If it is revealed NZEI made the “deals” will they be accountable?

Chickens are coming home to roost now that convicted sex offender Robert Burrett is behind bars for 19 years.

The Ministry of Education says it’s now aware there were deals done around a convicted sex offender’s prior offences when he left a North Island school he worked at.

Robert Burrett was today sentenced to 19 and a half years for child sexual offences while working as a caretaker at two schools. The charges include; rape, sodomy, forced oral sex, and indecent assault on girls, some with special needs.

It’s now been revealed he may have taken a secret payout to leave Pukenui School after concerns about his behaviour.

But Ministry spokeswoman Katrina Casey told Larry Williams there was never any complaint of a sexual nature, until the one that sparked this investigation and ultimately got Burrett convicted.

“There were concerns or issues, or if you like, deals done around his competence – and drinking has been mentioned – [but] there was never, ever anything about sexual abuse,” Ms Casey said.

She said the reporting regimes have since changed and won’t allow something like this to happen again.

Ms Casey said the rules no longer allow a deal to be done, and a teacher or principal to leave under a cloud and not have that reported to the Education Council.

But deals were done, and if we find out it was the NZEI that facilitated those deals then they should be held as accountable as Robert Burrett for his offending.

Meanwhile, Burrett’s lawyer said the 65-year-old is “genuinely remorseful”.

I bet he is…remorseful he got caught.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education is offering her sympathies to the children abused by Burrrett.

Hekia Parata said it’s been a concerning incident and has alerted all school boards and principals to take every care.

She said she feels very sad for the victims and their families.

“Today doesn’t undo the harm, but I hope it brings some measure of comfort to them.

“I also want to acknowledge how incredibly brave they were in reporting this, because it now removes the possibility that this person could harm other children.”

Boards, trustees AND the teachers’ union have all helped let this creep get away with his behaviour for too long. They just sweep it all under the carpet and send them on their way with a glowing reference.


– NewstalkZB


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  • Clutch Cargo

    Yes, remember the criticism of Corrections over the management of William Bell which led to the RSA murders. If the NZEI are found to have facilitated a deal to keep Burretts activities secret and worse, able to keep working in the same industry, they are donkey deep. Im torn as to who the biggest offenders are here.

  • localnews

    I would imagine that the schools would have called in their lawyers, who would have advised that to sack him through official channels would take a year, and there would be a greater than 50% chance that he would keep his job. By a negotiated settlement they at least got rid of him and saved a lot of money. Unfortunately in nz the reality of employment law is that the employer is always wrong, and it is just a question of how much money they must pay

  • Wheninrome

    Give me a break. “The didn’t know that the complaints were of a sexual nature” They chose not to know. This is no different to the private schools, Catholic Church, Presbyterian church Presbyterian Social Services, indeed other churches and public organisations dealing with children, the scouting movement, they do not want to know or acknowledge the issues because then they would be failing themselves and the high moral ground that they profess to keep. They would be like headless chickens. It is easier to say “they are only children, they will grow up – you can’t believe everything a child says, and life will go on. But we cannot cast aspersions on adults that will not do.”

  • Urbanviper

    I’ve read a lot of the paperwork behind a few of these cases, or at least what I could find, and a common theme is them having other issues. Schools didn’t hear about the sexual offending at first. Instead they heard about other concerns such as anger issues, poor teaching etc… then rather than conduct a full investigation which may have uncovered what has been since discovered, there is the invariable NZEI interference, the personal grievance, the mediated settlement and the payout. Part of the problem is this is how the private sector works. We don’t have to protect children so the decision is a commercial one. But it is the way everyone is familiar with.

  • Dave

    I have personally come up against the NZEI and other organisations as a BOT chair. The principal and senior teachers wanted to get rid of a senior teacher, as the teachers style, and performance was inadequate to say the least. Many meetings were held, all with her representative from the NZEI. Of course, they tried to turn it into a personal grievance against the principal, it was all about his management, and NZEI strongly went after him, and the BOT claiming to ERO we were incompetent, anything from them to protect their member. The principal and deputy were adamant the teacher was incompetent. Finally, we managed to have them independently assessed, and moved to get the teacher de-registered, it took over a year, all because of the NZEI management appealing and raising counter issues. The final straw was when ERO completed a snap Audit on the back of NZEI’s claims, they found “the BOT works well, and compliments the schools curriculum leadership…… finally, “they are an effective school, striving to achieve for all students”
    After 18 months, the teacher was de-registered on the grounds of being incompetent, and never teaching again.

    NZEI wanted us to stop the action if they found the teacher a role somewhere else – DISGUSTING!

    • herewego

      Any this is our KIDS they want to have taught by incompetents!

      Immoral and corrupt.

  • Mav E Rick

    Lets hear what Simpkins and Little have to say about about the NZEI now. The people who protected Burrett at the cost of innocent and vulnerable children are an absolute disgrace. They need to be named and shamed. I have no time for the NZEI. I was a BOT Chairman and had a run in with them over a teacher which we wanted to fire due to misconduct. They were bullies and not interested in the cause or the betterment of the school. Very sad to learn that Burrett could have been put away a lot earlier and saved wrecking other kids lives.

  • RealKiwi

    Is there not a statutory requirement to report this type crime to the police?
    I think a Nuremburg style hearing with all the players giving testimony, their teacher registration in the balance, and full MSM coverage.
    And possible charges laid with personal assets seized ahead of a class action suit filled on behalf of victims should be in order!