Iwi leader Te Awanui Black's widow says he was a part of a paedophile ring

The wife of a late Māori leader who said he was a paedophile now says he was involved in a ring of abuse that was of the highest levels.

Te Awanuiārangi Black was a prominent leader among iwi in Tauranga.

He was known as a staunch advocate for te reo Māori, a gifted orator, iwi leader, and regional councillor. He died of organ failure at 48 years old in 2016.

In a video posted to Facebook, his widow Anihera Black says he was sexually abused as a child, and as an adult abused other children.

She has now told NZME his abuse was a part of a wider paedophile ring.

"This goes deep and wide, in terms of the paedophile ring, to the highest heights you can imagine. These people aren't just labourers and workers at fast food restaurants. These people are suits and people in power," Ms Black told NZME.

Ms Black says her late husband used their marriage to mask his "private life".

"He did admit to me that he thought he was rangatira and he thought he was entitled to have women wherever he slept for the night. That might have rolled a few hundred years ago but it's not what I signed up for.

"He was never ever faithful. Prostitutes, orgies, group sex - all of it."

He had also groomed her to stay quiet about his abuse, she said.

Mr Black.
Mr Black. Photo credit: Newshub.

The couple separated in 2012 but got back together before separating for the final time in 2014.

Ms Black says he admitted his abuse which led her to believe there was a ring of people who had preyed on children.

She is now pleading for victims to come forward.

A statement from some of Mr Black's whanau and long-time friends says they've asked the police for a full investigation.

The police say they're looking into the allegations, but won't say if anyone has come forward with information.

Newshub.