By: Simon Collins
Existing Maori schools, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Manurewa and Te Wharekura o Manurewa, will get a new combined campus on land in Browns Rd that was originally earmarked for expansion of the Homai School for the Blind.
And the Carlson School for Cerebral Palsy and Sunnydene Special School, in Mt Roskill, will move to a new combined campus on a site that has not yet been made public.
The expansion package totalling $240 million across the city also includes $20 million to expand Stonefields School, $87 million for about 170 classrooms across multiple schools, and $9 million for five new special education satellite units on the grounds of existing schools.
Exact locations of the three new schools have not yet been disclosed, but Kaye said they would be at:
- Orewa: $25 million for a planned roll of 420.
- Drury: $20 million for a roll of 370.
- Belmont: $22 million for a roll of 350.
Te Wharekura o Manurewa principal Maahia Nathan said the $24 million for a new Maori-language campus at Browns Rd would be the start of a project that would eventually provide education in te reo Maori from a preschool kohanga reo to a tertiary-level wananga.
“It’s still in the planning stages,” he said. “We are still talking to the Kohanga Reo National Trust and to various wananga in Auckland such as Te Wananga o Aoteaora and Awanuiarangi.”
He said the wharekura (secondary school) had been operating since 2002 in prefabs at the back of Manurewa Marae, and has a roll of 33 students.
“There is no capacity to grow at our location,” he said. “This is what we have been waiting for for 15 years.”
He said the kura kaupapa Maori (primary school) had about 60 students, so the new combined campus would open with about 100 students but with plans to grow to “300-plus”.
Stonefields School, where Kaye made the announcements this morning, is also planning major growth. Principal Sarah Martin said the school opened in 2011 with 48 students, now had nearly 600, and planned to grow to about 850.
The school has nine multi-teacher “learning hubs” plus temporary accommodation built to take growing numbers.
The expansion will add five learning hubs.
“I don’t think anyone knew, when the land was bought more than 10 years ago, what would eventuate. The Unitary Plan was not on the cards then,” Martin said.
Kaye said the extra schools achieved the National Party’s promise before the 2014 election to build nine schools in Auckland. Four primary schools have been announced previously for Hingaia South, Kumeu, Scott Pt (Hobsonville) and Flat Bush South East, and a junior college has been announced at Ormiston (Manukau).
“In 2014, we announced an accelerated growth programme aimed at building nine new schools and additional classrooms to deliver an extra 17,000 student places in Auckland by 2019,” she said.
“This latest package will provide a further 4000 student places on top of the 17,000 already announced, which means we’re now on-track to deliver an extra 21,000 student places in Auckland by 2021.”
Source: NZ Herald