Hato Petera College Board elects 7 new members

On Sunday the Whanau Hato Petera Trust elected seven new members.

The 12-person trust board had been reduced to five after a number of recent resignations.

The present chairman, Tame Te Rangi, retained his position.

Hato Petera Collge has two boards.

One is the Whanau Hato Petera Trust, which is responsible for the dorms and the lease of the land.

The other is the Board of Trustees, which is responsible for education.

The Whanau Hato Petera Trust does not come directly under the authority of the Ministry of Education.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan says he is now confident the new board will address the issues facing the school.

Earlier he had said governance at the school was poor.

He said allegations of bullying were not being investigated properly and students were being let down.

In a teleconference vote of no confidence in the chairman earlier this month there were four votes in favour and one against.

However, Te Rangi said the vote had no authority as they didn’t meet quorum threshold under the Trust’s deed.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said, “The Ministry was made aware of the steps that the college took, was it satisfied with the steps that the college took to address those bullying issues? At that time, yes.”

The college principal, Hone Matthews, says he thinks that appropriate actions have been taken to address the bullying incident.

Matthews is also the chief executive of the Whānau Trust Board.

Nor did the chairman of the school’s  Board of Trustees, Mate Webb, agree with O’Sullivan’s concerns.

The principal and the BOT chairman say the major issues are being overlooked, such as those raised in the ERO report including around dilapidated buildings, governance, and the lease of the land.

Webb says, “We’re squabbling amongst ourselves, but we aren’t the enemy, the diocese is.”

“In his (O’Sullivan’s) statements to the media he hasn’t mentioned the diocese or the lease, or the poor state of these buildings,” he said.

An Education Review Office report cited a Treaty claim as one of a number of issues at Hato Petera, along with safety and accommodation concerns.

Uncertainty surrounded the tenure of the lease agreement on the school and the hostel facilities, it said.

The Auckland Catholic Diocese has granted Hato Petera a five-year extension, sparking fears it wanted to shut the school and sell the land.

Old boys of Hato Petera have lodged a Treaty of Waitangi claim on the property and surrounding land, including AUT’s Northcote campus.

The submission was made by  Nga Tauira Tawhito o Hato Petera, a pan-tribal organisation with 1200 members made up of affiliated Catholic Maori who share an allegiance to the college and which is claiming the land.

The submission said, “Our Treaty claim concerns the 376 acres [152ha] awarded … by way of a Crown grant to the Catholic Church in 1850 and the subsequent maladministration of that land.

A spokeswoman for Bishop Pat Dunn said he was overseas so no comment was possible.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan is a Kaitaia GP who was named Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year last year and Maori of the Year in 2013.



Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , , ,