AUCKLAND, April 6 - Hato Petera College in Northcote only has one student on its roll this year and a commissioner was appointed to take over its governance in January.

On Friday, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the government and Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland - the college's owner - had agreed to begin consultations about whether to cancel the school's integration agreement.

If the agreement is cancelled, the Catholic Diocese would be left to decide whether to close it or begin running it as a private school.

"I acknowledge that this is an uncertain time for the student currently attending Hato Petera, her whanau and the community. But the role of Maori boarding schools has changed over the years," Mr Hipkins said.

"Despite the extensive work of the commissioner, previous boards of trustees, teaching staff and the community, concerns about the college's finances, human resourcing, curriculum and its low student numbers remain."

The school currently has a staff of four teachers and one administrator, and was expected to get about $200,000 of state funding this year.

Its roll has declined from 210 in 1995 and the Education Review Office has expressed concerns about the school's performance.

Established in 1928, Hato Petera is the country's only integrated, Maori Catholic co-educational school and was also Auckland's only remaining Maori boarding school until its boarding facilities were closed last year.

A review by the Catholic Diocese of Auckland in 2016 decided not to close the school.

 

AAP