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10/04/2009 Tenaa koutou katoa, Aorangi Primary School, Bryndwr, Christchurch, Aotearoa/New Zealand Ko ngaa mihi mahana ki a koutou, I am writing on behalf of the Aorangi School Board of Trustees (BOT) to ask for your support for a collective effort to mobilise the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Ministry of Education (MoE) to speed up the reconstruction of our school. Our school has a unique history and a strong commitment to the provision of quality education based on four foundations: community, innovative curriculum, inclusivity and multiculturalism. We also offer opportunities for bilingual (Maori-English) education. We have around 90 children on our roll from families from a wide variety of socio- economic and cultural backgrounds. Our families identify as Maori (41%), Malaysian (8%), Bhutanese (7%), Afghani (7%), Pasifika (6%) and NZ European (24%). Other nationalities represented in our school community include Korean, Egyptian, Fijian, Chinese, Brazilian and German families. Around 12% of our families have refugee status. Our Prime Minister John Key is one of our former students. Aorangi school was chosen to host Princess Anne in 2008 and has recently developed a nurture classroom and a bilingual unit. We truly believe our children deserve the best and that, as a school community, we deserve to be treated with respect by the MoE. Aorangi school was poorly constructed at the time it was built in 1959. In 2006, major degradation was discovered in the timber framing. One block had to be urgently decommissioned in February 2008 and the entire school needs to be rebuilt. The existing main block requires regular mould testing, propping and external struts, and is quickly deteriorating. The relocatables provided by the MoE are aged, in poor condition and need urgent repair. We have a fenced demolition site and Portacom toilets on the school grounds. Last winter it was impossible to heat the school adequately because the MoE took over 7 months to approve a power upgrade. Temperatures in the classrooms at 9 am were as low as 10 degrees despite all the heating we could manage without tripping the fuses. We now have heat pumps approved but no funding for repairs or strategies such as insulation to reduce heat loss. The BOT has done its utmost to address health and safety. The school community helped design a plan for a '21st century school' in 2007, which was initially approved by the MoE. At the end of 2008, the MoE forced the school to review this plan because it was $373,000 over budget. However, at the moment the MoE is reviewing the whole project. The review has already taken over two and a half months, with no end in sight. We cannot rebuild until the review is completed and our children will spend another winter in highly substandard buildings. Health and safety experts such as OSH tell us the best solution is to rebuild immediately, but this has not shifted the Ministry's position. The roll has dropped, we have consequently lost resourcing and the BOT is now threatened with legal action for unpaid fees due to delays. Therefore, we would really appreciate it if you could express your support to our efforts in mobilising the MoE to do justice to the school. This is how you could help: 1. sign our online petition; 2. write a letter to the MoE (please use our template); 3. write a letter to a local newspaper; 4. join our community in one of our demonstrations; 5. listen to our rap on youtube; 6. spread the word; 7. all of the above! The BOT, the students, the parents and the community are very grateful for your support! Kia ora, koutou katoa Naaku noa, naa. Greg Thompson Chairperson, Aorangi School Board of Trustees)


Aorangi School Community


Aorangi School Website 'Mr Key, you're our man!' Rap
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