Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn, the proprietor of Hato Petera College in Northcote, believes that the cancellation of the college’s integration agreement, as announced by the Minister of Education, is in the best interests of students. The minister and the bishop agreed that the college was to close on August 31 this year.

In a statement from Auckland diocese, it was noted that Hato Petera College has a proud history, but the college has not been the secondary school of choice for Catholic Māori within the Catholic diocese of Auckland. Past students have chosen not to send their children and grandchildren to the college, the statement added. This year the roll has fluctuated between one and five students, but there have been no students at the college in Term 3. The Church’s concern over the past few years, the statement noted, has
been that students at Hato Petera College have not been receiving the education they need or deserve.

The statement continued: “The need for Māori boarding schools has changed. Significantly fewer Māori are choosing to send their rangatahi to Māori boarding schools for their secondary education. The four remaining Māori boarding schools in Aotearoa all have very small school rolls and the total roll across all four schools is 531, the size of a small
secondary school. As at July 1, 2018, there were 1065 Māori students attending 15 Catholic secondary schools in the diocese.”

“The diocese is committed to ensuring that the intent of the Deed of Grant made in 1850 in relation to the land is honoured and that the land, or income from the land, will be used to support “ . . . the education of children of our subjects of both races and of children of other poor and destitute persons being inhabitants of the islands of the Pacific . . . ” (Deed of Grant, 19 August 1850).

“The diocese is exploring and considering all education options for the use of the site. Some possibilities include discussions with the Ministry of Education regarding the use of the college facilities by another school and with Hato Petera old boy Dr Lance O’Sullivan, chair of the Moko Foundation, about the possibility of establishing a ‘Hato Petera hostel/academy’ that could support a new model of education at the current site.”

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