Progress in Hato Petera hostel dispute

The dispute between the Catholic Diocese of Auckland and a group who wishes to keep the Hato Petera College Hostel open came closer to resolution in the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday.

The boarding facilities are to be vacated and possession of the property delivered to the Catholic Diocese of Auckland.

In July Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported that 30 tertiary students from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT)  were using the hostel.

Counsel for the Diocese, Michael Robinson, said the occupants of the boarding facilities were there in an agreement with Hato Petera Limited, but will now have seven days to vacate the hostel.

Last year the hostel was closed; boarding is no longer offered at Hato Petera.

This year it has been operating as a day-school, with a small staff. Just 25 students enrolled to start 2017.

The Diocese gave the housing and family support provider De Paul House a two-year lease on the former hostel buildings, allowing it to house homeless at the hostel. The Diocese wanted AUT students removed.

This had angered some in the whānau whānui o Hato Petera, as RNZ previously reported.

An application for an interim injunction was filed in the High Court at Auckland by Hato Petera Limited to prevent the eviction.

Lyndsay Freer, a spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, says the land on which Hato Petera is situated was gifted to the Diocese to be used for the education of children of all races, not as reported in the New Zealand Herald and RNZ, for the education of Māori children.

The New Zealand Herald also reported that “The school has had various names during its history, including St Mary’s Industrial School for Māori Boys and St Peter’s Māori College, before it changed its name to Hato Petera in 1972.”

However, Freer says St Mary’s Industrial School was not on the Hato Petera site but was located on land now occupied by St Joseph’s School in Takapuna.

“This particular land was never part of the Crown gift but was privately bought,” she said.

A further hearing has been scheduled later this year between the Catholic Diocese of Auckland and a third party.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , ,