Winston Peters criticises PM over state of Northland College

By Dean Nathan
Northland College

Winston Peters has criticised the Prime Minister over the poor condition of Northland College’s classrooms.

The Northland MP and New Zealand First leader says, “Northland College’s ghetto-like conditions are not stirring Prime Minister John Key into fixing the neglect in Northland.”

Te Kāea visited Northland College and was given a guided tour around the premises by the Principal, Jim Luder.

Mr Luder displayed the dilapidated condition of the buildings by pushing his finger through a moulded ceiling in one of the ablution blocks.

He says the environment the students are forced to learn in is severely impacting their ability to stay focused on their work.

Students of Northland College described the state of their school, as 'sad' and Phoenix Henare Clark says, “things are breaking apart and it smells damp in the classrooms and it’s not a nice environment to learn in.”

Winston Peters says “Despite a by-election loss and a promise to regain the trust of Northlanders, Mr Key has shrugged off the fact students are in dilapidated, rundown and neglected buildings that are mould ridden and leaking.He merely stated in Parliament that he was sure a programme would be carried out at the school.”

The state of the buildings was reported to ERO 3 years ago and 1.5 million dollars was provided to the school by the Ministry of Education, however according to Principal Mr Luder, former management issues resulted in the repairs not being followed through.

Peters says, “Mr Key denied that while $350 million of extra funding is going into Auckland schools, regions like Northland are missing out. This denial was despite comments of the Northland College principal who said ‘the process is hopelessly slow’, ‘when you’re living it day to day it’s tough’, and ‘I feel if we were in Auckland it would be faster’.”