Bet he was registered (AKA: what’s the point of teacher registration?)

One of the major benefits of teacher registration is that it assures quality.  It keeps out pedophiles, rapists, thieves and other vermin.

Except it never has.

A teacher who was jailed after losing about $1.5 million of investors’ money in a failed Ponzi scheme has been censured and deregistered by the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.

Rene Alan Chalmers was sentenced in Auckland District Court in January last year to serve four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to 14 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, dishonestly using a document and making false statements to investors.

In a recently released decision, the tribunal said Chalmers’ offending was “dishonesty at the highest level”.  “In our view, we would not be discharging our responsibilities to the public and the profession were we to allow this teacher to retain his registration.”

The offending was so serious, the tribunal said if Chalmers was to attempt to reregister in the future, they would be surprised if the application was treated “sympathetically”.

The Pukekohe teacher’s convictions stemmed from trading foreign currency and misleading banks when buying three Bay of Plenty properties.

He also made 519 false statements to 64 investors about his company in which its parlous financial position was not disclosed.

During sentencing, prosecutor Dale La Hood said the operation was never viable and was a Ponzi scheme.

On the good side, the name suppression of offenders seems to be removed at the time of conviction, so we can name Rene Alan Chalmers for the scumbag that he is.  In the past, and certainly still now, many teachers that fall foul of the Council and are deregistered still enjoy suppression, leaving them free to travel overseas and steal or kiddie fiddle all over again.

It’s good to see more daylight, but we can’t stop here.


– Rebecca Quillam, NZME

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.