$3m upgrade for Ngaio School

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Ngaio Primary School will receive a major property upgrade worth almost $3.3 million, Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says.

“I am very pleased that an agreement has been reached with the Ngaio School Board to undertake several much-needed upgrades concurrently.

“We are also using this opportunity to provide some exciting new learning spaces for the students that will assist in the delivery of the curriculum. Bundling the work into one project will help to reduce disruption to the students and staff.”

The scheduled work, which is planned to be completed by July 2015, will include earthquake strengthening in Block B, a two-storey building comprising six teaching areas, and remediation of Block C – which includes nine teaching spaces – to repair weathertightness issues. The work will also include the provision of five new teaching spaces to cater for student growth.

“The additional modern learning environments will accommodate and promote the latest teaching and learning practices,” Ms Kaye says. “They will create a secure and stimulating learning environment that will help lift student engagement and lead to improved achievement levels. Good acoustics, lighting, technology, heating and air quality are standard.

“I am very pleased that the school and community can now move ahead and progress with this redevelopment. The new teaching areas will be designed to create flexible learning, safe and modern spaces that will further inspire students to learn.”

NZ supports Pacific disaster risk management

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Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye today announced a new partnership aimed at helping Pacific Island nations prepare for and manage natural disasters.

“The Pacific region is vulnerable to natural disasters such as tsunami, earthquakes and cyclones,” Mr McCully says.

“Over the last three years the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) have been working together with Pacific Island governments to help them prepare for natural disasters.

“This co-operation had delivered practical improvements in disaster readiness across the Pacific – including the installation of 23 tsunami warning sirens along Samoa’s south coast.

“The new Partnership Agreement between MCDEM and MFAT, builds on this investment and will enable us to support the Pacific in some new areas,” Mr McCully says.

Under the arrangement, the Ministries will share expertise, pool resources, and work together on prevention measures and rapid response to disasters in the Pacific.

“New Zealand has developed expertise, knowledge and resources that is enabling us to help other countries to be more prepared and respond to disasters,” Ms Kaye says.

“The new arrangement has a focus on youth development and awareness. This is about helping Pacific nations better protect children and young people in the event of major emergencies.

“A key focus of the programme and the Government’s support is also helping Pacific Island nations strengthen their own national capability in readiness, response and recovery. We will also continue to provide expert emergency management support.

“New Zealand has a proud record of assisting countries in the Asia-Pacific region in their times of need, and this agreement is about building on that support and ensuring these nations are even more prepared,” Ms Kaye says.

The previous agreement between MCDEM and MFAT had a value of $3.1 million over three years. The total investment in the new agreement is currently being finalised.

$22m upgrade for North Canterbury schools

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The Government is investing more than $22 million in the redevelopment of four schools across North Canterbury, Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says.

“The funding will be used to expand and upgrade Oxford Area School, Rangiora Borough School, Ashgrove School and Southbrook School as part of the Government’s ongoing investment to ensure that schools have buildings fit for purpose and that provide safe and inspiring modern learning environments,” Ms Kaye says.

“The Oxford and Rangiora communities have experienced population growth following the Christchurch earthquakes, the first of which struck four years ago today.

“I recently announced a $14.9 million investment in Rangiora High School to accommodate roll growth. The investment in these four additional schools
will likewise prepare them for anticipated roll growth and reflects the Government’s continued support of the Canterbury region.”

The Government is investing more than $300 million in a six-year programme involving an estimated 30 schools, to address infrastructure issues and modernise their facilities, Ms Kaye says.

“The North Canterbury upgrades are part of the Government’s plan to raise student achievement by ensuring students can learn and achieve in the best possible environments.

“The schools have worked with the Ministry of Education to develop this plan. The new classrooms will be built to the latest learning environment standards that support modern teaching styles and provide a comfortable environment for students.”