New Zealand Labour Party

Concierge and plaza for ministry staff – leaky, mouldy classrooms for kids

Parents will be horrified Hekia Parata is overseeing a $19.5 million refit for Education Ministry staff which includes a “concierge style reception” and “Koru Lounge” while some of their children sit in leaking mouldy classrooms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Documents released by the Ministry show the new office at old Bowen Street site of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will include:
- A “concierge” style arrangement in the reception area
- A “Koru Lounge” on level one, where staff and visitors can meet, work and wait
- A “plaza” on level two, for formal and informal meetings
- A grand staircase which will run from the ground floor to the top of the building, at a cost of $2.6 million

“Is this the stairway to heaven? It would need to lead to somewhere pretty special for that sort of money.

“The new office is also being decked out with new lounge chairs and table but the Ministry has refused to disclose the amount they cost.

“This extravagant spending comes as schools are asking more and more from parents because the Government is underfunding the sector.

“It is appalling that children around the country are sitting in old, leaking and mouldy classrooms in desperate need of repair, while Ministry staff will get first class offices,” Chris Hipkins says.