A former manager has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $600,000 from the Auckland University of Technology.
Jonathan Kirkpatrick, who is also an Anglican priest, resigned from the institution's Business Innovation Centre after an audit showed accounting discrepancies.
His lawyer, Russell Fairbrother, could not say why his client stole the money or what he spent it on, except to say it was not gambled away.
He says Kirkpatrick had been taking the money since 2002 and will pay as much of it back as he can.
Mr Fairbrother expects the punishment will be serious because the crime is, and says Kirkpatrick is prepared for it.