Hato Petera College in Auckland is closing down its historic boarding facilities next year due to a decision made by the Catholic Church.
Students of the Maori Catholic high school were told on Friday that their accommodation would no longer be available for next year and parents fear it could be the end of the school itself.
The Diocese of Auckland says the decision was not made lightly but with the hostel no longer meeting the needs of its students – along with other issues such as lack of maintenance and serious financial troubles – something had to be done.
“If the hostels remained open, then we would be in a position where we’d probably have to apologise because we wouldn’t be providing the very best, safest and most effective accommodation for these young people,” said Diocese spokesperson Lyndsay Freer.
“It’s their wellbeing, and their needs that are paramount in making this decision.”
Hato Petera accommodates seventy-five percent of all its students with some students coming from as far as Rotorua and Kaitaia.
With many students about to start NCEA exams, parents have expressed surprise and frustration towards the decision.
Ex-pupil and former principal, Sir Toby Curtis, met with families yesterday. Together they have decided to contact Bishop Patrick Dunn to discuss the possibility of a joint strategy to keep the hostel facilities running.