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Minister renews school bus solution pledge

25 July 2002

Minister renews school bus solution pledge

Associate Minister of Education Marian Hobbs says she will work with the Rawene-Omanaia school communities spokesman, Kaikohe lawyer Doug Blaikie, to find a solution to the area's school transport concerns.

"I have spoken to Mr Blaikie today and will consider positively his proposal for an alternative way of providing a bus service," Marian Hobbs said. "I am pleased both the school communities are now working together.

"In October 2000 the Omanaia School Board protested to the government that the Rawene school bus service was marginalising their school by taking children away from Omanaia to Rawene.

"This Government wants to ensure that all children get equal learning opportunities. School transport services are organised to assist students to attend their nearest school. In this case, students had been moving away from their nearest school to attend Rawene.

"It has been suggested that Omanaia School is full. This is not true. The roll in March was 38 and the Ministry of Education advises that the school could accommodate approximately another 40 students.

"The MP for Tai Tokerau Dover Samuels is meeting school and community representatives today. With the two schools working together we hope to provide both a safe bus service and classrooms to meet the needs of both schools fairly.

"I do appreciate that the Far North has special circumstances that need to be taken into account and therefore I will work with the community to ensure an equitable and safe solution.

"There will be a bus service that meets that goal of safety."


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