Australia: NZ's National sticks by ex-bully Uffindell

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Saying he believes in second chances, New Zealand opposition leader Chris Luxon has offered one to his newest MP.

Sam Uffindell was expelled from Auckland's Kings College for assaulting a 13-year-old boy. © Ben McKay/AAP PHOTOS Sam Uffindell was expelled from Auckland's Kings College for assaulting a 13-year-old boy.

Self-described high school bully Sam Uffindell has been welcomed back into the National partyroom despite allegations of abuse.

A week after taking his place in parliament, Mr Uffindell was outed as the perpetrator of a vicious beating at his boarding school at age 16.

He was expelled from Auckland's prestigious Kings College for assaulting a 13-year-old boy, leaving him bruised and traumatised.

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The airing of the attack - which was known by party officials but not the public at the time of Mr Uffindell's election - brought forward other complaints of Mr Uffindell's behaviour at university.

His all-male flat featured a coat rack with women's underwear, and the tenants were threatened with eviction due to its uncleanliness, according to the Otago Daily Times.

While drunk and high, Mr Uffindell allegedly lashed out at flatmates during his years studying in Dunedin's Otago University.

"He was smashing on my door and yelling obscenities and basically telling me to get out, 'hit the road, fatty'," a former flatmate said of one incident.

"I ended up climbing out of my bedroom window and ran to a friend's house to stay the night. I feared for my safety. I was scared."

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On Monday, Mr Luxon said he was disturbed by the allegations but "the investigation concluded that Sam did not engage in serious behaviour towards his flatmate that was alleged in the media".

"Further, the investigation did not substantiate any allegations of bullying outside of Sam's time at Kings College and on that basis, the National Party caucus meeting earlier today and Sam for being fully reinstated to our caucus".

Mr Uffindell said he "wasn't proud" of his high school behaviour, and Mr Luxon said he wouldn't stand for similar behaviour today.

"I have never tolerated bullying of any team or workplace that I have led," Mr Luxon said.

"I also believe in forgiveness and second chances.

"If someone can demonstrate a genuine understanding of their behaviour, and the way that it has negatively impacted others, and can then show that they can become a better person, they deserve a second chance."

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Mr Uffindell said he was grateful for the opportunity to continue his political career.

"I'm not gonna lie, the last six weeks have been incredibly challenging," he said.

"But I do have the stomach for it and I will continue to work hard and deliver for the people of Tauranga."

The National party has declined to release the report, carried out by Maria Dew KC.

The decision to reinstate Mr Uffindell may hurt the opposition's ability to campaign on law and order issues.

Mr Uffindell, who was never charged for his high school assault, campaigned on law and order issues and spoke of a "growing culture of lawlessness and lack of accountability" in his maiden speech.

Mr Luxon denied the episode would hurt their ability to campaign as tough on crime saying that was "conflating two separate issues".

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