National's Sam Uffindell admits to being school bully, concedes violent assault on 13 year-old was a crime

National MP Sam Uffindell has admitted he was a bully in school and conceded he committed a crime when he violently assaulted a boy. 

On Monday it was revealed National's newest MP was asked to leave a prestigious Auckland private school more than 20 years ago after a violent nighttime attack on a younger student. 

Details of the attack emerged after Uffindell's victim came forward. The victim said the National MP had contacted him last year to make amends. He'd accepted that apology until he saw Uffindell was running for Parliament and felt the apology wasn't genuine.

The victim was only 13 when the attack happened and it involved Uffindell and three other teens at King's College.

"I was covering my head … they were smashing me," the victim told Stuff. 

"I don't remember much, but when it was over, everyone ran into the next dorm and lay down on the floor between the beds there to hide."

Uffindell said the attack was the "stupidest and dumbest thing" he's ever done and he's incredibly remorseful. 

He said he informed the National Party's pre-selection committee about the attack before he was selected as a candidate and went on to win the Tauranga by-election.

Speaking with media on Tuesday, Uffindell conceded he was a bully at school and "punched a few people". 

"I'm not proud of who I was as a teenager. I've said to my mum over the years that I look back and I don't really like that person because I did stuff that I am not proud of at all," he admitted.

"I was effectively a bully and I was a mean person and there will be other people at high school that I have hurt one way or another and for those people as well I just want to apologise for that. I'm not proud of it at all."

Uffindell, who recently highlighted the need to address violence and called for accountability from perpetrators, conceded the revelations aren't a good look for him. 

"It's an awful look, all I can do is apologise for what I have done as I have and will continue to do."

When asked whether he accepted he broke the law by assaulting the boy, Uffindell initially dodged the question before admitting he did. 

"Yes, I can appreciate that. Yep, yep it is (a crime)," he eventually said. 

The Tauranga MP also revealed he had attacked "a few" other people while at school. 

"I'm sure I have hurt other people physically and mentally and like I said before I wasn't a great person at high school. I'm not proud of that person, I was a bully. 

"This is by far the worst incident that I was involved in at school."

When asked how many other similar incidents he had been involved in Uffindell couldn't give an exact number but said he had hurt other people. 

"I might have tackled a few people or punched a few people as I said I was a bully a school and I am not proud of that at all."

It comes after Uffindell was grilled over why he didn't disclose the attack to the public during the Tauranga by-election campaign. 

Speaking with AM the National MP admitted in hindsight he should have gone public about the assault earlier. 

In a statement to Newshub on Monday, the National Party said it "was proactively informed about this incident" by Uffindell during the selection process.

"It was a significant event reflecting a serious error of judgement by a then 16-year-old for which he has apologised and regrets to this day."

National has had several issues with its selection process in recent years, prompting a review of how wannabe MPs are vetted.

It comes after several high-profile departures of National MPs including Hamish Walker, who leaked COVID-19 patient details to media, and Andrew Falloon, who sent unsolicited sexually explicit images to young women.

There was also Jake Bezzant, who left the party last year after serious allegations emerged from an ex-girlfriend.

Where else to find help and support: 

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