 9, 2018

              One Waikato kaumatua (!!!) is not only a boozer but a pervert who is known to have had sex with his daughter/s. We knew one daughter who was also his granddaughter. a lovely girl who, alas. had great problems later in life . She went from having a career to being in the paper for having a houseful of cats who were in very bad condition….you know the sort of thing. Poor girl. She died while she was still a young woman. I don’t know how much was due to her heritage…

              Everyone knew about this, but he still became a kaumatua and I have often seen him do openings of various things. His wife knew, did nothing and stayed with him. How could anyone do this ?

  5. Corky

     /  July 9, 2018

    I can tell you one thing…this issue is going to end badly for all involved. That there is no unveiling is a deadly slight. It’s a given some whanau of Awanui Black will be aggrieved about said non unveiling. After the shock of these allegations wears off, more of Black’s whanau will start questioning these allegation…that’s when things will turn nasty.

    Always remember, with Maori, blood is thicker than concrete – doubly so when whanau mana is at stake.

    Talking of things Maori…what ever happened to the stolen body fiasco a few years back? Was the body ever disinterred from Tuhoe country and returned to Christchurch? I bet not.

  6. Griff

     /  July 9, 2018

    Innocent until proven guilty
    Until further collaboration comes out I would suggest suspending judgment.
    I will note that in plenty of cases a seemingly sound pillar of the community has proven to have hidden tendency’s that were similar to these allegations .
    Graham Capill …………….

    • Corky

       /  July 9, 2018

      That’s true, Griff. But it’s particularly bad in the Maori community.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 9, 2018

        Power corrupts.

        • Corky

           /  July 9, 2018

          Very true. If I am reading between the lines correctly he may also have allegedly been a domestic violence perpetrator.

        • Gezza

           /  July 9, 2018

          Is that an absolute? Does it corrupt everybody in power?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 9, 2018

            Probably but usually we don’t find out.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 9, 2018

              No, of course it doesn’t as a matter of course. It would depend upon the circumstances.

              The old saying goes on ‘….absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ which is probably true.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 9, 2018

      Griff, I wonder about the number and the length of time…

      I think that the widow has gone about this in the wrong way.

      To be accused is to be guilty, of course, in such cases, we all know that.

  7. Corky

     /  July 9, 2018

    Here’s a Youtube clip. Going by the comments section social media has already made its judgement.

  8. Zedd

     /  July 9, 2018

    sad indeed.. but it just confirms the saying ‘power corrupts’ & also that people who have suffered similar things, if not treated/therapy etc. often go on to repeat it themselves ?

    nga mihi ki Anihera me whanau

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 9, 2018

      A friend was abused as a child, and while he did go on to self-destructive behaviour as an adult, he’d die before he’d touch a child. He was caught up in a custody hassle with his nephews, their mother and possessive foster parents and the foster parents threatened to make allegations about him and his nephews. He was devastated, as anyone would be, and the relationship between him and the nephews was poisoned because he felt that he had to be so careful not to do anything that could be made to seem like molestation.

      Gay men are, I think. very vulnerable in that way. Men are far more vulnerable anyway.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 9, 2018

        I once came out of a cafe and heard a bawling child. Two nice young men, McGillicuddies were asking where mummy was (‘waaaaaaahhhhh!!!!’) and saying that they’d find mummy (‘waaaaahhhhhhh !’) One put his hand down to take the bawler’s hand, then quickly took it back.

        I hate it that the 80s hysteria made men afraid to touch children,. One man I know stopped bathing his grandchildren, and I bet that he was one of many.

        • Poor PDTs, they’d rather look as if they disagree with the idea that it’s a hideous perversion for a father to have sex with his daughters so that his daughter is also his granddaughter, and the awfulness of men being afraid of wrongful accusation if they touch a child than miss an opportunity to downtick someone.

          Or perhaps they really do think that both of these things are acceptable. How disgusting.