The Government has begun doling out its Auckland treats, with details of new education spending announced.
New Education Minister Nikki Kaye fleshed out details of the $240 million investment in Auckland school property in a speech at Stonefields School on Thursday.
It includes four new schools, one large expansion, the relocation of two special education schools, and replacement classrooms.
The new schools are:
• a 350-pupil primary school in the Pukekohe Belmont area ($22m)
• a 420-pupil primary school in the Orewa area ($25m)
• a 370-pupil primary school in the Drury area ($20m)
• a kura in Manurewa to house Te Kura Kaupapa Maoro o Manurewa and Te Wharekura o Manurewa ($24m).
Stonefields School will be expanded by an extra 450 places for about $20m, $22m will be spent to combine and rebuild Carlson and Sunnydene special education schools on a new site, while $87m will provide about 170 extra classrooms for the Auckland region.
Five new special education satellite units to be built on existing schools will cost $9m.
The $240m is part of a $456.5m overall education investment in education infrastructure and operating costs included in this year’s Budget.
While the “something-for-everyone” Budget effectively boxed the opposition into a tight corner, education and Auckland are two areas the Government remain vulnerable on, alongside health.
The announcement is timed to allay some of the concerns of Auckland parents worried about the explosive growth of the city’s population.
Kaye said the spending is alongside the $162 allocated in last year’s Budget.
Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe said the spending was aimed to ensure Auckland’s school network met demand.
“The Ministry of Education is now looking much further ahead, up to 30 years into the future, to identify where it may need land, and it’s also working more closely with local authorities and infrastructure providers to carry out planning for high-growth areas,” he said.