Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Fraudster to keep teaching role

Nova Camp.
Nova Camp.

A teacher convicted of defrauding her school's rowing club of more than $40,000 has been allowed to keep her professional registration.

Former Takapuna Grammar teacher Nova Camp, 54, was sentenced to more than seven months' home detention when she appeared before the North Shore District Court in February.

She was also ordered to repay the stolen money at $80 a fortnight. That will take more than 19 years.

The Teachers' Council's disciplinary tribunal censured her and ordered her to make any prospective employer aware of her offending until she has completed repaying the money.

It stopped short of cancelling her registration after deciding the chance of reoffending was remote and she would be less likely to repay the club if unable to work as a teacher.

The president of the Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club said the decision was logical and fair.

"It's probably the best decision for us because if she lost her licence then she wouldn't be able to teach, full-stop," Russell Malone said. "I guess we've got more chance of seeing our money back if she's able to work."

The police summary of facts provided to the tribunal said Camp used club funds to pay bills and buy groceries while serving as treasurer.

Camp said she and her husband had been ill and were under financial pressure. She had intended to repay the money but as her circumstances worsened that became impossible.

The decision is one of several newly released decisions from the tribunal.

In another case, a teacher convicted of indecently assaulting a boy while working as a cricket coach was deregistered. Kevin Fraser Keys was convicted in December 2012 of two charges of indecently assaulting a boy between the ages of 12 and 16. The incidents occurred between 1979 and 1981.

According to the police summary of facts, Keys said the offending happened when he was sexually confused. He acknowledged that he "probably knowingly took advantage of a naive and immature youth". He was censured and deregistered.

The tribunal has also censured or deregistered three other teachers:

A teacher convicted of performing an indecent act outside his neighbour's window in September 2011 was deregistered. The tribunal said it hoped he would "take the steps necessary to achieve a fresh start in life, and possibly pave the way to rejuvenating his career as a teacher".

An unregistered teacher convicted in August 2012 of violently attacking his partner was censured. He is undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and is not currently teaching, but has "aspirations to return to the classroom".

A teacher convicted of nine serious drug offences was censured and his registration cancelled. The teacher no longer intended to pursue a teaching career.

The tribunal can impose a range of penalties, the harshest of which is deregistration. Other penalties include an annotation on the teachers' register and suspension of a practising certificate.

Education Minister Hekia Parata last week asked for an urgent review of deregistration processes for teachers with serious convictions after it emerged paedophile teacher James Parker had not been referred to the tribunal, despite being sentenced to preventive detention for 74 counts of sexual offending against boys.

Roll call for convicted fraudster

* Teacher Nova Camp was sentenced to more than seven months' home detention.
* She was convicted of defrauding her school's rowing club of more than $40,000.
* Camp has been allowed to keep her professional registration.
* Repaying the stolen money at $80 a fortnight will take more than 19 years.

- APNZ, additional reporting: Teuila Fuatai

- NZ Herald

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