College project 'boost for region'

The choice made on secondary education in Blenheim will have an economic impact on the region, a business leader says.

Marlborough Chamber of Commerce general manager Hamish MacFarlane said building a new school would stimulate the economy and provide an opportunity for builders to take on more work.

He compared the potential new build to the construction of Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, during the recession. It offered businesses work and boosted the region, MacFarlane said.

The chamber supported two single-sex colleges on one site or in close proximity to each other, he said.

It felt it would add benefit to both colleges and offer both schools more opportunities.

The chamber saw Marlborough as a growing region with huge potential and the new schools could increase its potential further, he said.

When people looked at moving to a region, education and healthcare were major factors for families and could "make or break" their decision to move.

He felt having a modern school with a variety of options for students would make Marlborough more attractive.



The consultation process on the future of the Blenheim Colleges closes tomorrow.

The options are: Two colleges on one site, with the option of a tertiary addition, costing $51.5 million.

Retaining existing colleges costing $10.8m.

A co-educational college costing $52.6m.

Submissions can be made tomorrow online at, or emailed to, or posted to: Janet Kelly, 31 Courtney St, Motueka 7120. 

The Marlborough Express