INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hato Petera College Can Open Next year, and Pay Its Way

Published: Fri 11 Dec 2015 05:11 PM
Hato Petera College Can Open Next year, and Pay Its Way
Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust is disappointed that the Auckland Catholic Diocese released a statement on Tuesday 8 December 2015 claiming the trust is not legally constituted. “Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust is a fully constituted entity with responsibility for providing quality pastoral care for Maori students attending Hato Petera College.” says Whanau Trust chairman, Murray Painting.
"We absolutely reject this unfortunate claim made by the Diocese. 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. 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. It is also our understanding 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.
"Why would the Diocese sign a 5-year lease agreement with the Whanau Trust in August this year and, just two months later, threaten permanent closure of the boarding hostel?
"The suggestion of insolvency made by the Diocese is, of course, of concern to us. The Diocese is withholding from us the financials on which the claims of insolvency are based. However, from the draft accounts we have been able to access, while there are questions needing to be answered, they are the result of mismanagement that the Diocese permitted to continue up until our reconstruction of the trust board membership. 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.
"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.
"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,” says Mr Painting.
ENDS

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