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.]