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Minister makes Upper Hutt schools’ future clear

12 November 2007 Media Statement

Minister makes Upper Hutt schools’ future clear

Minister of Education Chris Carter has announced the government’s decision to finalise the future of intermediate and secondary schooling provision in Upper Hutt by retaining the current four schools on their current sites.

“I have made this decision to give Upper Hutt schools and parents a clear direction for the future, free from uncertainty,” Chris Carter said.

“More than $14.6 million has been approved to upgrade the schools, an investment that will reassure Upper Hutt’s principals, teachers and parents of the government’s on-going commitment to quality education in their community.”

The money included release of inflation-adjusted funding for capital works, plus enhanced property funding available to schools following reviews of this nature, which amounted to a doubling of capital funding for the schools, the Minister said.

Principals and board representatives from each of Maidstone and Fergusson Intermediates and Upper Hutt and Heretaunga Colleges, along with local iwi, formed a working group to discuss the best configuration of schools in Upper Hutt following a review in 2004.

The group made their recommendations to the Minister of Education in October last year.

Chris Carter acknowledged a delay while evaluations were made and the uncertainty over the future of the schools had been a source of frustration.

“I would like to thank the members of the working group for their efforts, the staff and students of all four schools for their understanding and the Upper Hutt community for their patience in this matter.

The Minister also acknowledged the strong advocacy for the schools and their communities by Paul Swain, the local MP, and Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy, who had followed the process with interest and provided valuable input.

“With the upgrades to be undertaken, I’m confident these four schools will provide a better learning environment than has previously been available, and one that will serve the community well,” Chris Carter said.

ENDS

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