West Auckland principal resigns

AMY MAAS AND CIARA PRATT
Last updated 15:20 07/02/2014

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The principal of a West Auckland school has resigned after being investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs.

A spokeswoman for Internal Affairs confirmed David Latimer was being investigated by the department, but would not reveal the nature of the investigation as it was ongoing.

It is understood Latimer has consulted a barrister in relation to the investigation.

When contacted by Fairfax Media, Latimer said he did not want to make any comment.

He last month resigned from Rangeview Intermediate School, where he had been principal for six years.

It is understood Latimer is now working at a car repair shop in Henderson.

Acting principal Wendy Naidu cited sick leave as the reason for Latimer's departure on December 3.

"A letter went out to our parents last week to say the board of trustees had received and accepted Mr Latimer's resignation," she said.

Naidu said that Latimer's resignation did not relate to any other staff or students.

"Our community were notified last year and the school year has started as usual, very positively," Naidu said.

Speculation in the community about what the investigation was about was "wrong", Catherine Clark, chairwoman of the school's board of trustees, said.

"I want to make it clear that this is an isolated incident concerning Mr Latimer and does not involve any students or staff at the school," she said.

The school was confident in acting principal, Naidu, and acting deputy principal Gary Wood, Clark said.

"We are in no hurry to appoint a new principal, we are very confident in our management team. Everything was fine and dandy at the school. We have no worries about the school or children."

Katrina Casey, head of sector enablement and support at the Ministry of Education confirmed Latimer's resignation, but said the ministry was confident the board of trustees had managed the situation to ensure no children at school were at risk.

"We will provide any support the board needs from us for as long as it needs it as the new school year gets under way," she said.

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