2 Jul 2012

Judge reserves decision over Kawerau school closure

6:46 pm on 2 July 2012

A judge has reserved his findings in a judicial review of the Minister of Education's decision to close a Bay of Plenty school.

In 2011, the Government decided to close Kawerau Intermediate and create a new school for Years 7 to 13 on the site of Kawerau College from the start of next year.

The Kawerau Intermediate Board of Trustee's lawyer told the court in Rotorua on Monday the Minister's decision to close the school was predetermined in April 2010 and there was no analysis supplied to the community.

Mike Hammond said the community feels there is a safety issue with having younger and older children together at the school.

He told the court that the minister developed a fundamentally flawed theme of strengthening education provision in Kawerau by providing fewer, but larger schools and more funding.

The minister's lawyer, Joanna Holden, said the final decision made by the minister was originally suggested by Kawerau College and was developed through extensive consultation.

Ms Holden said it would be up to the newly established school board to determine to which extent the facilities on the dual campus would be separate.