A Tauranga sexual assault counsellor fears another layer of trauma could be added to victims with the offer of a $10,000 reward for information which leads to the conviction of alleged paedophiles.
The counsellor and advocate Denise McEnteer was responding to the reward offered by the Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust Board for information about allegations of a paedophile ring operating in Tauranga.
Police are looking into claims from Anihera Zhou Black that her ex-husband, the late Te Awanuiārangi (Awanui) Black, was a paedophile and part of a child sex ring in Tauranga.
''I am feeling uncomfortable about the implications of the reward,'' McEnteer said.
She said Anihera Black had bravely come forward to encourage sexual assault survivors to speak to police. With all the media exposure around Black's statements, McEnteer said this should have been enough for victims to step forward.
''The reward will make the police's job more difficult. It will complicate matters... it could skew an investigation.''
She said 9 per cent of sexual assault cases were reported to police and 3 per cent of this 9 per cent ended in convictions.
''No amount of money can guarantee a conviction.''
She said the way the iwi had posted the reward could lead to victims being misled into thinking the case would be before the courts in a couple of months, whereas it could take 18 months to two years to reach court after statements were taken by police.
McEnteer said had the iwi consulted with specialists such as herself before offering the reward, it might not have happened. She has spent 40 years as a sexual assault counsellor and advocate.
''We add another layer of trauma to victims under the umbrella that they will get $10,000, but it was a jury that decided guilt.''
The reward did not look at the reality of the situation and what it did to victims who came forward, she said.
''They don't realise the court system for sexual assault victims is very long. It would be extremely involved and very traumatic, and then they could end up not getting a conviction - that would be very traumatic.''
Police did not respond to McEnteer's comments, saying there was nothing to add to the statement issued on Wednesday, in which Detective Inspector Mark Loper said no victims had come forward nor been identified.
Loper said police were continuing to seek further information after speaking to Anihera Black about the allegations.
Comment was sought from Ngāi Te Rangi chief executive Paora Stanley who told the Bay of Plenty Times ''I cannot comment".
It included asking whether the iwi had been approached by any alleged paedophile victims since the announcement of the reward.