Hard News by Russell Brown



It’s a strange road to justice, but the conviction of former Rotorua CIB chief John Dewar on charges of obstructing the course of justice certainly provides some vindication for Louise Nicholas.

The most striking finding is that Dewar deliberately gave inadmissible evidence to abort successive trials in the so-called Murupara case, which heard charges that a policeman in the timber town had raped Nicholas when she was 13.

This Dom Post story lays it all out. Dewar procured two mistrials, then, horrifyingly, in the third, persuaded the prosecutor to call as witnesses Bob Schollum, Brad Shipton and Clint Rickards -- who had already been the subject of a rape complaint to Dewar by Nicholas. The failure of the Murupara case would subsequently be used to call into question Nicholas's credibility.

What happened here, and what was going on in Rotorua in the 1980s, was evil. And I know one thing: Clint Rickards not only should not be one of our most senior policemen, he should not be in the force at all. He is lucky to be at large.

The What are some of the facts? blog archiving the original news stories in which this sordid time came to light is still online if you want to leaf through some of the back pages.

On another grim matter. David Slack and I have interviewed Mikaere Curtis, the cousin of William Curtis and uncle of his two sons, Wiremu and Michael -- all of them defendants in the Nia Glassie case. Mikaere has posted several times in our discussion thread about the action being taken by the whanau, and I'm truly impressed by their openness and determination to address what happened. The interview will air on Public Address Radio, 5pm Saturday on Radio Live, and I'll put it promptly on the podcast thereafter.

The happy stuff I was going to unveil today seems inappropriate under this sort of news, so I'll save it as a Friday treat.

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