Plight over plan to rezone school

Families are thinking of leaving Queenstown because of schooling issues, City Impact Church Early Childhood Centre manager Shaun Vining said at a meeting in the resort last night.

About 37 people attended the meeting convened by the Wakatipu Education Community Group (WECG), to discuss proposed zone changes for Remarkables Primary School.

Mr Vining said the early childhood centre had 104 children attending the centre already, with 220 more on the waiting list.

About 85% would be affected if the Ministry of Education's proposal to rezone the school went ahead.

The proposal would exclude suburban Lake Hayes Estate, Quail Rise, Tuckers Beach, Marina Heights and the northern side of Frankton Rd from the school's catchment from the start of term two next year.

The ministry's proposal stemmed from its concerns of overcrowding in the $17.3 million primary school, only 18 months since the first pupils began attending.

Mr Vining said two families had said this week "it's going to be too difficult", so were moving away.

"We really need to put our heads together and think of plans to increase our education around the area."

The meeting, chaired by WECG member Kate Smith, was attended by Remarkables Primary School principal Debbie Dickson and board chairman John Stalker, KingsView School principal Rebekah Key, Queenstown Primary School principal John Western, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden, chief executive Debra Lawson, strategy manager Phil Pannett and Cr Cath Gilmour.

Ms van Uden said the council was "not in the business of providing education to this community".

Last night parents of pupils and prospective pupils, along with residents, were encouraged to make submissions on the proposal, which would help form the basis of a submission from the school to the ministry, due next month. Submissions are due at the school tomorrow.


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