Is Catholic school bound for Pa¯pa¯moa?

Te Puke Times - - NEWS - By ZOE HUNTER

The Catholic Dio­cese of Hamil­ton wants to build a Catholic pri­mary school in Pa¯pa¯moa.

The dio­cese ap­plied for fund­ing from the Crown to build the state in­te­grated school on the un­de­vel­oped land at the in­ter­sec­tion of Golden Sands Drive and The Boule­vard.

How­ever, there was no fund­ing avail­able in the Bud­get 2018 for new build­ings at in­te­grated schools.

New Zealand Catholic Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fice chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Fer­ris said the dio­cese would have to de­cide whether to fully fund the new school it­self.

“I know they have looked at it but they are aware of the Govern­ment’s de­sire to man­age at­ten­dance dues and keep ac­cess to our schools at an af­ford­able level,” he said.

“We al­ready carry sig­nif­i­cant debt. Both the Govern­ment and the Church are try­ing to keep ac­cess avail­able to all fam­i­lies by man­ag­ing the costs.

“We know that school­ing in Pa¯pa¯moa is ur­gently needed by the state and the area,” Fer­ris said.

“There is a strong de­mand for that kind of school in the Pa¯pa¯moa area.”

Catholic In­te­grated Schools Of­fice schools prop­erty and fi­nance man­ager Graeme Roil said the Hamil­ton Catholic Dio­cese was com­mit­ted to es­tab­lish­ing a Catholic pri­mary school in Pa¯pa¯moa.

“We have had an ap­pli­ca­tion with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion for some time and we are con­struc­tively work­ing with them to progress this,” he said.

“We have no up­date at this time as to the likely tim­ing of when a de­ci­sion will be made.”

Roil said the land was pur­chased about five years ago for the pur­pose of a new pri­mary school and any fu­ture po­ten­tial needs of the par­ish.

Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion deputy sec­re­tary of en­able­ment and sup­port Ka­t­rina Casey said the Govern­ment could con­trib­ute funds to­wards build­ing new state-in­te­grated schools at the min­is­ter’s dis­cre­tion.

But Casey said that, in this in­stance, the min­is­ter had de­cided against ap­prov­ing the fund­ing.

A spokes­woman for Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Chris Hip­kins said the rea­son for that was be­cause there was no fund­ing for new build­ings at in­te­grated schools avail­able in Bud­get 2018.

Casey said the min­istry had iden­ti­fied Pa¯pa¯moa as a high­growth area.

She said on­go­ing strate­gic plan­ning in­cluded the open­ing of Pa­pamoa Col­lege and Golden Sands School in 2011, as well as ap­prov­ing fund­ing to ex­pand Golden Sands School in 2017 and to buy land for two new pri­mary schools in Pa¯pa¯moa East.

A new school at Pyes Pa West was also ex­pected to open at the be­gin­ning of 2019.

The min­istry was cur­rently seek­ing feed­back on the es­tab­lish­ment of a new state pri­mary school in Pa¯pa¯moa on Te Okuroa Drive in 2021 at the ear­li­est.

Nom­i­na­tions were be­ing

ac­cepted for the es­tab­lish­ment board of trustees, with the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod open un­til Novem­ber 16.

A Tau­ranga City Coun­cil spokes­woman said the Catholic Dio­cese of Hamil­ton owned the un­de­vel­oped land at the in­ter­sec­tion of Golden Sands Drive and The Boule­vard.

The land was be­ing pre­pared for use as a tsunami refuge for Pa¯pa¯moa East.

Tau­ranga City Coun­cil emer­gency man­age­ment man­ager Paul Baun­ton told the Bay of Plenty Times sand from the Te Okuroa Drive ex­ten­sion ex­ca­va­tion was be­ing stock­piled on the site.

The refuge would be­come part of the school grounds if it went ahead.

PHOTO / JOHN BORREN

The un­de­vel­oped land at the in­ter­sec­tion of Golden Sands Drive and The Boule­vard was owned by the Catholic Dio­cese of Hamil­ton.

Catholic In­te­grated Schools Of­fice schools prop­erty and fi­nance man­ager Graeme Roil.

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