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A primary school for 450 pupils will be built in the
heart of a new $300 million residential development near
Queenstown and it is expected to open by February 2015.
After months of silence from the Ministry of Education about
its long-term plans in the Wakatipu basin, Education Minister
Hekia Parata and Associate Minister Craig Foss yesterday
confirmed 3ha of Shotover Country has been earmarked for the
Owned by Ladies Mile Partnership, Shotover Country is 120ha
of rural land between the Shotover River and Lake Hayes
Estate and considered one of last pockets available for major
residential development in the basin.
Seven hundred and fifty homes are planned for the
Ms Parata said confirmation of the agreement to purchase the
site was "excellent news".
"Queenstown is growing and the community needs extra
schooling capacity. The Shotover site is well located and
will ensure young learners are well catered for," she said.
"The site we have identified will have good vehicle, cycling
and pedestrian routes to the existing Lake Hayes Estate and
give Queenstown students new and exciting educational
opportunities in a modern 21st-century environment."
Mr Foss said Shotover Country was identified as a logical
choice for the location of a new school, given it was central
to population growth and also the positive attributes of the
"The site is part of a wider plan to expand schooling
capacity in the area," he said.
"Earlier this year, a new site for the Wakatipu High School
was acquired in the Remarkables Park development and the
school is expected to move to the new site in the near
"The Shotover site purchase is another important development
in the provision of education in the Queenstown area."
Developer Grant Stalker, of Ladies Mile Partnership, said
yesterday the first stage of 54 residential sections was
attracting much interest from young families entering the
Confirmation of a primary school would give them and other
buyers extra confidence, he said.
Yesterday's announcement follows the opening of the $17.3
million Remarkables Primary School in Frankton in February
The ministry said yesterday construction of the Shotover
school was expected to start between October next year and
the following January, but it was subject to planning
consents and development time-tabling.
It was too early to determine the school's name, construction
budget, number of staff required and enrolment capacity, the
Remarkables Primary, which has a capacity of 460 pupils, had
455 on its roll yesterday. Another six pupils were expected
to enrol before the end of the year.
A double classroom unit is set to be delivered in time for
the beginning of term one. Two further teaching spaces are to
be available by the end of term two, to cater for the
Board chairwoman Fiona Woodham said yesterday she and
trustees were "delighted to see the ministry implement its
plans for a new primary school and recognise this is an area
of continued growth".
"We will be very much supporting the new school in the run-up
to it opening and when it opens."
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said the announcement
was "very pleasing" for education in the Wakatipu.
"It's good to see certainty around planning for current and
future growth and I'm looking forward to hearing more about
the timeline for the school's establishment."