8 Apr 2013

Council considers buying closed school

6:33 am on 8 April 2013

The council in a Bay of Plenty town where 60% of the population is Maori is considering whether to buy a school that's closed.

Kawerau Intermediate School shut its doors in January.

It was part of a Ministry of Education plan to merge the school with the local college - to create a new kura to cater for students from Year 7 to 13.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell said Kawerau District Council is working out if it's feasible to buy the intermediate school site.

Mr Campbell said the council would like to turn it into a community hub, that could include a central location for government agency offices, as well as a facility for training in areas such as farming.

He said a lot of Maori pursue training in farming and are more than capable of the job.

But Mr Campbell said the challenge for tangata whenua is to move away from the town and their whanau in order to seek training so he said it's important that the opportunity is available in Kawerau.