Fundraiser dries up
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
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.