The NZEI investigation

Vyonne Tahana at NZ Herald reports:

What a teachers’ union knew about paedophile James Parker in 1999 is being investigated, as is an email that is critical of the woman who raised the issue. …

“The field officer received all her news from Jamie and from Jamie supporters,” Ms Lovatt Davis said.

“The report from his girlfriend was not an allegation of sexual abuse. It was a story she told that seemed to need an investigation and a reminder to Jamie to guard his professionalism. I believe he used our discipline meeting [with the NZEI field officer] to accuse me of taking an embittered girlfriend’s vicious story too seriously. Once they had reunited, she saw no need to pursue the story.

“I would suggest that NZEI field officers are not drawn directly from the wider community. The field officer should be an impartial person, free from the town gossip. In Kaitaia the gossip ran against me and pro Jamie. She bought it all and dressed me down in that meeting. Both of them did. It was very unpleasant.”

Yesterday a spokeswoman for the NZEI said an investigation was under way. Asked whether it would look at what the union knew about the allegation surrounding Parker in 1999, she said: “NZEI is conducting an internal investigation into the comments made by Ms Lovatt Davis.”

Not sure how rigorous their investigation will be, considering the comments made by their legal services director:

It is also conducting a separate investigation after the union’s legal services director, John Robson, accidentally emailed the Herald about who Ms Lovatt Davis might have dealt with.

“Field officers don’t have schools so it may be that Ms L-D was in fact not referring to an NZEI staffer, and maybe a principal with some kind of profile as an NZEI activist. I’ll keep you posted.” Regarding Ms Lovatt Davis, he also said: “She was the bane of [lawyer] david [sic] Martin’s life and in our joint view, one or two sandwiches short of the proverbial.”

In response Ms Lovatt Davis said: “If their chat is about me you can see how easy it is for a paedophile to present himself as having the full complement of sandwiches for the proverbial. They can enjoy the knowledge that together they chose not to believe a creative teacher and to favour a child molester. So even now NZEI fails.”

So Lovatt Davis was one of the few to raise concerns about Parker being a pedophile, and the NZEI response is to denigrate her as being “one or two sandwiches short of the proverbial”.

Nice to see they take this issue so seriously.

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