By Mark P. Williams
The Education Minister, Hon. Hekia Parata, today announced a Ministerial Inquiry into the employment of a convicted sex offender in several schools.
Ministers were informed that a convicted sex offender had been found in breach of their conditions of release. The offender, 'Person A', was found to have been working in education under multiple identities. At least two schools are known to be involved. These schools have been informed and granted suppression orders. It is possible that six other schools may also be affected.
The Minister informed the press conference that Person A had worked in schools since 2000, that they were convicted of a sexual offence involving a minor in 2004 and were under an extended supervision order. 'Person A' is presently under arrest for breach of conditions of their release relating to this offence. The Minister confirmed that the case would be heard in Auckland.
The case came to light when 'Person A' was found by one of the two schools involved to have multiple identities. The school then contacted the police, who identified 'Person A' as a convicted sex offender and that they were in breach of their conditions of release. The police notified the Ministry of Education late last week of the situation
When questioned, the Minister responded that she could not comment on whether the schools involved were Primary or Secondary, whether they were Kura Kaupapa, or where they were located. She also could not confirm the gender of 'Person A'.
The inquiry will be conducted by former ombudsman Mel Smith who was also present at the press conference today.