Schools as community hubs in emergencies

The fourth edition of the Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero for 2023 was released earlier this week. To celebrate, we want to share with you a snippet from the cover article.

In late January, Auckland experienced the most severe recorded rainstorm in its history. As the water rose in Mt Roskill, two local schools became places of refuge for people who suddenly found themselves displaced.

It was the Friday night before Auckland Anniversary weekend and Lou Reddy, tumuaki of Te Kura Tuatahi O Weteri Wesley Primary School began to receive messages saying the front of his school was flooded and houses around the school were badly affected. Te Auaunga Oakley Creek had burst its banks and houses just over the road from the school were inundated with up to 1.5 metres of water.

“At about 9pm we started getting text messages and messages on Facebook from people in our community saying their house was flooded and their car wasn’t working, and they were stuck. People couldn’t get out. They were stuck inside homes filled with water – and it wasn’t the safest water, it’s contaminated. About 100 metres down from the school, a fire truck got stuck trying to rescue a family from their house,” he says.

School community

Wesley Primary School and May Road Primary School opened their facilities to people in need during the flood. Wesley Intermediate provided a van and space to store goods. From left: Rachel Ward-McCarten, principal of Te Kura Waenga o Wēteri (Wesley Intermediate School); Lou Reddy, principal of Te Kura Tuatahi O Weteri (Wesley Primary School); and Lynda Stuart, principal of May Road Primary School.

See the rest of the article on the Education Gazette website(external link). You may as well check out the other articles (Issuu website)(external link) while you’re there!

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