Some schools and kura in Auckland have suffered significant damage from the stormy weather and are being offered support, says the Education Ministry.
Schools are due to resume class this week or next week and decisions about opening will be made by the board of trustees at each school or kura.
“The majority of schools and kura have indicated they are not affected or only have minor damage,” said Sam Fowler, the Ministry of Education head of property.
Kyle Brewerton, vice president of the Auckland Primary Principals’ Association, said the ministry had indicated about 20 schools had been seriously impacted. That was a “very small number” out of about 550 schools across the region.
Brewerton is also principal of Remuera Intermediate and said his school had minor flooding in a few rooms which would be dried out before students returned later in the week.
For schools that have suffered damage, decisions around reopening would take in a number of factors, from ensuring the school itself was safe for students, to nearby roads being accessible for parents and school buses.
Brewerton said that when Nelson was hit by flooding last year, schools had opened where possible so children were cared for while parents stayed at home to clean up or deal with insurance.
A photo supplied to the Herald showed knee-deep flooding at Diocesan School for Girls in Epsom, a central Auckland suburb hit hard by the wild weather.
Sam Fowler said the ministry’s property team and emergency response co-ordinators have been in contact with the small number of Auckland schools and kura that have suffered significant damage, to provide any support required.
He said school leaders had done a great job responding to a “very challenging weather event”.
“We’ll have a clearer understanding, once the schools and kura affected have worked through the impact of any damage caused, as to whether any are unable to open for onsite learning as planned,” Fowler said.
The ministry said the best information for parents and whānau will come from schools themselves via their websites or Facebook pages.
Civil Defence Centres have been set up for Aucklanders that were forced to evacuate their homes.
Saint Leonard’s Road School in Kelston is being used as one.
A “significant” northeasterly rain and gale system is expected from the north in coming days and there’s potential for more slips and flooding.
Tomorrow will be a brief reprieve for Aucklanders to clean up, assess damage and clear gutters and drains in preparation for another major weather event arriving on Tuesday and Wednesday, Metservice’s Georgina Griffiths said in an Auckland Emergency Management briefing.
If people need help they are advised to:
- Report flooding, damage to drains, or stormwater issues - please log your issue online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/report-problem.
- If their life is at risk, phone 111.
- If they need urgent accommodation assistance, phone 0800 22 22 00.
- Seek welfare assistance by phoning the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 400 100.