By: Sam Hurley

Hato Petera College in Northcote was housing some 30 students in its hostel from the Auckland University of Technology despite the boarding facilities being closed to college students late last year.

AUT’s north campus is located just across the road on Akoranga Drive.

The Catholic Diocese of Auckland wanted these students removed. However, an application for an interim injunction was filed in the High Court at Auckland by Hato Petera to prevent the eviction.

Today at the High Court the two parties came to an agreement before Justice Patricia Courtney.

Counsel for the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, Michael Robinson, said the occupants of the boarding facilities were there on an agreement with the co-ed college, but will now have seven days to vacate the hostel.

There were also issues with the fitness of the boarding facilities and potential fire risks, the court heard.

The boarding facilities were to be vacated and possession of the property delivered to the Catholic Church, the court heard.

A further hearing has been scheduled later this year between the Church and a third party.

Housing and family support provider De Paul House had also signed a two-year lease with the church allowing it to house homeless at the hostel, which had angered some in the Hato Petera community, Radio New Zealand previously reported.

The Herald has previously reported on several issues at the school, including the roll falling below 100, dilapidated buildings, bullying, infighting and a lack of confidence from the church.

Last year the boarding facilities were closed for college students and boarding is no longer offered.

This year the college has been operating for day students only, with a small staff and just 25 students enrolled to start 2017.

The college’s history began in 1850, when more than 141ha in Northcote was entrusted to the Catholic Church for Maori education and the poor.

The school has had various names during its history, including St Marys Industrial School for Maori Boys and St Peters Maori College, before it changed its name to Hato Petera in 1972.

Among its past pupils are Dr Ranginui Walker, the late emeritus professor of Maori studies at Auckland University, All Black Walter Little, the late artist Ralph Hotere, ONZ, and former New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan.

Source: NZ Herald


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