Systemic failures allowed sex offender
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 1:06p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The Government has released findings of an investigation into how a convicted sex offender managed to work as a teacher at numerous primary schools for several years.
The report highlights systemic failures across multiple Government departments with Education Minister Hekia Parata calling it a “wake up call”.
More than 30 recommendations have been made which include overhauls in information sharing between Government departments, in-depth identity checks, tougher name-change policies and changes to processes at the Teachers’ Council and Education Ministry.
The findings also shine more light on Henry Te Rito Miki, 40, who was found to have used multiple false identities to apply for jobs as a teacher at seven different schools in the upper North Island.
Miki used 53 different names, one of which was stolen from a real person who was a fully qualified and properly registered teacher.
In doing so, he committed fraud and breached an order to stay away from children because of a previous conviction for indecent assault on his 14-year-old nephew. He had other assault convictions too.
At the time his sentence was handed down, the judge referred to the presence of sexual deviance and psychopathy and mentioned an increased likelihood of sexual recidivism.
But despite this, Miki managed to gain employment at a number of schools before being caught. The report says this is a “potentially dangerous system failure”.
Ms Parata launched a ministerial inquiry into the issue in February after the ordeal was made public. Miki registered as a teacher in 2000 and was convicted for his assault crimes in 2004.
After his arrest in February, he pleaded guilty to charges of breaching conditions of an extended supervision order and was sent to prison for four years. He wasn’t charged with identity fraud or otherwise.
The report says existing laws and processes “failed to detect illegal or improper activity” and resulted in a failure to detect Miki’s criminal activity.
It also says human error and “administrative oversight” played a role but the sole responsibility lay with Miki who “lacked civic responsibility” and had no understanding of the risk he posed to children.
Ms Parata says the Government will accept most of the recommendations and the rest will be considered or partially accepted.
The recommendations include:
Ms Parata says the ordeal involving Miki was due to systems failures rather than people failures and it was an exceptional circumstance.
“I am confident the current system provides safety within our schools... The report requires we be more vigilant in the system,” she says.
“There are areas that need strengthening overall to prevent the kind of exploitation that this case exposed.”
The ministerial was conducted by former ombudsman Mel Smith and former Education Review Office chief executive Judith Aitken.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
22/08/2012 1:07:09 p.m.
Talk about over reacting!! As far as I am aware and maybe lickily he did not abuse another child so the only harm done is he has shown a loop hole that needs correcting. ie someone could change their name? one would think that is very easy to solve? I do not know much about his case but was he ever actually qualified as a teacher?? If not and you go for a job pretending to be someone and something you are not who the heck does the interveiw?? It appears a very bizare and unusual situation that is now creating all this knee jerk reaction that will be uneasy for all the great teachers out their?? Mind you it will make Education Minister Hekia Parata look good!
22/08/2012 9:07:57 a.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Wonder if it could be the "Tip of the Iceberg..." and more NZ children could be at RISKS!
21/08/2012 8:54:06 p.m.
the DR wrote:
a systems failure really.nice side step phew that was a close one
21/08/2012 6:35:55 p.m.
There is no need to use this as an excuse to dump on punishment on all teachers. Clearly, this person was not correctly identified before being employed. Doing that properly hardly requires that all teachers should be anal probed or some such. Teachers have to put up with enough without suddenly being told they have to be fingerprinted, DNA scanned, micro chipped like dogs or whatever else comes out of this.
21/08/2012 3:17:44 p.m.
The current system lets peados like Miki slip through the cracks. Its not mentioned here, but Miki was teaching during Labours rein, but they ignored that as having someone like him teaching wasn't seen as an issue.The suggestions for change include changes which the union is very against as they would prefer lax systems which allow more peados to have access kids than for teachers to be held more accountable and to higher standards.Take data sharing, review the teachers council, police checks, reviewing why we need 26 different teacher training facilities that dont data share, biometrics id's - all these the union has shown heavy resistance to, and all can help stop repeats of like Miki.Charter schools can even allow tougher standards than the union will tolerate, eg drug testing of teachers so we dont have dope heads teaching kids. Of course charter schools wont margically change everything, but they will allow more flexibility and many of the ideas for have already been proven to work as schools in Christchurch which made do with less post quake. But that also normal, any system should evolve, including charter schools, or our public education system. The problem with unions is they are still trying to live in the 18th century and haven't moved on since then. Hence their strongarm tactics and holding working NZ to ransom whenever they have a hissy fit tantrum.
21/08/2012 3:03:36 p.m.
Lets not even mention the funding that will go to cult groups like destiny church and the exclusive brethren madness.
Or people may just start to realise how bad the charter school idea really is.
Unqualified teachers teaching kids... now that makes sense. and as most of their recommendations put the responsibility on the teachers council and teaching institutes... who dont handle unqualified teachers it makes charter schools easier prey for people like Henry Te Rito Miki.
As they have been in other countries.
21/08/2012 2:35:42 p.m.
National Party seems far to SOFT on RAPIST in New Zealand!
21/08/2012 1:56:54 p.m.
And don't you think opening charter schools where teachers don't need to be qualified is going to make this more of an issue. Sex offenders must be loving the future possibilities this might bring them. OMG they could even be teaching kids they intend as their prey!!!
Three weeks ago, Winston Peters made a speech to Grey Power in Takapuna, entitle...
For Peter Dunne it's another day and another big political setback. The Electora...
McDonald's workers striking will be a waste of time if a strike-breaking bill pa...
A US data company called Palantir has set up base in Wellington and is dealing w...
The NZTA is being accused of wasting taxpayer money, spending tens of thousands ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.