Convicted sex offender James Wallace stripped of knighthood, Chris Hipkins confirms

Convicted sex offender James Wallace has been stripped of his knighthood, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed.

It means Wallace can no longer use the title of 'Sir'.

Wallace was named in June as the "prominent businessman" who sexually assaulted three young men. He had name suppression until that time.

Back in 2021, he was convicted of indecently assaulting three young men on separate occasions, who were lured to his Auckland mansion under the assumption of career opportunities.

After he was named, the process for honours forfeiture began.

At his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Hipkins said he's had formal notification from King Charles III that he had approved the cancellation of Wallace's knighthood. Hipkins has written to Wallace to advise him of this.

"It is totally inappropriate for him to hold any honour," Hipkins said of Wallace. "He can no longer use the title of 'Sir' or 'KNZM', and has been asked to return his Warrant of Appointment and his honours insignia."

After a trial at the High Court in Auckland, Wallace was sentenced to two years and four months in prison in May 2021 for assaulting the men on separate occasions between the early 2000s and 2016.   

He was also convicted of attempting to dissuade one of the men from giving evidence on two occasions by offering him a bribe of $15,000 as well as future work opportunities. 

Wallace was worth about $165 million, according to NBR's 2018 rich list.