The chief ombudsman found that the Ministry of Education had taken a small farm that was used for agricultural lessons.
Locals have won an apology but the form cannot be returned.
Citizens joined forces to buy. 13 hectare block At a cheaper price than a local farmer, three decades ago hundreds of sheep and cattle were put on it, and it has been central to the curriculum ever since.
But despite the city’s protests many years ago, the ministry first took it, then scrapped it.
Judge Peter Bushehr said it was “unreasonable” – and that the ministry knew the school expected to keep the form.
Records show that the ministry threatened locals who tried to establish a. Trust ownership. Form when the college closed in 2004.
Busheer said that because the school could not later prove ownership of the farm, the ministry removed it, although between 2005 and 2014 it had three opportunities to manage the school.
“Area school interests cannot and should not be properly considered,” Bushehr said. 12 page feedback.
Taipei Area School still has access to the form but cannot get it back as it has now been transferred to the contract settlement land bank.
Bushehr rejected the ministry’s claim that it did not realize the school was still using the form, saying it did not ask.
“I did not see any evidence that the ministry had suggested an inquiry.
“I think it was unreasonable that the ministry did not investigate.”
He had earlier given “clear and unambiguous” assurances that the school would retain ownership.
Instead, the school, Leakey Classrooms and a major reconstruction have lost a million dollars in assets.
The ministry says its “mistake was not to be aware of the promises” when it completed the form in 2014.
Rangitīkei National Assemblyman Ian McKelvie said he did not buy the cause.
“It is unusual for me that the Ministry of Education could not find a way to manage this when it was discovered.
“It shows the attitude of the ministry from the beginning.”
Numerous attempts at intervention. Through MacTV, the Board of Trustees, and then Education Minister Trevor Mallard.
The ombudsman launched an investigation last year after the board of trustees filed a complaint alleging a 17-year standoff with bureaucrats.
The new principal, Craig Dredge, emphasized that children can still learn on the farm. He said he would work to get the results published locally.
The board of trustees apologized to the ministry on Monday.
“We have not yet had a chance to discuss the board’s point of view,” Board Chairman Shri Chase said in a statement.
“It was important for the school board that we reviewed the matter independently and thanked the ombudsman for the results.”
The ombudsman asked the ministry to pledge support for the school’s agricultural programs.
McKelvey said access to Form 13 is not guaranteed because its future depends on the incomplete implementation of contract claims, so the ministry should ensure that lessons continue on the form.
“I’m not sure if it’s cash or this type.”
The ministry has not commented on the compensation.
Andy Law, three former principals and former board chair, has previously said he sees the story as bureaucrats riding motorcycles, engaging in double-talk.
He described the lack of assistance from high-ranking officials in trying to discuss the unfamiliar process of securing farm ownership.
Bushir called on the ministry to change its approach so that it does not happen again.
“I would expect the ministry to make formal arrangements with the board to ensure that the use of the area school form is ensured and protected,” he said.
The Ministry conducted an internal review which RNZ has requested to be reviewed.
He told Bushehr that he had “strong practices and ways of keeping records” but that he would review them.
“If this kind of situation arises again in the future, we will handle it differently and make sure there is more complete checks and balances,” he said.
School property is usually owned by the ministry.
In this case, however, the college owned the farmland, and when it closed the land went to the ministry.
Busher said ministry documents from 2005 indicated the form was not to be discarded.
But instead of reassigning the form to the new area school for educational use, the ministry declared it a surplus and handed it over to Land Information New Zealand, which bankified the land in 2015-16.
later on Trying to make it a “non-land bank”. Hit a brick wall, the government removed it earlier this year.