Diocese surprised by the unauthorised Hato Petera media release

The Catholic Diocese of Auckland has expressed concern about the misinformation given to students of Hato Petera College and their whanau about the future of the school’s boarding hostels.

The facilities are owned by the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, and it has confirmed that the boarding hostels will not be available in 2016.

The diocese says it was surprised by a press release signed by Murray Painting, announcing that they were reopening.

It says the group represent themselves as board members of Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust, and that legal advice received is that this new group of Trustees is not legally constituted.

The Diocese is unable to officially recognise this group as trustees, and continues to work with the trustees appointed as Executive of the previous board.

The Diocese made the following comments:

  • The media statement was released without prior communication to the Diocese of the intentions of those who issued it.
  • The stated intention in the media release by Murray Painting to re-open the boarding facilities for Hato Petera College in 2016 has not been accepted or agreed to by the Diocese.
  • Work is currently being undertaken to dissolve the Te Whanau of Hato Petera Trust for reasons of insolvency.
  • Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trustees are legally liable for all debt incurred.
  • The Diocese has worked with the previous trustees to protect them, by providing financial assistance to pay off the debt, but will not do so again.
  • The hostel was kept open in Term 4 for Year 11-13 students so that they were able to complete their NCEA exams.
  • The hostel was only able to operate in Term 4 because of the financial assistance from the Diocese.
  • The lease agreement with the Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust is due to be terminated because of the Trust’s failure over an extended period of time to adequately maintain the facilities.

The Diocese says it gave a group, led by Sir Toby Curtis, an option of presenting a submission to set up a separate entity to operate the boarding facilities for Hato Petera College, which would provide a safe environment for students, and which showed that the proposal was going to be financial sustainable.

The due date for the submission was 7 December 2015.

No submission has been received. Rather the Diocese was informed on the 7 December that the new Trust group has been delegated responsibility for preparing the submission.

A request for extension of time for the submission has been declined by the Diocese.

The diocese has expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education for the work they have already undertaken to assist whanau to find alternative educational facilities for those students who are unable to attend Hato Petera College as a day student in 2016.


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