Hukarere and Te Aute Colleges can look forward to a more secure future.
New funding through the St John’s College Trust Board has enabled the Te Aute Trust Board to repay $9.2 million of debt to the Bank of New Zealand..
Te Aute’s chair, Stephen Jacobi, said repayment of the debt, incurred on the Trust’s farming operations, would remove the severe interest burden on the colleges.
“The repayment means the Te Aute trustees again have full control over the Trust’s assets,” he added.
“Acting on the clear mandate given to us by Te Runanganui o Te Pihopatanga, as the governing body for tikanga Maori in the church, we can now strengthen the special character of these schools as unambiguously Anglican and unambiguously Maori”.
Mr Maui Tangohau, trustee and chair of the Proprietors’ Board, said progress at the schools was already visible with a focus on better boarding and learning facilities.
“The removal of the debt burden will further assist the schools to concentrate on education initiatives and to develop the best possible learning environment for our rangatahi”.
Mr Robin Hape and Mr James Graham have been appointed as honorary mana whenua advisers to the Te Aute Trust Board, representing Ngāi Te Whatuiāpiti hapu, which originally gave the land for Te Aute in 1853.
“Our tupuna had the foresight to provide for the financial security of these schools but their future has been in doubt in recent years,” Mr Hape said.
“With the church now coming to support the schools through the St John’s College Trust Board, the future looks very bright indeed.”