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Hato Petera’s Whānau Trust Board under siege

Published: 6:06PM Friday June 19, 2015

  • Hato Petera College entrance. (Source: ONE News)
    Hato Petera College entrance. - Source: ONE News

Concerns for student safety at Hato Petera College are being touted as a cover-up to a more sinister plan.

The school's Board of Trustees claims members of Te Whānau o Hato Petera Trust Board are staging a coup.

In a trail of emails leaked to Te Karere there is a list of names set to take over the Whānau Trust Board.

“There are some out there who are planning to oust some of the current board members and to install their own. I've seen the list, there are a few CEOs on there,” says BOT chair Mate Webb.

Dr Lance O'Sullivan, who has been a member of the board for eight months, doesn't deny the claim. When asked if he wanted to remove the board members, he agreed.

“I want to find new members for our board.”

He claims the Whānau Trust Board has failed its students by mishandling serious complaints of bullying, including one from a current student who was in his hostel room when a staff member broke in and verbally abused him.

“There are a lot of problems whānau have come to see me about relating to the experiences of their children.

“It is my view, that we, the board, have not really been supportive, or taken the families serious enough.”

Mr Webb disagrees: “He's only referring to a single incident, and that incident has been dealt to.”

Last month, four of the existing five Whānau Trust Board members attempted to oust their current chair, Tame Te Rangi.

But a quorum of seven was needed for the vote of no confidence to stick.

The Whānau Trust Board will meet on Sunday to elect its new members, and while the Education Minister concedes she has no jurisdiction over the matter, she plans to send reps from her department.