Hitman Hipkins gets his first confirmed kill: a Māori partnership school in Taupo

Hitman: Education Minister Chris Hipkins plans to eliminate partnership schools
Credit: Luke

Sometimes a hitman doesn’t have to openly shoot his target in public. Sometimes a hitman can do the job cleanly behind closed doors, no mess, no public fuss. It is a wise move when the hitman works for a so called “progressive” government that claim to care about Māori and Māori education but the target is a Maori partnership school. When you do a hit like that you want to keep the murder as quiet as possible. So quiet, in fact, that some might even mistake it for a suicide.

STEPH RANGI/STUFF The Blue Light Lodge at Wairakei was to have been the site of a new partnership school.

Blue Light Ventures has pulled the pin on its Māori-focused partnership school near Taupō at the last minute.

Was someone made an offer they couldn’t refuse?

Blue Light Ventures chief executive Rod Bell said the decision was made by Blue Light independently, after an initial meeting with the Ministry of Education advising of the Government’s intention to repeal the Partnership School legislation in 2018.

Independently, yeah right. That is as believable as a four-year-old Muslim girl claiming that she chooses to wear her hijab when everyone knows that her father will beat her and shave her head if she dares to take it off in public.

“We decided after much deliberation not to open and conveyed this decision to the Ministry early on,” Bell said.

“This has enabled Blue Light and the Ministry to work together to provide case-by-case support to the 23 students, and their families, who had registered an interest in attending the school, to ensure they have alternative arrangements for 2018.”

Let me guess. The deal was something like, don’t put up a fuss and go quietly so that your students will have time to find an alternative and won’t be left high and dry, and then we will look at what we can do for you.

Bell said Blue Light and the Ministry have agreed to continue to discuss the contract position, following Blue Light’s decision not to open the school.

“These discussions have only just begun and we have agreed they will be conducted in confidence.”

The requirement for secrecy, the total lack of transparency, is very worrying. I suspect that the school will find they have been duped and that this is just a delaying tactic. By the time they realise that there is no pathway forward it will be too late and Hitman Hipkins will be already shovelling the last lot of dirt on their metaphorical coffin when they realise that they were dead before the discussions even started.

dirt on the coffin gif

MP for Taupō Louise Upston said she thought the Blue Light Partnership School was a great idea and she would be disappointed if it did not go ahead.

[…] Labor candidate for the Rotorua electorate and Waiariki Māori electorate, Tamati Coffey, said he was opposed to partnership schools, but hoped the school could quickly find alternative arrangements for the students.

[…] National party spokesperson for Education Nikki Kaye [said]

“I think it’s sad that the school will not proceed. Blue Light is a great organisation which has helped lots of young people across New Zealand.

“The partnership schools have an overall good track record of lifting achievement and helping children with complex needs.

“It’s clear to me a number of partnership schools are being put in very difficult positions due to the Government’s decision to repeal the partnership schools legislation. Some schools are choosing to not open or to close due to uncertainty about the future of their school or the limited options being put to them.[…]

-Stuff


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