26 Sep 2008

Election candidate suspended from teaching role

8:32 pm on 26 September 2008

A candidate for the Workers Party has been suspended without pay from his job as a teacher after refusing to take leave from work ahead of the election.

The 1993 Electoral Act states that state servants, including teachers, must take leave from their position from nomination day onwards to avoid a possibility of any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

But Paul Hopkinson, a teacher at the Kingsley School for youth offenders, says the law is undemocratic.

Mr Hopkinson refuses to take leave to stand as the party's candidate for Christchurch East.

To comply with the law, the school board has decided to suspend him without pay.

The election will be held on 8 November.