Porirua’s Mana College is in line for a $9 million revamp that will see the school’s canteen and library be rebuilt and some older buildings replaced with modern flexible learning spaces.

The news was delivered by Prime Minister Bill English yesterday, during his visit to the decile 2 school, along with Education Minister Nikki Kaye and MP Brett Hudson, a Mana College old boy.

“This is a big day for the college, which has been achieving some great results in facilities which are past their best and affected by weather-tightness issues,” says Kaye.

According to Stuff, English described the funding injection as “a gesture of confidence” for Mana College and its community. Head boy Aukilani Nofoaiga felt these words were better than the money itself.

Comments on Stuff’s article showed some people were sceptical of the timing of the investment so close to the election, and were describing it as a “political ploy”. Others felt the money could be better shared out among schools in the wider community.

“Why so much money for one school?” questioned one commenter, “Why not spread the money around to the other schools in the Porirua district that are struggling?”

However, Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe said the announcement means around $148 million has been committed to modernise and expand schools in the greater Wellington region since November 2015.

“This includes additional classrooms at various schools, and significant upgrades at Wainuiomata College, Thorndon School, Aotea College, Wellington East Girls’ College, Newtown School, Kelburn Normal School, Khandallah School, Ngaio School, Northland School, Churton Park School, Brooklyn School and Wairarapa College.”

Once the planning and design process is completed, work is expected to get underway in 2019, and take between 18 and 24 months to complete.

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