A Rotorua high school principal will be the subject of a Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal hearing next month.

Rotorua Lakes High School principal Peter Bruce Walker has been investigated by the Teaching Council and the matter will go before the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal in March.

A Teaching Council spokeswoman confirmed the council had "investigated a matter" involving the principal.

"The investigation is complete and the matter was referred to the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal for a hearing in March."


She said she could not give any further details because the matter was before the tribunal.

Walker, known by his middle name Bruce, provided the Rotorua Daily Post with a written statement on the matter.

"I have been referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Education Council for comments I made at a meeting. I accept I made the comments and regret any offence I caused. I thank the board and staff for their support of me over this.

"My decision to retire has nothing to do with this occurrence as I had already decided to retire at 65 and had informed the board chair of this some time ago."

The school's Board of Trustees chairwoman Wynel Raureti-George confirmed Walker had remained at the school since the incident the Teaching Council investigated, following advice given to the board.

"The complaint relates to comments made by Mr Walker at a meeting on March 1, 2018 where he is alleged to have commented on the effectiveness of the meeting and the education system.

"The board has received advice in relation to handling this matter and has followed that advice."

Raureti-George said the merits of the complaint would be determined in due course and it was inappropriate for the board of trustees to comment further while the matter was being dealt with by the tribunal.

She said the board was aware of the complaints and Walker had kept the board "fully appraised of the situation" and "handled the Notice of Complaint in a professional way".

Walker announced he was retiring from the school in a newsletter published on the school website on February 15.

In it he said: "I wish to announce I am retiring as Principal of RLHS. I am 65 this year. I am proud of this school and what we have achieved over the past 12 years ... I have been honoured to have been captain of a most successful team."

It is unclear when Walker will formally retire, but the Rotorua Daily Post understands it will be at the end of Term 1 which finishes on April 12.

According to the Education Register, Walker still has his full teaching certificate.

Walker became the school's principal at the start of 2008 after 15 years at Western Heights High School, the last four as deputy principal.

Rotorua Lakes High School is a co-educational state school with a roll of about 700.

The process

After the Teaching Council has investigated a complaint, a report is provided to a Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC). If the CAC considers a matter may be serious misconduct, it must refer it to the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal; a statutory body with decision making powers independent of the Teaching Council.

Following the hearing and subsequent appeal period the tribunal's decision will be published online.