Festive card outrages school staff

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2013

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A generic Christmas card sent by Gerry Brownlee smacks of insensitivity at a delicate time, a principal whose school was closed in the education shakeup says.

The earthquake recovery minister's Christmas card said the challenges of life in Christchurch continued this year but the "light at the end of the tunnel" was a little more evident.

It read: "2014 I'm sure will be brighter. I hope you enjoy the festive season and wish you well for 2014 which will be a big year for National."

Kendal School principal Keith Turner, who held his school's last ever assembly yesterday, was not happy with the letter.

The school is one of 10 in Christchurch now closed because of the Ministry of Education's post-quake education review.

"The insensitivity is appalling.

"They see it as a process rather than involving people," Turner said.

Many of his staff were outraged at the card in the final week of school, he said.

"It said 2014 is going to be brighter, and they are closing our school."

It is not clear which other organisations the card, which was printed in Brownlee's handwriting, was sent to.

Brownlee's office did not respond to requests for comment.

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