Hato Petera community meet to save school

The Hato Petera College community is banding together in an effort to keep the doors of their beloved school open, despite confirmation by Education Minister Chris Hipkins that the consultation process for closure will begin.

Past students came from as far as Tauranga and the far north to attend a last-minute meeting at the school's marae, Te Kamaka, hoping to come up with a strategy.

The former chairman of the school board, Mate Webb says, “We have to consider our options moving forward.”

Hato Petera first opened in 1928. In recent years, the roll has declined and only one student remains.

Webb says if anyone can keep the doors open it's the youth who called today's meeting.

“We're leaving it to the youth to champion the cause because they are clever and they have the foresight to move us forward.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says consultation will now begin about the possible cancellation of the integration agreement of the college, the consultation process will run until 14 May.

Following the consultation process, the Ministry of Education will provide a summary of the feedback and a decision will be made about the cancellation of the school's integration agreement.