16 Nov 2011

Students protest at school merger plan

5:57 pm on 16 November 2011

Labour Party leader Phil Goff has addressed a group of Kawerau students who were protesting at the imminent closure of their school.

The protest took place as Mr Goff visited Kawerau on Wednesday, but he said his office had nothing to do with the rally and he was unaware it was going to take place.

Education Minister Anne Tolley announced last week that Kawerau Intermediate and Kawerau College would be merged.

The existing schools would remain open for another year and a new school would replace them in 2013.

Mr Goff addressed the group of about 50 students, saying he backed their call for Mrs Tolley to consider their views.

Kawerau Intermediate principal Daryl Aim said he wanted Mrs Tolley to come and talk to the school and the parents directly, as he said they feel their views have been disregarded.

Mrs Tolley won't comment on the process, saying a final decision hasn't been made. A decision is due after a 28-day consultation period.