A Whangarei school teacher dismissed for speaking out against what he called discriminatory comments by his catholic school principal is a keynote speaker at a national marriage equality conference.

Former Pompallier College teacher Nigel Studdart was dismissed in September.

Mr Studdart will speak at the Campaign for Marriage Equality's national conference in Wellington from November 30 to December 2 at St Andrew's Church.

Conference chairman Rawa Karetai said Mr Studdart was somebody who had been dismissed for speaking out against the principal's views on gay marriage.


Mr Studdart said his conference speech will be focussing on "teachers and schools being places which are open - that is open to discussion and debate".

If teachers were punished for speaking out in the public interest, everyone suffered, he said.

Mr Studdart has started proceedings against the Pompallier's board of trustees claiming unjustified dismissal with the matter likely to go to mediation later this year.