School protest at opening

By Anna Rushworth

Bob Harvey, left, greets protester Phil Goff. Photo / Doug Sherring
Bob Harvey, left, greets protester Phil Goff. Photo / Doug Sherring

Protesters greeted Mayor John Banks at the opening of the Wallace Arts Trust in Auckland yesterday.

Friends of Monte are opposed to the expansion of Monte Cecilia Park, which will see Monte Cecilia School demolished and rebuilt 3km along Hillsborough Rd.

Labour leader Phil Goff was among the protesters.

Friends of Monte member Anne Nicholson said they supported the park and gallery but didn't want the school to be moved.

"We're not against the gallery, we're not against the park, we just don't believe it needs to be any bigger.

"We're not being greedy, we just want to maintain our little patch." The school was opened by the Sisters of Mercy in 1913. It will be demolished in 2016 and a new $15 million school built on its new site so the Monte Cecilia Park can have a better frontage to Hillsborough Rd.

The park includes the renovated Pah Homestead that will house the extensive art collection of the James Wallace Arts Trust estimated to be worth $50 million.

Nicholson is a past pupil of the school and has three children there.

She said the Friends of Monte felt the process to remove the school had been rushed and they had not been properly consulted.

"We're not happy with the way we're being treated."

Banks said the school had to be moved because "the buildings have become a dump". Most parents supported the new school.

- Herald on Sunday

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