A former Maori immersion school teacher from Hastings has been sentenced to 300 hours' community work for assaulting pupils.
Wi Derek Huata, 53, was found guilty of seven charges of assaulting children in his Year 2 kura kaupapa class.
During the three-day trial at Napier District Court, pupils gave evidence that he pulled their ears.
Huata's lawyer submitted to the court on Wednesday that disruptive behaviour in the classroom was a mitigating factor.
Judge Tony Adeane rejected the submission, saying it trod on dangerous ground.