Two Auckland schools have changed their enrolment zones to exclude students from a new affordable housing development while a third is consulting with the community on a similar move.
The development, planting up to 4000 new-builds on Unitec land in Mt Albert, is the first major plan released under the Government's KiwiBuild programme which aims to build 100,000 affordable homes in the next 10 years.
Standalone houses in Auckland will cost $500,000 to $600,000, with apartments and townhouses under $500,000.
Unitec is condensing its campus and 29ha of its land will be transferred to the Crown.
Ministry of Education's Deputy Secretary in enablement and support Katrina Casey confirmed Gladstone School and Kowhai Intermediate had already changed their enrolment zones in anticipation of the development.
"Mt Albert Grammar is in the process of consulting with the community about their proposed zone amendment."
Casey said all three schools had been engaging with the Ministry.
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A Mt Albert Grammar spokesman confirmed the school had begun consultation on changing the school zone.
"The Board of Trustees had a meeting last week and resolved to begin the consultation process about excluding the Unitec Campus from the school zone, as recommended by the Ministry of Education," the spokesman said.
He said the school was unable to say more because it did not want to pre-empt the process.
Casey said with up to 4000 new homes proposed for the project, the ministry was expecting about 950 new primary, 300 new intermediate and 800 new secondary school age residents to move into the area.
The Unitec development was expected to take several years to complete.
It had not yet been decided whether a school will be part of the development.
In response to questions about potential plans for a new school, the ministry said there was some capacity in local schools such as Waterview School, Avondale Intermediate, and Avondale College.
Speaking to the Herald shortly after the official announcement of the project, Avondale Intermediate principal Jo Hardwidge said she had talks with the ministry about what the housing development would mean for the school.
She said her school had the capacity to grow and accommodate more students, but it could be difficult for construction to happen as quickly as it needed to.
According to projection plans put to Avondale Intermediate by the ministry the roll could shoot up from its current 315 to about 900 in the next six or seven years.
"We would look at additional buildings that would be put on site for us," Hardwidge said.
Casey said the Ministry was "constantly reviewing population growth" to identify any need for new education centres.
"We are keeping a close eye on this and will act as needed," she said.
Mt Albert Grammar School would be the third school to act to counter the forecast influx of students and relieve families living in homes in the existing zone.
Kowhai Intermediate School Board of Trustees chairperson Wade Gillooly said there was good reason for the school cutting back zoning to exclude the new housing.
"Already our roll is going through considerable growth, without consideration of that development."
The school's roll sat just above 500 and Gillooly said this was projected to grow to 800 in the next three years.
There were plans for new buildings to accommodate for these students.
Gillooly said his personal view was developments like this should consider building their own schools.
Gladstone School principal Dave Shadbolt also confirmed to the Herald the school had changed its enrolment zone last year to exclude Unitec land.
This had been done in anticipation of the Mt Albert development, he said, which was expected to see an influx of school-aged children into the area.
"We're already at our maximum role capacity," Shadbolt said.
This had no impact on the school's role when it was implemented, Shadbolt said, as there are currently no school students living on Unitec land.