Home' Greymouth Star : November 24th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 5
of the New Zealand Herald
A probe that has already
uncovered nearly $10 million in
misappropriated tertiary funding is
to be expanded to include a dozen
suspect programmes around the
Tertiary Education, Skills and
Employment Minister Steven
Joyce has confirmed 12 “targeted”
reviews are planned, on top of the
two already completed and three
The two investigations by forensic
accountants contracted by the
Tertiary Education Commission
(TEC) have resulted in the
refunding of $9.6 million in taxpayer
funding, multiple resignations and
at least one referral to the Serious
Investigations at Te Whare
Wananga Awanuiarangi in
Whakatane and New Plymouth’s
Western Institute of Technology
highlighted issues including:
Students “completing” an
18-week course in just one day;
Event volunteers unwittingly
being enrolled in courses and
Mass enrolments of students
whose identity and domestic status
could not be substantiated;
Teaching hours falling well
short of funded levels;
Tutors being enrolled as
students in courses they were
Those investigations, and another
currently under way at Wairarapa
private training establishment
Taratahi Agricultural Training
Centre, were the result of
anonymous complaints lodged
by students. The findings have
prompted further reviews of
institutions running courses with
similar traits such as a high level of
outsourcing of teaching; extremely
high pass rates; and unexpected
surges in enrolment numbers.
The expansion of the investigation
did not necessarily indicate a
widespread problem in the sector
and it was important not to cast
aspersions on the institutions
involved — most of which have not
been named — Mr Joyce said.
“The model of applying funding
to these organisations has been
around a long, long time so I’d be
surprised if there was a widespread
(problem),” he said. “ But we’ve got
to check. ”
Mr Joyce said it would be a “real
concern” if practices highlighted in
the completed investigations were
widespread, and might indicate the
system needed to be overhauled.
“That would be a sad day because
effectively you’d be saying you can’t
trust people to do what they have
been contracted to do,” Mr Joyce
While he retained full confidence
in the integrity of a funding system
based on the number of equivalent
fulltime students (or EF Ts) on an
institution’s books, “obviously that
is a qualified view until I have seen
the outcomes of these next reviews”.
He was confident the number of
planned reviews would remain at
12 “as it stands”.
The targeted reviews were a
prudent response by TEC officials
following the results of the first two
investigations, he said.
“ I think it ’s the right approach.
They are thinking to themselves,
‘what is going on here, we better
go along and check some of these
others and see if it is a wider issue
or whether it is confined to the ones
that we have identified so far’?”
Maori performing arts courses
offered by a private training
institution in Rotorua run by
former Warriors board member
Donna Grant and at Awanuiarangi
are currently the subject of TEC
Mrs Grant, who has resigned
her roles on the Warriors board
and as Awanuiarangi’s director of
performing arts, is the subject of a
Serious Fraud Office investigation.
An Official Information Act
request submitted by the Herald to
the TEC in September requesting
documentation relating to the
validity of attendance records
at Awanuiarangi was rejected
on Wednesday on the advice of
the SFO as its release may have
prejudiced its investigation.
of the New Zealand Herald
A female physical education teacher at
an Auckland high school is on sick leave
after she was accused of favouritism
towards at least one teenage boy.
As a result of the allegations, the
high school is re-marking a year of
internal NCEA grades for the teacher’s
Year 13 class, prompting concern among
parents and students some grades will go
The teacher, who the Herald has chosen
not to name, has been on extended sick
leave since the allegations surfaced last
They include that she showed
favouritism in marking towards some
students, that she allegedly bought a
watch for one senior boy and paid for
repairs to his car, and that she met the
student outside of school hours at a park
after setting up a fake Facebook profile
to communicate with him.
The Herald believes a complaint made
to the school about the conduct came
from the boy’s girlfriend, a former
student at the high school.
The school’s principal confirmed that
the school board of trustees last month
wrote to the teacher, who is understood
to be married with at least one child,
outlining allegations of “overstepping
“ It appears that she may have given
significant support to some students
ahead of others, and that is of concern to
us,” the principal said.
He stressed there was no evidence or
suggestion of sexual relations between
the teacher and any of her students and
that she was not suspended. However,
the school could not progress the matter
until the teacher responded to the
When contacted at her home by
the Herald, the teacher declined to
The principal said initially the PE head
of department obser ved “incidents” that
could have been favouritism after which
“expressions of concern” were made by
the former student.
He said the school was only dealing
with incidents that occurred at school
and could not comment on the
allegations of gifts and outside-school
Before the allegations the teacher was
a “good classroom teacher” and there
had never been any issues in her six-year
history at the school, the principal said.
“ We are in the process of going
through the assessments that have
been marked by her to ensure that the
marks and the grades that the students
get reflect accurately the work that they
have done. ”
He would not say if any grades had
changed but the Herald understands at
least one student is facing a downgrade
from “merit” to “achieved”.
