Auckland's Catholic bishop has no plans to sell troubled Hato Petera College, leased by the diocese to the school on a rolling term.
Bishop Pat Dunn returned from a fortnight in Tokelau to clarify that the diocese never intended to sell the Northcote property.
"He has become annoyed at the constantly repeated comments in the media that the diocese is going to sell the land. This has not come from us. We cannot, because it is a Crown grant for educational purposes," he said via a spokeswoman.
He also spurned a Treaty of Waitangi claim by college old boys who want 152ha of land, including the college and AUT's Northcote campus.
"He finds the Treaty ... claim is spurious, based on false information. The Crown grant was to the bishops of Auckland for the education of children from both races and from the islands of the Pacific. They seem to have the idea that it was left for Maori education, which it was not.
"There have been comments about a five-year lease from the diocese," the spokeswoman said. "It is actually a five-year rolling lease that will enable students starting in, say, 2016 to be able to complete their education in 2021.