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Brother of sex offender teacher speaks out

Published: 11:04AM Thursday April 05, 2012 Source: ONE News

The estranged brother of a convicted sex offender who used fake identities so he could work in schools, said his brother changed names so many times even his family could not keep track of him.

The man, revealed as Te Rito Henry Miki, 40, today pleaded guilty at the Auckland District Court to seven charges of using false CVs and a birth certificate.

He also pleaded guilty to four charges of breaching a protection order, which prevented him working with children.

Miki and his brother Tony Arohana have not spoken since Miki indecently assaulted a family member in 2004, for which he was convicted.

Arohana told ONE News he isn't surprised at the lengths his brother went to to work with children following his release from jail.

"He's deed-polled his name that many times, we couldn't keep up with who he was at the time," Arohana said.

Miki used false documents to work in six schools located in Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, Tauranga and Auckland.

Court documents show at least two principals became suspicious of Miki after he began working at schools in 2007.

Miki faked a brain tumour after a Rotorua principal began looking into his qualifications. He said he was leaving the teaching profession when the principal aired his concerns.

The next school decided to employ Miki despite being told about his previous convictions and multiple aliases while doing reference checks. When he was confronted about his convictions Miki claimed his twin brother was responsible.

It was not until the police became involved with Miki that his true identity was discovered by the principal who then terminated his employment.

After Miki left, the principal then went through his belongings and discovered documentation in another man's name.

The man was a friend of Miki's who had a legitimate teaching qualification.

Miki applied to change his friend's name, then notified the organisation who granted the qualification and the New Zealand Teaching Council of the name change, which he used to gain employment.

Despite these discoveries, it appears neither principal nor the police notified the Teaching Council about Miki's actions.

He was subsequently able to teach under the same alias at two Auckland schools, one for nearly more than a year.

Miki was finally arrested when he was identified by a member of the public earlier this year, when she reportedly spotted him driving a van-load of schoolchildren.

The person, who knew of the man's criminal history, rang the school principal and because she understood he was using a false name, provided the school with a photograph that confirmed his identity.

At the time of the alleged offending, he was supposed to be adhering to an extended supervision order that normally requires an offender to be subject to parole-type conditions for up to 10 years after release.

No abuse reported by children

Child, Youth and Family General Manager Marama Edwards said an inquiry has been underway to determine whether Miki had committed any abuse while working in the schools.

"Expert staff met concerned parents and interviewed a number of children to determine if any of the young people Te Rito Henry Miki was in contact with were abused. No child or young person made a disclosure of abuse," she said.

Miki's name suppression was lifted at the Auckland District Court this morning, but his aliases and the names of the schools at which he worked are still suppressed.

Education Minister Hekia Parata welcomed the news Miki had pleaded guilty to the charges, "I think it gives certainty for the whole schools sector but for those (affected) schools in particular."

In February, Parata began a ministerial inquiry into how the man managed to continue working in schools.

Parata said she was expecting an interim report to be published by the end of April.

Inquiry head Mel Smith had found it difficult to speak to key witnesses with the case before the court, prompting him to seek an extension.

Judge Philippa Sinclair convicted Miki and remanded him in custody until sentencing on May 18. A new forgery charge laid by police today will also be dealt with then.