Colleen Gray and Bruce Gray. Photo / HOS
A principal and her husband siphoned off more than
$30,000 from a decile one school in South Auckland and splashed
out on themselves.
Rather than the money going towards pupil education at
Mayfield Primary School in Otara, Colleen Margaret Gray, 66,
and Bruce Kenneth Gray, 65, jetted to Australia and to
Colleen Gray also used the school credit card for food at
Mecca at Mission Bay and Francoli Bar and Restaurant in
Part-way through their judge-alone trial in the Auckland
District Court yesterday, the Grays admitted defrauding the
school of more than $30,000.
The money came out of the school's annual operational grant
from the Ministry of Education.
Colleen Gray used Mayfield Primary School funds to pay for
trips to Australia for her and Bruce and other purchases
including food, flowers and Koru Club parking.
Fake invoices were filed so payments were made to companies
owned by Bruce Gray.
Some of this appears to have been used for the pair's trip to
London for "teacher recruitment purposes".
Phillip Logo was chairman of the school's board of trustees
from 2005 to early 2007.
He said the board had an inkling something was wrong, but
Colleen Gray controlled what financial information it was
She also created a climate of fear among teachers, making
them afraid of speaking out, Mr Logo said.
He gave evidence at the trial this week and said he was more
than happy to take time off work to help secure a conviction.
"Thirty thousand dollars is a lot of money at a school that
doesn't have many funds. It meant resources that could have
gone to kids and for teachers didn't go where it was supposed
Wayne MacGillivray took over as Mayfield's principal in early
The school had moved on positively since Colleen Gray's time
there and now sported a new logo, mission statement and
"Our focus is around student achievement," Mr MacGillivray
"There's a really good story to tell there because our kids
are progressing well. They are achieving above the kids in
comparable schools," he said.
He would like to see the Grays pay reparation to the school,
which he said would be spent on digital technology.
Bruce Gray declined to talk when contacted at the pair's
central Auckland apartment after their court appearance
They have previously proclaimed their innocence in the media.
"We are completely innocent. We have nothing to hide. We will
fight these charges," Colleen Gray told the Herald on Sunday
The Grays were bailed until sentencing in May.
Colleen Gray faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail and
Bruce seven years'.
What they've admitted
• Colleen Gray: Nine charges of dishonestly using a document
and two of using a forged document.
• Bruce Gray: Four charges of dishonestly using a document.
- NZ Herald