Judicial Review - Public Enquiry required of MoE intervention at Rangiora High School

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The Employment Relations Authority in 2017 found that the Commissioner appointed by the Ministry of Education to Rangiora High School had unjustifiably dismissed the Principal. The Principal had an unblemished career of 38 years and had successfully been leading Rangiora High School for 13 years bringing benefit to thousands of students, the school and the community.  No wrong doing worthy of such an outcome was proven. Removal of a Principal in this manner does not appear an isolated incident. The outcome was detrimental to the Principal, their family, the school and the community and will scar it for generations to come.

After such success, the Principal was not allowed or invited to say farewell to the beloved school, its staff or the students.

In the year prior to the Commissioner's engagement, the same Deputy Secretary responsible for instructing the then Minister for Education to dissolve the Board at Rangiora High had chaired a Working Group and produced a report for the Ministry titled; "Review of Statutory Interventions in State Schools and State Integrated Schools" which within stated; "Whilst Ministry staff felt that there was currently no process in place to guide them about how to review and manage the performance of appointees, conversely appointees felt that they had nowhere to go if they had complaints about any part of the Ministry's monitoring process."

Our opinion is that the process of the intervention was flawed.

Members of the local community believe it is in the public interest that a Judicial Review or Public Inquiry be initiated into the Special Advisor (Employment) report on the grounds that the report:

1. Does not reflect a robust and transparent process;
2. Does not meet the standard required under any measure of planning and reporting required by the Ministry of Education;
3. Did not follow the process of natural justice;
4. Was biased and unbalanced;
5. Was not provided to the Board who commissioned and paid for its preparation;
6. Was instrumental in misleading a Minister of the Crown.

We are now calling for the new Minister to instruct a Judicial Review / Public Enquiry into the matter.



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