The co-location of Marlborough Boys’ College and Marlborough Girls’ College is under threat with the Ministry of Education confirming the project is under review, say National’s Associate Education Spokesperson Simeon Brown and Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith.

“In 2015 the previous Government announced plans to co-locate Marlborough Boys’ College and Girls College’ onto one site. The $63 million project is now in serious doubt as the new Government has put it under review despite overwhelming public support,” Mr Brown says.

“The two schools and the community have worked hard with the Ministry of Education on the design of the campus, which was expected to be built through a Public-Private Partnership. We know that PPPs can provide cost savings and deliver more innovative facilities.

“The Ministry has been in discussions to secure land for the campus since 2015. However, with the failure to secure a site and uncertainty created by the Government around the future of PPPs, the community is understandably worried about the co-location project.”

Mr Smith says news that the project is now under review will only fuel these concerns.

“The co-location is a great opportunity for Blenheim to build on our already excellent educational facilities by providing a more modern, innovative and state-of-the-art campus for the young people in our community,” he says.

“It is very disappointing to learn that the project has been put under review, especially given several years of community consultation and overwhelming public support. 

“Staff, students and parents have poured their hearts into developing plans for the co-location of their schools and it would be a real shame for all their hard work to go to waste.

“The Government has allowed the Whangārei Boys’ High School redevelopment to go ahead as a PPP as originally planned – Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges deserve the same treatment.

“This is about ensuring our young people get the best opportunities to be successful. The Government needs to put aside its contempt for PPPs and allow this project to go ahead.

“I will be hosting a public meeting with Nikki Kaye and Simeon Brown on May 6 at 4.30pm, venue to be confirmed. We want to hear from the community their thoughts on the review and the best way forward.”

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