Whanganui High School says it will now allow all of its students to hear Joseph Parker give a talk at the school in two weeks' time.

The school had initially planned for it to be a closed session with just Māori and Pasifika boys and Parker threatened to pull the plug, saying he wasn't consulted on the decision to exclude some students.

In a statement the school's principal, Martin McAllen, said an itinerary for Parker's visit was presented to their Board of Trustees' meeting last Saturday.

"At this meeting, we were under the impression that the itinerary for Joseph Parker's visit had been co-constructed with the knowledge of Joseph and his team," McAllen said.


"This impression is now clearly incorrect and we apologise for the misunderstanding that has been created.

"Our entire school of 1500 students and 150 staff members are looking forward to having this wonderful opportunity to meet Joseph Parker on Tuesday, 21 August."

The school has not responded to questions as to how it will accommodate all of its students and staff in one place. In an interview on Monday
Board of Trustees member Piri Cribb said it wasn't possible to co-ordinate everyone in the short time they had.

"At a school like Whanganui High School ... trying to mobilise 1500 students for one hour and 45 minutes is very, very difficult.

"It's been whittled down because Māori and Pacific Island boys are the least engaged in our education system," Cribb said.

Cribb wouldn't comment yesterday deferring any questions to the school's principal and chairman of the Board of Trustees, Randal Southee.

Joseph Parker has made it clear he would only visit as long as it included all students who wanted to attend.

"I've done visits for schools and community groups and I can see where they're coming from," Parker said at a press conference in Auckland yesterday after returning from fighting Dillian Whyte in London recently.

"If we go down to see the kids we'd like to see everyone just because some of them might be aspiring to be a boxer or might be motivated from something I might be able to say. I feel like everyone should be involved.

"I see where both sides are coming from and I feel like everyone should be involved but that's my own opinion. They're just trying to target that kind of group but for us if we go down and talk to them we want to talk to everyone involved and everyone that wants to participate."

Parker is promoted by Duco Events and its director, David Higgins, spoke with Whanganui High School's principal, Martin McAllen, on Monday afternoon.

"We very quickly cleared up any misunderstandings around Joseph Parker's planned visit to the school and both parties are now on the same page.

"We've expressed that we would like a more inclusive event [than] was originally proposed and the school is very much open to that. We now look forward to firming up the details of Joseph's visit to the school - which is something he is very much looking forward to."

Higgins was also at the press conference and said part of the reason it was unfair was that Parker may only visit the region once in a decade.

"For that reason I think it should be inclusive," he said.

"Because Joseph is a household name ... it gives the media an opportunity to really blow it up and so we have to be careful to be seen as equal opportunity and inclusive of everyone.

"The Māori and Pasifika children can be there anyway so what does it matter? Why not have everyone in it together? Get the whole school assembly together, that way everyone can benefit."