5 Feb 2014

$60m international school for Dunedin

9:04 pm on 5 February 2014

Chinese and other investors are planning to build a $60 million international school in Dunedin.

The details were confirmed during meetings between the as-yet-unnamed investors and city leaders on Tuesday.

The deal for the school, said to be of a kind not known in New Zealand, has been brokered by the Otago Chamber of Commerce.

Chief executive John Christie says the investors have chosen Dunedin as their preferred location and are searching for a suitable site on which to build within three years.

Mr Christie says the school is aimed at Chinese and other international pupils.

"We don't have anything like this and that's where it becomes particularly exciting because I think there is an opportunity for a new model to be established here and we're particularly interested in how Dunedin can be involved in that given our strength in the education sector."

Mr Christie says he cannot spell out all the details but the school would bring hundreds of students and tens of millions of dollars into the South Island city.

Mayor Dave Cull says the plan is fantastic news for Dunedin as fits very well with the city's education strengths and direction and is another major fruit of its 20-year-old sister city relationship with Shanghai.

The chairman of the Dunedin Shanghai Sister City Association, Malcolm Wong, says the Chinese have sent their children around the world for education for generations.

Mr Wong says a high-end international school would further build the Dunedin's reputation as an education centre to the world.

The Dunedin Secondary Schools partnership says it welcomes the plan as long as it attracts a different set of international students who would not have already come to the city.