The Ministry of Education is considering whether to take
legal action over ''leaky'' Arrowtown School buildings.
As reported by the Otago Daily Times on Saturday, the
school - which has 510 pupils in 21 classrooms - revealed to
parents and caregivers on Friday there are weathertightness
issues with seven of the school's nine blocks.
Principal Robin Harris said it would take millions of dollars
to fix the problem and the ministry was considering
demolishing and rebuilding some of the worst buildings rather
than attempting to repair them.
Ministry acting head of education infrastructure service Rob
Giller yesterday said no decisions had been made about legal
action over the school's weathertightness issues.
He named Rilean Construction - an award-winning,
Queenstown-based firm - as the company that built most of the
But Rilean director and shareholder Steve McLean said the
ministry had not raised any weathertightness issues with him
since his company was involved in the project in 1996 and
In fact, the ODT's call was his first time someone had
raised the issue with his firm, he said - despite the
ministry first identifying potential issues in 2012.
''We have never been asked to go back and look at any
weathertightness issues at the school in the ensuing 17 years
and have not been contacted by, or had any correspondence
with, the Ministry of Education, the design team, or the
school itself, either today or in the past,'' he said in an
''The project ran smoothly with a good consultant team and
was finished on time and on budget. It was a great job to
Mr McLean said the school was built to the plans provided by
the design team and signed off by the ministry in accordance
with design regulations and standards at the time.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council - which was not able to
provide comment by deadline - also signed off the buildings,
Mr McLean said.
''We aren't in a position to comment any further until we've
spoken with the relative parties.''
Work started in June on a new $2.4 million classroom block at
Arrowtown School, which will house six classrooms in a