New allegation against student at broadcasting school referred to police

This comes after a tumultuous year for school. Photo / 123rf

A new allegation against a New Zealand Broadcasting School student has been passed on to police.

The school, part of the Ara Institute of Canterbury, confirmed that the recent allegation against a pupil had been referred to authorities for investigation.

“Ara is aware of an allegation that has been made about a student at the New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS). The alleged incident did not take place on campus, nor at any Ara facility. , and it did not take place during Ara’s formal learning activities.”

A student told the Herald the situation involved inappropriate touching and the man had not been allowed back since the incident earlier this month.

“We still feel uncomfortable that there is a chance he could come back. We would have liked Ara to communicate the situation more clearly.

“After all that we as students of the broadcasting school have been through with similar cases in the past, and this year’s report, we don’t want anything like this to happen again, and Ara just doesn’t seem not do much.”

The New Zealand Broadcasting School has been the training ground for some of the country’s best on-air talent, and for those who want to be a TV or radio star, this is where you’re told that you must be.

Earlier this year, an independent report into the school revealed serious allegations including racist comments, sexual harassment and an atmosphere conducive to bullying.

Ara’s spokesperson told the Herald that he would not provide additional information about the alleged incident in the interests of student privacy and a fair process.

Ara did not confirm whether the student was no longer attending class and did not address the specifics of the charge.

“Whenever Ara is made aware of any issues that may impact safety in our learning environments, we are committed to acting decisively to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all of our learners and our staff,” they told the Herald.

The student accused of misconduct was also approached for comment.

In an email to students ahead of a meeting with students about the situation, Art+Design manager Kathryn McCully said they understood it was an “incredibly difficult time” and said students could use available support services.

In Ara’s response to Herald’s inquiries, the spokesperson stressed that his priority is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all Ara students.

“Following the release of the NZBS Inquiry Report earlier this year, Ara has accepted all of the report’s recommendations and has been actively working to implement them. We publicly shared all information and provided the latest progress update in July.

In total, the investigator made 60 recommendations, and at the time, Ara’s acting general manager, Darren Mitchell, said it was simply not acceptable for the type of behaviors reported to Raymond s installs and is not controlled by staff.

“We recognize and regret the impact this behavior has had on a number of our students.”

The report also detailed what several students described as a “boys club” culture, where women in the school often felt sexually objectified by comments directly made or inferred by male students in this mainstream culture.

The investigator said this amounted to sexual harassment.

Martha K. Merrill