Shirley Boys' falls into Parata's lap

Hekia Parata

One of Christchurch’s main secondary schools may fall into Education Minister Hekia Parata’s restructuring lap, courtesy of the earthquakes.

Today, the principal of Shirley Boys’ High, John Laurenson, told staff in an email “there is no chance that Shirley will be built on its current site”.

“The cost of land repair alone is $12.5 million, with no guarantee another big earthquake would not create similar damage to the ones we experienced since 2010.

“The great news is that the ministry are committed to rebuilding a school for boys to serve the needs of the people in the east.

“However, this will not be an instant action as a suitable site has to be found before rebuilding takes place and there are several options that will need to be explored. The entire process will take up to four years to get us to a new school.

“Our current site is safe and will be occupied safely for the next few years. Business as normal for up to four years, then one day in the future we close shop on a Friday at our current site and reopen on Monday at our new site.”

Notwithstanding Mr Laurenson’s optimism about the future, Shirley Boys High was one of the 13 schools targeted for closure when Ms Parata dropped her restructuring bombshell on Canterbury schools last year.

Shirley Boys, with 1400 pupils, was mooted to merge with Christchurch Boys High on the other side of the city in Fendalton.

Ms Parata and the ministry quickly backtracked and claimed the restructuring document was a prelude to consultation on the plans to close 13 schools and mergers for 18 others.

The closures and merger plans were temporarily placed on the backburner - last week Ms Parata highlighted the opening of two schools in new subdivisions at Halswell and Pegasus Town, incorporating nearby Waikuku School.

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Mr Laurenson was one of those most vociferously attacking National and Parata about the possible closure of Shirley Boys High. Now, with a bit of homework done, he changes his tune and announces the same Will he apologise to the Minster of Education? Yeah right.


Umm, Laurenson's original criticism was in relation to SBHS being closed and merged with CBHS (which is on the other side of Chch). What he's announcing himself now is a simple move of SBHS from one site to another. Two different things entirely - so what's to apologise for?


So.... Shirley Boys' cannot be rebuilt on that site yet The Palms which is not a million miles away (diagonally opposite although further away from the river) is safe. Tui billboard anyone?


You summed it up yourself: "further away from the river".


Maybe they could move to Marihau or Aranui High schools' land.


Parata may have had some communication issues last year but she is totally right that the Chch schools need to be restructured in terms of sites and demographics/population reduction, etc.

The only reason there is so much noise out there is that the teachers and their union use emotional tactics on the parents of the schools pupils to protect their own personal positions and to ensure the govt doesn't go a step further and properly review the mediocrity of some of the teaching profession.

She is actually doing us all a favour and saving money and spending taxpayer money more efficiently.

The rest of the country is over Chch whinging about their schools. With a population of 400,000 they are lucky the rest of the country is not up in arms about the amount already being spent there.

Provincial NZ, in particular, is suffering in the current economy and the rebuild in Chch is not making their lives any more comfortable.

Wake up Chch.


Yeah, very sorry we had that Earthquake!


We all feel for you about the eartquakes but don't see any reason that Parata and the Government can't spend our money more efficiently.

CHCH still lives in the dark ages around local schools - kind of reminiscent to what happens in a country town.

If you all sat back and thought about it rather than listening to whinging incompetent teachers looking after their own personal interests you might end up with a number of 'state of the art' schools in the right spot to cater for the moving population - post earthquakes.

You should be thanking Parata for the guts to do what is right - not pander to self centred teachers


What about CGHS? How can that land and the buildings that occupy it be safe?


Hekia Parata's ever-changing hair style reminds me of Imelda Marcos' shoes..


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