Parata announces four new schools

Last updated 14:01 08/02/2013
Hekia Parata
Hekia Parata and Kate Wilkinson at Pegasus today.

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Christchurch Mail

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Education Minister Hekia Parata announced plans for five new schools for Canterbury today when she spoke at Pegasus township, the site of the first to be built.

Ms Parata made an appearance at Pegasus today, chosing to announce the build of five new schools in the next 10 years. The first, Waikuku School at Pegasus, will be under construction by Aprild, she said.

The Halswell School rebuild will also begin in April, with both schools completed in time for the next school year.

She did not mention where the other four schools would be built.

The new Waikuku School will showcase a flexible, technologically advanced and energy-efficient style of schooling to be rolled out throughout greater Christchurch.

Ms Parata was swamped by media when she arrived, with the news quickly overtaken by questions on the next phase of the Christchurch schools restructure, the on-going Novopay debacle and impending NZEI strike action.

The $1 billion re-structure of schooling in greater Christchurch was part of the government’s re-build of the region following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, she said.

‘‘Both Waikuku School and Halswell Primary School will showcase the kind of modern learning facilities that school communities and parents can look forward to for their children in greater Christchurch.

‘‘This includes new facilities with flexible spaces, access to ultra-fast broadband, and energy-efficient buildings, with plenty of natural light and fresh air.

‘‘These schools are designed to reflect the advice of education experts, to ensure that students can be taught using the latest techniques and technology.’’

Ms Parata said the re-build of  Waikuku School will cost about $15 million and cater for up to 600 children.

‘‘In addition to Waikuku School and Halswell Primary School, we also have current plans to build four brand-new schools in Canterbury over the next 10 years,’’ Ms Parata said.

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