The national association of kura kaupapa Maori is urging kura Maori to carry out background checks on new staff despite whanau connections or assurances.
The Education Review Office has released a report showing that a third of schools don't have the right practices to ensure they don't hire sex offenders.
Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa o Aotearoa chairperson Toni Waho says that figure is higher than he expected, but he can see how it happens in kura Maori.
He says there are overwhelming pressures for kura kaupapa to fill niche positions, and in Maori networks it is important to take people on their word, or on whanau assurances.
But Mr Waho says recent high profile sex offending cases in Northland have reinforced the importance of carrying out checks, saying it upholds the mana and integrity of the kura, and keeps tamariki safe.