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Week That Was: Investing in education and mental health

Some of the things we got up to this week:

  • Botany Secondary College rebuild announcement
  • Wellington Girls' College rebuild announcement
  • Mental health facilities funding in Christchurch
  • and more!...

We want every child growing up in New Zealand to have access to the best education. That's why we've been working hard building and upgrading new classrooms and school facilities up and down the country. This week, we visited two high schools to announce major redevelopment of their facilities - fixing up leaky buildings and improving the space they need to learn, and thrive. Both rebuilds are part of the investment started in last year’s Budget, designed to support our young people’s education both in terms of quality learning but also overall wellbeing.

First up was Botany Secondary College, with funding allocated to repair weathertightness issues, undertaking re-roofing and cladding work on buildings that contain 70 of the 84 teaching spaces at the school of over 1,800 students. Temporary teaching spaces will be provided to ensure student learning is not disrupted during the project.  Planning for the project is already underway and work will be staged over several years to minimise disruption to the school.

Later in the week, we visited Wellington Girls' College, where we announced we're investing in an much-needed expansion designed to boost capacity and relieve pressure from a growing roll. The project involves building a new teaching block with 16 high quality teaching spaces, giving the school much-needed extra room to accommodate more students. 

“Like other urban schools with limited space, the best solution was for Wellington Girls’ College to build up, which it has done successfully in earlier developments," said Education Minister Chris Hipkins. 


We are also investing in the construction of new specialist mental health facilities as announced by the Prime Minister and Health Minister David Clark at Canterbury DHB’s Hillmorton campus this week. 

"Mental health has been a priority for this Government since day one. Part of that is ensuring that we have quality facilities that reflect modern methods of care. We want to create physical environments that support people’s treatment and recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The project will see mental health services currently housed at The Princess Margaret Hospital relocated to Hillmorton. These include services for mothers and babies, as well as child, adolescent and family inpatient services, and adults with high and complex needs.


The future of the Far North is looking brighter with Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investments in key community-led projects across the district, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced this week.

The PGF is investing in the construction of Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi Busby’s Kupe Waka Centre, to be built in Aurere at the southern end of Doubtless Bay. It is also putting funding towards a much needed multi-use sports centre in Kaitaia. 

The investment package also includes support for three iwi (Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rarawa) to make progress on major projects, funding for preliminary investigations of a water storage project for the area and exploring the potential for a barge at Te Mingi to transport logs to Whangarei.

The announcements reaffirm our determination to unlock the full economic potential of the Far North. It’s also an example of the PGF bringing agencies together from across Government to make a difference for people on the ground.

Read more here.


Lastly - this Sunday we celebrate Children's Day! The theme this year is 'Putting Tamariki First!'

We want to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. That's why we're investing in education and training, and why we're making sure every family lives in a warm, dry home.

Check out what else we've been doing for Kiwi kids here.