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Seatoun School Kids Club should continue

Media Statement
For immediate release
Friday, 10 June 2005

Seatoun School Kids Club should be allowed to continue

Rongotai-based United Future MP Gordon Copeland today revealed that he has put the case for the promoters of the Christian-based Kids Club operating at Seatoun School to Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

“I have been in contact with Mr Mallard and supplied him with all relevant background information, including the detailed legal of Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

“Sir Geoffrey’s advice is categorical and unambiguous, namely the decision by the board to decline permission to Kids Club was contrary to the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990. I both respect and accept his opinion in that regard.

“The school’s board of trustees seem to have forgotten that they are trustees for and on behalf of the school community. They are not empowered to make unilateral decisions effecting that school community, ie teachers, parents and children, but that is exactly what they have done on this occasion.

“Kids Club had operated at the school for more than two years with the strong approval and backing of the previous board of trustees and the school community.

“At the very least, any decision to change that status quo cannot be taken until a full, open and transparent new round of consultation has occurred. It must be remembered that the children - the real losers from this decision - who attend Kids Club, do so with the express written permission of their parents.

“Quite apart from the legal position, fair play and tolerance surely rule out the kind of spoil-sport action that the board have taken,” Mr Copeland said.

“Kids Club should be reinstated forthwith and I look to Mr Mallard to show some leadership in that regard.”


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