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Historical Abuse Allegations Against Teachers

A Royal Commission of Inquiry is looking into what happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in State and faith-based care in Aoteoroa New Zealand between the years 1950-99, although they are not limited to that timeframe. As part of this inquiry, allegations may be made against teachers. 

What is the Council's role?

The Teaching Council is the professional body for teachers. Our purpose is to ensure safe and high-quality leadership, teaching, and learning for children and young people in early childhood, primary, secondary, and senior secondary schooling in English medium and Māori medium settings through raising the status of the profession.

Who we can investigate?

The Teaching Council has the authority to investigate current and former registered teachers and people who are (or were) authorised to teach. Current registered teachers can be found on the Register of New Zealand Registered Teachers. Current individuals with an authority to teach can be found on the Limited Authority to Teach list.

If your complaint is against a former registered teacher or former authority holder they will not appear on the public registers. You are still able to make a complaint against these former registered teachers or authority holders using the contact information below. The Council has set up a process for managing these inquiries which you can see here.

What will we do when we receive an allegation?

If the allegation relates to a currently registered teacher or authority holder, then our normal process will be followed, where the allegations will be considered by a Triage Committee who will decide whether or not to investigate.

If the decision is made to investigate then the Triage Committee will refer all or part of the allegations for investigation in line with the Council’s usual process. 

As part of this investigation process, your name and the allegations that you have made will need to be provided to the teacher.  You may also be encouraged to speak to the Police and/or the Ministry of Education. During the investigation process the teacher’s employer may be informed of the allegations that have been made.

If the allegation relates to a former registered teacher or authority holder then the allegations will be considered by the Triage Committee who will decide the most appropriate outcome. Part of this initial assessment will focus on whether there is a potential safety risk to children or young people in early childhood, primary, secondary and senior secondary schooling.

If the Triage Committee decide not to investigate, then the allegation will be recorded on our secure case management system.  This ensures, should the individual decide to apply for registration in the future, there is a record of the concerns. This does not prevent the individual from re-applying but will be considered as part of the re-registration process. The Teaching Council will also, ideally with your consent, refer the allegations to an appropriate investigative agency. This could include the Police, Oranga Tamariki or the Ministry of Education.

How do I make a complaint?

  • Submit a complaint using our complaint form which can be found here.
  • An 0800 Historic number has been set up specifically to respond to historic allegations. The number is 0800 002 458.

What if I want compensation or recognition for what happened?

The Ministry of Education run a ‘historic claims’ process to respond to allegations which occurred prior to 1989. More information about that process can be found here. For more recent claims they may refer your claim to the school where the alleged incident occurred, if still in operation. 

The Ministry of Social Development run a ‘historic claims’ process to respond to allegations made while in the care of the state. More information about that process can be found here.

Where can I get support?

The Royal Commission website refers to these providers for people engaging in their inquiry: