Tuturumuri School to remain open

A small rural Wairarapa school will remain open in 2019, ending the closure process, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Tuturumuri School, which is 30 minutes’ drive towards the Wairarapa coast from Martinborough, was considered for closure after a combination of circumstances resulted in the school having no students in the last term of 2017. It now has eight students.

“In rural New Zealand, schools can provide an important community hub and we have to take that into account when balancing any decisions to close with a school’s viability and future prospects,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Throughout this consultation process, we heard from members of the community about how important the school is to them, and we’ve listened.

“It was clear to me that closing the school would impact travel distances, times and costs for students, and more remote students would need to travel to school on largely narrow, winding, unsealed rural roads.

“Attracting a suitable teaching principal in 2019 will be crucial to the long-term sustainability of the school.

“The Ministry of Education will provide me with an update on the school in late 2019. This will include advice from the upcoming Education Review Office review,” Chris Hipkins said.

A steering committee of local residents was formed in late 2017 to help rebuild the School’s roll. Retention of the School was also supported by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.