When Rodney Hide and Judith Collins used Parliamentary Privilege to allege that David Benson-Pope had seriously assaulted students while a teacher in the 80's and 90's, I suggested they take it to the police. Several of the students have now come forward and repeated the allegations to Three News, and I urge them to do likewise. I have no pity for sadists, and what Benson-Pope is alleged to have done clearly constitutes assault, even by the standards of a time which allowed corporal punishment. The allegations should be investigated by the police, and if there is a case, Benson-Pope should be charged and tried. In the meantime, he should be stood down from his ministerial role until the public is satisfied that there is no case to answer.
As for the Prime Minster's concerns about "digging up the past", too often corporal punishment served as a cover for sadism, and I am more than happy for elderly teachers who were too eager with the cane and who went beyond the bounds of the law to be dragged out into the light of day and prosecuted.