Hato Petera group claim they are fully constituted entity

The group speaking on behalf of Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust Board claim they are a “fully constituted entity with responsibility for providing quality pastoral care for Maori students attending Hato Petera College.”

They say they are disappointed that the Catholic Diocese of Auckland does not recognise their legality.

“We absolutely reject this unfortunate claim made by the Diocese,” said chairman Murray Painting.

The Trust has 12 board members, made up of whanau and bishops’ representatives.

It is is a separate entity to Hato Petera College Board of Trustees.

“A Hui a Whanau was held on 22 November 2015 as the trust had been operating without a quorum due to a number of resignations, so took the necessary steps in accordance with the constitution to add trustees so the Whanau Trust Board could once again conduct its business,” Painting said.

“The appointment of new trustees was duly carried out and is now ready to fulfil its responsibilities.”

“These responsibilities include commencing immediate discussions with the Ministry of Education because they manage the hostel licence.”

Painting said that they believed the Ministry of Education was not informed by the Diocese of the closure before it was announced back in October.

“This is unusual behaviour particularly when there is an Integration Agreement between these parties.” he said.

In August the Ministry warned that the Hostel licence could be cancelled.

While the ministry doesn’t have oversight of school hostels, it is responsible for their licensing and in extreme circumstances it can be cancelled.

The Ministry gave the Trust until December to complete the repairs.

They also asked the Board to address staffing, security and student supervision concerns.

In his press release Painting says “If the concerns of the Diocese regarding the safety and suitability of the boarding hostel are eliminated by the proposed renovation project that is due to start next week, we urge the Diocese to talk to us so that together we can plan continued boarding and a successful school for 2016 and beyond.”

“A large pool of 240 volunteers including master builders, electricians, plumbers, interior designers and others have offered their time, skills and materials at no cost to the diocese to bring the buildings up to standard in time for the commencement of the 2016 school year.”

Painting has accused the diocese of withholding the financials on which the claims of the insolvency of the Trust Board are based.

He says that based on the draft accounts they have been able to access, there are questions needing to be answered.

“We have prepared a new budget that shows the boarding hostels can operate on a balanced financial footing for 2016 at even the current low level of student enrolment.”

He said the difficulties are the result of mismanagement that the diocese permitted to continue up until the reconstruction of the trust board membership.

The diocese, in response to requests by Hato Petera College whanau, set up the Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust over 20 years ago.

The trust deed gives Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust total responsibility for the land, buildings.


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