Media Release: Phillipstown School Merger

MEDIA RELEASE: Hekia Parata – 9 APRIL, 2014

Decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston Schools

The Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced her decision on the proposed merger of Phillipstown School and Woolston School.

“After a lengthy period of continued consultation with all major stakeholders and fresh consideration of the merger proposal, I have made a new decision that these schools will merge.

“It is now more than 18 months since I first announced my proposal that these schools merge. That is a considerably long period of time for the children, staff and communities of Phillipstown and Woolston to be dealing with constant uncertainty about their schools. I am glad to be providing complete and utter certainty to them today.”

Ms Parata says there were a number of reasons for the merger.

“Firstly, since the devastating earthquake of February 2011, the children and staff of Phillipstown have been learning and working in piles of rubble. Some of this rubble is very dangerous with sharp steel poking out, hard edges of broken concrete, and I could taste asbestos the last time I was there. The rat problem in the staffroom pit was becoming diabolical.

“Secondly, the land the school rubble is currently occupying is worth several million dollars to the government. Just think how much money we’re making from selling this property. Imagine what we could use that money for. New cushioned seats at the Sky City box at Eden Park or a large marble statue of Sir Robert Muldoon gracing the main street of Tamaki.

“Thirdly, Phillipstown and Woolston schools are in quite poor areas of Christchurch. We in the National Party are confident that most of those parents wouldn’t be voting for us anyway. As well as this, poor people are too busy feeding their kids and working three jobs to be bothered with fighting for something they truly believe in.”

Ms Parata was excited about the change in store for Woolston School.

“We’re going to put heaps of awesome shit in there,” she said, “loads of stuff like computers and iPads and bean bags. It’ll be totes amaze-balls. It will be like going to school in your lounge. These communities should be really happy that we’re doing this. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to school and slack off in a bean bag playing Grand Theft Auto 5?”

Ms Parata said other things as well.

“Exciting developments are already underway from decisions taken last year. Many look forward to the Phillipstown and Woolston merger being part of this exciting new education landscape – except maybe the parents, teachers and children of Phillipstown who’ll face complete upheaval from this decision. Possibly.

“Our Government is absolutely committed to the communities of greater Christchurch,” Ms Parata says, “except those outside our voting strongholds of Ilam and Christchurch Central.”



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