A senior Ratana Church minister accused of child sex abuse was stood down two hours after his leaders learned of his alleged offending and upcoming trial in the Herald.
Daniel Brass Raharaha Nehemia, 56, is facing six charges of sexually assaulting at least one boy under the age of 12.
The alleged offender - also known as Brass Boyboy Nehemia and Brass Boyboy Raharaha - has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will go on trial next year.
He was initially granted name suppression but that lapsed and last week the Herald was able to publish details of the case.
Nehemia was ordained as a minister in the Ratana Church in November 2015.
He was stood down from that role less than two hours after the Herald story was published.
The next day the church executive issued a statement which was posted on Facebook.
"This matter is sitting before the courts therefore it is not appropriate for comment on the specific charges," the statement read.
"The church executive however, is shocked to learn of the charges against a person who holds a senior position within the church.
"The church executive considers this type of behaviour abhorrent and will not tolerate it from any office holder of the church."
The statement revealed that at 2.30pm on August 23 Nehemia was stood down as "a Registered Apostle".
The executive said the move was "in accordance with the constitution" of the church and "pending the outcome of the court".
"We offer our prayers and support to those whom have been affected," the executive said.
Church secretary Piriwiritua Rurawhe said today that Nehemia was refusing to communicate with him.
"I haven't been able to get hold of him - he's not taking my calls.
Rurawhe said he learned of the alleged offending last Wednesday.
He had been in a meeting and when he turned his phone on he was "bombarded' with messages following the
He said Nehemia had been at a meeting with him earlier that week and had not
mentioned the charges.
"It was the first time that we knew anything about any charges," he said.
"Subsequently, we acted swiftly and stood him down - then we went into action supporting the parishes he has been working with and his district."
Rurawhe was "shocked and dismayed" that the charges had not been disclosed.
"It's a requirement, no matter how serious, if anyone is dealing with the law they must disclose that information directly to me and to the church executive.
"Mr Nehemia won't be participating in anything to do with the church and I have instructed his senior in Auckland to communicate that to him directly."
Despite his apparent refusal to deal with his church leaders, Nehemia has been posting regularly on social media saying he is "feeling emotional".
Detective Senior Sergeant Jason McIntosh from the Waitemata police could not comment on the specifics of the case as it was before the courts.
"Police take any complaints of a sexual nature very seriously and we have a team of highly trained staff to deal with these sensitive matters," he said.
"We encourage anyone with information they wish to discuss with police, or matters they would like to report, to contact us."
McIntosh said anyone who wishes to speak with police regarding such a complaint should contact Detective Jackson Shewry on 021 191 4085.
Do you need 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 on: 0800 227 233 (08002B SAFE).
Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.
If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.