24 Aug 2012

Claim some blame lies with sex offender's family

10:30 am on 24 August 2012

The national body representing many kura kaupapa is blaming the family of sex offender Te Rito Miki for not stopping him from pursuing work as a teacher under false identities.

Released on Tuesday, a ministerial inquiry into how Miki was hired by schools found teaching candidates or referees didn't have to declare conflicts of interest; nor did they have to be considered by school boards or the regulatory body, the Teachers Council.

Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa chairperson Toni Waho says Miki's actions are a wake-up call for whanau Maori to be alert.

He says Miki's whanau have let kura down, and he can't believe they didn't know he had been hired by six schools since 2004.

Mr Waho is encouraging other whanaunga to come forward and help schools if a similar problem recurs.

Miki was jailed for four years in May.

Maori teachers' body offers help to kura

His case has prompted a teachers' training institute for fluent reo Maori tangata whenua to offer help to Maori schools.

The principal of Te Wananga Takiura o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa in Auckland, Tawhirimatea Williams, is offering to sit with boards of trustees and schools to talk about the issue.

He says he doesn't have all the answers but he is passionate and enthusiastic about te reo and education.

Mr Williams says the wananga has programmes that may help kura in some way.