“Last August, the Government announced it would invest $350 million over four years to get ahead of demand in our biggest city,” says Ms Parata.
“This investment is now bearing fruit, with the new classrooms confirmed today resulting from roll growth funding in Budget 2015 and previous Budgets. Every year that we’ve been in Government, we have increased the education budget.
“As well as new classrooms, the $350 million accelerated growth funding provides for nine new Auckland schools by 2018. Two of these have already been confirmed, in Kumeu and Scott Point.
“Other parts of New Zealand are experiencing roll growth and we’re committed to dealing with that too, but as our largest city with a growing population, it’s important we move to meet the demand in Auckland.”
Ms Kaye says projections indicate there will be an extra 107,000 school students in Auckland over the next 30 years.
“For some schools, accommodating roll growth will require building higher than one storey. Schools understandably want to preserve open spaces such as fields, so it make sense to build up,” says Ms Kaye.
“All of the new classrooms will meet the Ministry of Education’s ‘innovative learning environment’ criteria. This means they will have appropriate heating, lighting, ventilation and acoustics, and can support a range of teaching and learning approaches.
“The aim is to create modern, comfortable and innovative environments that inspire children to succeed.”
The Government has confirmed that at least half of the 130 extra classrooms signalled as part of last year’s accelerated Auckland growth package are now on-track to being delivered.
As well as new roll-growth classrooms, 52 replacement classrooms have also been confirmed for Auckland over the next 18 months.
Major school redevelopments will also happen. Of 30 major redevelopments nationwide that were flagged in 2013, 14 have been approved in less than two years, with eight of these in Auckland.
- over 230 new roll-growth classrooms and over 50 replacement classrooms confirmed for delivery in Auckland over next 18 months
- new classrooms will be delivered to 51 schools across Auckland by 2017
- 12% of Auckland’s schools have active projects to address roll growth
- demand from special housing areas has been taken into account, at schools such as Papakura Normal School, New Lynn School and Arahoe School
- eight major school redevelopments also confirmed so far for Auckland, at Freemans Bay School, The Gardens School, Bayfield School, Warkworth School, Sherwood School, Ellerslie School, Koru School and Southern Cross Campus
Hekia Parata, Nikki Kaye