Tuesday, April 23, 2024

$31m to help flood-hit schools get back on their feet

Education Minister, Jan Tinetti says the Government is committed to returning all schools impacted by the Auckland flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle to their pre-weather event state through the Cyclone recovery package announced today.

“It was very concerning to see the damage done to some schools. Our concern went well beyond the physical damage to buildings and grounds. The impact on students and staff was very much front of mind. Schools are often a hub for local communities and so the effects were felt widely,” Ms Tinetti said.

“Over 500 schools across the North Island have been damaged and we are committing to getting them all back to their previous state.”

Budget 2023 provides $31 million to cover the immediate costs associated with returning affected schools to working order following the extreme North Island Weather events. This includes repairs to roofs, plumbing infrastructure, carpentry, tree removal, and emergency cleaning.

A further $85 million funding has been allocated for the ongoing work required to return schools to their pre-weather-event state. In some cases, this may require redevelopment or relocation.

(GISBORNE – FEBRUARY 18)

“Budget 2023 also recognises the ongoing strain on school staff with a further $700,000 over two years for Special Reasons Staffing funding, with $315,000 of that available immediately,” said Ms Tinetti.

“This funding can be used to employ relief staff, provide teaching/principal release time, support students with engagement and wellbeing, or employ additional teachers for those schools that have experienced increased enrolment due to enrolling students from weather-affected areas. 

“The funding announced today is on top of the immediate Government response after the weather events to assist to schools in the affected areas. In the immediate aftermath of the weather events we transferred significant existing resources in response to the urgent needs of schools and kura.”

That included providing the equivalent of more than 41 additional teachers across 56 affected schools. These teachers have been used for a variety of purposes, like relief for staff unable to access school due to road closures or who were significantly affected personally, as well as providing programmes for affected students.

“We also increased existing ‘Counselling in Schools’ contracts to provide additional support to students, deployed Traumatic Incident Team support, extended Employee Assistance Program support for school, kura and early learning staff and a offered a range of other wellbeing and funding supports,” the Minister said.

A further $782,000 has been provided for the replacement of school library collections and related library resources lost due to the North Island Weather Events that cannot be replaced by other funding.

“For some of the schools affected by the weather events this is going to be a longer-term recovery, and the Government will be with them on that journey.”

RegionSchools identified for Funding
Te Tai Tokerau86 schools in the Te Tai Tokerau Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response initiative funding.
Auckland258 schools in the Auckland Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response initiative funding.
Waikato43 schools in the Waikato Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response initiative funding.
Bay of Plenty38 schools in the Bay of Plenty Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response initiative funding.
Hawke’s Bay/Tairāwhiti80 schools in the Hawke’s Bay/Tairāwhiti Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response initiative funding.
Taranaki/ Whanganui/Manawatū15 schools in the Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response initiative funding.
Wairarapa2 schools in the Wellington Education Region which have been identified as requiring Immediate Response bid funding

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