A man forbidden to be alone with any child under 16 has been remanded on bail to a property just minutes away from a rural primary school.
Community concern about the man's proximity to Waitakaruru School in the Hauraki has been obvious since March when spray-painted messages aimed at the man were repeatedly found on the road outside the school, the latest of which were found on Friday.
The school's Board of Trustees chairman Kevin van Eyk says the school was kept in the dark about the man's situation and only became aware through rumours in the community.
"The police's point of view was they had assessed the situation and basically assessed the person as being under their control and not a risk to the community, so at that point they must have decided not to bother informing us," van Eyk said.
"Why did we have to hear this via the grapevine? It would have been nice to be pre-emptive and let us know, so we could make a plan together."
A police spokesperson wouldn't release any details about the man's charge, and said there were always "strong processes in place" to ensure people were monitored and adhered to their bail conditions.
The man's bail conditions, which had been supplied to van Eyk, described how he was not to be with any child under the age of 16 outside his residence, and to not have the sole care of children inside the home, requiring another adult to be there if children were present.
When news of the man's situation broke in the community, van Eyk said there was a "lot of panic" from concerned parents, some of whom were choosing to keep their children at home.
The school then implemented multiple safety measures, including offering a mini-van service to transport pupils who would normally bike or walk to and from school, not allowing any child outside the school grounds unsupervised and revising stranger danger sessions.
"It's just very unfortunate that this person is there. We'll never be comfortable while they are there, but legally I don't know what we can do about it."
Van Eyk, who didn't know what charges the man faced, accepted the man was innocent until proven guilty, but said it was not common sense to bail the man so close to a school.
When asked whether the graffiti spray-painted near the school was appropriate, van Eyk opposed the language used but acknowledged it was "raising the issue".
Asked whether the man completing his bail in custody was preferable, van Eyk said anything was preferable to the current situation.
Lisa, whose 10-year-old daughter attends Waitakaruru School, said she considered not sending her daughter back to school once she found out.
"I can't believe that the community has been put in that position," she said.
"Somewhere in the process, it should have been considered that the property is [near] the school, it's just not appropriate."
Lisa, who did not wish to use her surname, had reached out to local police and elected officials for help, but found none.
"They've been very sympathetic with my position and very quick to tell me there's nothing they can do."
Ministry of Education sector enablement and support deputy secretary Katrina Casey said it was a police matter and there were measures in place to ensure the man adhered to his bail conditions.
However, she said the Ministry would monitor the issue and offer support to the school when appropriate.
On the Courts of New Zealand website, it outlined that to determine whether to grant bail, a court must balance "the individual liberties of the person charged against the interests of any victims, the effective administration of the criminal justice system, and the safety of the wider community".
Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, who had been apprised of the situation by the community, condemned the decision.
"Normally, politicians don't criticise the judiciary but I think in this case, the decision to remand a person on bail to that address is entirely wrong and inappropriate."
While acknowledging the man was yet to face trial, Simpson said it did not make sense to allow the man to live so close to a school.
"We have a prison remand system and there are some times when it should be used."
Hauraki District councillor and local ward chairman Ross Harris, speaking as himself and not an elected official, said he understood the concerns of the school but had reservations about whether the man's relocation was necessary.