Wānaka Sun       

$160 million improvement programme for schools

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 07 May, 2020 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Classrooms at hundreds of state schools and kura that are small or remote will be upgraded as part of a $160 million property improvement programme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced last week. Local beneficiaries include Wānaka Primary School, Makarora Primary School, Tarras School and Cromwell Primary School and College.

“The Government went hard and early on our package to support businesses, and we're now bringing forward infrastructure projects to reboot the economy,” Hipkins said.

“Classrooms at almost 600 small or remote state schools will be tested to assess lighting quality, noise levels and temperature. All schools that need improvements such as LED lights, acoustic panelling and ceiling insulation will receive them, with work starting later this year.”

NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomed the investment in regional schools and kura, with president Liam Rutherford saying the programme was a good example of spending that addresses a longstanding infrastructure deficit while providing much-needed economic stimulus during the coronavirus recovery.

"While the Government will be considering plenty of physical infrastructure projects, we'd also urge them to make sure the recovery includes investment in our social infrastructure,” he said. “In education, the coronavirus recovery presents a huge opportunity to fund bold ideas that will create a world class, inclusive public education system that will meet the needs of all tamariki."

Principal of Wānaka Primary Wendy Bamford said the fund could help to cover projects that were currently on the agenda for their 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP), such as installing LED lighting. 

“This programme may mean we can have this done by the MoE under the remote schools fund and use the 10YPP for other developments and improvements around our school,” she said. 

Read edition 973 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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