A school bus battle is brewing in the Wakatipu Basin.
The Ministry of Education dropped a bombshell last week when
it announced it was reviewing the provision of
government-funded school buses in the Wakatipu area.
School representatives were told on Tuesday and attended a
meeting on Thursday night called by the ministry.
Wakatipu High School principal Steve Hall said it appeared an
unspecified number of bus Wakatipu routes were likely to be
cut because user-pays public transport was available.
Details about which routes are under threat are expected to
be released in the coming weeks, as the ministry works
through its criteria for providing bus services to schools
around the Wakatipu.
''We are concerned by this,'' Mr Hall said.
''There might be serious implications from this for our
students, families, Wakatipu High School and the community.
''We are really keen to get the final details and see what it
In a statement released to the Otago Daily Times
before Thursday's meeting, the ministry's head of education
infrastructure services, Kim Shannon, said: ''The population
in the Wakatipu area has grown in recent years and public
transport services have also grown to meet local demand''.
''We have already been working closely with local schools and
this meeting is an opportunity to discuss with them what
opportunities exist for the ministry and public transport
providers to work together more collaboratively.''
''Like all other areas in New Zealand, no change will take
place until we have sought the schools' perspective and
ensured that there is minimal disruption to the school