One parent became concerned about
the teacher’s interaction with her Year
13 son when she found a Facebook
message from her coaching the boy ’s
response to school inquiries over some
minor trouble a group of students were
“I expect a phone call, not that a
teacher is Facebooking my son behind
The matter had not been reported to
the Teachers Council, a spokesman said,
and the Ministry of Education had not
received any complaints about a teacher
at the high school.
of the Wairarapa Times-Age
Rural crime is on the rise and probably
“goes on more than farmers realise” but
unless it is reported there is little that can be
done to shut the farm gate on the problem,
says Federated Farmers.
The farming sector organisation says
stock and petrol theft from farms was
under reported and unless police had a true
picture of what was going on then they
won’t get the resources needed to combat
Wairarapa Federated Farmers president
Jamie Falloon knows first hand just what
thieves can do. Twice last Christmas his
home was burgled.
Theft from Wairarapa farms had recently
been highlighted in court but there was a
lot more crime going on down on the farm
than was reported, Mr Falloon said.
If police do not know what is happening
they cannot do anything to combat the
issue, he said.
He said police had a “tough” job but
unless they knew what was going on in
rural communities their hands were tied.
Mr Falloon urges farmers to report all
crime and any suspicious activity. “It helps
police build a picture. People need to report
... with stock theft, a farmer may be missing
just one or two. They aren’t sure if they have
been stolen or they have written them off
as having died. But there is more going on
than some farmers know about ... if it ’s not
reported to police then they won’t get more
resources to target the problem. The police
do a good job but they are under resourced.
Their hands are tied if they don’t know
what is happening.”
Some farmers have cameras installed to
help identify those who target them, which
helped also to identify culprits caught by
police, but it was a real challenge catching
and prosecuting those who targeted rural
areas — especially very isolated properties,
Mr Falloon said.
Some farmers felt they placed themselves
at risk confronting thieves and others had
little faith those who were caught would be
punished adequately, he said.
“It can turn quite nasty for (farmers).”
Stock should not be left in roadside
paddocks and everything else needed to be
locked up, he said.
“ We have to think different ... it ’s
disappointing it has come to this.”
He is not alone in his observation.
Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre
Industry Group chairman Rick Powdrell
said farmers were not diligent enough in
reporting stock thefts from their properties.
“Unfortunately they might think the
police aren’t interested or are too hard
pressed to investigate,” he told the Meat
and Fibre Council meeting in Wellington
Federated Farmers surveyed members
and farmers have said they do not bother
to report almost two-thirds of stock thefts,
“But a lack of police interest, or their
failure to solve a crime, isn’t the full story.
Until rural people are prepared to report
all the incidents, the police do not have
an accurate knowledge of the size of the
problem or where the bad hotspots are.
“Federated Farmers are working with
Police on preventing rural crime and they
are appealing to our members to provide
information that gives them a bigger picture
and better chance of apprehending the
offender and put a break on that offender’s
operation. “Every time you don’t report a
theft or vandalism on your property makes
the next crime easier to commit for the
same criminal or anyone else.”
He told delegates that the estimated
$120 million loss to the industry each year
from stock thefts should be a significant
enough incentive to change and improve
farmers’ reporting behaviour in this space.
Crimestoppers is proactive in helping
rural communities, in recent years running
the Stop Crime at the Gate campaign.
If you see anything suspicious you can
anonymously contact the free crime line on
0800 555 111.
Three people were injured when a
light plane flipped after an aborted
take-off in Southland yesterday
Emergency ser vices were called
to a paddock at Thornbury at
The Cessna 182, owned by a local
farm syndicate, was being piloted
by a 59-year-old local man.
He was carrying three passengers
aged between 50 and 64.
The group was heading to Big
Bay to hunt and carry out repairs
on a hut.
It appeared the plane was taking
off and when it was hit by a cross-
wind, the pilot aborted the take-off
and completed a controlled landing
in a nearby paddock, police said.
The plane skidded before it hit
a wire fence and post, then rolled
into a recently ploughed paddock
where the nose wheel dug into the
soft ground and the plane flipped
on to its roof.
The pilot and passengers got out
of the plane and were tended by
The three passengers suffered
minor injuries and were taken to
The Civil Aviation Authority had
been notified. — NZM E
Secondary teacher on leave after complaint
Farmers urged to report
rising rural crime
of the Hawke’s Bay Today
A Hawke’s Bay cyclist is fighting
for his life in hospital after he was
catapulted from his bike during a
road race in Hastings.
Peter Jar vis, aged in his 60s, was
taking part in a road race organised
by Ramblers Cycling Club on
Saturday afternoon when the
serious accident happened.
Hawke’s Bay road policing
sergeant Kevin Stewart said that,
while cycling down a hill on Middle
Road with a group of riders, Mr
Jar vis reached a sharp corner and
“ went straight off the road”.
His cycle hit a ditch and flipped,
catapulting him through the air and
into a bank, Mr Stewart said.
He received serious head injuries
as well as chest injuries and was
rushed to Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said he
remained in a critical condition in
the intensive care unit yesterday.
Mr Jar vis was wearing a helmet,
which was badly damaged.
Police described Mr Jar vis as “very
experienced” and he was familiar
with the road where the race took
“That ’s not the first time that
particular part of the road has
caused injury to cyclists.”
Cyclist fighting for his life
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