5 May 2014

Ex-caregiver admits striking children

6:39 pm on 5 May 2014

A Child, Youth and Family-approved caregiver who ran a family home is defending his use of kicking, ear-pinching and humiliation to discipline children in his care.

Taite Kupa is on trial in the High Court at Whangarei, where he is defending 19 charges including rape and sexual violation.

Mr Kupa began giving evidence on Monday morning in his own defence.

He described the children in his care at the Whangarei home as broken angels who needed guidance and said he used humiliation as a means of discipline.

"It's like, ah, they're already broken. They don't need to be hurt to the point of anything else but humiliation is not illegal, so I've used that as a tool to get through to these children," he said.

He denied raping and sexually violating two girls in his care but described how he had kicked them in the buttocks in front of other children as a punishment for stealing lollies or going outside without consent.

He denied the kicks were hard enough to hurt them or mark them.

Mr Kupa also said he had at times told the older children to hit or kick the younger ones to teach them a lesson.