Media statement from Catholic Diocese of Auckland 31 August 2018
Bishop Patrick Dunn, the Catholic Bishop of Auckland and 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 have agreed that the College will close on 31 August 2018.
Hato Petera College has a proud history but Hato Petera 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 Hato Petera College. 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 has been that students at Hato Petera College have not been receiving the education they need or deserve.
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 4 remaining Māori boarding schools in Aotearoa, all have very small school rolls and the total roll across all 4 schools is 531, the size of a small secondary school. As at 1 July 2018 there were 1,065 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.
Lyndsay Freer, Media & Communications, Catholic Diocese of Auckland