The boss of a government agency which hired a disgraced former teacher in a senior role has known his whanau for years, but had no involvement in him getting the job, the agency says.

However, Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) Maori development secretary Dave Samuels acknowledges his relationship to Taurapa has “given rise to a perceived conflict of interest” and has asked the Public Service Commission to investigate the recruitment process which led to the appointment.

Taurapa, formerly Connor Taurapa Matthews, was struck off the teaching register in 2023 after the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal found he’d had a sexual relationship with a student, and groomed another.


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A contribution from The BFD staff.