A school student has been arrested after a suspicious fire at
The technology block at Whangamata Area School was destroyed
when fire took hold of the building last week.
Insurance assessors have yet to review the contents inside
but the final cost is expected to exceed $1 million.
Detective Sergeant Martyn Hughes of the Thames-Coromandel CIB
said a joint police and New Zealand Fire Service
investigation established the cause of the fire at the school
a week ago was the reckless use of matches.
"As a result a 17-year-old male student from the school was
charged with arson and appeared in the Thames District Court
[on Monday]," Mr Hughes said.
"The man was bailed to reappear in the Waihi District Court
at a yet-to-be-determined date next month and Waikato police
would like to thank the local Whangamata community for all
Principal Ross Preece said the school would be there to
support the student.
"We are thinking of what's best for him now.
"The justice system will do what it does."
A permit has been issued for demolition work to begin on the
former technology block but assessors are yet to review
Demolition work is expected to take place from Thursday.
It is expected the building will be replaced and open to
students from Term 2 next year.
In the meantime, students will sit the book-work part of
their technology studies in other classrooms, with more focus
on the practical studies later in the year, when the block is
- Kiri Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times