Aorangi prt iii

Hi, here is a letter straight from the good folks at Aorangi school, please send it on! BRILLIANT!



Dear Minister,

I am writing in protest about the closure of Aorangi School, in Bryndwr, Christchurch. Some decisions are simply wrong. This is one of them. Your announcement of the closure of the school has ignored the heartfelt pleas of the community and the wishes of the iwi Ngāi Tahu. You have also ignored the report of your own facilitator Michael Deaker. Why did you ask for consultation to take place when it would be discounted? Aorangi School serves a disadvantaged community which needs all the educational assistance it can get. This sends a message to the local community and school families that their wishes do not matter, and that you know what is best for their children.

You have announced that priority will be given to establishing a new bilingual unit after the school closes, but this will take time and there are no guarantees it will happen. To assume a unit can just be transferred or re-started elsewhere under these circumstances is culturally unsafe and insensitive. You have suddenly raised educational concerns at a very late stage, which the school, and particularly staff, have not had a chance to defend. This is despite the school having a positive ERO report. The use of educational data in this way is concerning for all educational professionals.

This is not a financial argument-it draws a line in the sand about the entire future of education in this country. It goes to the heart about what is valuable in education and how we lift the ‘tail’ of children who do not achieve in our current system. It will be far more costly to deal with the consequences of educational under-achievement and alienation further down the track. It is also a human right for the tangata whenua of Aoteoroa to have access to education in te reo Māori.

I urge you to keep Aorangi school open.

Yours Sincerely,




Hon Anne Tolley

Minister of Education


Parliament Buildings

PO Box 18888

Wellington 6160



(04) 8176507


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