Push for MoE to plan for high school in Beachlands

The race is on to push the Ministry of Education (MoE) to invest in land to build a high school in Beachlands.

Hunua MP Andrew Bayly says with very few large vacant lots left in Beachlands, and if the Ministry do not secure land now he fears they won’t have space to build a high school in the area when it’s needed.

“I have been pushing MoE to turn their attention to planning for a secondary school in the Beachlands/Maraetai area, given the rapid level of development that has been and will occur in this area,” he says.

Bayly met senior Ministry officials on Monday to discuss the potential for land to be bought in advance for a high school in the area and show them around sites in Pukekohe.

“Their current view is that by putting in place a rezoning at Howick College, they can divert up to 500 students from areas, such as Clevedon and Alfriston, thereby meeting the future needs from students coming from the Beachlands/Maraetai area,” Bayly says.

“The argument I have been running is that there is very few large lots of land available in Beachlands/Maraetai and unless they acquire land in advance of the need, then they will not have the opportunity to build one in the future.”

MoE policy does not currently allow for land to be purchased in advance of plans for a school to be built.

At present number of students does not justify a secondary school to be built in Beachlands/Maraetai

Bayly says the Ministry officials will visit Beachlands and Maraetai in the New Year so they can see firsthand the level of development in these areas.

He hopes that this will bring about a more factually-based discussion on the issues.