Papamoa earmarked for new primary school after ministry confirms hunt for suitable landSave
By Scott K MacLeod
Papamoa is to get a new state primary school.
The Ministry of Education yesterday confirmed rumours that it was in the process of acquiring land in or near Te Okuroa Dr for such a school.
Ministry senior media adviser Kathryn O'Sullivan said that an "analysis of the demographic growth" showed there would be a future need for a school in the area.
The exact type of school, and whether it would have an early childhood education service, would be determined after talks with local parents.
Ms O'Sullivan did not respond to a question about a proposed opening date, but some other Tauranga schools have opened within three years of being announced.
The news comes two weeks after Education Minister Hekia Parata announced details of the new Pyes Pa West School in Tauranga, stating that it would take its first students in 2019.
Ministry of Education spokeswoman Katrina Casey said at the time that the population of the Pyes Pa West and Lakes area would grow by nearly 50 per cent in the next 11 years and that the school would cater to the influx.
In Papamoa, primary-aged students mostly attend the Golden Sands, Papamoa Primary, Te Akau Ki and Tahatai Coast schools.
Tahatai Coast School principal Matt Skilton said he had not formally been told about the new school, but there was probably a need for one because of population growth.
His school "had a strong roll" but was not yet overflowing.
The principals of the other three schools did not respond to requests for comment.
The new Papamoa school is likely to be located near the Terrace Views subdivision, which is being developed by Zariba Holdings. Its director, Dwayne Roper, said many purchasers were young families and it was "reassuring" that they would have access to schooling.
At Pyes Pa, a board of trustees is expected to be established soon, tasked with appointing a principal and determining school policy and governance practices. The school will cost $18 million, funded from the Government's $882.5m education infrastructure package that was announced as part of the 2016 Budget.
It was unknown yesterday if the Papamoa school would be funded from the same package.
According to Statistics New Zealand, the number of children aged under 15 in Tauranga increased by 7500 between 1996 and 2013.
Between 2013 and 2018, the number is expected to increase by 1900, with a further 1200 children expected to be added by 2023.
Where: Te Okuroa Drive
Who: Primary-aged students
Roll: To be determined
Cost: To be determined
Pyes Pa West School
Where: Kennedy Rd, Tauranga
Who: Initially year 1-6 students, later years 7-8
When: First intake 2019
Cost: $18 million