A Whangarei high school teacher who engaged in "banter" with students on sexual topics and used inappropriate language has been censured.

The New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal found Whangarei Boys' High School teacher Philip Henry Kippenberger - who has since resigned from the school - behaved in an inappropriate manner that amounted to serious misconduct.

The misconduct related to incidents between February 23, 2015 and September 24, 2015.

Kippenberger was charged by the Education Council's Complaints Assessment Committee.


The decision also noted that Kippenberger had engaged in banter with students on sexual topics "in which he employed, and tolerated students employing, very inappropriate language''.

The disciplinary tribunal decision said students had recorded 10 conversations with Kippenberger.

In one recorded conversation, a student asked Kippenberger: "F*** yes. Sir what's your favourite word? Sir what's your favourite word?".

Kippenberger replied: "Didn't even flippin' put my knives back in the pouch".

A student replied: "Sir, what happened to f***?"

The tribunal said the conversations illustrated an entirely inappropriate relationship between Kippenberger and his students, in which the teacher/student boundary was entirely ignored.

Kippenberger accepted that was the case. He was censured for serious misconduct and this was recorded on the teachers' register.

The tribunal has noted on his practising certificate a condition that within six months, and at his own cost, he must enrol in a continuing professional development course that focuses on the maintenance of appropriate boundaries between teachers and students. He must confirm he had done that with the council's manager teacher practice.

Kippenberger was also ordered to pay costs of $495 to the tribunal and $2547 to the committee.