Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education
Education Minister Hekia Parata says she will review carefully the outcome of the judicial review brought by Phillipstown School.
“We will urgently examine Justice Fogarty’s decision, and our options, including continuing consultation on the issue that was of concern to the Court.
“These are unique circumstances and, while it is never an easy decision to merge a school, it is clear that Christchurch education needs to be organised differently post the earthquakes.
“We know that Christchurch East was most directly affected by the earthquakes, and early Census results indicate that as many as 10,000 people have left the area. Obviously this has a significant effect on schools and their rolls, and responses such as closures and mergers are inevitable in these circumstances. However, change is difficult.
“I am really impressed with the progress that has been made by schools in Christchurch and how they have moved ahead with making important decisions for their schools.
“For example, the Aranui cluster leadership group has recently announced that they are going to start consulting with their school community on how their new campus will look.
“Establishment boards of the schools working towards merger have made steady progress appointing their new principals, and new classrooms are being readied for these changes.
“The Government remains committed to education renewal in Christchurch and we are investing $1 billion over the next 10 years to achieve this.
“We have a chance to build brighter, more modern schools in better locations, with great new facilities, and to ensure all children are getting access to good, quality education.”
“I will not be making any further comment until I’ve had time to consider the decision and receive Crown Law advice.”