Kiri Te Kanawa beaten by nuns

Violence in New Zealand used to be a normal part of New Zealand society. Many of the effects of this continue, as does much violence.

Today it’s hard to imagine nuns being violent but there have been many claims of violence in religious institutions and schools.

Kiri Te Kanawa claims to have been beaten by nuns at school.

NZ Herald reports Dame Kiri Te Kanawa: ‘I was beaten by the nuns as a child’

“I’m tough … I’m tough because I have had to be. I was beaten by the nuns as a child.”

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s revelation stunned an audience of several hundred in Whanganui.

The celebrated singer, in the city to teach at the two-week New Zealand Opera School at Wanganui Collegiate, was speaking candidly in a public conversation with fellow international opera performer and Baptist Church minister, Rodney McCann.

“I am as tough as I am today because from age 12, when I was at a convent school in Auckland, I was beaten by the nuns,” Dame Kiri told the audience at the Collegiate auditorium.

Some aspects of our society have changed markedly for the better in my lifetime. It would be unthinkable to hear of nuns beating children now.

Unfortunately some in our society continue perpetuating the violence they learnt as normal behaviour as children, and pass that on to their own children.

We have a long way to go before we can become relatively non-violent society.