Confronting the issue of abuse at Dilworth School

Since its doors first opened in 1906, more than 5,500 boys have been educated at Dilworth School.

Today, Dilworth is one of the largest full-boarding schools in the Southern Hemisphere, with all 560 students receiving scholarships.

The Will of founder James Dilworth set out clear instructions that his estate be used to establish a school so those from straitened circumstances may have the opportunity of a first-class education in order to be good and useful citizens.

That some students who attended Dilworth School suffered abuse during their time at Dilworth is, and was, completely unacceptable.

About Dilworth Response

Dilworth Response encompasses the Dilworth Trust Board’s response to fully confronting the issue of sexual and other abuse that occurred at our School openly and honestly.

Dilworth has proactively participated in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care and the NZ Police’s Operation Beverly. This included assisting the NZ Police in Operation Beverly investigations. Dilworth continues to provide support to Old Boy survivors in their complaints to the Police and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Board Chair, Aaron Snodgrass, has apologised to all Old Boy survivors of abuse while in its care. In doing so, he has acknowledged that the School's procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse were inadequate and did not meet the standards in place today.

Dilworth School has actively made major changes to the way it works to care for and protect its students.

To support Old Boys who are survivors of abuse during their time at the School, an independent, confidential Listening Service was launched in September 2019. This provides access to free, professional counselling services and support, funded by Dilworth.

Since its inception, this service has helped Old Boy survivors to access confidential, fully funded psychological support services in New Zealand and other parts of the world.

In 2021, the School announced it would establish an Independent Inquiry and an independent Redress Programme as part of our response to the issue of abuse.

The Inquiry, led by Dame Silvia Cartwright with Frances Joychild QC as Co-Inquirer, commenced its work on 1 July 2022.

The independent Redress Programme, led by a Panel Chaired by Dame Judith Potter DNZM CBE with clinical psychologist Professor Ian Lambie ONZM and governance expert Ms Rukumoana Schaafhausen MNZM, launched on 29 August 2022.