School angry boarding house used as shelter for homeless

Members of the Hato Petera College community are angry the Catholic Diocese of Auckland has allowed their boarding hostel to be occupied by the homeless.

The church closed the hostel to college students last year, and the Catholic Maori high school is still fighting to get its boarding facility back.

Housing and family support provider De Paul House has signed a two-year lease with the Catholic Church to house the homeless at the boarding facility.

But there are currently 30 tertiary students from the Auckland University of Technology using the hostel in Northcote.

Te Whanau o Hato Petera Trust chair Rudy Taylor said these students were being evicted just like the Hato Petera College students were last year.

He said they had no choice but to file an injunction to stop the church.

“The church does not support the future of Hato Petera despite parents and the community supporting it to stay open — they have taken that on board to say, ‘we don’t need education anymore’.

“I think it is time for us to say, ‘sit down and talk, or let’s go to court and argue those issues’.”

Puti May-Louise Isaacs — a Year 13 student at Hato Petera and former boarder — said he thought the church had given up on the school, which was struggling to retain staff as its roll plummets.

“They said that it wasn’t a liveable area but they have homeless kids living in there so I don’t understand that.”

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