Chris Hipkins asked about Wanganui Collegiate again at Question Time yesterday. Labour isn't happy because there hasn't yet been a large uptake on the opportunity for integration. That will happen, but it won't happen overnight.
But whilst Labour and the Greens have turned Collegiate into a political football, we wonder if anyone has asked Labour's Whanganui candidate Hamish McDouall what he thinks. Well, as a matter of fact, the Wanganui Chronicle did just that late last year; check this out:
Wanganui Labour candidate and Collegiate old boy Hamish McDouall said the beauty of the school was that it attracted important international attention,
"It was very important for this district that integration was granted ... I am very pleased that it has been."
Mr McDouall said that as well as Collegiate being granted state integration, he hoped the other four state secondary schools in Wanganui were also looked after: "There are top local secondary schools here."
Oh dear; not only is Hamish McDouall an old boy of Wanganui Collegiate; he's also a strong supporter of the decision to integrate the school.
And so he should be. Collegiate is a big employer in Wanganui, and a local icon. It has produced many fine New Zealanders in politics, sport, farming and business. It is unthinkable that the school may have been forced to close.
Playing politics with these sorts of things is all very well. But sometimes, as Labour discovered yesterday, it blows up in your face.