3 Sep 2014

Principal censure should bring closure

10:04 pm on 3 September 2014

The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal hopes its report on the misconduct of former principal of Pamapuria School, Stephen Hovell, will bring closure to the predominately Maori community.

Mr Hovell has been censured for failing to protect pupils from the convicted paedophile, teacher James Parker.

Parker was arrested in 2012 on multiple charges of sexual offending against young boys, and was sentenced to preventive detention, with a minimum of seven years in prison and lifelong parole.

The Tribunal found there was no evidence that Mr Hovell knew about Parker's offending, or could have stopped it.

But it found his failure to stop Parker taking boys home, after a warning letter from police, was negligent and incompetent.

Pamapuria is a small community, and a former colleague of Parker has said the former teacher used his interest in Maoritanga to win over parents and get him closer to his victims.

The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal hoped the release of the report would bring closure to the sad episode for Pamapuria, Kaitaia and Northland, but most particularly for the victims.

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