A teacher whose inappropriate relationships with children included a game called "toilet" where he asked students to sit on his lap has lost his teaching registration.

Steven David Elms, a former teacher at Te Kuiti Primary School in 2014, was found guilty of serious misconduct by the Teacher's Disciplinary Tribunal in July.

The Education Council accused Elms of behaving in "an unprofessional manner" and said he had failed to change his habit of being "over familiar" with children after the issue was brought to his attention.

As a teacher in his first year at Te Kuiti Primary, Elms had three tutor teachers at the school.


By the end of term one in 2014, a perception had developed within the school that Elms was overly familiar with the children.

He would play physical games such a bulrush with children at the school where he would tackle and be tackled by students, which would sometimes result in him lying on top of children.

He tickled, hugged and picked children up and one time kissed a child on the forehead.

Elms also played a game called "toilet" with the children, which required them to sit on his lap.

The Education Council alleged this behaviour, either separately or as a whole, amounted to serious misconduct and warranted a referral to the Disciplinary Tribunal.

The school's principal warned Elms about his behaviour in term two and told him it needed to stop, however he did not and a complaint was made to the school in August 2014.

A student alleged Elms' hand had slipped onto his genitals while he was being picked up and he said Elms had tickled him on other occasions.

It was alleged Elms would sometimes tickle children for up to 15 minutes at a time.

The student said Elms' behaviour with him and other students made him uncomfortable.

Throughout 2014, Elms was resistant to direction or corrections offered and at times suggested he was more experienced than other staff.

He was not prepared to change his behaviour but during his hearing accepted that actions he may have perceived as fun or enjoyable could be perceived by others in a different manner.

He said he had not kissed a child on the forehead and denied touching another student's genital area.

Elms accepted he was guilty of serious misconduct and as a result his teaching registration would be cancelled.