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Release of NZBS Investigation - FINAL REPORT

Here is a link to the independent report of the New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) together with a summary document, recommendations document and the media release from Ara.

The investigator found no evidence of bullying or harassment, including sexual and racial harassment, by tutors towards students. Any public perceptions to the contrary have no foundation.

The investigator found in some streams within NZBS there had been a prevalent and poor culture of behaviour, predominantly amongst some students, which had a significant negative impact on the wellbeing of other students in the school. These behaviours included instances of bullying, harassment, including sexual harassment and the making of sexist, racist and inappropriate comments. 

The investigation also found that Ara policies and procedures need to be enhanced to align with best practice and to restore confidence in our complaint resolution processes. 

Ara will fully implement the 60 recommendations, many of which will be of benefit to all of Ara, not just the NZBS.

We acknowledge and regret the impact this behaviour has had on a number of our students.

The Ara Board has committed their full support and resources to implementing the identified recommendations.

An update on progress related to the recommendations will be provided at the end of July.


FAQ

What is the NZBS Report

On 18 September 2021, the New Zealand Herald ran a story on the New Zealand Broadcasting School at Ara (NZBS). On 27 September 2021, Ara received a follow up request for information from the journalist that outlined a series of allegations that had been raised with the Herald. As a result of the allegations made, Ara initiated a comprehensive investigation, led by Richard Raymond QC from Canterbury Chambers. The process was independent and transparent with current and previous staff and students invited to participate.

Who has carried out the investigation?

The investigation was led by Richard Raymond QC from Canterbury Chambers. Richard was supported by Chamber colleagues Cecil Hanafin and Christina Twyman.

Bio Richard Raymond QC

Richard graduated with a BCom LLB from the University of Otago in 1988. He then worked in commercial litigation in leading Wellington and London firms before returning to New Zealand and the Crown Solicitor’s Office in Christchurch in 1993. He was appointed Senior Crown Counsel and was an Associate of Raymond Donnelly & Co.

In 1997 Richard joined the litigation team at Duncan Cotterill and became a partner in 1998. He led a large team of litigators and built a significant commercial and insurance litigation practice. He was on the firm’s Board for several years and served as Chairman before joining the independent bar in 2011.

Richard was appointed Queen’s Counsel in June 2016.He has been involved in numerous inquiries and cases on a range of complex issues throughout New Zealand.

How can I view the report?

You can view the report here.

What actions will Ara take?

A number of actions have already been completed or commenced since the investigation began, some of which have been acknowledged in the report. We are well progressed in updating the Code of Professional Practice as well as our policies relating to inappropriate behaviours. We have also moved quickly to appoint live-in management to the student accommodation facility, and extra resource to the NZBS to support the school in responding to relevant recommendations. Ara is also continuing to invest into cultural capability development institute-wide and access to mental health and social work support has been enhanced.

How will Ara share updates on progress in addressing the report findings?

An update on progress related to the recommendations will be provided at the end of July.