Education Minister Should Call It Quits Over Phillipstown
Tracey Martin MP
1 November 2013
Education Minister Should Call It Quits Over Phillipstown Debacle
New Zealand First is calling on the Education Minister to call it quits and admit defeat over the Phillipstown School merger in Christchurch rather than launch another round of unsettling consultation.
Education spokesperson Tracey Martin says that today’s announcement that Hekia Parata won’t appeal the High Court’s ruling that the merger with Woolston School was unlawful; it is a victory for the school community which fought so hard for what it believed in.
“But now the School has been told that the Ministry will instead resume consultation on aspects of the proposed merger as set out in the court’s judgement.
“This close-knit School community had already been through enough trauma with the Christchurch earthquakes when it was forced to launch a David and Goliath battle, going all the way to the High Court to fight the plan when Ms Parata wouldn’t listen to their concerns.
“Even when a Judge ruled in the School’s favour, the School was still left in limbo, enduring further anguish over whether the Minister would appeal the decision.
“Now Ms Parata says that she is resuming consultation. What guarantees are there that she’ll actually listen this time and reach an outcome that doesn’t tear the community apart?
“Phillipstown School should never have been put in such a stressful position and left to fight for its existence. It’s time the Minister spent more time listening to schools during her consultations and working with them to come up with solutions rather than running roughshod over the communities she should be serving,” says Ms Martin.