Olympic champion-turned-child sex offender Arthur Parkin is appealing his sentence for historical indecent assaults based on his "good character".

The former New Zealand hockey representative star was jailed earlier this year after a jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting a girl at a home in Auckland, and on another occasion forced her to touch his erection.

She was 11 years old at the time, while Parkin was in his late 20s. He is now in his mid 60s.

The offending happened 37 years ago.


Judge Robert Ronayne sentenced Parkin to a prison term of one year and eight months – which Parkin's lawyer today argued was too high.

He told the Court of Appeal in Wellington this afternoon that a higher discount should have been given in sentencing.

"The central issue of the appellant's is whether or not a more significant discount should have been provided to account for his good character and the historic nature of the offending, focusing on the 37 or so years between the acts and his sentencing," lawyer Aaron Harvey said.

He said Parkin had rehabilitated himself over that time and should get credit for that.

"The court is faced with a man with a solitary complainant in the early 1980s. The need for rehabilitation in this case is very, very low."

On top of that, Parkin was unsuccessful in his bid for name suppression.

"[He] went from being a well-known gold medal Olympian to being a convicted and published child sex offender," Harvey said.

He also argued for a home detention sentence, rather than imprisonment.


Crown lawyer Merran Cooke said there was no error in the sentencing process.

As for another discount for Parkin's "fall from grace", Cooke said Harvey had not cited any authority on the matter that supported such a discount.

At trial, 11 of the 12 jurors found Parkin guilty on two charges relating to one of three women.

The jury unanimously ruled that he was not guilty on the charges relating to the two other women.

An emotional victim impact statement from the victim was read to court at sentencing.

"When I was 11 years old, on the cusp of turning 12, you Arthur abused your role … and sexually abused me," she said.

"My parents entrusted me into your care, and I trusted you as one of the two adults in the house with me."

She said Parkin had made the decision to abuse her and then "just brushed [it] off".

"Those decisions have influenced my life ever since," she said.

"Those decisions you made will continue to influence my life until the day I die."

Parkin was removed as a Northland Legend of Sport after he was found guilty.

He had been one of New Zealand's most celebrated hockey players and a multiple Olympian, winning a gold medal with the men's hockey team in Montreal in 1976.

In 1990 he was also admitted to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.