Green light for Aranui Community Campus and New Brighton School merger

  • Hekia Parata

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced today the proposed Aranui Community Campus will go ahead, and three New Brighton schools will merge. The estimated costs will be over $41 million.

“The government is committed to the rebuild of Christchurch. That’s why we’re investing $1 billion into renewing the education network in greater Christchurch over the next 10 years,” says Ms Parata.

“I want to acknowledge, once again, the enormous challenges faced by everyone in Christchurch following the earthquakes, and how impressed I have been by the resilience shown by the education sector.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in education renewal for greater Christchurch, as it means all 38 schools affected by proposals announced last September now have final decisions, or made their own decision to close.

“I want to thank communities in Aranui and New Brighton for their involvement in this process. They have put enormous work into their submissions and their feedback has been invaluable throughout this past 12 months of extensive consultation.” 

The Aranui community campus will provide year 1-13 schooling and be built on the current Aranui High School site, opening at the start of term one in 2017. This means Aranui High, Aranui School, Avondale School and Wainoni School will close on 27 January 2017.

Chisnallwood Intermediate will remain open on its current site, with a review in 2020, when other changes have bedded in.

“The community campus is a fresh and exciting approach to education in Aranui, with huge potential benefits for students and the wider community. This is the first campus of its kind in greater Christchurch, with successful examples operating in other parts of New Zealand,” says Ms Parata. 

“It will work to improve education outcomes in Aranui while providing community facilities and support in a suburb that was so badly affected in the earthquakes.

“The new campus will enhance the choice of learning and activities that young people have, provide modern learning environments, and offer services that will benefit the wider community. It will also assist families with more than one child by providing education on one site from early learning through to the transition to employment, training, or higher education.

“Further consultation on the campus will be led by the Aranui Community Leadership Group, which will now be set up, with the support of the Ministry of Education. This consultation will give the whole community the chance to come up with innovative ideas for enhancing education and lifting student achievement in new and exciting ways.” 

In New Brighton, Central New Brighton, Freeville and North New Brighton Schools will merge at the start of term one 2015, initially on the Freeville and North New Brighton sites, and from 2016 on the North New Brighton site when building work is complete. The new school buildings on the North New Brighton site will give students access to modern learning environment facilities with the aim of lifting student achievement and supporting new and innovative ways of teaching.

The final decision for this merger to take effect is later than the start of the term two 2014 date that was suggested in the proposals announced in May, and will support an easier transition.

The Aranui and New Brighton schools will be supported throughout the process to make sure there is a continued focus on providing quality education for students. The Minister will appoint a Board of Trustees for the New Brighton merger before the end of this year.

“It is important that the vision and planning for the merged schools has the early attention of a dedicated Board,” says Ms Parata.

Notes to editors:

There were already around 5,000 places available in schools across greater Christchurch before the earthquakes. As of July 2012, a further 4,300 children had not re-enrolled, meaning there were 9,300 places available and many schools with significantly underutilised resources.

The Greater Christchurch Education Renewal proposals respond to population movement of people and damage to land and buildings that occurred after the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, as well as the opportunity to enhance the education network.

In September 2012, Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata announced proposals affecting 38 schools of the 215 in greater Christchurch.

Of the 38 schools subject to proposals to close or merge:

  • 14 schools received decisions to stay open on their current sites:
    Bromley School
    Burnham Primary School
    Burnside Primary School
    Chisnallwood Intermediate School, with a review in 2020
    Duvauchelle School
    Gilberthorpe School
    TKKM o Waitaha
    Linwood Avenue School
    Okains Bay School
    Ouruhia Model School
    Shirley Intermediate
    South New Brighton School
    TKKM o Te Whānau Tahi
    Yaldhurst Model School. 
  • 11 schools received decisions to merge, which will create five merged schools:
    Burwood will merge with Windsor
    Central New Brighton, Freeville and North New Brighton will merge
    Discovery will merge with Unlimited
    Lyttelton Main will merge with Lyttelton West
    Phillipstown will merge with Woolston.
  • 11 schools received decisions to close:
    Aranui High School
    Aranui School
    Avondale School
    Branston Intermediate
    Glenmoor School
    Greenpark School
    Kendal School
    Linwood Intermediate
    Manning Intermediate
    Richmond School
    Wainoni School.
  • Two schools chose to voluntarily close:
    Hammersley Park School
    Le Bons Bay School.