Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.
Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were acquired from Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
“This Government is taking steps to ensure students have room to learn in warm, dry classrooms and schools have space to grow,” Chris Hipkins said:
“These purchases are part our comprehensive plan to support growth in the fast-growing Otumoetai catchment.
“The National Education Growth Plan, completed earlier this year, pinpoints areas where student populations are rising and are projected to rise. The Otumoetai catchment is one of them – it’s one of 39 major growth areas highlighted in the plan.
“Local schools in established areas have been under increasing pressure as the demographics of these neighbourhoods change to include more families with school-age children.
“It will be several years before the population reaches the point at which we need to begin building but ensuring there is land in the right place on which to build is critical.
“It’s expected that future schooling in Omokoroa may include primary and secondary students on campus-style site.
“We will continue to monitor the school-age population so that we stay ahead of the curve while preparing for roll growth.”
Tauranga-based Labour list MP Jan Tinetti said: “It will be great for the students in the area to have school that are closer to home, lessening the amount of time required for them to travel.
“It’s wonderful to see the Government not only recognise the significant growth in our region but to drive solutions to achieve the best learning solutions for our children and young people.”
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Garry Webber said the Council is delighted the Ministry of Education has taken concrete steps to recognise the area’s population growth.
“It gives us the certainty we need to begin structural planning for the community.”
Notes for editors
Indications are that the school will be needed towards the latter end of the decade.