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Dunedin primary school pupils have been left disappointed after a police-organised trip to the Central Otago Rail Trail was scrapped at the last minute because of a lack of funding.
Dozens of Bathgate Park School pupils have been going to school at 7am, twice a week for the past eight weeks, to take part in the Rangatahi Fitness Leadership Programme.
The initiative is a programme for year 7 and 8 pupils that aims to build positive relationships with police through physical training and mentoring.
But one parent said police had dropped the ball by promising pupils a trip to the rail trail, and then cancelling on the final day of the programme.
Tania Petrie said her son was "really disappointed".
"He was really excited."
She thought the programme itself was good and should continue.
"I just don’t think they should have dangled this big promise and then pulled out."
Programme co-ordinator Senior Constable Toni Wall said this year’s programme had been a "huge success", with four schools and about 50 pupils taking part.
"Unfortunately, a three-day trip planned for the end of the programme has had to be cancelled this year due to a lack of available funding.
"Police apologise for any miscommunication in parents being informed of this."
The programme was funded by the Blue Light charity, not New Zealand Police, she said.
"Police are sincerely disappointed that the trip has not been able to take place this year. However, this year’s programme has been hugely rewarding for the officers involved and we hope for the tamariki involved too."
The programme would continue next year, and police would be looking into fundraising and sponsorship options for programme activities, she said.
Bathgate Park School principal Katrina Robertson said she was "saddened" by the cancellation.
"It was a nice way to tie up and have a link to the learning that had happened through the school setting.
"It is disappointing to hear the funding wasn’t available."