19 Jun 2012

Rural Women want unused schools for community use

8:00 am on 19 June 2012

Rural Women New Zealand wants to see new life breathed into small rural schools that have been closed and are sitting empty.

It's seeking a meeting with Minister of Education Hekia Parata to discuss the idea of gifting or leasing the schools to local communities, so they can be put to use.

Rural Women NZ president Liz Evans says it's an issue for many rural communities who already have schools sitting empty or in danger of closing because of falling rolls.

She says often the school is the hub of a rural community, with many people in rural areas putting forward ideas of how the unused school buildings could be used for things like a communication hub where people could learn computer skills.

Ms Evans gifting or leasing unused schools would fit in with the Government's view of community solutions for community issues.