Working bee hopes to see Hato Petera remain open for 2016

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Tradesmen and supporters of Hato Petera College are working vigorously, free of charge, to smarten up some of the school's hostels.  The school's Whānau Trust hopes that by doing so, they will get the go ahead to reopen for the school year.

With only a few weeks until the deadline, volunteers are working tirelessly so the school can remain open this year for 68 students.

Hato Petera kaumātua, Paora Kanara says, "Renovating has been an ongoing issue, we're taking the initiative of repairing areas of the school, so that our students continue their education here."

The new Whānau Trust has called on both previous and current students and supporters to help - and they have come.

Former student Nicholas Buster Harris admits, "Because of my love for the college, I've seen the struggle, but what can be done to uphold its integrity to a high standard."

Mikaere Heihei, another former student said, "I don't want to see the school close, so I must come to help and give support."

Although the Catholic Diocese of Auckland wanted the school to close for the year, so that necessary repairs to meet Ministry of Education standards could be completed, the repair work will continue.

Kanara says, "We want to fill our school with students, Māori students, from across the country, to return to the school.  So the school can operate effectively and efficiently for years to come."

"I want to acknowledge all those who have come to help and worked tirelessly," says Heihei.

Renovations to all areas of the school, for a capacity 160 students is the ultimate goal, such as the 10 hostels, its swimming pool, tennis court and netball court, at the start of 2017.