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Friday, 16 March 2012

depressed Toran Henry seen by "Waitemata District Health Board’s mental health unit" "for two years" - FIDDAMAN

North Shore police commander Les Paterson is cautioning against drawing links to an alleged "fight club" at Takapuna Grammar or making any preliminary assumptions about the death of 17-year-old Toran Henry.

Mr Paterson says he has appointed a "small team of very experienced investigators to the case".

Inquiries are being carried out by police, Takapuna Grammar and the Waitemata District Health Board.

The teenager died 12 days ago, a day after being involved in a fight that was allegedly filmed by a group of students.

No one else is being sought in connection with the death and the matter has been referred to coroner Murray Jamieson.

Toran’s mother, Maria Bradshaw, has denounced the school for not taking appropriate action in response to the alleged assault.

She said they should have contacted her or the police.

But Mr Paterson says he would like to separate Toran’s death from the issue of a "fight club".

He also reminds people that police can’t do anything unless someone approaches them about a problem.

"Anything to do with that is to do with the school, and they have plenty of powers to deal with it."

Toran was being seen by Waitemata District Health Board’s mental health unit for adolescents to help him deal with depression.

"We extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family," says Helen Wood, general manager of the board’s mental health services.

"News of this death has been very upsetting to the team who worked and cared for the client for two years. We have offered support and counselling to help the family through this difficult time," she says.

Ms Wood says the board does not feel it is appropriate to discuss Toran’s care without letting the proper processes conclude, including the coroner’s inquiry.

A statement supplied to the North Shore Times by principal Simon Lamb and board of trustees chairwoman Jan Hill, says:

"Takapuna Grammar School, its students and wider community are mourning the sudden loss of Toran Henry. The situation is tremendously sad and the circumstances are extremely delicate.

"There have been some serious allegations made about the school’s processes in supporting Toran during his time at the school.

"The board will appoint an independent person over the next few days to lead an investigation into the school’s processes.

"We will be inviting anyone who believes they can contribute to this investigation to do so. This is the only way that we can truly address the allegations which have been raised.

"We remain greatly concerned about our students who are coming to terms with this tragic loss."

Toran’s neighbour, Sharlene Pirikahu, and Education Minister Chris Carter have both raised concerns over bullying.

But Takapuna Grammar pupils have rebutted suggestions of a bullying problem at the school. They said they would hate to see the school’s reputation maligned.

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