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William Rolleston : a New Zealand statesman



Before the establishment of a training school for teachers in 1872, Rolleston arranged with Lord Lyttelton and Mr Selfe to select teachers in, England with a view to maintaining a high standard. One of those selected was Mr H. Hill, who later became a school inspector in Hawkes Bay. Rolleston's letters to Mr Hill discuss many educational problems, but his most constant cry, even as late as 1884, is against false economy.

Rolleston to Hill 7 May 1884:

As to the educational system generally, what is coming? Are the propertied classes going to combine with the churches—the former to save their pockets, the latter in the vain idea that they will increase their power and importance—to pull down the national system? I hope the people will not be led away under the influence of temporary pecuniary difficulties, or at the instance of any class of politicians or financiers to abandon what they have built up at so much cost of "toil of heart and knees and hands".

He goes on to argue that education must be maintained out of the General Fund in the same way as the Army, Navy, and Police. At all costs education must be kept efficient.