Parents dismayed by merger of Kawerau schools

Date published: July 16, 2012 at 10:26 am | Comments

The judge upheld the Government’s plan to merge the intermediate with the local college next year.

Last year Kawerau Intermediate students, parents and staff came by the busload to Wellington, hoping to persuade the Government to save their school.

When that didn’t work they headed to the High Court – but now that bid has failed too.

“This isn’t something we wanted as a community, this isn’t something we thought was right for our children, so complete devastation is what I’m feeling right now,” says Anneke Hepi from the Kawerau Intermediate board of trustees.

The Ministry of Education has appointed statutory managers to run the troubled Kawerau College, but parents say problems with drugs, violence and gang prospecting mean it’s not a safe environment for younger children.

“I’m definitely against mixing my little boy with any college age kids,” says parent Dennis Te Riini.

Fellow parent Stephanie Tuhoro is also concerned.

“Our girls here, our year sevens, the saddest part is they’ve got to leave this school and at the moment a lot of parents are not sure where they’re going to send them to,” she says.

The ministry says the new combined school will be better resourced and will hopefully reduce community problems like teenage pregnancy and suicide, but parents still aren’t convinced.

“You can expect to see a lot of broken hearts, of upset families, of unsureness in the community. We’ve been ripped apart,” says Ms Tuhoro.

Now the community is being urged to join together to make the new joint school a success.



Source: 3 News