Principal concerned about proposed changes to school buses

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 all means.''

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 communities.''

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