Fundraiser dries up

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By ROSE CAW­LEY

THE pesky Queens­land fruit fly is caus­ing a swarm of trou­ble for two Auck­land schools.

West­ern Springs Col­lege and Pasadena In­ter­me­di­ate rely on the an­nual Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val as a ma­jor fundraiser.

But the event has to move to Manukau be­cause of re­stric­tions on fruit move­ment and that ex­tra money has been lost.

The Maori im­mer­sion unit at West­ern Springs Col­lege usu­ally raises about $25,000 by of­fer­ing park­ing to fes­ti­val­go­ers.

Board of trustees mem­ber Tracey Watkin­son says pro­ceeds ‘‘en­abled the unit to ex­ist’’.

‘‘To sur­vive as the last bas­tion of full im­mer­sion in cen­tral Auck­land we need the money we get from the com­mu­nity fundrais­ing.

‘‘All that money goes into the school. It goes to­wards things like buy­ing com­put­ers or lap­tops, or as­sist­ing kids to go on na­tional trips.’’

The unit has been do­ing the park­ing fundraiser for more than 10 years, she says.

West­ern Springs stu­dents usu­ally star on the Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val stage but that won’t hap­pen this year.

‘‘We were sched­uled to per­form on the Maori stage. We can’t af­ford to do that now. We just don’t have a bud­get for a bus and we can’t charge the kids for that.’’

ATEED says Hay­man Park is ‘‘ a new tem­po­rary home’’ for the event and Watkin­son says the col­lege is look­ing for­ward to the event re­turn­ing to West­ern Springs.

‘‘This is the last event left in cen­tral Auck­land that has a Pa­cific flavour to it.

‘‘It is lovely to have that, to have some­thing that cel­e­brates the Maori and Pa­cific Is­land cul­tures con­sid­er­ing the his­tory of Pon­sonby, Grey Lynn and Arch Hill.’’

Pasadena In­ter­me­di­ate board of trustees chair­man Martin Wright says his school also used fes­ti­val park­ing as a fundraiser and los­ing it is a ‘‘kick in the guts’’.

The school would have made about $14,000 from the fundraiser, he says.

The decile 8 school re­lies heav­ily on fundrais­ing to make up the dif­fer­ence be­tween what the Gov­ern­ment gives them and the cost of a qual­ity New Zealand ed­u­ca­tion.

Prin­ci­pal Jonathan Hughes says it is go­ing to take some cre­ative think­ing to make up that money.

‘‘The dif­fer­ence be­tween fund- rais­ing for pri­mary schools and in­ter­me­di­ates is that his­tor­i­cally we don’t have fairs and that sort of thing to raise money.

‘‘But we aren’t just go­ing to roll over and die and say: ‘Oh well the money is gone’, we have to find it in other places.

‘‘We won’t go with­out be­cause we are a tight com­mu­nity who will work hard to make things work,’’ Hughes says.

‘‘Hope­fully it will come back be­cause, fundrais­ing aside, it is a great com­mu­nity event for the lo­cal area.

‘‘It brings a lot cul­tures to­gether.’’

of peo­ple and

Photo: ROSE CAW­LEY

Big loss: Stu­dents from the Maori im­mer­sion unit at West­ern Springs Col­lege, from left: Ngatau Leaf, Awa­tea Wi­hongi, Ti­ak­ina Te Kare, Isaia Te Kare and Tyler Rhyse. The unit usu­ally raises about $25,000 from fundrais­ing at the Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val.

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