Friday, 10 June 2005

Orauta School still fighting, but not in court

The Ministry of Education appeared in court this morning to prosecute Orauta School's trustees and parents, but instead a statement was read from Trustees Chairman Ken Brown stating he didn't recognise the authority of the court. In front of 'a couple of dozen supporters,' some of whom had flown in from Australia pledging financial support for the defendants, the judge postponed the fixture until the 26th of June. [This account comes courtesy of Julian Pistorius, who phoned in with the news.]

As 'Not PC' readers are no doubt aware (see for example stories here and here) this row began when some months ago Trevor Mallard declared the school closed, and unlike many other parents of other schools they refused to bow to his wishes. (Some other schools have followed suit.) The Orauta school trustees, on whose land the school stands, immediately served trespass notices on Education Minister Trevor Mallard, Ministry of Education staff and contractors and Members of Parliament.

Now, they're doing what they can to keep their school open, their children educated properly and the bureaucrats from the door. But why do the grey ones want to close them down? Who the hell knows. Asked in parliament, "Why is the Associate Minister threatening to prosecute parents who are sending their children to Orauta School, where the children are receiving a schooling, whilst at the same time he says that nothing can be done about the three families at Môkau, whose children are receiving no schooling at all?" Benson-Dope blathered, "Such situations as the two mentioned are clearly not in the best interests of the students concerned. The reason there are prosecutions proceeding at Orauta is that the statutory checks and controls on that situation cannot be exercised. However, that situation is much less serious than the Leader of the Opposition visiting such places and endorsing such breaches."

God alone knows what "the statutory checks and controls on that situation cannot be exercised" actually means, but the last refererence there is to Don Brash's visit to and endorsement of Papakura's Kotahitanga Trust. A pity he and others been so quiet about Orauta, but at least the Libertarianz haven't been (see here and here for example).

Look for the story and pictures to appear tonight on Maori TV, TV1 and TV3 news.

[UPDATE (2:45pm): TVNZ story here.]


  1. I'm at the school after our protest at the court in Kaikohe. I have sent Peter a few snapshots of the action. It has been very peaceful, and I think the TV cameramen were a bit disappointed. :)

    Ken Brown and I have also just been interviewed by Gemma Dempsey from Radio Live.

    All in all it has been a great day so far. Hopefully many more people will realise just what absolute bastards these bureaucrats are. The parents and teachers of Orauta have done nothing wrong. They just want to teach their own kids. They're not asking for assistance from the Ministry of Education.

    Where are the victims in this alleged crime? Don't say the children. These kids are learning from highly experienced teachers, and getting an immense amount of attention. One of the kids was taken out and enrolled into a registered school after the parents caved in to the government's threats. Apparently she is three years ahead of her new classmates. These people are actively involved in the education of their children, instead of leaving the duty to the government. One would think that with the obvious failure of state education, more people would realise that to put your children's future in the hands of the government is a huge mistake. These parents should be applauded.

  2. I watched in TV3 just now. No mentioned of Libertarianz though! Darn media!

  3. To my knowledge, the land on which Orauta Maori School stands does not belong to the trustees. The land was given to the Crown around a hundred years ago by the ancestors of the local people, most of whom do not support the rabble who are currently grandstanding for the media.

    I gained my primary school education at Orauta Maori School. When I heard that Mallard was going to close my school I phoned a number of the people with whom I attended school there in the 50s. These people were unanimous in their opinion that the school should close. There are excellent and effective schools in Moerewa, some ten minutes bus ride away.

    The people wanting to keep the school appear to me to be a rag tag rabble who are more interested in political agenda than in genuine concern for children's education.

    You have been conned.

  4. Anonymous,

    I usually choose to ignore your kind, but your post was so craven, I couldn't help myself. Frankly, you sound like a government lacky.

    If you are not, please identify yourself and explain your reasons for wanting to close the current school, seeing as you have not attended it for 50 years.

  5. Hi Sid,

    You're right, they didn't mention Libertarianz anywhere in the media, except for the radio interviews that Robin and I did. :-/ We were shown on TV3 in front of the courthouse with the model of The Statue of Liberty though. Since the accused didn't turn up, we were the only interesting thing at the courthouse. :)

    But frankly, I'd rather have the injustice to Orauta and others be highlighted than that the Libertarianz get a fleeting mention on TV.


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