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A secret world of power, abuse and cover-ups in New Zealand schools

The Marist Brothers and Fathers have educated prime ministers, judges, cardinals and All Blacks at their Catholic high schools. But their record of sexual abuse is horrific. Worse still was their handling of the abuse when it was exposed. In this series The Secret History, Steve Kilgallon investigates the power, abuse and cover-ups at the heart of two highly influential and wealthy religious groups.

When John Wilson* was 12 years old, he was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by his school principal, Kevin Waters.

Over two years at Christchurch’s Xavier Intermediate, John was groomed, then threatened, beaten, and even burned with a cigarette lighter. He was an altar server, and Waters would trick John by summoning him to the city’s Catholic cathedral on the pretence of helping at a mass, then abuse him.

As a 12-year-old boy, to have this towering guy standing over you in a black robe: he was very intimidating.

John says

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