Home' Christchurch Mail : September 20th 2012 Contents 5
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
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School fusion will hurt communities
When the news filtered through
that the Government had pro-
posed to merge schools to reform
education, I was shocked and dis-
mayed. I feared the worst for
schools and their communities.
I asked myself, What will these
proposals do to our communities?''
The very fabric of many com-
munities is focused around their
schools. I have lived in the
Phillipstown community for 32
years and have been involved with
our school for the past 22 years.
Like many, I have worked for
and watched this community
grow, to the point where neigh-
bours no longer ignore each other,
where people are prepared to lend
a helping hand in times of need.
This is where friendships are
formed with children and parents,
where we have respect for our-
selves and those around us, where
we have developed a safe happy
environment for our children.
This is a community where we
are able to send children to a
warm inviting place for an edu-
cation to help them develop and
grow, and in turn be proud of
what they achieve in life.
All of this starts in these schools
and communities which are now
under serious threat.
If education was a fast food ser-
vice they would be coming down
on us, telling us upsizing is bad
for your health and wellbeing. Yet
this is exactly what the Ministry
of Education wants to do.
Upsizing will be detrimental to
the wellbeing of not only our chil-
dren, but also our communities --
some who may lose their identity
as their school gets swallowed up
in a merger.
What will that do for your com-
munity? How will you feel to lose
that sense of identity that you
have with your school?
Many schools, including Phillip-
stown, will tell you they are mak-
ing a difference in children's lives.
Our young are achieving -- this
can, in some part, be put down to
smaller schools and class sizes.
These proposals could impact on
your child's ability to achieve.
Many children thrive in smaller
classes with more teaching time
available to individual students.
I know how I feel, which is why
I have organised a rally this Sat-
urday at noon at the Hagley net-
Wayne Hawker is a long-time
community activist who has
worked tirelessly to reduce liquor
outlets in his neighbourhood and
improve local schools.
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Re the shooting accident on the
Waimakariri river bed (Mail,
September 6). I disagree with Senior
Constable Pitkethley that the lads
did everything correctly.
As an 83-year-old who did my
share of deer stalking in my younger
days, they didn't observe one of the
first rules -- don't point a rifle at
anybody, at any time or
Secondly, I question if the rifle
wasn't loaded before the lad started
to exit the car.
If it wasn't the lad should have
waited till he was on his two feet
Unless the rifle was faulty, the
only way the rifle could fire was for
the trigger to be pulled or knocked.
Once again, very poor handling of
a firearm. Maybe the senior
constable should do a firearms
L T Sparks
It was heartening to read about the
rescue of the sheep and two lambs
stranded on the cliff face (Mail,
September 13) but sad to think that,
after this painstaking rescue, they
will now meet a far more terrifying
and ghastly fate in the
I applaud the move by rugby star
Andy Ellis to honour his former
Burnside High School.
The donation of one of his World
Cup All Black jerseys, also his
possible instigation of an earthquake
memorial garden at the school,
reflects on the community-based
persona of this revered sporting star.
Having achieved under-21,
Crusaders, Super 14, Bledisloe Cup,
Barbarians and junior All Blacks
status reflects on the sporting and
motivated excellence of Andy Ellis.
As a talented landscape gardener
and designer, Andy has, in
amalgamation with business
associate Danny Kamo, achieved two
prestigious awards at the Ellerslie
Flower Show and one at the
Singapore Gold Garden Festival
Within this context it is befitting
that Andy design the bequeathed
memorial at his former school, in
remembrance of students having
died through earthquake
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