When tragedy struck a friends' getaway and one of them went missing at sea, a teacher admitted to police the group had taken drugs.

In doing so Isaac Dransfield put his career on the line and was ultimately charged with supplying a class A drug, an offence that can lead to life in jail.

In early November last year, Mr Dransfield and a group of mates went away for a weekend at the beach.

A chance encounter at a Halloween party the night before led to Mr Dransfield buying LSD, which he shared around.

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But one of his friends went missing and during the search Mr Dransfield told police about the drug-taking.

His friend's body was eventually found. He drowned but authorities haven't linked that to the LSD.

In the criminal courts Mr Dransfield was discharged without conviction. He resigned from relief teaching in Wairarapa and today appeared before the Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal in Wellington.

Mr Dransfield was found guilty of serious misconduct, censured and suspended from teaching for a year. The suspension was backdated to his resignation so won't stop him working in the future.

Mr Dransfield did not seek name suppression today and told the tribunal he deserved a harsh punishment to act as a deterrent to others.

"I don't want you to do something that would make people be able to criticise the Education Council and the good name of teachers. I feel like what I have done is a mistake, a terrible mistake. I have been punished before and I should be punished again," he said.

The tribunal heard Mr Dransfield had since shifted to Blenheim with his partner. He now worked two jobs.

"I would love to go back to teaching, however, I feel once a teacher's name and reputation has been tarnished I feel like it would be very difficult to be able to pick up teaching work," he said.

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"It's still something I would love to do. Possibly I would like to do a little bit of travel around the world. I would like to teach English as I have done when I was [overseas]. Since this occurred, the dream of being able to teach in New Zealand has been getting smaller and smaller."

The criminal courts ordered him to perform 250 hours' community work and he did this at the SPCA and a soup kitchen, where he still volunteered once a week.

When questioned by tribunal members, Mr Dransfield admitted dabbling in drugs when he was at high school, but not since then.

He spoke of the toll last November's events had taken on him, his friends and his family.

"I've had to live with it every day of my life since then. I can honestly say I'll never go down that track ever again."

A reference from Mr Dransfield's family said they were angry with his and his friends' "foolish" actions on their weekend away, but were proud of his honesty.

Along with the suspension and censure, tribunal chairman Kenneth Johnston ordered reference to the matter be placed on the public register of teachers.