Discord among those governing Wanaka Primary School has
reached an ''impasse'', the Ministry of Education
representative tasked with ironing out issues at the school
Dunedin business director Cleave Hay was appointed by the
ministry on January 10 as limited statutory manager (LSM) for
the school at the request of the board of trustees, after
governance problems arose towards the end of last year.
A recent letter to parents from the school's board announcing
Mr Hay's appointment referred to ''challenges'' and
''difficulties'' faced by the board, but gave no further
Mr Hay said the relationships at governance level had ''come
to an impasse'', requiring someone objective to step in.
''I'm not saying they're dysfunctional at the moment, but
there's certainly room for improvement. Interventions don't
happen lightly - you've got to get to a point where things
aren't working to an extent where it needs someone
The ministry said this week Wendy Bamford's school principal
role was not affected by Mr Hay's appointment. As principal,
Dr Bamford is also a trustee and chief executive of the
Asked if there was a clash between board members and Dr
Bamford, Mr Hay said: ''The relationships aren't wonderful at
the board table, but there's no specific issues with the
Mr Hay would not confirm if the relationship breakdown had
stemmed from the school's handling of parent complaints,
which former board chairman Richard Cubie cited as his reason
for resigning from his role in December. Determining the
nature of those complaints and the board's response to them
would be part of Mr Hay's job.
''Ultimately, it comes down to did the board follow the right
processes in these cases?''There had been ''quite a change''
in the board's members following elections last May.
''And in some cases, from what I do know, it [the issues] was
prior to the current trustees.''
Mr Hay starts as LSM at the school next Monday and will work
up to 40 hours in the role in the first month.
He would report to the ministry by February 16 with an action
plan and timeline for addressing issues identified.
From then, he would spend up to 20 hours a month in the role.
Several board members declined to comment when contacted