Kaikoura schools in 'generally good shape'

By Ophelia Buckleton

Waiau School principal Mary Kimber amongst the devastation in the school house where she lives, following the 7.8 eartquake. Photo/ Mike Scott
Waiau School principal Mary Kimber amongst the devastation in the school house where she lives, following the 7.8 eartquake. Photo/ Mike Scott

Kaikoura schools are in generally good shape and some may be able to open next week, according to the Ministry of Education.

Two ministry officials flew in to Kaikoura yesterday in Defence helicopters, with two consultant structural engineers.

"Local families and school staff are going through a really tough time. We are grateful to find most of the schools have come through relatively well. Each school will decide when to reopen, but some may be in a position to open later next week," acting secretary of education Katrina Casey.

"We've inspected all six schools and found they are generally in good shape," said Casey.

Those schools are Kaikoura Primary School, St Joseph's School, Kaikoura High School, Kaikoura Suburban School, Hapuku School and Lynton Downs School.

The schools attended by approximately 470 students should be safe to use again once power, sewage and water supply issues are addressed.

Waiau School in Hurunui, currently being used for emergency accommodation and as a Civil Defence base, is expected to open on Monday.

All 12 other schools in Hurunui District are open.

"A generator is being sourced for Kaikoura Suburban School while we co-ordinate with the local marae and other agencies to provide other support to the school community," said Casey.

"We are working with the schools in Kaikoura to enable them to reopen as soon as possible."

- NZ Herald

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