A victim of Dilworth School former assistant principal Ian Wilson is "tasting justice" after he was sentenced for indecent assault that spanned two decades - and calls for other victims to come forward.
Neil Harding is one of five victims of Wilson's between 1975 and 1992, but the only one who fought to have his statutory name suppression lifted today. He was the only one who read a victim impact statement, directly addressing Wilson at Auckland District Court.
"I felt a little bit numb, it felt surreal," he told reporters outside court.
"I'd given up on that moment for most of my life so I suppose I was confronting something that was difficult for me to do, but I wanted to do it."
Wilson will spend three years and seven months behind bars.
Harding said he had no expectation for Wilson's sentence before it was handed down today, to protect himself, but that Wilson's guilty plea was the bigger moment.
"The guilty plea was huge because it acknowledged - in the sense of there being no doubt - that what really happened, happened.
"I have self doubt. I was only groomed, but in an environment where he was meant to be providing a duty of care to me, and the effects of that have been profound."
The man, who is now in his 50s, was invited to Wilson's house when he was 11 in 1977.
Wilson, who was then in his mid 20s, got a terrified Harding to tickle his tummy, then asked him to move his hand lower as he was groaning and writhing on the floor. Harding asked to leave and ran from the house, too scared to tell anyone what happened.
But today Harding is "tasting justice".
"I feel lighter. I'm tasting justice. I have to give that some time to permeate on what that feels like."
Harding is calling for other victims of abuse to seek their own justice.
"I would like others to experience what I have today.
"For any Dilworth Old Boys out there, Operation Beverley will finish soon and I encourage you to come forward," he said.
"Anyone else that suffered abuse in care as a child [should] approach the Royal Commission because we can see by today justice has been served."
It's part of Harding's healing journey, to help others "take a stand".
"I have children, I have grandchildren. I want them to be safe. It's not good enough that people can destroy the innocence of children, particularly vulnerable ones, and get away with it."
Wilson was one of seven men charged in September in relation to Operation Beverly - an investigation into allegations of historical sexual offending at the Auckland boarding school. A further two men were charged earlier this year and police say they have been contacted by more than 100 former students with allegations of abuse during their time at the school.
The allegations related to offending in the mid 1970s through to the early 2000s.
It has been a shock for New Zealanders to learn that several former staff at Auckland's Dilworth School have been charged with sex and drug offences against boys over more than three decades. We want you, our readers, to know that the Herald will follow this story wherever it leads. We have a team of journalists prepared to investigate and we want to hear from you. If you have any information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Murray Kirkness, NZ Herald Editor
Where to get help:
• If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334. (available 24/7)
• Male Survivors Aotearoa offers a range of confidential support at centres across New Zealand - find your closest one here.
• Mosaic - Tiaki Tangata: 0800 94 22 94 (available 11am - 8pm)
• Alternatively contact your local police station
• If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.