SunLive         

MPs scrap over new school

A 60 kilometre round trip to college for Omokoroa Aquinas student Taylor Osterman. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

Two Tauranga MPs are trading shots over the building of a new secondary school at Omokoroa.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller started the firefight by ‘slamming the Government’ for what he claims is a lack of urgency and delays in acquiring land and building of a new school on Omokoroa.

“The build is on the horizon but not in the near future,” says Todd. “And the lack of infrastructure for our local community has now reached critical levels.

That prompted a burst of return fire from Labour list MP Jan Tinetti. “If Todd wanted a new school by now, the Ministry should have bought the land when he was in Government and planned for growth. But they didn’t.”

She says Todd is right on one score - planning hadn’t been done across New Zealand for schooling.

“So this Government released a first- of-its-kind national education growth plan which maps the growth across the country with a billion dollar investment this budget to deliver on it,” says Jan. “That’s the  most a New Zealand Government has ever provided.”

Todd Muller said a recent report from the Ministry of Education acknowledged high population growth in the region but said it could take five to six years to complete a new school after land has been acquired. “This was just not good enough,” said the MP. “We can’t wait, the Ministry needs to have another look at this and fast-track building the school. We need that school now.”

And he appealed to the government to support the growing community – “not turn their back on us and ignore us.”

That support is coming according to Jan Tinetti. The Ministry is currently getting land for the schools that are needed for the growth plan

“It has always taken four to six years to build a school because you have to work with council to get the land zoned for education, make sure classrooms are in the right place, design classrooms, get a construction company and then build a school. Having been a former school principal I am well aware of this.”

The List MP says the government is taking action and planning for the next ten years to ensure there are enough classrooms in the high growth areas of Tauranga, Omokoroa and Papamoa.

More on SunLive...
3 Comments
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now

New School

Posted on 09-08-2019 20:55 | By surfsup

Sick and tired of hearing National MPs bleating on about what the Labour government should be doing. 9 years of National saw underfunding across the board in all key areas of Health, Education and Roading. Labour may still not have it right but National have not got nothing to brag about.

SIX YEARS to BUILD

Posted on 09-08-2019 20:22 | By The Caveman

A new school and the ED Dept owns the land !! Did I miss something.! For a start - use the same basic plan for ALL schools - with minor adjustments for specific sites/student ages. WHY is it necessary to get COUNCIL approval to build a school on ED owned land?? OH that’s right - the RED TAPE keeps hundreds of ED Dept and Council employees occupied for at least FOUR years before a single "sod" is turned.

Same old

Posted on 09-08-2019 18:46 | By Merlin

Same old same old from Todd Muller.Criticize something they should have been doing when they were Government and try to blame it on the current Government.