Our government is working hard to build an education system that gives every student in Palmerston North, and throughout New Zealand, the best chance to succeed. As part of this work, our School Investment Package has supported about 4500 school upgrade projects nationwide, including at more than 20 schools in Palmerston North.
We believe all Kiwi kids deserve classrooms that are fit-for-purpose, vibrant spaces to learn and play in, and decent sports facilities. To make this a reality, in 2019 our government announced the biggest capital injection for school maintenance funding in more than two decades – and thanks to this, almost every state school in New Zealand has been able to make much-needed property improvements.
In Palmerston North, we've provided funding for new sports fields and courts, playgrounds and outdoor learning areas so students have great places to learn and play in, shade improvements, classroom and administration upgrades, and more. All of these improvements are helping to make our local schools, such as Milson School, Monrad – Te Kura Waenga o Tirohanga, and Queen Elizabeth College, places where young people want to be.
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As someone who started his career as a teacher in this city, I know the difference this makes, and I'm looking forward to continuing to visit our local schools, to see and hear first hand about the difference this boost has made to school learning environments.
In addition to delivering upgrades to almost every state school, our government is building hundreds of new classrooms around the country. We're also making school funding fairer by scrapping the outdated decile system, and we're boosting investment to give schools the teachers and equipment they need.
All of this builds on the work we've done since 2017, to make sure every Kiwi kid gets a great education, including making schooling more affordable for families, better supporting teachers and more.
We know there's still more work to do, but our government is committed to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a young person, and building a stronger education system is a vital part of that.
• Tangi Utikere is the MP for Palmerston North