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Government agencies working with Hato Petera

6 December 2000 Media Statement

Government agencies working with Hato Petera

Government agencies are working together to ensure that the students at Auckland’s Hato Petera College have all the necessary help following allegations of sexual offending against a former teacher at the college, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard said the students, their families, staff and the wider school community are being offered intense support to help them deal with the situation.

A number of Government agencies including the Ministry of Health, the Health Funding Authority, Te Puni Kokiri, Child Youth and Family Service and New Zealand Police were working with Ministry of Education officials to help the school deal with the issues surrounding the case.

“The welfare and care of the students is paramount and everything possible is being done to provide a full range of services for the students and their whanau,” Trevor Mallard said.

He commended the school for the steps it had taken to reduce the negative impact of the incident on the students, including providing specialists in general health, sexual health, HIV education, counselling and other support services on site as well as through an 0800 line.

Support systems had also been established throughout the regions where the boarding students are from, he said.

“This is a particularly stressful time for all concerned. The fact that it has been during examination time has put extra pressure on the students.

"I urge the media to be sensitive to the pressure the students were under. I find it very distasteful that some media have hounded students on their way to and from school,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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