John Key opens new Pegasus school

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 11:48 12/06/2014
John Key at Pegasus Bay School
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ
HAPPY BUNNY: John Key and Hekia Parata tour Pegasus Bay School, where Skyla Tunbridge wore the classroom's "don't interrupt while I'm reading" rabbit ears.

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Prime Minister John Key and Education Minister Hekia Parata today visited Christchurch to open Pegasus Town's new school.

Children, parents and teachers packed into Pegasus Bay School's hall, with young pupils whispering excitedly as Key's ministerial car pulled up outside the front gates.

The school has been open to pupils since May 5 and currently has a 280-strong roll.

Nigel Sharplin, chairman of the school's board of trustees, said it had been a long journey from the first community consultation in March 2006 to today's opening ceremony.

The old school site in Waikuku had "cramped classrooms and had gone through earthquakes and floods", he said.

"Despite frustrations, delays and overflowing temporary accommodation . . . we got there and plans are now underfoot to undertake stage two of this development."

School principal Roger Hornblow gave "pats on the back" to key people who made the project possible, including engineers and project managers, Ministry of Education officials and members of the community.

He said a Year 4 pupil had decided she wanted a "fantastical school" so the word "fantastical" had become something of a motto during the build process.

Key said the Government, and the people of Christchurch, had taken a "leap of faith" by backing the new educational structure of the region, which included mergers, closures and new builds.

"We are producing great kids who go on to do really well around the world."

He told the children a story with the moral that if you try hard, anything is possible.

"So I want you to try really, really hard for your teachers and for your mum and dad . . . you have a big future in front of you."

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- The Press

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