A West Auckland childcare teacher has been censured for growing cannabis six years ago and not disclosing it to the Teaching Council.

Lianne Kem, a teacher at Discoveries Educare in Henderson, was convicted and discharged in the District Court in 2013 on a charge of cultivating cannabis with her partner at the home which they shared with young children.

Even though she was discharged, the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has found that she committed "serious misconduct" on several counts, including not disclosing the charge when she reapplied for registration as a teacher last year.

It also found that she breached several conditions that the tribunal imposed on her in 2013 after an earlier complaint about her behaviour towards students in her care.


The case is the latest of a series involving Discoveries Educare. The company was ordered to pay more than $200,000 in August after it failed to identify the danger posed by a dead tree which injured several children when it fell in 2016, and 10 of its centres, including Henderson, were placed on provisional licences this year.

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Discoveries Educare was ordered to pay more than $200,000 in August after a tree fell in its Newmarket centre in 2016 (above). Photo / File
Discoveries Educare was ordered to pay more than $200,000 in August after a tree fell in its Newmarket centre in 2016 (above). Photo / File

In Kem's case, the Disciplinary Tribunal has decided that Kem can continue to teach, but with new conditions imposed.

In 2013, she was allowed to keep teaching on condition that she was assessed by a counsellor or psychologist and undertook professional development "on positive management of children of early childcare age, particularly around children's social

She had to submit a plan of "intended therapeutic improvement" from the counsellor to the Teaching Council, and she had to inform the council about every new teaching job she took up.

However she was dismissed from her previous job in 2012 and did not return to teaching until November 2017, and applied for reregistration in January 2018.

She did see a counsellor in 2013 and she told Discoveries Educare in 2017 about the previous case.

But she did not submit a personal development plan to the Teaching Council, provide details of the professional development that she had been ordered to do, or inform the council when she started work at Discoveries Educare.


She also failed to inform the council about the cannabis case, and the council discovered it through a police check when she applied for reregistration.

The tribunal has again directed her to "undergo a professional development course, approved by the council, directed at expanding her capacity to identify different perspectives, challenging cognitions, thinking patterns, and developing new thinking patterns".

It has ordered her to continue seeing her counsellor for a further 12 months "for the purpose of developing more empathetic responses to others' communication".

She must also inform the Teaching Council if she changes her employer in the next year, and must inform every employer in that year about the council's decision.