29 Feb 2012

Four schools notified sex offender worked there

7:19 pm on 29 February 2012

Education Minister Hekia Parata says four schools have now been told they had a convicted sex offender working there.

Officials are still working to establish whether any other schools are involved.


A ministerial inquiry is under way after it was revealed that the 41-year-old Auckland man had been working in a number of schools since his conviction in 2004 for sexual offences against a minor.

The man was arrested on 21 February this year and is in custody charged with fraudulent behaviour and breaching the conditions of an extended supervision order.

The Labour Party's education spokesperson, Nanaia Mahuta, told Parliament on Wednesday that some parents are concerned with how the Ministry of Education is handling the situation.

Ms Mahuta says parents at two schools where the man was teaching were not notified about it until late on Monday afternoon and they were not told about the man's previous convictions.

Hekia Parata says a court order governing suppression has allowed the ministry to talk to the four schools the man had been working at and support has been offered to parents, students and staff.

Ms Parata says there have been no reports of the man acting suspiciously around pupils at the schools.

The Education Ministry's deputy secretary of education, Nicholas Pole, says there has been on-going assistance given to two of the schools involved.

Meetings have been arranged this week and parents can also ring the ministry's 0800 number, which has psychologists and specialists available to help.

Meanwhile, an organisation representing many Maori total immersion schools is making checks to ensure that the man has not worked there.