New Zealand exam insulter revealed

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A pile of returned and marked NCEA exam booklets. Photograph by Gabriel Pollard.

The person who left rude remarks on at least five students' returned NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) exam papers has been identified as a temporary New Zealand Post worker, and ex-student of Cashmere High School, the same school the students went to.

The insulter said that the remarks, which one included a positive remark congratulating a merit, were meant to be joke on the students he knew at his old Christchurch-based school.

The comments he placed on different papers included "GOOD ONE DICK!!", "You useless sack of poo," and the positive comment was "NICE ONE MATE."

The former New Zealand Post employee was employed to process mail, but had left New Zealand Post about a week before the insulting comments were discovered.

Dave Turnbull, principal of Cashmere High School, said that it is regrettable and disappointing that an ex-student of Cashmere High School was the offender, "even if they thought it was a joke." "I am pleased the NZQA and NZ Post have pursued this issue and resolved it quickly. It was not a joke for the students concerned."

Peter Fenton, chief executive of the postal services, said that he does not see what is funny about the remarks. He has apologised to NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority), the authority that manages NCEA; and will also send a letter apologising to the affected students.

Mr Fenton said that the damage the temporary worker has done to New Zealand Post's reputation is concerning.