Around $19 million will be invested in Wanaka’s school network as part of Budget 2017, Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe announced today.
This investment will include:around $16 million for a new primary school in Wanaka around $3 million for six new classrooms at Mt Aspiring College.
“Earlier this year, when I announced $1.4 million for four new classrooms at Wanaka Primary School, I indicated that work was underway to secure a new site for another school in the area,” says Ms Kaye.
“It’s great to be able to confirm the funding under this year’s Budget which will enable this new school to go ahead.
“The Ministry of Education has worked with all schools in the wider Wanaka area and their communities over the past two years to develop a long-term plan to meet growth. The advice has been that the best option is to establish a new primary school, and there will be a formal consultation process with the community over the coming months.
“The new primary school will be built in two stages to provide for an extra 400 students.
“The first stage is expected to be completed, and part of the new school open, in 2019. The second stage is expected to be completed by 2020.
“There will be significant investment in site infrastructure to enable a potential third stage in the next ten years if required, so that over time the new school could accommodate up to 800 students.
“This is an exciting development which will add significant capacity to the local school network.
“This is about ensuring we can future-proof for growth in Wanaka and give certainty to the community about education provision for many years to come.
“There are currently more than 1,500 students in Wanaka and the new school will enable the area to accommodate more than 1900 students.
“With growth occurring in many parts of New Zealand as well as Wanaka, it’s important that the Ministry is well resourced to plan for future school investments.
“Budget 2017 therefore provides for additional investment of $8 million over four years to enhance the Ministry’s strategic planning capabilities, to enable them to better forecast and plan for future growth.”
Mr Macindoe says Wanaka’s population is growing steadily and it’s important that the local school network can accommodate this growth.
“The Government is committed to expanding capacity in areas such as Wanaka which are experiencing population growth,” says Mr Macindoe.
“As a popular town and tourist destination, Wanaka is attracting more businesses and residents and that has a flow-on effect in terms of demand for more spaces in local schools.
“This investment builds on $1.4 million announced in February for four new classrooms at Wanaka Primary School, and $700,000 announced for two new classrooms at Mt Aspiring College last year. All of the new classrooms for Mt Aspiring College, including the six announced today, will be delivered as one project.
“We’ve now committed over $5 billion towards upgrading and expanding school infrastructure since 2008, significantly more than any previous government.”
This year’s Budget provides $456.5 million for education infrastructure and associated operating costs up and down New Zealand.
Further announcements will be made about investments in school property under Budget 2017 in the coming weeks.