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Around $5.5 million will be invested under Budget 2017 to provide more new classrooms for schools in Northland, Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe announced today.

Minister Macindoe visited Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe today to make the announcement.

“This first round of school infrastructure investment under Budget 2017 will provide a total of eleven new classrooms at three schools and kura in the region,” says Ms Kaye.

“This is about building extra capacity into the Northland school network to accommodate roll growth, as well as upgrading existing school infrastructure.”

The schools receiving new classrooms are:

Ruakaka School - three roll growth classrooms Ngunguru School - six classrooms (two roll growth and four replacement) Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe - two roll growth classrooms.

“The new roll growth classrooms will provide an extra 140 student places,” says Ms Kaye.

“We’re making sure that Northland’s school network is meeting the needs of local communities, and that children are learning in modern, inspiring environments.

“I was fortunate to be in Waitangi on Saturday evening where I met some amazing young people who are part of a mentoring programme being delivered by the Moko Foundation.

“The Government has contributed to this programme, which encourages local young people to transcend social and economic barriers and develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life.

“We believe in the Northland region and the potential of its young people, and we’re committed to supporting their pathways to success by investing in local initiatives and local schools.”

At Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe, Mr Macindoe said the kura has benefited from strong leadership in recent years and as a result has seen an increase in their roll and in student achievement.

“These new, modern classrooms will further help these students, and students from the other two schools, reach their full potential,” says Mr Macindoe.

“The Ministry of Education will work with all the schools and kura to ensure their new classrooms meet the current and future needs of students, and provide the best possible learning environments.”

Today’s announcement is part of the first round of infrastructure investments being announced as part of this year’s Budget.

“Since 2008, we have committed over $75 million to upgrade schools and add capacity in Northland. This further investment from Budget 2017 shows our continued commitment to the region and to Māori medium learning” says Mr Macindoe.

“Today’s announcement builds on the almost $20 million investment from Budget 2016, which provided for a new site and buildings for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Tonga o Hokianga and 16 roll growth classrooms across the region.”

This investment in Northland schools is part of a $456.5 million investment in education infrastructure and associated operating costs as part of Budget 2017.

Mr Macindoe says with this new investment, we have now committed well over $5 billion towards school infrastructure.

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