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Three Auckland MPs call for halt of school sale

Three Auckland MPs, Judith Tizard, MP for Auckland Central, Christine Fletcher, MP for Epsom and Mayor of Auckland and Sandra Lee, Alliance MP and Deputy Leader of Mana Motuhake today called on the Minister of Education, Hon Nick Smith to halt the sale process for the old Bayfield Primary School site in Jervois Road.

"He must listen to Auckland and not just to Treasury," the Auckland MPs said.

"Land is at a premium in Auckland, especially in the inner city and the growing population mean huge demands on existing educational and community services. This land and the important heritage buildings on it should not be 'flogged off' for short term financial gain for the Government and the Ministry of Education, when more space is needed now for the community and will be desperately needed for future educational purposes as well," they said.

The school buildings have a B classification from the Historic Places Trust and are unique survivors of an earlier, grander style of school buildings. This site is a large inner city block of land which should be available to meet the needs of Aucklanders.

"We are calling on the Ministry of Education to work with the Auckland City Council to decide on the long term use of this important facilty and to consult with people in local schools and in the Herne Bay and Ponsonby communities about their needs."

Schools are badly stretched and many in the city have very restricted playing fields now. Special education facilities are over burdened and Plunket tell me that the births in the area are far higher than official projections suggest.

The Minister must act now, they said.

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