The boys came from struggling families and ranged from teens to 11 years old.

A former international cricket umpire has admitted sexually abusing more than a dozen young boys.

Ian Shine, 58, pleaded guilty to 25 charges at the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday.

Shine preyed on boys from poor South Auckland families over 18 months.

His victims ranged in age from teenagers to 11 years old.


Shine was the Northern Districts umpire of the year in 2003.

He umpired two women's one-day international matches and was a first-class umpire until 2005.

His offending began when he befriended a Pacific Island family, bringing food and offering gifts, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

He started spending time with the family's two sons.

Once he had won the family's trust, he offered to pay the boys for sexual favours. "He started paying the boys ... giving them hush money," the source said.

"He would make them look at pornographic images on his phone," the source said.

Shine was arrested last year by officers from the Counties Manukau child sexual abuse team.

At first they knew of only a handful of the victims, but after interviews with the first complainants 13 boys were eventually identified as having been abused.

"One by one they disclosed different dates and different victims," said the source. "It just snowballed."

Shine was arrested late last year and was granted bail, against police wishes.

After being released, he contacted the mother of one of the victims from a payphone and arranged to meet her.

Police officers were monitoring his movements and he was arrested again.

He has been in custody since late last year and strict suppression orders were in place until his court appearance on Wednesday.

Shine was married with four children.

Shine first appeared in the Papakura District Court, but the case was transferred to the Auckland High Court, where he pleaded guilty.

His lawyer, Paul Borich, declined to comment.