Is Catholic school bound for Pa¯pa¯moa?
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.
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.