A former Oranga Tamariki social worker who used pornography and drugs to sexually groom a teen in her care is fighting to keep her identity secret.
The woman's offending was revealed by the Herald following her sentencing in October, when she was ordered to serve 10 months' home detention.
Judge Chris Field declined to suppress her name permanently and to make an order to place her on the child sex offender register.
Yesterday, in the High Court at Auckland, the ex-social worker's lawyer, Phil Hamlin, argued on appeal for permanent name suppression.
The negative effects of publication on his client's family, he said, outweighed open justice.
"She's destroyed her ability to work as a social worker, she's had to accept that," Hamlin added.
Crown lawyer Emma Smith opposed the bid for a permanent gag order but said she wasn't unsympathetic to the distress and embarrassment publication may cause.
But this was to be expected in a case such as this, she continued.
The New Zealand public had a high and genuine interest in knowing who the social worker responsible for the offending was, she said.
Justice Mark Woolford also said the woman's case had a high public interest attached to it but appeared to also express empathy for her family.
He reserved his decision, but told those in the courtroom he expects to deliver it before Christmas.
While entrusted to help children, the woman, in her mid-30s, began grooming a then 15-year-old with a series of messages, cannabis and sexually explicit photographs.
The teen was in state care because he had already suffered abuse earlier in his life.
Following a tip-off from a concerned family member, police started an investigation. It found some of the ex-social worker's offending included duping her victim and a then 14-year-old boy with the idea of going to the movies.
Instead, she took them to an Auckland beach and supplied the two teens with cannabis, while also kissing her victim.
Further offending included sending sexually explicit images to her victim and inviting him to take nude photos of himself.
After becoming aware of the police investigation, the former social worker also attempted to persuade her victim to lie and destroy evidence.
"Please if you have anything in your heart for me you will delete everything," a text from the woman to the teen read.
"Police will sweep our phones ... F*** I'm scared."
Some of the explicit photographs exchanged between the pair were deleted and never recovered by police, the court heard during her sentencing.
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A psychologist's report, which was read in-part during sentencing, said the woman's offending may have resulted from her need for companionship and intimacy.
However, Crown prosecutor Henry Steele rejected the notion and said it was "hard to see how that is not sexually motivated".
"This is the sexual exploitation of a child at its core, and we should not forget that."
The woman's offending saw her plead guilty to meeting someone younger than 16 following sexual grooming, sexual conduct with a person under 16, exposing a young person to indecent material, two charges of supplying cannabis to a person under 18, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Oranga Tamariki's Glynis Sandland, the deputy chief executive for Services for Children and Families North, has told the Herald the woman's "actions were a betrayal of trust".
"The impact will be felt by those affected for many years," Sandland said.
"I would like to recognise the courage of the young person who is the victim of this offending. Our focus is on his wellbeing, and we continue to work with him and his family to ensure he is getting the support he needs."
Oranga Tamariki earlier confirmed the woman's employment ended after the allegations surfaced, while an internal investigation was also to be conducted.
The department is responsible for the protection and care of children whose wellbeing is deemed to be at risk, youth offenders and children of the state.