Disappointment at list MP Nuk Korako's Redcliffs School stance

Nuk Korako has not supported Redcliffs School's bid to stay open, saying he "trusts the process" .
Richard Cosgrove

Nuk Korako has not supported Redcliffs School's bid to stay open, saying he "trusts the process" .

Redcliffs School's leaders have been left disappointed by a national list MP's comments over a pending decision about its fate. 

Nuk Korako, who campaigned for Christchurch's Port Hills seat last election, has refused to say whether a closure or staying open is in the best interests of the school.

He trusted Education Minister Hekia Parata would make the right decision, claiming she's "left no stone unturned".

Education Minister Hekia Parata will announce her final decision next week.
WARWICK SMITH/ FAIRFAX NZ

Education Minister Hekia Parata will announce her final decision next week.

"I trust the process ... All I can hope is that it's an announcement that everyone's got to be either happy with, [but] there'll be those that probably won't be," Korako said. 

READ MORE: 
Can Redcliffs School be saved?
Redcliffs School considering court action to stay open
Disruption to Redcliffs School same as any other school
Valentines Day quake did not trigger rockfall behind Redcliffs School

Principal Rose McInerney and two board members will meet Parata in Wellington next Thursday, July 7, where Parata will give her final decision on the Christchurch school's future. 

Pupils Jorja Williams, left, and Bella Hansen-Ratt during band practice.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ

Pupils Jorja Williams, left, and Bella Hansen-Ratt during band practice.

Her interim decision, announced at at the end of last year, was to close the school by the end of 2016. 

Korako said he did not know the final decision, but was likely to receive a briefing from the minister before the announcement. 

Whatever the outcome, he had faith the minister would make an "informed decision". 

Tane Williams, 12, during band practice.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ

Tane Williams, 12, during band practice.

"Looking at all the evidence now, it is about safety and the school operating without continual disruption, and, at the end of the day it's about the kids and their future."

Ad Feedback

Board spokesman Mark Robberds said the board was "very concerned" by the comments. 

"Safety has never been one of the reasons given by the minister because her own experts agree the site can be made safe."

The minister was only worried about the potential disruption to education, he said.

The school recently sought advice from experts, to prove that the risk of disruption to education was "negligible". 

McInerney said both her and Robberds "couldn't understand why there would be anyone who would be unhappy about the school staying open".

"We can only infer that Mr Korako is referring to the overwhelming majority who will be unhappy if the decision is closure."

Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson said the minister's proposal to close the school had no backing.

More than 2700 people made a submission in response to her proposal to close the school by the end of 2016.

Not one supported the proposed closure. 

"Anyone who has been to the many, many meetings would understand that the reason people want to go back on site is because it is safe," said Dyson. 

Korako said there were options for the school, including relocation. 

"I know [the decision] will be the right decision based on the best interests of the children."

The school has been fighting to return to its Main Rd site for more than a year. It was forced to leave after the June 2011 aftershocks caused rock to fall from a cliff behind the property. 

The year 1 to 8 school is currently operating from van Asch Deaf Education Centre.

 

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback