A new two-storey block containing 31 teaching spaces at Koru School in Mangere, Auckland, was opened today by Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.
“The opening of this new block marks the completion of Stage One of Koru School’s $20 million, two-stage redevelopment,” says Ms Kaye.
“This is a huge project that involves replacing all of the school’s previous buildings.
“It’s great to see a modern, inspiring learning environment taking shape at the school, which experienced significant weathertightness issues with its old classrooms.”
Stage One of the project took just 12 months to complete, and work is now underway on construction of a new hall, library, administration building and netball courts. This next phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“Koru School has a teaching and learning style that draws on Maori and Pasifika cultural perspectives, and emphasises a collaborative approach to learning,” says Ms Kaye.
“The flexible learning spaces in the new classroom block will provide a perfect environment to support this approach.
“The cultural richness of the school was clear to me this morning, during the moving opening ceremony which included the whole school singing an amazing waiata.
“Students at the school have achieved great results in less than ideal facilities, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ll achieve in their inspiring new surroundings.
“It’s always inspiring to see schools which have a strong vision at the heart of their approach, and the students at Koru School clearly embody the sense of pride and resilience that their school promotes.”
The Koru School upgrade is one of a number of projects underway nationwide to modernise facilities, address legacy issues such as leaky buildings and expand classroom capacity to meet roll growth.
“Last year we announced $158 million worth of new classrooms for Auckland, with a further $13 million announced last month,” says Ms Kaye.
“Since 2014, around $375 million has also been approved for major redevelopments at 18 schools in Auckland. Around $112 million of this has been for schools in South Auckland, including Koru School.
“These investments are part of more than $5 billion committed for school infrastructure since 2008, the largest ever investment by a New Zealand government.
“We’re committed to modernising schools to provide a 21st Century learning environment, and accommodating roll growth in areas of New Zealand experiencing increased populations.”
Koru School is part of the Mangere South Community of Learning/Kahui Ako.
Communities of Learning are about increasing student achievement, through early education services, schools and tertiary providers working together to share expertise and lift the quality of teaching and learning.
Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye will visit three Christchurch schools today to celebrate the completion of new classrooms and facilities, which are part of redevelopment projects valued at around $20 million.
Ms Kaye will be visiting Cashmere Primary School, Halswell Residential College and Avonhead Primary School.
“I’m celebrating projects at both ends of the construction spectrum in Christchurch today,” says Ms Kaye.
“Earlier this morning, I visited the site of the new Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school, where I turned the soil to mark the start of construction of the school’s new $30 million inner-city facilities.
“I’m really looking forward to visiting the other schools to see the new facilities that are now completed and up and running.
“At Cashmere Primary School, I will plant a tree to mark the completion of a new, $3 million two-storey block containing nine teaching spaces.
“This is the first stage of a multi-phased $8 million project, which will also see all the school’s other facilities refurbished this year.
“The school has worked with Ngai Tahu to develop names for their buildings, reflecting their cultural narrative based around the kereru, Te Pae Kereru.
“At Halswell Residential College, I will return the Mauri to the ground to mark the opening of $9 million worth of new facilities, including family-style villas and a multi-purpose learning environment.
“Halswell’s residential-based approach provides learning for students with disabilities and behavioural issues, with a focus on learning life skills that help develop dignity, a sense of worthiness and independence.
“These are fantastic new facilities that are very welcoming and embody the spirit of the college.
“At Avonhead Primary School, I will cut a ribbon to mark the opening of a new classroom block comprising four teaching spaces, as well as three other redeveloped blocks which together create an innovative learning environment at the school. This was a $5.3 million project.
“I know the school and contractors worked hard to phase the project to minimise disruption to learning, and the school will be thrilled that it has now been completed.
“Avonhead Primary School prides itself on its ability to support a rich diversity of ethnicities, with a family driven Pacifica Cultural Group, an annual cultural evening and a Kapahaka Group.
“Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony will celebrate the school’s history as well as its future, with the ribbon held by the school’s newest entrant and an ex-pupil who attended the school on its first day back in 1959.
“All of the schools I’m visiting today are part of the $1.137 billion Christchurch School Rebuild programme, which is about rebuilding or renewing 115 schools by 2022.
“To date, 11 schools have been completed, 25 are under construction and 25 will see construction start this year.
“Some of the work has been logistically challenging but we’re on time and within budget, which is great news for local families and communities.
“Christchurch will have a second-to-none school network as a result of this massive, ten-year programme.”
A blessing and sod turning this morning will mark the start of construction of the new, $30 million Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school in Christchurch, says Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.
“I’m really looking forward to being at the school’s St Asaph Street site today, having visited their current Ilam site last August to announce their new inner city home,” says Ms Kaye.
Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery, formed through the merger of Discovery One and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, has been operating from two sites outside the city centre while awaiting its new home.
“It took some time to find the right site to support the school’s unique vision and approach to learning, so it will be a privilege to turn the first sod there this morning and see the construction phase of this project get underway,” says Ms Kaye.
“The school’s vision is based on students directing their own learning, and family-like relationships between the school and parents, whanau and the wider community, who are all heavily involved in school life and delivering the curriculum.
“An inner-city location is a big part of this vision, because it enables the school to make the most of the amenities and experiences that the city offers.
“I’ve seen the designs for the new facilities and it’s obvious this is going to be an awesome learning environment.
“The new school will be four storeys high, designed around a central atrium, and will feature a range of flexible learning spaces and more specialised areas, including balconies for outdoor learning, a virtual conferencing room, music and recording studios, a digital design workshop, reading lounges and a café and performance space.”
Construction of the new school is expected to take around two years to complete.
“Christchurch is seeing some incredible new schools take shape. Already this year, we’ve seen the fantastic new learning facilities at Lemonwood Grove School and the Haeata Community Campus officially opened. The new Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school will be another jewel in the local education network,” says Ms Kaye.
“All of these projects are part of the $1.137 billion Christchurch School Rebuild programme, a huge undertaking which will see 115 schools rebuilt or renewed by 2022.
“So far, 11 schools have been completed, 25 are under construction and 25 will see construction start this year.
“Today is a big day for Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery. They’ve been very patient while the right site was secured, so to see the construction phase begin represents a huge milestone for the school and its wider community.”
Image of new Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school
A new $100,000 partnership will see around 120 young people from or affiliated to Waikato-Tainui, Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Kahungunu supported to attend the Turongo me Maahina-a-rangi – Leaders by Design Summit, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.
“This is about supporting more young Maori to become tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs,” says Ms Kaye.
The three-day summit, at which Minister for Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell will be guest speaker, will be held in Ngaruawahia on 7-9 April 2017.
“Over the three days, participants will be informed, inspired and challenged to design and shape meaningful pathways for Maori and iwi,” says Ms Kaye.
“The summit involves interactive workshops, planning sessions and a panel of national and international speakers, who will address topics including innovation, co-design and te reo me ona tikanga, or language and custom.
“This investment is being made under the Partnership Fund, which sees the Government co-invest with business, philanthropic, iwi and other partners to grow youth development opportunities.”
The Partnership Fund is contributing $10,000, alongside funding and in-kind support from partners including Waikato-Tainui, Maniapoto Maori Trust Board, Ngati Kahungunu, Te Puni Kokiri, Mercury Energy, Trust Waikato, ASB, Tuhono and the JR McKenzie Trust.
“I want more young Maori to realise their potential and forge successful futures for themselves and others,” says Ms Kaye.
“We have incredibly talented young people and future leaders out there, and opportunities such as this will give them a boost to take their aspirations and skills to the next level.”
New partnerships announced so far this year have seen around $2.6 million invested to provide over 5000 new youth development opportunities across New Zealand.
It’s a privilege to be here on what is the 30th anniversary of this annual conference.
A milestone such as this is both an opportunity to look back and celebrate where we’ve come from, and also to look ahead to where we’re going.
We live in exciting times. The pace of change and the new horizons being opened up to us are unprecedented.
Education is an integral part of this changing world.
The way teachers teach is changing. The way children learn is changing. And the environment in which teaching and learning take place is changing.
I want to talk to you this morning about some key areas of change in the world of education.
In particular, I want to talk about the role that digital technology and school infrastructure are playing in the modernisation of the education system. I also want to talk about the importance of teacher supply, and how greater collaboration through Communities of Learning will help schools navigate a more successful path into the future.
Let’s start with digital technologies. We live in a world that’s being transformed by digital technologies.
New technologies and trends are emerging almost daily, and they’re challenging fundamental assumptions about our education system, our workforce, and the competencies and capabilities needed to be a successful citizen in the 21st century.
Digital technologies are also revolutionising the way students can interact and learn, and our education system must be able to keep up with this revolution.
For young people growing up today, the virtual world is as real as the physical world. Using devices to interact and learn is a natural state of being for them.
Our challenge is to harness the range of technologies now available to us, and use this to enhance the learning experience in our schools.
We can’t afford to get left behind. Young people are already learning online in their own way, in their own time. We have to assure parents and families that schools can add value to the online learning experience, through the experience and expertise that teachers can bring to it.
The Government is investing heavily so that the right platform is in place to support digital learning in our schools.
We’ve invested more than $700 million towards digital infrastructure such as cabling and wireless technology in schools. Through the N4L Managed Network, we’re also providing schools with uncapped, high-speed broadband, funded by the Crown.
This means our schools are now well set up to access the digital world. But access is only one part of the equation.
Just as critical is how digital technologies are used in schools to enhance the learning experience.
This is so important that we’ve made digital fluency one of the five priority areas in teachers’ professional learning and development.
We’ve invested over $60 million to enhance professional learning and development.
We’ve also set up a $1 million contestable fund, to support innovative learning projects that capture students’ imagination, and help them become skilled in using and developing digital technologies.
One of the greatest impacts of digital technologies is how they have merged traditional institutional and learning boundaries.
It’s now possible for groups of students to have discussions with each other or collaborate on projects in real time, despite being in different locations. This opens up an entirely new world of teaching and learning opportunities.
Schools have already begun seizing these opportunities. The Virtual Learning Network is seeing schools across New Zealand come together as one online community, or a ‘classroom without walls’.
The concept of Communities of Online Learning is about recognising and further supporting this capacity for students to learn anywhere, at any time and in any place.
I know some of you may be cautious about this new initiative, so it’s important to stress that Communities of Online Learning are about supplementing and complementing learning in the classroom, not replacing it.
As I’ve already alluded, teachers can add huge value through the experience and expertise they can bring to bear, to enhance learning with digital technologies. I don’t see teachers becoming less important in a digital world, in fact, I think the reverse is true.
A potential major benefit of Communities of Online Learning is that they will give students access to a wider range of subjects and teaching expertise.
As you know better than anyone, it’s simply not realistic to have teachers on the ground teaching every specialist subject, in every single school. Communities of Online Learning will enable students to attend a local school, but include subjects in their studies that might not otherwise have been available to them. This is important in a country like ours, which comprises many small and remote communities.
I believe strongly that it’s important to balance online and other types of learning. Shortly, I want to summarise the investment this Government has made in school property since 2008.
The scale of the investment we’re making to upgrade and grow our schools should help dispel any perceptions that Communities of Online Learning signal the end of traditional schools.
But before I talk about this, I want to briefly mention another critical component we’re working on to enable schools and students to derive maximum benefit from the digital world. This is the content of the curriculum itself.
We must ensure we’re equipping students with the right skills to participate in a 21st Century economy.
That means equipping them to be creators, and not just users, of digital technology.
That’s why last year, the Government tasked the Ministry of Education to strengthen digital technologies within the curriculum.
We now know more about what it takes to design curriculum, starting with the knowledge and skills learners need to help them understand and participate in the world - rather than starting with subjects, and the constructs of year level and curriculum level.
To support the new curriculum content we’re developing learning progressions for the design of digital technologies. This will help teachers deliver the rich, meaningful learning opportunities that will make a difference for all learners.
The new curriculum content and the progressions will underpin the development of the NCEA Achievement Standards, meaning clearer learning pathways for digital technologies across the whole of the students’ schooling.
The Ministry has been working with many of you here today, and your communities and industry partners, to ensure the changes we make to the national curriculum will position digital technologies explicitly and coherently, and that within Te Marautanga o Aotearoa they are placed firmly within a Māori worldview. This collaboration is set to increase every year as we begin the important work of reviewing the Standards for NCEA.
If we’re successful, we will help close the skills gap for technology firms, precision manufacturers and modern agricultural enterprises, who are all currently reporting long-term vacancies that are hard to fill, because of a lack of suitably skilled candidates.
Property and infrastructure
So now I’ll talk a little bit about our investment in school property, because without property, there are no schools.
To deliver a 21st Century education, we need schools to offer a 21st Century learning environment.
When we came into Government, we inherited a school property portfolio with an average age of around 40 years.
Many of the buildings were affected by an era of leaky buildings, by poor design, by poor maintenance or a combination of all of these.
