A partnership school which was to open this month at Wairakei Village, near Taupo, has been scrapped after the new Government put a halt to more partnership schools.
Blue Light Ventures has decided not to proceed with opening of the Blue Light Senior High School, a partnership school in Wairakei in 2018, Rod Bell, chief executive of Blue Light Ventures has confirmed.
The school was going to have an initial intake of 23 students and would have had up to 30 more enrol each year to a maximum roll of 90 students from Years 11 to 13.
The boys-only school was going to have a kaupapa Maori focus and provide maths, science, technology and English, plus community service and work experience.
However it was opposed by the community of Wairakei Village, who said the Blue Light Lodge, which was to be converted to a school facility, was too small for 90 teenage boys.
Bell said Blue Light would continue to focus on working with young people, including through driver licence training, life skills and leadership camps.
He said the decision was made by Blue Light independently, after an initial meeting with the Ministry of Education advising of the Government's intention to repeal the Partnership School legislation in 2018.
"We decided after much deliberation not to open and conveyed this decision to the ministry early on.
"This has enabled Blue Light and the ministry to work together to provide case by case support to the 23 students, and their families, who had registered an interest in attending the school, to ensure they have alternative arrangements for 2018."
Bell said Blue Light Ventures was pleased with the ministry's support and the outcomes of these discussions.
Both organisations agreed to discuss the contract position, following Blue Light's decision not to open the school.
Fred Beckers, one of the Wairakei village residents opposed to the planned school, said he hadn't been aware of Blue Light's decision not to go ahead with the school.
"That is news to me," he said when contacted by the Taupo & Turangi Weekender. "That would be a good thing for the village and the pupils as the whole set up was substandard. They were going to cram 100 pupils into a facility designed for 47 pupils."