10 October 2013
Court ruling overturns injustice
The High Court today confirmed what the Phillipstown School community already knew – Hekia Parata’s decision to close the school lacked consultation and was unlawful.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said the ruling was a win for democracy and the right of people to have a say in decisions that impacted them.
“The Minister’s plan to close Phillipstown School and merge it with nearby Woolston was flawed and would have been another blow to children already traumatised by the Canterbury earthquakes,” she said.
“NZEI urges the Minister to accept the High Court’s decision gracefully and not add insult to injury by challenging it or attempting to start a consultation process to close the school. I think the community have made their feelings more than clear.”
“We hope that the Minister will learn from this episode and never again subject another community to the contempt and lack of consultation that Phillipstown and other Christchurch schools have faced,” said Mrs Nowotarski.
“Populations in the area are still fluctuating post-quake and the Minister’s unseemly haste in closing and merging schools seems to be more for political motives than educational reasons.”