Schools doing checks to get around crim-protecting NZEI

Education Minister Hekia Parata says there are more checks in place now than when Robert Burrett was able to move from school to school, and the rules for teachers could now be extended to other staff in schools, including caretakers and bus drivers.

Fifteen years ago, Stephen Parry was Board Chair at Te Kuiti’s Pukenui School.

They tried firing Robert Burrett as Deputy Principal after claims of incompetence and drinking on the job.

But the NZEI union defended Burrett, who finally left the school following mediation and a confidential payout.

“The Union perhaps needs to ask itself why — if they knew what they did back in 2001 in terms of his inability or inappropriateness to teach — he was allowed to continue on in that role,” says Mr Parry.

While there was no evidence of inappropriate contact with children, he says the union was left in no doubt that Burrett was not fit to continue teaching.

The union is complicit in the harming of every victim by that piece of trash.  

Education Minister Hekia Parata says in recent years the Government has strengthened the system.

It’s now mandatory for schools to report any teacher or principal who has been sacked, resigned, or left under a cloud. And anyone working with young children is now required to go through a police vetting process.

She’s now looking at whether other staff like caretakers and even school bus drivers should be under closer scrutiny.

“So I’ve asked the Ministry and the Education Council to investigate extending their powers to all people who work with kids in ECE and in schools,” says Ms Parata.

There’s no timeframe for that decision, but a full ministerial inquiry has been ruled out.

There is one glaring hole that remains.

The mandatory reporting of staff who are thought to be involved in breaking the law, especially when it comes to the physical and mental safety of minors.

It is taking too long for the system to spit these bastards out.

Yes, there need to be safeguards against false accusations and revenge, but setting up a robust system that can ascertain if children are at risk has to be preferable to letting the rogue teacher continue to offend until everyone is ‘sure enough’.

Great step in the right direction. Don’t stop now.


– Newshub


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  • R&BAvenger

    I worked for a company despatching tradesmen to jobs, often at primary schools and the like. Background checks were carried out on all staff as a matter of course at hiring time so that the company could ensure they were as confident as they could be about who they were employing. this was between 1998 and 2006.
    I’m surprised that schools haven’t been doing the same as a matter of sensible employment procedure. the NZEI and other education unions certainly can’t be trusted, they have a conflict of interest.

  • Bud

    Unions are essentially organised crime; the whole purpose is to procure income and benefits that are above market value. Doing what is right, efficiency, and effectiveness are simply not part of the equation.

  • johnnyB

    The NZEI from its website – “An organisation dedicated to advancing the industrial and professional interests of its members and safeguarding New Zealand’s public education system” What a complete bunch of Hypocrites, although it certainly enabled its member to safeguard and advance his professional interest in this case.

    • biscuit barrel

      Its a normal thing for a union to offer professional advice for its members who are in a dispute with their employer.

      Did you know thats the case that Police Association members. They offer all sorts of insurance deals as a benefit for member.

      But if you are a police officer charged with an offense in the course of your duty, call the police union, and they will offer an lawyer on retainer.
      “The Police Association is paying legal fees for an officer charged with drink driving and hopes he will retain his job.” A paper.
      The other more serious crimes they keep quiet about it,

      of course most situations will be just an ’employment matter’ but they will go into bat for you as well against the police hierarchy. Been a slacker at work and get called out for it, just call 0800 police union.

      • biscuit barrel

        From the Police Association website
        “Occupational-based legal assistance to protect the professional interests of members in matters of a legal nature arising out of their employment.”
        “Supporting members who have been disadvantaged or unfairly treated, and acting as advocate in personal grievances”

        Im not trying to have ago at the PA, but they just do what the NZEI do. Why is it an issue that they are there to go into bat for their members.

        Surely its not some sort of ideology against education unions.

    • RealKiwi

      Note the word “system” in that slogan, there is no hypocracy in that statement.
      You have to remember that lightweights gravitate towards these institutions and as such
      are cowardly by nature.

  • KGB

    Police vetting those who service or contract to schools has been in place for years. To announce they will now do so is deceptive.
    Painters, plumbers, builders etc that tender for contracts in schools must provide vetted employees.
    Try getting a contract painting a bank, a Goverment building, a School, or a Council facility without guaranteeing all employees are conviction free and background checked.
    This creep was deemed acceptable based his ‘hidden background’ within the profession itself.

    • biscuit barrel

      Are you sure its covers people like painters etc, it seems to only cover those working “with” children,
      And background checks wouldnt apply for council work ?

      • KGB

        A close family member is a painter, and some contracts require vetting. He has been frustrated by a couple of his best painters who cannot work on some jobsites. Schools included.
        Imagine having a painter with robbery convictions painting a bank interior?
        Imagine having a predator plumber fixing a school toilet?
        In our old work-life sub-contracted to AC we were vetted. We had keys to many AC premises.
        I recently applied to ‘volunteer’ in the local St Johns opp shop. The application forms included a police vetting authorisation and a third party request for criminal conviction disclosure.
        These things are standard today. If some schools or school boards were not meeting these standards before today, what were they thinking?

        • biscuit barrel

          St Johns are misusing the vetting process. as an op shop doesnt fit this category
          “The agency has functions which involve community safety and security – for example, the care, protection, education or training of vulnerable members of society such as children, young persons, elderly, disabled, and animals.”

  • Michelle

    The unions are protecting their income by keeping these people employed they are only thinking of themselves