June 28, 2018
Hard questions for church on Petera peril
Supporters of Hāto Petera want to know what the Auckland Catholic diocese will do for Māori if it allows the historic Māori boarding school to close.
The Northcote school has just a handful of students after the diocese refused to upgrade the boarding hostels, and Education Minister Chris Hipkins has indicated he wants to remove its integrated status, which will cut off funding for teaching and school operations.
Phylis Pomare, the mother of one of the students, says the parents want to talk to the minister directly but he won't engage.
She says they are also unhappy the diocese has waited in the background for the government to take the steps that will lead to the school's closure.
"They don't care this is a part of tikanga in the Catholic church for Māori that will be gone, so we want to know from them: 'What are you going to do for us as Māori? We're going to lose all this kura, we are going to lose our way of life. How are you going to give that back to us?'" Mrs Pomare says.
She says the Auckland diocese has created a new Māori roopu, but it has been told it is not to discuss Hāto Petera.
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