The Government spent nearly $200,000 developing and releasing its controversial overhaul of Christchurch's education system.
Labour education spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta said it was a big amount to spend when the community had been ignored in the Government's proposal to close or merge 38 schools.
"The people of Christchurch will be shocked at the amount of money being spent on a renewal plan that is supposed to work for Christchurch when communities have been ignored."
Figures released to The Press under the Official Information Act, show the Government has spent $196,388.66, excluding GST, on its Shaping Education project.
This includes $85,575 on consultation and the development of the draft Directions for Education Renewal in Greater Christchurch document, which was released at a function in May that cost $28,095.
Another $67,633 was spent on consultation after the draft release and $9567 was spent on editing and printing the final plan.
The cost of a second function in September at Lincoln, where the final document was released, is not included in the figures because the Education Ministry said it had yet to receive the invoices.
The draft renewal document contained no information on specific schools so when consultation was carried out, people were asked to give an overview on how they wanted education to look in Canterbury in the future. They were not asked about the future of particular schools. However, when the Government released its finalised renewal plan, it also announced plans to close or merge 38 schools and relocate another seven.
The move came as a shock to principals who were expecting only the release of the finalised renewal report, not widespread closures.
The ministry was strongly criticised by Christchurch's education sector for the way it handled the release of the proposed shake up.
Canterbury Primary Principals' Association vice-president Rob Callaghan said the money spent was a large sum and given the amount the ministry spent, it should have taken greater care to ensure the release of the information was done in a more sensitive and clear way.
A ministry spokesman said the costs, incurred over a year, covered an extensive consultation programme and helped the ministry develop future options working with the community.
"This is important work. We needed to consult the community and that process continues."
He said the ministry always worked to keep costs down.
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