Our People: Fighting liquor giants and school closures ‘someone has to’


Don’t mess with Phillipstown, because if you do you’ll come up against Wayne Hawker.

That’s what Education Minister Hekia Parata and Liquorland found out the hard way.

When Wayne moved to the Christchurch suburb 38 years ago, he was told not to enrol his children at Phillipstown School because it was the ‘bad school’. He ignored them and has been fighting for the suburb ever since.

‘I just like fighting for the underdog — someone has to.’


  1. What a top guy. He is an example and an inspiration Everyone should get involved in their local community because it’s their home.

  2. Phillipstown is not a bad place. It’s a low income place. I lived there and sent my girls to that school which we chose over Linwood because the Principal genuinely cared and was honest with us. The teachers were incredible! I’ve never met a more dedicated bunch of decent folk and probably never will. I’m still utterly bewildered as to why they shut it down. If Hekia Parata had interviewed the head masters as I did, it would have been plainly obvious to her that Phillipstown school would have been the one to keep!