A preschool teacher has been charged with serious misconduct after she allegedly removed sweet food from children's lunchboxes, punished them for not eating their lunch and physically mishandled them.

The teacher, who has interim name suppression, was described by witnesses as "an old-style disciplinarian" with "inflexible" views on how children should behave.

She was an experienced Pākehā kindergarten teacher working in a large Auckland private childcare centre in a room with three immigrant teachers, and told the centre manager that she felt she was "providing the New Zealand way of doing things".

She was also taking anti-depressants at the time

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