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Honour recipient facing teachers tribunal

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/06/2017
Pem Bird. © Joel Ford/Getty Images Pem Bird.

School principal and former Maori Party president Pem Bird will appear before the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal, a week after being recognised with a Queen's Birthday honour.

Mr Bird, head of Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tawhiuau in the Bay of Plenty, was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to education and Maori.

He was fined and disqualified from driving for six months after being caught driving 169km/h between Rotorua and Murupara last September.

Now the Education Council has brought a case against him to the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal, which will hear the case in Wellington on June 13.

He could face penalties ranging from censure to cancellation of his teacher's registration.

He had accumulated "quite a lot" of speeding offences over the years, but last September's was his first in more than four years, he told the NZ Herald.

"At a certain level of speeding it becomes a criminal offence, so I have to explain that," he said.

Mr Bird is no longer Maori Party president, but co-chairs the national body of iwi-governed schools Nga Kura a Iwi and has a number of other chairman-related responsibilities.

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