Northland has been rocked by another alleged sexual crime
committed by an employee at one of the area's schools.
A school counsellor has appeared in a Northland court charged
with indecent assault after a student complaint led to a
The name of the school where he worked is suppressed. A
support team from the Ministry of Education moved into the
school this month after the allegation emerged.
Katrina Casey, the ministry's head of sector enablement and
support, said the allegation was made by a student.
"The staff member has been stood down, and we are working
with the school as they support their students and staff ...
we will work with the school for as long as they need us.
"The principal and the board are currently working with a
range of agencies including the police, and are focused on
preparing for the start of term three."
The staff member was a counsellor working at the school when
the alleged offending took place.
The criminal charge comes after a number of sexual abuse
cases against minors in the Far North.
The most high-profile was that of former Pamapuria School
deputy principal James Parker, who is serving preventive
detention on more than 70 sexual abuse charges involving 20
victims from the school.
An inquiry into Parker's employment and sexual offending led
to an Education Review Office report into the safety of
students in schools. Released in January, it found that a
third of schools were unlikely to recognise situations when
students could be at risk from staff and respond
Ms Casey said schools were required to police-vet potential
employees, and were responsible for hiring staff and
- By Nicholas Jones of the New Zealand Herald