Havelock North Community Needs to Demand Answers

Every parent has a right to stand up for their children's education.

As a member of the Havelock North primary school community, I am one of more than 200 supporters who have already signed up to the School For Havelock North community campaign.

I am absolutely going to do all I can to help address a growing education crisis. One that has been caused by the Government, made without consultation, which has left Havelock North with nowhere to build a new primary school, to meet local needs and remove pressure of existing school rolls.

What I am focused on is getting answers for the Havelock North community, that is where I can help and that is what I am delivering.

I believe it is absolutely critical that all parents know what the future landscape will look like for their children's education. But what has become very, very clear is that this will only happen for Havelock North if the community works together.

So it was very ill judged of local MP Craig Foss when he attempted to drag the School for Havelock North community campaign down to his own political level.

Standing up for your children's education and fighting for a new school for Havelock North is far too an important issue to be worried about what political party you voted. When people stand together we are very powerful and this is how we must always challenge government decisions that adversely impact our children, our families and our local communities.

What has become apparent is that when a government has wronged a community, things start to unhinge and we see politicians making and repeating mistakes.

The facts speak for themselves. In over 10 months Craig Foss did not correspond with the minister in charge, Hekia Parata. 
He wrote a letter last month, after he had sent out his own letter telling residents that right from the start he was keeping key decision makers informed.

This came to light when Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins, who together with members of the School for Havelock North team, was asked to help get answers for the local community.

As I have said before, I can not help it if Craig Foss has been on the hop over the Havelock North education crisis. We now know that this has been on the cards since 2013, so he cannot blame anyone but himself.

Let's focus on getting a school for Havelock North. The groundwork has been done, the rolls have grown to over the 250 pupils needed to trigger a new school when the need was first identified back in 2010. What we don't want is the Government to instead roll out its mega schools plan. This would see Havelock North with rolls of 700-plus, with big class sizes and portable classrooms.

What we do want is the Government to tell us where the new school that was promised will be built and when the work will start.
Every single one of us has a voice, and we can use it. We can hold decision makers to account, we can challenge a process that has led to an education crisis, we can ask questions and keep asking questions until we get answers.

I'm no different to any other parent with children in a school where the roll is full, who is concerned about what this will mean for class sizes and the mounting pressure teachers.

I will stand up, I do have a voice and I will use it.