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Colleges' co-location plans end as Ministry
shifts focus to urgent property needs

Te Tātoru o Wairau – the project to co-locate Marlborough’s Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges and relocate Bohally Intermediate School – has ended.

At a meeting with school and iwi leaders in Blenheim today, Minister of Education Erica Stanford and Secretary for Education Iona Holsted outlined plans to fast-track urgent property priorities at each of the three schools rather than progress with a co-located campus.

Education Minister Erica Stanford said it was concerning to find that the project was nearly $200 million more than originally forecast and that funding had not been secured.

“Now we must ensure we can deliver fit for purpose schools for Marlborough that achieve excellent education outcomes for their students. It’s a relief that we have been able to find a way forward for the schools, iwi and wider community so that the necessary work can get underway as soon as possible.”

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted said the Ministry will work with schools and iwi immediately to address the priority property needs of the schools to support excellent learning outcomes.

“I expect during the next four to six weeks we will have scoped that work,” Iona Holsted said.

“I want to acknowledge all those who have been involved in the project. I know that the change in direction will be disappointing, however I also acknowledge the willingness of people to work with us to get cracking on this work.”

Marlborough Boys’ College Principal/Tumuaki, John Kendal, said that while the scope of the project had changed, the kura remained committed to ensuring it had improved facilities that benefitted the community into the future.

“We have great staff and will continue to deliver high quality education in Wairau,” Matua Kendal said.

Marlborough Girls’ College Chair, Brian Roughan, said “We are disappointed that the co-location is no longer going ahead, but will keep working together with the boys’ college, Bohally and iwi to provide the best outcome for Marlborough students.”

Girls’ college Principal, Mary-Jeanne Lynch, said the school will work with the Ministry to improve its facilities for the future.

“We continue to offer excellent education for young women in Marlborough, and be a kura where everyone belongs and can achieve,” Ms Lynch said.

Bohally Intermediate School Principal, Nicky Cameron-Dunn, said the intermediate valued the opportunity to work closely with the colleges and local iwi on the project.

“Our Board of Trustees is excited by the possibilities that the new scope may bring in being able to upgrade some of our current facilities,” Mrs Cameron-Dunn said.

Iwi spokesperson, Michelle Lavender, said that iwi was disappointed that many of the benefits of co-location will not be achieved, however the cultural narrative that was developed as part of the project articulated a pathway to achieve better education outcomes for ākonga in Wairau and will continue to be valuable going forward.

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