A teacher in Ōtautahi/Christchurch who groomed and had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl can now be named.
Taurapa - formerly Connor Taurapa Matthews until a name change in March 2022 - was found to have had an "inappropriate relationship" with the year 12 Rangi Ruru student, and "inappropriate communications" with 16-year-old 'Ms Y'.
The revelation follows the publication of a Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal decision on Monday, which did not grant Taurapa further name suppression.
Taurapa obtained his secondary teachers' diploma in 2017, with a full professional practising certificate.
He then became a teacher of te reo Māori at the private girls-only Rangi Ruru Girls' School from 2018 to 2019, and at the time was involved in performing arts groups.
A Snapchat group was formed in 2018 among a te reo Māori cohort of students, before conversations turned personal between Taurapa and Rangi Ruru student Helena Dray.
Things turned sexual between the pair, who often messaged. It was discovered he often met Dray after-hours, or kissed her in school rooms he knew didn't have cameras.
“He showered her in communication, attention and affection", said the decision.
Taurapa bought Dray a birthday present, wrote her poetry, sent her constant messages, as well as several nude videos and photos.
"Mental and emotional impact began to occur during the relationship", the decision continued.
In November the same year, he also met 'Ms Y'.
A month or two later, he gave her a pair of $70 earrings for her birthday, and sent Ms Y a Snapchat a couple of weeks later saying "you can just go out with me after next year then lol [sic]".
They continued messaging on Snapchat.
Following a February 2019 meeting with Ms Y's boss, Taurapa then asked Ms Y to delete all the messages she'd saved between the pair.
She obliged, but didn't delete all the Snapchat screenshots she saved.
It all came to an end when staff at another school were alerted to his behaviour. In April, Taurapa resigned from Rangi Ruru while the school investigated him, after he hid his "inappropriate relationship" with Dray for almost a year.
After leaving Rangi Ruru, he became a kaiako at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o te Whānau Tahi, before taking up a role at Stuff as a te reo Māori translator.
Dray deliberately sought to not have her name suppressed, which the Tribunal agreed to after "careful consideration".
Suppression was continued for Ms Y.
Taurapa was charged with serious misconduct but hasn't accepted the charge, and didn't challenge the evidence put against him.
Despite that, he "remained engaged to the extent of making submissions seeking non-publication of his name", the report said.
He also attempted to cancel his teachers' registration, aware that the decision was unlikely to be in his favour.
"It is at the most serious end of serious misconduct cases that come before the Tribunal," the authors concluded.