4 Dec 2009

Sir Wira Gardiner to run troubled high school

4:28 pm on 4 December 2009

Sir Wira Gardiner has been appointed to run the Hamilton high school that has been mired in controversy since an investigation into financial irregularities was launched in May.

The Ministry of Education says that Sir Wira - a former soldier who at different times has headed the Waitangi Tribunal and Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development - has significant experience in the governance of public organisations.

Fraser High School's board of trustees resigned earlier on Friday to make way for the appointment of a commissioner. It said that the school had made considerable progress over the past few months but that a fresh start needed to be made.

The investigation relates to possible misuse of public money at the school and privately by principal Martin Elliott, who resigned early last month after being on paid leave since May.