Changes inevitable in wake of decile change
He was drenched in kerosene and threatened with a lighter but dairy owner Dev Patal refused to give up his hard-earned cash.
Earlier this month Patal won a battle against a robber who entered the Kelso Street Superette and Lotto demanding money.
It was just after 6pm on a Saturday night and the shop was quiet.
Patal was discussing the Mobil Aotea robbery from the previous night with his brother-in-law.
‘‘I told him to be careful of new faces.’’
All of a sudden a hooded man with a bandanna over his face ran into the store.
Before Patal knew it, the pair of shopkeepers were both soiled in about two litres of kerosene.
But being a ‘‘fighter’’ from his life in India he was not ready to give in.
‘‘I went over and grabbed my tomahawk . . . I tried to hit him ... and my brother- in- law punched him.’’
Lollies and chip packets were flying around as the three fought it out in a minute-long scuffle.
‘‘ Then he was laying on the ground and I held his arm and he held his neck.’’
While waiting for police to arrive, members of the public had walked in on the altercation.
One man had stopped on his travels after Patal’s wife called for help.
‘‘He said, ‘what can I do’, I said ‘hold his legs’,’’ Patal said.
He recalled the man begging to be let go with tears streaming down his face.
‘‘If I let him go, he can hurt again.’’
In the three years the couple has owned the dairy there had been one other attempted robbery.
But the culprits seem hardpressed to escape Patal who is not afraid to fight for his rights.
‘‘We are working 365 days of the year, we have no social life, it’s hard to pay my loan off . . . we have no kids. How can I afford to give money away when I can’t afford kids?’’
Patal hoped to see the man put away.
‘‘If he gets off I’ll hire a lawyer . . . He tried to kill us, how can I leave him alone?’’
The culprit has since made an appearance in the Tokoroa District Court and is set to appear again next month on the charge of robbery.
He is currently being assessed in the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre. New decile ratings have sparked mixed interest from South Waikato principals as big money is being cut or added to budgets as a result.
Schools that have moved to a lower rating will have an increase in funding, while those that have gone higher face a reduction over 18 months.
The Ministry has revealed about a third of 2406 schools will be better off, another third will have to tighten their belts and the remainder will be unaffected.
Tokoroa North School principal Stephen Blair said the $70,000 increase his school will receive has been a long time coming.
The school, with a roll of 495, dropped three decile ratings from 4J to 3G (each rating has three levels within it), taking their annual Target Funding for Educational Achievement per student from $179.16 to $343.38.
Blair, who is is coming up on 20 years as principal, said the increased funding is an accurate reflection of the struggles faced by the community.
‘‘Equity is about children getting what they need, not about everyone getting the same.’’
He said the rating system was ‘‘ fair’’ and those facing cuts needed to accept it just as North School did after the 2007 census.
‘‘ Seven years ago our decile rating went up and we lost $40,000 overnight, literally.’’
He said they never challenged the drop until two years ago, after the 2011 census was missed.
‘‘ Cancelling that last census was bad news.
‘‘Some of the cries from schools that went up were just because seven years is a long time,’’ he said.
The school is looking at three main areas to invest the extra funding including the provision of information technology, further subsidising school trips and camps and special needs resources.
Meanwhile, schools such as Te Wharekura o Te Kaokaoroa o Patetere are facing cuts.
Principal Keith Silveira said his school will lose about 10 per cent of its decile funding after its rating increased from 1 to 2.
‘‘ I’m not sure whether our board will challenge that, however we see it as an indication that a large number of our parents are in employment and real estate within our school zone has gone up in value.’’
He saw it as a ‘‘positive’’ result for the South Waikato and Putaruru in particular.
Putaruru College is facing a $17,000 budget cut after moving from a decile 3 rating to 4 but principal Mike Ronke said the school will challenge the change.
‘‘We haven’t see any appreciable change in the community of our kids.’’
He said moving to a decile rating of 4 will likely threaten the school’s access to some of the resources they were entitled to as a decile 1 to 3 school.
By tomorrow all schools should have had an indication of the changes to their rating.
BUDGET INCREASE: Tokoroa North School principal Stephen Blair said his school will receive an extra $70,000 per year after dropping one full decile rating.