A head has rolled at the Ministry of Education over a broken promise to a Tauranga school.
In May the ministry admitted Te Kura o Matapihi's board of trustees had been led to believe their 104-year-old kura would be rebuilt.
That was a "mistake", ministry protocol had not been followed and there was no approval for a rebuild. The ministry apologised.
Yesterday Associate Education minister Tim Macindoe apologised again, and said the ministry was conducting an internal investigation into how it happened.
He said the ministry believed the person responsible for the mistake had been identified, and that person had resigned.
It was "a very regrettable" situation, he said.
Mr Macindoe was in Tauranga to announce $6 million funding - 3 new classrooms at the kura and 9 at Tauranga Boys' College.
He said the three new classrooms were "the correct decision for the kura".
There was a planning process to go through before a timeline for installing the classrooms at both schools could be set, but his best estimate was some time in 2019.
Te Kura o Matapihi principal Tui Yeager received yesterday's confirmation of three new classrooms with lukewarm enthusiasm.
"I guess it's a start."
She said the school had needed three new classrooms for a few years, but had been patient as they waited on the now-cancelled rebuild.
"So it's not like we're jumping for joy. It really doesn't sit well with us after three years of waiting."
She said the rebuild planning went on for 2.5 years, going as far as talking to architects to make a master plans, before the ministry pulled the plug.
"Now one person has been held responsible. But how did it even get that far?" Ms Yeager said.
"There was not just one person responsible at the Ministry. This is something that has gone through a lot of hands."
"At the end of the day, it's the kids that are missing out."
She said the kura, a full Te Reo Maori immersion school for new entrants to Year 8 students, was one of Tauranga's most overcrowded schools and was 41 per cent over capacity.
It was fourth on a list of the Western Bay's most over-capacity schools, released late last year.
Today Te Kura o Matapihi has a roll of 155, five shy of the 160-pupil cap the ministry asked the school to introduce after the rebuild blunder.
Ms Yeager said those five spaces were effectively taken by students expected to come from the local kohanga reo this year.
"If anyone else rocked up we would have to turn them away."
$4.5m for new Boys' College classrooms
Yesterday's funding announcement for nine new classrooms at Tauranga Boys' College came hot on the heels of the high school's biggest open day.
Principal Robert Mangan said their year 9 open day last week attracted almost 500 interested families.
Anticipating a big intake, Mr Mangan said he was "very grateful" for the new classrooms, which were needed to cope with the school's rapidly growing roll.
He understood they would additional spaces, and not replacements for the 9 "shabby" prefabs brought in 6 or 7 years ago as a temporary solution when leak issues made some school buildings unusable.
The college put on a spirited welcome for Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe, MP for Hamilton West.
In his speech he used the story of his failed run at the Tauranga electorate in 2002 for National - "completely obliterated" - as a lesson in learning from failures and persevering.
He said yesterday's classrooms announcement mean the Budget 2017 had provided the Bay of Plenty region with a new school and a school expansion in Papamoa and 27 new and replacement classrooms at six schools.
New funding announced
- $1.5 million for 3 new classrooms at Te Kura o Matapihi
- $4.5 million for 9 new classrooms at Tauranga Boys' College