A lot of what we’ve been doing is playing catch-up as we systematically address these issues.
Alongside the five yearly funding that all schools receive to maintain their property, we’ve set up extra pots of money for major redevelopments, weathertightening and earthquake strengthening.
As part of this work, we’ve made sure we’ve obtained a thorough picture of the condition of all school property. This has enabled us to prioritise the investments we need to make, as well as when, where and how much.
A specialised property team was also set up in the Ministry of Education to help carry out the work that’s been needed.
To give you a window on the scale of the work we’re doing, by mid-2017, we will have invested more than $5 billion in school property since we came into Government. This includes around $850 million invested in around 50 new schools or school expansions. It also includes around $577 million for over 30 major redevelopments.
In last year’s Budget alone, we announced over $880 million of investment in school infrastructure, more than double the school infrastructure spend of the previous year’s Budget.
The other big driver of school property investment is population growth.
Many parts of New Zealand are experiencing sustained population growth, particularly Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Queenstown.
So we’re acting now to get ahead of the growth curve, by expanding the capacity of our school network, wherever the forecasts show the likelihood of significant and sustained roll growth.
To give a picture of the work underway, since 2014, nearly $300 million has been approved to add over 450 classrooms across New Zealand.
Any project to build new classrooms or upgrade existing ones is an opportunity to create innovative learning environments in our schools.
The traditional cellular classroom with internal load bearing walls tends to create a barrier to changing teaching processes.
Innovative learning environments therefore feature flexible teaching spaces, to support a range of teaching and learning styles.
We have to prepare students for the modern and ever-changing world they will face when they leave school. Today, students learn not so much from text books or what a teacher tells them, but rather by doing, talking and researching – and most of all, by thinking deeply about how to solve a problem, or create, design or develop something.
Flexible learning spaces make it easier for teachers and support staff to deliver collaborative and group learning, alongside individual and one-on-one learning. Students get to observe teachers’ practice, and observe how they learn from other teachers.
I know some schools and teachers have found that it can take time to get this new approach to teaching and learning right. But they also acknowledge that the rewards are there, with students learning at their own pace and in their own style, with greater focus.
Flexible learning spaces also allow room for teaching and learning practices to evolve and change, so this is about future-proofing our considerable investment in education infrastructure.
Of course, a modern curriculum and modern classrooms count for nothing without skilled teachers to teach our children.
The Government is committed to a long-term programme of work that will build a quality teacher workforce, which meets the needs of students, schools and communities.
We want to work with the sector and seek your input into the solutions that will achieve this. The questions we are currently discussing with you include:Are we on the right track with our approach to addressing the availability of quality teachers? What would give principals more confidence about permanently employing beginning teachers? How do we ensure effective mentoring for inexperienced teachers? What steps can we take to help retain our middle managers and experienced classroom teachers?
In the meantime, while we carry out this longer term work, we know we have an immediate need to improve teacher supply in some geographical areas, in Te Reo and Maori medium environments, and in some subjects.
Can I just say we’re not facing the situation we faced back in 2008/09, but for some schools there are challenges. That’s why the Government recently introduced a $9 million package of initiatives to address immediate concerns.
Many of your proposed solutions have been included in this package, which was announced in August last year. So far:A UK recruitment campaign has identified 300- 400 UK teachers interested in moving to New Zealand in the next 12-18 months. 100 extra TeachNZ scholarships for STM graduates to train as teachers were offered this year. Applications closed on 7 February and almost 200 were received. 30 Teach First NZ teachers started in Auckland secondary schools at the start of this school year, and 18 of these are STM teachers. This programme puts some of our brightest and best graduates into classrooms in lower decile communities. A social media campaign promoting teaching to STM graduates was launched in September 2016, and has had around 176,000 website visits. The ‘Bring a Kiwi Home’ campaign, aimed at encouraging New Zealand teachers working overseas to return home to teach, was launched in mid-December. While it is too early to measure its success, the videos associated with the campaign have had 88,920 views to date.
We know it’s not just teacher numbers that we need to look at. Ensuring teacher quality is also a key focus. Principals consistently tell us that we can’t consider supply in isolation from teacher quality.
In Auckland, the Beginning Teacher Project is up and running. This is a joint project with the Auckland Primary Principals’ Association to support the employment and induction of 38 beginning teachers in Auckland through to full certification. An evaluation which runs alongside this initiative will explore the factors that reduce the high rates of attrition of among beginning teachers.
