Chch protesters target Parata
Sat, 22 Sep 2012 6:00p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
About 2000 people have turned up to a rally to protest proposed changes for Christchurch schools.
Last week the Government announced 13 Canterbury schools would close and 25 may be involved in mergers.
Those that attended today's rally say they haven't been consulted and they fear they'll lose the heart of their communities.
They came from all over Canterbury armed with banners, chants and slogans. The second protest over the Government's proposed school shake up drew a vocal, colourful crowd.
Organiser Wayne Hawker says he wanted today's rally to send a clear message to the Government.
“Stop,” he says. “Put your proposals on the back-burner, come to the table, sit down, and let us open a meaningful dialogue that we can all understand.”
Ann-Marie Garden is the principal of a school that faces amalgamation. She was one of the many who took to the stage to address the crowd.
“We will fight because our unique communities are worth fighting for,” says Ms Garden.
Even students whose schools face closure had their say.
“I don't want our school to close because we've just had new fences put around our school and it’s just been painted and the walls have just been done as well,” says student Jessica McMillan of Greenpark School.
Mr Hawker had a warning for the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata: today's protest won't be the last.
“This is just the beginning,” he says. “Look out Hekia. If you do not listen now it is going to grow.”
Organisers say they plan to march down one of Christchurch’s main streets in a few weeks’ time if the changes they're calling for haven't been made.
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25/09/2012 6:23:01 a.m.
Some years back, the Labour party did just this down Dunedin way and not alot was said. What is the difference here? Oh, it's the National Party and school teachers are Labour party leaning, if anything, the teachers make the Labour party look more right wing.
I also suggest that the teachers stop winding up school children on this and get back to what they should be doing and that is teaching. Watching some of the interviews with children, they seem to have been very well schooled in what to say to the media!
24/09/2012 10:10:30 p.m.
The media tell us 4500 school age children have left Christchurch and around 10,000 have left the east side of the city. Obviously some re-arrangement of the schools and their buildings is required. It is prudent if you are re-assessing on this scale to review the entire schooling situation in Christchurch and its environs. If the Ministry did not do this and took no measures to prepare for future demographic change then they would be quite legitimately accuse of being short sighted. They do the prudent thing and they are accused of being arrogant. This is a consultation position according to the media. It is easier to debate a concrete proposal than some nebulous idea. People of Christchurch now have an opportunity to have their say about a definite proposal and instead of throwing their hands up in the air in horror they would be better to calmly and dispassionately go through the proposal and logically test all the options. We need a definite proposal to consider because we Christchurch people are great at arguing and bitching ad nauseum and never arriving at a final decision. If left to Chch people to debate and come up with a plan to deal wth the change in student demographics it might be finalised about 2025. The changes need to be made in the next couple of years, not when the present students sending their children to school. receiving
23/09/2012 11:05:33 a.m.
so tv3 how about educating Nz on some of these schools that people are protesting to keep open. One highschool has 9 classrooms that cannot be fixed, and only 5 classrooms that can be used, yet the media is hyping people up to believe these schools have nothing wrong with them. they are a danger zone and people will die in them if the public do not understand the dangers of them.
22/09/2012 9:18:15 p.m.
Mrs J wrote:
I will march too. This is wrong on so many levels that I can not just sit back and see what happens.
22/09/2012 8:07:44 p.m.
jimmy jammage doin no damage wrote:
look past hekia an see who really is at fault-dead eyes KEY is pushing the buttons Hekia is just a convenient fall person, someone to shout at while the prancing pony stays untouched.
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