Teachers and principals have seemingly been exposed in the affair website hacking scandal.
Email addresses from 65 New Zealand schools are in data leaked from controversial adultery website Ashley Madison, prompting calls for an investigation into whether staff were using the website during school time.
A Herald on Sunday search of the estimated 22,000 New Zealanders among the dump of hacked data from the Canada-based website has revealed 77 email addresses purported to be from 65 schools.
Top-ranking education officials were shocked at the appearance of so many accounts linked to school email addresses.
"We would be concerned, as we expect school boards would be, at any type of unprofessional use of school email addresses," said Katrina Casey, the Ministry of Education's head of sector enablement and support.
"Should specific email addresses be verified as accurately identifiable to a particular school and a named individual working at the school, then any response would be a matter for the board of trustees."
President of the New Zealand School Trustees Association Lorraine Kerr called for the schools to investigate each of their email accounts linked to the site.
"I'm very surprised and very concerned," Kerr said.
"It needs to be determined how inappropriate [the] behaviour has been.
"We have to know whether people have been using school systems and if it has been during school hours. We have to go to school boards to make sure they have appropriate policies and procedures in place."
All Ashley Madison account holders need to upload an email address when opening an account. But those addresses are not verified, allowing account-holders to use other people's addresses.
One of the addresses is that of a primary school principal. He told the Herald on Sunday that he was alerted earlier this week that his email had been used to open an account.
The married man said he had never used the service and had contacted his board of trustees.
"The school's IT staff have gone through the computer system to change the settings and they have also been through the email address," he said.
"They have found nothing in there associated to the website. I've even offered up my personal computer for it to be looked through.
"We have been fully transparent and made sure all staff, not just myself, are aware of the security of their own devices."
He had discussed the matter with his wife and colleagues and they had been understanding. "We've had a bit of a laugh about it," he said.
It was revealed on Thursday that council staff, youth workers, health professionals and a lawyer were among New Zealand civil servants linked to Ashley Madison.
Further investigations of the hacked data have revealed accounts set up with emails linked to some of our biggest corporates.
The authenticity of some of the email addresses linked to Ashley Madison accounts has been questioned.
But two Canadian law firms yesterday said they filed a $578 million class-action lawsuit against the companies that run the site on behalf of Canadians whose personal information was made public.
Complaints have also been filed with the US Federal Trade Commission from people whose email addresses have been used by others to create accounts.