Home' Auckland City Harbour News : March 13th 2013 Contents www.aucklandcityharbournews.co.nz
6 AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, MARCH 13, 2013
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Thank you to supporters of our
quest to change the Mt Albert
Grammar School zone to include
the small part of Mt Albert which is
not in zone.
After many hours of community
volunteer work preparing a
submission, myself and five other
passionate community members
presented the submission to the Mt
Albert Grammar School Board of
Trustees meeting on March 28,
We received a favourable
response from the board,
suggesting they had some prep
work to do (shrinking their out of
zone intake and building extra
classrooms), before this could be a
reality but were positive and
suggested aiming for a 2014
Recently I followed this up to see
how their prep ideas were going.
I was told it had never gone any
further than the meeting and
hadn t even been mentioned at
their their yearly zone review with
the Ministry of Education because
they were concerned with
If overcrowding is a concern, why
do they continue to run open
evenings for out of zoners and why
has yet another enrolment priority
MAGS seem to have lost sight of
being a local school and prefer to
hand pick from further afield.
The school s lack of
communication regarding this
matter has been very
This was certainly far from the
image portrayed on presentation
Given the school s high calibre,
surely it would have been common
courtesy to inform us of their
apparent change of heart.
Do not give up!
We can have another go before
the next zone review in early 2015.
Mt Albert Grammar School
headmaster Dale Burden replies:
I completely sympathise with
Mrs Nash s situation and I can
completely understand why she
and her supporters want to have
their streets included in the MAGS
Mrs Nash and her supporters
gave a very good presentation to
our board of trustees and it was
An undertaking was made to
look into the matter further and I
did say that, until such time, we
could safely accommodate more
students we could not increase the
This has been fully supported by
the Ministry of Education.
For Mrs Nash to say that we
have not looked into the matter is
The ministry official responsible
is well aware of their request and
the reasons why that, at this stage,
it is not possible to grant their
Mrs Nash states that we run
open evenings for out of zone
students . This is not correct.
We have not had an open
evening for five years. We hold
information evenings for our
contributing intermediate schools.
Local intermediate schools
supply us with approximately 85
per cent of our new students.
The rest are mostly either
siblings of existing students,
boarders in school house,
international students or the over
100 students that arrive annually
into our zone from schools all over
Mrs Nash accuses us of hand
picking students from further
afield . Apart from the 100 boys in
the boarding hostel and the
hundred or so international
students this is not correct.
Even if the school had good
reason for wanting to increase its
zone the Ministry of Education
official has told us that they will
not allow us to do so.
The reasons for this are very
clear and lie in the current and
future demographics of Central
Auckland, the Auckland city plan
and the unpredictable nature of
internal and external migration.
We have considered the request
very seriously. However, we need
to be mindful that any changes
need to be strategic and future-
proofed and not a quick short-term
fix. It is our view that it is better to
maintain what we currently have
knowing that student numbers will
grow than to be forced in the future
to shrink our zone in a knee-jerk
reaction to unplanned
City lacks a heart
With all the plans being considered
for revitalising the central city in
Auckland, there remains the issue
of the central city lacking a heart, a
In recent decades the central city
has changed significantly from the
memories and attractions that once
drew many people and families into
the city from all over Auckland.
One of these attractions for
decades for families was travelling
in by train and bus to the Farmers
Trading Company s iconic store in
Hobson St, the largest department
store in the country.
With the likely redevelopment of
the Downtown shopping centre site
in conjunction with the proposed
City Rail Link project,
consideration should be given to
building a replica of the original
Farmers store building on the
downtown site, complete with
Doing this would provide the
central city with a distinctly Kiwi
icon which will attract people and
families back into the city, in a
much easier to access location
opposite Britomart. ISAAC BROOME
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