Seconds after Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced a $14 million rebuild of Kaikohe's Northland College - which was earlier this year described as having the worst classrooms in New Zealand - senior students advanced towards her and performed a powerful, spontaneous haka.
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Construction will begin in 2016 next to the current college and is due to be completed in February or March 2017.
As well as new classrooms the project includes a new gym/hall, flexible learning areas, space for roll growth to 450 from the current 290, and new changing rooms for the community pool.
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Of the current college complex, only the recently renovated administration block and one other building will be retained. The rest will be bulldozed.
While in Kaikohe today Ms Kaye also met a group of senior students to hear their concerns and ideas for improving education at the decile one school.
She pledged to come back in six weeks' time for an update.