While this is a primary initiative, it shows there’s a willingness by the Ministry to support both innovative ideas to help grow our pool of specialised teachers, as well as schools that are supporting beginning teachers. I’m concerned, as many of you will be, that so few of our beginning teachers are being employed in permanent positions.
We are also working with the Tertiary Education Commission to influence the intake of students enrolling in initial teacher education, so they are a better match to school needs, and we’re working with the Education Council, NZQA and Immigration NZ to smooth the path for overseas teachers coming to work in New Zealand.
While the Government can do some things, making the decision to permanently employ beginning teachers, or giving clear and consistent feedback when an experienced teacher is not performing well, are matters for groups of principals to discuss and address. I look forward to a discussion with you about the challenges you experience in these areas. The Government will continue to work alongside you on this issue.
Communities of Learning/Kahui Ako
Finally, I want to talk briefly about Communities of Learning/Kahui Ako.
Communities of Learning are a key part of the Government’s Investing in Educational Success initiative. Their aim is to better enable educators to collaborate to improve student progress, achievement and well-being right across the learner pathway.
There are now 180 Kahui Ako throughout New Zealand, comprising 1503 schools, 95 early learning services, three tertiary providers, and over 495,000 students.
This represents great progress, and the numbers are growing all the time.
For me, the focus on collaboration that’s at the heart of Communities of Learning is the key to the power they hold to be a transformative force in our system.
There are great things happening in so many areas, in so many of our schools. Communities of Learning are about being open to learning from each other, and putting these learnings to use in the best interests of our children.
The opportunities for Kahui Ako to help support beginning teachers is one of the more exciting untapped areas of potential.
It’s been a privilege to attend this conference and speak to you this morning.
As school principals, you occupy pivotal roles in our education system and in ensuring student success.
Really successful schools have really strong leaders. A core element of strong school leadership is promoting high-quality teaching and learning, which has the most powerful in-school influence on student learning.
The more you are able to focus your relationships, your work and your leading on the core business of teaching and learning, the greater your influence on student outcomes.
Of course, as well as being a rewarding role, being a school leader is also challenging. It’s not a job for the faint-hearted. But I’d like to assure you that as a Government, we are as committed and passionate as you are at making a difference, and ensuring our education system is the best it can be to give every child the opportunity to achieve to their potential.
Thank you for the opportunity to address you all today, and safe travels back home.
Fruitvale Primary School in New Lynn is the latest Auckland school to receive extra classrooms to help it accommodate a growing roll, Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.
Ms Kaye made the announcement during a visit to the school this morning.
“Around $9.5 million will be invested in a project that will see a new two-story block built, comprising eight teaching spaces,” says Ms Kaye.
“The project will also include weathertightness remediation of existing classrooms, an upgraded access way, and construction of a new, two-classroom satellite unit of Carlson School for Cerebral Palsy.”
The total number of permanent teaching spaces at the school will increase to 18, including the new satellite unit. Currently, there are eight permanent and two temporary classrooms at the school.
“Fruitvale Primary is one of a number of schools in New Zealand that have experienced weathertightness issues as a legacy of the leaky buildings era, and we have a nationwide programme underway to address these issues,” says Ms Kaye.
“Combining weathertightness remediation with the project to build new roll growth classrooms makes good sense in this instance, as it will achieve time and cost efficiencies and minimise disruption to the school’s activities.
“As its name suggests, Fruitvale Primary has beautiful gardens, featuring an orchard, native plants and a stream, and it is part of a collaborative local school community.
“The addition of the satellite unit to provide learning support for students with special education needs will further strengthen the school’s welcoming and inclusive nature.
“This investment continues our focus on getting ahead of growth in our fastest-growing city.
“At the start of this month, a new $3.8 million classroom block was announced for Long Bay Primary School.
“This means we’ve announced over $13 million in March this year, on top of $158 million announced in June and October last year for new classrooms in Auckland.
“As a result of these investments, we’re on track to deliver more than 17,000 new student places in Auckland by 2019.
“Since 2014, around $375 million has also been approved for major redevelopments at 18 schools in Auckland. This is part of the greatest spend ever on school infrastructure by a New Zealand government, which so far has seen over $5 billion committed for new and upgraded schools and classrooms since 2008.”
Fruitvale Primary School is working with other local schools to form the Kotuitui (Green Bay) Community of Leraning/Kahui Ako.
