What has apparently happened at Wairoa College (and the like at other schools) should never happen again

Part 1

I am calling for a parliamentary committee of inquiry to investigate what followed Chris Allen’s appointment as principal to Wairoa College in June, 2015, and alleged subsequent actions and behaviour towards him.

Chris Allen has now left New Zealand and returned to Australia having reached a confidential agreement with the ministry of education.

My initial postings on this matter can be read in the link below:


I am not writing this in communication with Chris Allen or from information released by him.

The Wairoa matter is a broad one, extending to some of the most powerful institutions in New Zealand, as a result, I am claiming whistle-blower status.

These institutions are involved:

New Zealand police

Education Council

Ministry of education (local and central)

Minister of education (Hekia Parata)

Education review office (local and central).

On the other side, Chris Allen has had the unwavering support of the mayor of Wairoa and the board of trustees.

I am making no accusations simply asking for matters to be properly investigated.

After a teacher at the school wasn’t appointed principal, it is alleged he contacted his relation Hekia Parata, minister of education, who became involved in the school in a sustained, intensive, and it seems, highhanded, way.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is: was Hekia Parata contacted by this teacher and associated group and if so, was what she did in response, ministerially correct?

A group formed around that teacher and they wrote to the minister and education review office with complaints about Chris Allen. There was mediation but the complaints were dismissed as without substance.

Two members of the complaining group left at the end of 2015. After they had gone it was found over $10,000 of agriculture gear was missing.

The person in charge of the equipment did not complete an inventory of the equipment and left without signing any exit documents. The police were notified but the teacher denied it and the police left the alleged accusation there.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is: did the police act properly?

It was also reported to the Education Council, but the previous principal said it would have been written off as consumables and the Council left it there.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is: is it believable that expensive shearing and fencing equipment would be written off as consumables and did the Education Council act properly?

The police also investigated the alleged claim but it was not regarded as a priority.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is: did the police act properly?

One of the teachers had allegedly been giving the other teacher days off supposedly to look after agriculture students but instead was hunting for game to sell to Wairoa residents. Chris Allen said he did not authorise these. The other teacher was also giving himself days off teaching which he denies.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is who is telling the truth?

The two teachers organised a trip to the Chatham Islands. Money was raised from the students. Nothing was banked in the school despite the executive officer asking the previous principal to get the teachers to bank the money into school accounts. The two organisers called it a private trip or school trip according to who they spoke to. The police were informed of the alleged misuse of money, but because the amount of money was not known, they said they would give it a low priority. A receipt book with $1000 of receipts was found but nothing happened.

The matter here is to establish if money was raised though the school in various ways and if so was it properly used?

Part 2

The education review office visit was put off by the previous principal and it came to the school in 2016 after putting it off twice.

The review was a good one but a certain attitude was demonstrated: the review officers would not look at the greatly improved student results as they had not been published by the ministry only the Qualifications Authority. How fair and common a practice is that?

The report from the review office before it left the school did not mention a limited statutory manager. This only appeared when the written report was sent to the school.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry and what follows is: was the behaviour of education review office correct, fair, and professional practice or was it corrupt?

The school received information that Hekia Parata had ordered a LSM to be put in place with the express purpose of removing Chris Allen.

This purpose was backed up by an alleged report that at a meeting in 2017 with the ministry, the LSM reported that Chris Allen was still there but wouldn’t be for much longer. The understanding was that the removal of Chris Allen was ordered at a high ministry level. The mayor of Wairoa has the same information and will swear to that person’s integrity.

When the LSM arrived it was alleged she said to Chris Allen that she wanted him gone and that the board would support Chris Allen in finding another job.

It is important to reiterate that the board is and always has been highly supportive of Chris Allen. In fact, is presently seeking redress.

In the link above there is a long posting providing considerable information by an appraiser contracted by the LSM – in the context with in which Chris Allen was working, it is an outstanding appraisal. It had no effect, however, on the determined efforts by the LSM and bureaucracies to remove him from his position. The LSM, even though she had contracted the appraiser, dismissed the appraisal as wrong. It seems matters outside Chris Allen’s performance as principal were the ones that combined to remove him.

The head of the local ministry, in all the time Chris Allen was at the school, did not once visit it.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is: was it proper and professional for the local head of the ministry in being so deeply involved in the removal of Chris Allen not to have visited the school?

There were a whole series of issues between the LSM and Chris Allen pointing to a lack of fairness and professionalism in the actions of the LSM and, given her non-education background, her lack of understanding of how schools work.

The matter here for the committee of inquiry is to investigate the whole working of the LSM process to throw light on past unfair to terrible outcomes and to improve structures and appointments for the future.

Presently, there is no principal of Wairoa College, the ministry and review office and LSM, having cut the board largely out of the process, are dithering in finding a replacement.

The question is: did Wairoa College have an effective principal only to have him removed by the improper behaviours by the bureaucracies and the minister?

This posting is not intended to be provocative only to try to ensure that the principals and teachers of New Zealand in the future are protected from unscrupulous and unprofessional action.

This entry was posted in Education Policy, Ministry of Education, Political and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What has apparently happened at Wairoa College (and the like at other schools) should never happen again

  1. kellyned says:

    Shades of Marlene Campbell and Peggy Burrows

  2. John Carrodus says:

    So Kelvin, I ask you, an LSM appointed out of the blue, an LSM with an agenda, an honest politician without conflict of interest, Ministry personnel who lack first hand experience, disgruntled folk skirting process, ERO using selective data…….and all of this happening in NZ today…really?What are the chances of this sort of thing going on? Come on! I can not believe a word of it! Next you’ll be telling us the Tooth Fairy leaves money under your pillow.

  3. John Carrodus says:

    Trouble is Winifred…it would be if we weren’t describing some third world despot regime in Africa…hang on….did I say……

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