A Northland relief teacher who was caught growing cannabis has kept his registration after renouncing the plant.
Colin James White, 61, was convicted of cultivating cannabis in December 2014 after police found cannabis growing in his backyard.
Police were visiting the home where White lives with his ex-wife on an unrelated matter when they found four plants growing in a tunnel house in between tomato plants.
A search inside the house revealed two containers with 738 cannabis seeds hidden behind a skirting board and a small amount of dried cannabis.
White told the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal that at the time of his offending he was unemployed and had been growing the drug for health reasons, including combating depression, anxiety and osteoarthritis pain in his hips.
He accepted growing cannabis was a bad decision and he was embarrassed.
"[I] immediately made the decision to not use cannabis again and have had not had any involvement with it," the tribunal decision quoted him as saying.
"I can show this by two drug tests I have had over the last two years."
White, who has been a relieving teacher at various Northland schools, said he wanted to continue with the work until his retirement.
He offered to do further drug tests to prove he was no longer using cannabis.
The tribunal found that because of White's age, his unblemished teaching career and his evidence to have "changed his ways" it would be unfair to cancel his registration for a relatively low-level drug offence.
White was censured and ordered to take two further drug tests in the future.