Occasionally, someone who has been placed on a pedestal falls.

An Olympic gold medallist in 1976, former hockey player Arthur Parkin was this week convicted of two charges of indecent assault against a girl aged 12-16, after a trial.

Jail is likely. Sentencing judges take a dim view of accused men who put complainants and witnesses through the tribulations of a court trial.

Read more: Sport Northland to make decision on Arthur Parkin's Legend status


Parkin is a Northland Legend of Sport. When he accepted the honour in December 2016, it is highly likely he knew there were indecent assault complaints against him. Complaints were laid in 2016, and charges were made public in March, 2017.

But Sport Northland would not have known of the accusations.

Parkin also entered the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 for his achievements. He went to the Olympics four times, and he also represented New Zealand at golf.

The offences Parkin has been found guilty of involve a girl aged 12-16, and occurred at a time when he was well known and respected as a hockey player and coach.

Sport Northland is reviewing Parkin's place as a Northland Legend of Sport.

No doubt, Parkin's place in the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame is also being considered.

Sport Northland will make its decision at a March 5 meeting.

There might be those who argue that sporting hall of fames are all about sport, and nothing else. It is a narrow perspective.


Sports people placed in Hall of Fames are there to be admired and respected, on a pedestal that draws attention to their greatness.

Parkin harboured a dirty secret, that he had breached the respect and trust of a victim who had placed him on a pedestal.

Which suggests that, at the very least out of respect to his victim, Parkin's removal from Northland and national "hall of fames" is an administrative formality.