Below is a report written by a disgruntled teacher from Scoria Flat in Kawakawa Northland that was published in the New Zealand Observer 23rd May 1908. Makes for interesting reading.
THE PLANS OF MICE, RATS AND DISGRUNTLED TEACHERS
NZ Free Lance 23rd May 1908
From the "Observer"; - Choice extract from the report of the teacher at Scoria flat (Kawakawa) half-time school:
Both windows still remain in a broken state, and consequently it is impossible in dusty weather to the keep the building clean; while in windy and rainy weather it is exceedingly draughty, and unpleasant. There are no steps, and pupils have to scramble up upon a pile of loose scoria blocks. This is most dangerous, especially for the little ones. The rooms forming the lean-to harbour rats and mice. Quite recently I found that the school roll and other important official records had been badly gnawed by rats, and I was obliged to lay poison to safeguard these registers.
Unfortunately, this resulted in some of these animals dying in the partition, and in my efforts to discover them I had to pull down some of the paper. The nuisance caused by these dead vermin has obliged me to hold the school outside on two occasions. The paper is old, filthy, and torn, and in most unsanitary condition. It would be healthier to have the whole of it torn off, even if this made the room more draughty than at present.