Release: Government must commit to school building project for disabled students

The Government must commit to the Maitai School building project for students with high and complex needs, to ensure disabled students from the top of the South Island have somewhere to learn.

Maitai school is at capacity and has had to close its roll, which is putting greater pressure on local schools and creating stress for potential students and their parents. The 10-year build plan, announced and committed to by Labour, would have meant permanent teaching spaces for current students and capacity for future roll growth.

“I am extremely concerned about this Government’s lack of action or focus on disabled communities – which is now having an impact on our local community in Nelson and the entire top of the South Island,” Nelson MP Rachel Boyack said.

“On top of having to stop taking new enrolments, Maitai School expects half of their current students to be impacted next year because of a lack of suitable learning space.

“They are currently utilising ‘satellite space’ at local schools, which is not sustainable in the long term. There is no room for these students at their ‘base’ school, which means nowhere for existing students to go, let alone new enrolments. On top of that, the current buildings are more than 50 years old.

“Disabled students have just as much of a right to education as anyone else. It is outrageous to me that the Government would choose to fund tax cuts instead of a building project that will have such a positive impact on our community here in Nelson.

“The National Government must urgently reverse this heartless decision so disabled children and young people who live at the top of the South Island can continue to learn and thrive well into the future,” Rachel Boyack said.

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