Communities of Learning are about increasing student achievement, through early education services, schools and tertiary providers working together to share expertise and lift the quality of teaching and learning.
Seven youth sector organisations will share a total of $65,000 funding to help them provide new youth development opportunities for around 640 young people, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.
“This funding is about supporting more leadership, volunteering and mentoring opportunities for young people across New Zealand,” says Ms Kaye.
“The opportunities cover a broad spectrum, from supporting young people to reduce online bullying and move away from at-risk behaviour, to enabling them to explore potential career paths and support young disabled people and those living with cancer.
“It’s great to be able to support the many organisations out there doing fantastic work for our young people, and enabling them to provide hundreds more opportunities at the same time.
“There are new opportunities created from Northland to Otago, and these will enable more young people to develop their own skills and leadership and also contribute to other young people and their communities.”
The organisations and initiatives benefitting from this funding are:Sticks ‘n Stones - $12,000 to support 150 young people in Otago to become ambassadors for ‘responsible digital citizenship’, by running community events and activities for other young people to address the issue of online bullying Central Otago REAP - $12,000 to support 40 rural young people from Central Otago to receive one-on-one and group mentoring, to help them reduce at-risk behaviours by building positive relationships and skills such as resilience and decision-making Phab - $10,000 to support 100 young disabled people from Auckland to become leaders who act as advocates and supporters for other young people living with a disability CCS Disability Action - $7,000 to support 40 young disabled people from Northland to be part of a youth steering group and contribute to the goal of ensuring that those living with a disability are involved in decision-making and ‘in the driver’s seat’ of their lives Tauranga Youth Development Team - $10,000 to support 100 Bay of Plenty young people to be part of a project developing a series of local youth events, including workshops, team building and social events Canteen - $7000 to support 140 young Aucklanders to become leaders and mentors supporting young people living with cancer Taranaki Futures - $7000 to enable 70 young people living in the Taranaki region to participate in the Accelerator programme, which partners young people with business mentors and provides actual workplace experience to help formulate potential career paths.
The new opportunities announced today are part of a focus on increasing youth development opportunities from 50,000 to 70,000 annually, and increasing the funds targeting disadvantaged youth from 18 to 30 per cent.
“A leadership, mentoring or volunteering opportunity can turn young people around and open up new directions and possibilities. This is about giving more young people the chance to develop their skills and build a path to a successful future,” says Ms Kaye.
More about the successful recipientsSticks ‘n Stones – a student-led programme focused on taking positive action online to stop bullying Central Otago REAP – a not-for-profit organisation providing a variety of community education opportunities, from parenting and computer training to careers and adult literacy Phab – has a long history offering a constructive support network to disabled youth in New Zealand CCS Disability Action – provide frontline support services and create awareness and education around disability issues Tauranga Youth Development Team – a network of agencies and young people working together to strengthen youth engagement in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty Canteen – supporting young people to cope with the physical, emotional and practical impact of living with cancer Taranaki Futures – an initiative working to create a ‘clear line of sight’ from education to employment
Funding of $25,000 to support the New Zealand China Young Leaders Forum 2017 was announced today by Youth Minister Nikki Kaye.
“This one-day forum provides an opportunity to facilitate dialogue, connections and partnerships between young leaders from New Zealand and China who are interested in leadership, business, education, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Ms Kaye.
The theme of this year’s forum, which will take place in Christchurch in November, is ‘Innovation and Education’.
Around 100 young people will be supported to access a variety of leadership opportunities, by planning, organising and attending the forum.
“I’m pleased to help build on the positive relationship that exists between New Zealand and China,” says Ms Kaye.
“As a community, New Zealanders of Chinese descent contribute greatly to the fabric of our country, as employers, entrepreneurs, employees, students, parents and community leaders. Across the nation, New Zealanders of all backgrounds benefit from this contribution.
“The funding announced today follows on from previous support provided towards the New Zealand China Young Leaders Forum in Auckland in October 2015, and in Beijing in September 2016.”
The Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) and the New Zealand Chinese Youth Federation (NZCYF) will partner to co-host and organise the forum in New Zealand.
The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council (OCAO) and the All China Youth Federation (ACYF), hosts and organisers of the forum in China, will also provide support to MYD and NZCYF.
“The forum is a chance to strengthen ties and provide valuable opportunities for young people from both China and New Zealand, and is part of the ever-strengthening relationship between our two countries,” says Ms Kaye.
