13 Apr 2012

Church minister suspended over alleged abuser

5:26 pm on 13 April 2012

An Anglican Maori minister is protesting against his suspension from duties after he raised an issue over an alleged child abuser at a youth camp.

Tapu Laulu was until this week the national youth co-ordinator for the Tikanga Maori strand of the Anglican Church.

Mr Laulu says he has taken legal advice after he was stood down from his job on Tuesday by Kitohi Pikaahu, the Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau.

Tapu Laulu says he removed 18 children in his care from a youth camp run by the church in Auckland at Easter after seeing that a man was present whom he believed to have sexually abused a young girl.

He says he called the children's parents and caregivers and explained his actions.

Tapu Laulu says the bishop is related to the man and was aware of the historical abuse allegations.

Bishop Pikaahu refused to answer questions about the incident at a meeting at Holy Sepulchre church on Friday morning.

He ordered a Radio New Zealand journalist to leave, calling her "unworthy in the eyes of God".

Tapu Laulu says he has also notified Child, Youth and Family and police about the incident.