28 Dec 2016

Missing Blenheim teenager found safe and well

7:09 pm on 28 December 2016

A Blenheim teenager who has been missing for more than a week has been found safe and well, say police.

Alex Peterson has been missing since 19 December.

Alex Peterson has been missing since 19 December. Photo: Supplied / Stan Hunt

Alex Petersen, 14, went missing from his home on 19 December, and had not been seen since.

But Marlborough police confirmed this evening that Alex had been found safe and well.

His father Stan Hunt had been leading the search for his son, and earlier told RNZ News he found out today that Alex had been dealing with constant bullying.

He said he talked to several of Alex's school friends this morning at a skate park, and what they told him came as a shock to him.

Missing teenager Alex Petersen

Missing teenager Alex Petersen shaved his head shortly before he went missing. Photo: NZ Police

He said the boys told of Alex getting bullied daily at Marlborough Boys College by other students, who flung insults such as "dumb Aussie" at the Australian boy.

Alex's friends also spoke of comforting the boy and telling him to walk away.

Mr Hunt said he had talked to Alex's dean about sporadic problems at school in the past few months, but had no idea he was suffering from constant and ongoing bullying.

No one from the school told him about what Alex was being subjected to, and the school had not been in touch since Alex went missing, he said.

Marlborough Boys' College principal Wayne Heggarty, who is currently in Australia, said he was not aware of any bullying going on, and cases of bullying were dealt with on a case by case basis.

"Generally where possible we work with families in any situation like that where it's known, but it's difficult to comment without knowing the full circumstances of whether this has actually occurred or whether it's hearsay."

Earlier today, Senior Sergeant Peter Payne said the police had searched areas Alex was known to visit around Blenheim, but had not turned up any trace of him.