“It is my hope that bringing together young Chinese and Kiwi leaders will see lasting relationships formed, which will lead to future business, cultural and political partnerships.”
Notes to editorsThe New Zealand Chinese Youth Federation (NZCYF) is a non-profit organisation that supports Chinese young people living and studying in New Zealand. NZCYF offer programmes and services to promote positive engagement and create opportunities for self-improvement through leadership activities and community service. It also supports overseas ethnic Chinese young people to maintain and strengthen their Chinese culture and national values. The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State is an administrative office which assists the Premier in handling affairs related to overseas Chinese. The All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) is a federative body of Chinese youth organisations and young people. Through its 52 member organisations, and over 77,000 individual members, the ACYF reaches over 300 million young people across China.
A ceremony at lunchtime today will usher in the construction phase of the $9 million redevelopment of Thorndon School in Wellington, says Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.
“The designs for this project have now been finalised, and they show what a fantastic new facility this is going to be,” says Ms Kaye.
“I’m looking forward to joining the school for this ceremony. There will be a blessing, and a sod from the construction site will be removed and kept for returning to the earth once the project is complete.”
Construction is expected to begin within seven weeks and be wrapped up by the end of next year.
“The project will see new teaching blocks containing 13 teaching spaces built, along with a new administration block and refurbishment of an existing building to provide library space,” says Ms Kaye.
“The current buildings at the school, which is one of the oldest in Wellington, have weathertightness issues, so it’s great to be marking this new chapter in the school’s history.
“Because the school sits on a compact inner city site, a lot of thought has gone into the design for the project to maximise outdoor play space and access ways.
“This redevelopment is part of ongoing work across New Zealand to upgrade and expand our schools.
“In March alone, we’ve announced $16.8 million for new school infrastructure at Warkworth Primary School and Auckland’s Long Bay Primary School, we’ve marked the start of construction of $3.6 million of new teaching spaces at Spotswood College and Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea in New Plymouth, and the Prime Minister opened the fantastic new $12 million Lemonwood Grove School in Christchurch.
“In the Wellington area, we’ve announced around $117 million for school redevelopments since November 2015, including Thorndon School, Aotea College, Wellington East Girls’ College, Newtown School, Kelburn Normal School, Khandallah School, Ngaio School, Northland School, Churton Park School and Brooklyn School.
“On top of this, since Budget 2016 we’ve also announced around $7.2 million for 22 extra classroom to meet roll growth at schools across the Greater Wellington region.
“This is part of the greatest ever spend on school infrastructure by a New Zealand government, which so far has seen over $5 billion committed for new and upgraded schools and classrooms.”New Thorndon School facilities
Soil turning ceremonies today will mark the start of two education construction projects in New Plymouth, at Spotswood College and the wharekura Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea, says Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye.
“Spotswood College is getting a new $2 million learning support centre for students with special education needs, while at Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea the $1.6 million project will deliver four extra classrooms to help meet roll growth, says Ms Kaye.
Local MP Jonathan Young will turn the soil at both ceremonies today on behalf of Minister Kaye.
“The Spotswood College Learning Support Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility, which will replace an existing building with weathertightness issues,” says Ms Kaye.
“The new centre will be the equivalent of four learning spaces, compared to the existing single classroom facility. This will help cater for projected roll growth in the region.
“It’s essential that students with learning support needs receive the same educational opportunities as their peers, and the new facility will help ensure this happens. It will be located at the heart of the school, so that students feel included in the wider school community.
“At Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea, the new four classroom block will help the wharekura accommodate an increase in students, as more whanau in the region choose a Maori medium education for their children.
“This project will deliver an innovative learning environment, with flexible learning spaces to enable different ways of teaching and learning, the latest IT infrastructure to support digital learning, and high standards of acoustics, lighting and ventilation.
“A second stage to the redevelopment is being planned to accommodate future roll growth.
“These two projects in New Plymouth are part of ongoing work in our regions, as well as our larger centres, to upgrade and expand school infrastructure.
“We’ve committed more than $5 billion to new and upgraded schools and classrooms since 2008, significantly more than any previous government.
“We want students to learn in environments that inspire them to achieve to the best of their abilities, which is why we’re transforming schools to address legacy issues such as old, leaky buildings, and providing the extra classrooms needed to accommodate growing rolls.”
Construction on both New Plymouth projects is expected to be completed by September this year.