Rt Hon Bill English
Auckland is our biggest city and home to more than a third of the country’s population – including many students of all ages.
The Government is committed to ensuring the city offers these students the best possible opportunity to learn, and that it has the capacity to accommodate more as the city grows.
I recently visited Long Bay Primary School to announce a new two-storey classroom block, which will provide six new learning spaces to cater for projected roll growth.
As a result of initiatives like these, more than 17,000 new student places will be created in Auckland by 2019.
One of these new schools is the recently announced Flat Bush South East School for Year 1 to 6 students.
It will be constructed under a Public Private Partnership which will also cover maintenance for the next 25 years, so the Board can focus on teaching and learning rather than maintaining buildings.
Joining Flat Bush South East School will be other new schools such as Ormiston Junior College, and new primary schools at Scott Point, Kumeu and Hingaia South.
Last year, we also announced $268 million of school redevelopments in Auckland.
Warkworth Primary will be redeveloped, with 10 existing classrooms on the senior campus to be demolished and replaced with 14 new classrooms and renewed administration, library and resource spaces.
The redevelopment of the junior campus, including a 16-classroom block, administration area and hall was opened last year.
As Auckland spreads north, Warkworth Primary School will play an increasingly important role.
The redevelopments span the length and breadth of Auckland too. They include Western Springs College, Macleans College, Takapuna Grammar, Te Huruhi School on Waiheke Island, and Koru School.
As parents know, what counts most in a school is not the buildings but what happens inside them.
When I’ve visited schools around the country, I’ve been impressed by the attitude of teachers, parents and students who are motivated and raring to go.
At $11 billion, investment in education is higher than ever. It has increased 35 percent since 2008 while student numbers have increased just 3.6 percent.
It is precisely because this Government values education that we are investing so heavily in modern school facilities.
Providing kids with a good education is arguably the best thing any government can do, both for them and for the country.
With highly educated and motivated kids, Auckland and New Zealand’s future is in good hands.