22 Aug 2012

Whanau links favoured sex offender - report

1:45 pm on 22 August 2012

An extensive report into how a sex offender was hired in schools says whanaungatanga - or family connections - suited the opportunistic style that Te Rito Miki used to get work.

A ministerial inquiry has found teaching applicants and referees do not have to declare conflict of interest; nor do they have to be considered by school boards or the regulatory body, the Teachers Council.

The report suggests reviews could be done on whether boards check conflicts of interest among applicants and referees.

The inquiry says any risks to students might be exacerbated by well-meaning whanau-related sympathy for a teacher - and even gullible goodwill from board members and senior school staff.

It acknowledges that close family relationships may be commonplace in the education sector, but says there's a place for checking on conflicts of interest.

Miki was sent to jail for four years in May.