MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Budget to invest $244 million in schools

Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye say next month’s Budget will provide $244 million of funding for new schools, additional classrooms and expansions to existing schools.

The money will come from the remaining proceeds of the government’s share offer programme – channelled through the Future Investment Fund.

Ms Parata says the funding, spread over four years, demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring all kids can do their very best at school. It will be used to build seven new schools, expand four existing schools and add another 241 classrooms across the country.

The investment includes the first phase of the government’s August 2014 commitment to invest $350 million in Auckland schools. It is on top of nearly $400 million spent over the past six years building 24 new schools around the country and the $1.1 billion budgeted for the rebuild and repair of schools in greater Christchurch.

“This government has made the biggest investment ever in education, including the $359 million in Budget 2014 to raise educational achievement by lifting the quality of teaching and leadership in our schools,” says Ms Parata.

“We’ve seen kids starting earlier, staying longer and leaving better qualified in the past six years. I am determined that all kids get the best education possible including those who have not fared so well in the past – Maori, Pasifika and kids from poorer homes.

“This further funding will help meet roll growth as well as deliver school environments that meet the needs of kids in the 21st century,” says Ms Parata.

The seven new schools are:

  • two primary schools in Auckland at Kumeu and Scott Point
  • Rototuna Senior High in Hamilton
  • a primary school at Rolleston, near Christchurch
  • three kura kaupapa Maori schools in Whakatane, Gisborne and Hastings.

Ms Kaye says the new schools will provide space for nearly 4,000 students and the first of them is due to open in 2017.

“We’re addressing growth in many parts of New Zealand, but I’m particularly pleased that this investment means we’ll be able to implement the first phase of the accelerated Auckland growth package that the government announced last August.

“The rate of Auckland’s population growth means it’s crucial we get ahead of demand and ensure there’s sufficient school capacity in our biggest city.

“We’re also announcing significant expansions at Hingaia Peninsula School in Auckland, Papamoa College and Golden Sands School in Papamoa, and Shotover Primary School in Queenstown.

“This investment is in addition to the more than $700 million already being invested providing schools with ultra-fast broadband, via the N4L Managed Network.

“We’re ensuring young New Zealanders get the right resources and investment so they can succeed in today’s fast-changing world,” says Ms Kaye.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.