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Auckland Schools To Close On APEC Monday

2 July 1999

MEDIA STATEMENT

For immediate Release

Auckland Schools To Close On APEC Monday

Foreign Minister Don McKinnon said today that the Government had decided to authorise a holiday for schools in the Auckland region on Monday 13 September, to reduce traffic flows in the region to accommodate the APEC Leaders' meeting.

"The Education Minister Dr Nick Smith is formally authorising schools in Auckland, from the North Shore as far south as, and including, Manukau City to close on Monday 13 September. The Minister says schools will not be required to extend the term to replace the time lost from the special APEC one day closure.

"This will help reduce traffic in Auckland city, lessening delays and hold-ups as a result of the APEC Leaders meeting,"Mr McKinnon said.

The Government has consulted with Auckland City Mayor Christine Fletcher over this initiative.

"My Council had some concerns, particularly with school holidays starting the next week. However, on balance, they support the move in the interests of reducing traffic congestion on Monday 13 September, and child safety.

"I want to assure the Board's of Trustees' that their views were taken on board by the Council, and the fact that the Minister of Education will not expect Boards to make up this day, will be appreciated by them," Mrs Fletcher said.

"Monday is the day when most leaders will be leaving Auckland, involving quite a few motorcades from locations in downtown Auckland to the airport throughout that day. Anything that can be done to reduce traffic congestion at that time is sensible. By closing schools, we can reduce traffic pressure further, particularly at key times in the morning, and mid-afternoon," Mr McKinnon said.

The Foreign Minister reiterated the Government's wish that Auckland businesses adopt a flexible approach to the Monday, and keep travel into and out of the city to a minimum.

"With everyone's cooperation, we should be able to get through Monday 13 September with as little disruption as possible," Mr McKinnon said.

ENDS



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