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Nelson MP Nick Smith has welcomed the Ministry of Education purchase of 3 ha of land in Richmond West for a new school on Berryfields Drive.

“A new primary school in Richmond West is needed and is well justified by the 1200 new homes planned for the area long term. It will enable children to walk and bike to school and reduce the traffic pressure on lower Queen Street and Gladstone Road from parents having to drive children each day across State Highway 6. A new Berryfields School will also help build a Richmond West community.

“I have been working with the Ministry of Education, property developers and adjacent Nelson Pine Industries since March on securing this site and am pleased the land purchase issue has been resolved. 

“The land purchase is important as we risked losing this central 3 ha site to housing.  The important decision we need now is to proceed with the new school.

“The Government has made no decision yet to proceed with the school and is currently consulting on the options of growing existing rolls, relocating Ranzau School to the new Berryfields site or the new school. The community survey concludes on Friday 16 October. Schools have until 30 October to submit and a report by the facilitator Janet Kelly is due with the Ministry of Education by the end of November.  

“I am opposed to relocating Ranzau School to the Berryfields site. It solves the problem of Richmond West parents having a school accessible by not having to cross State Highway 6 but creating the same problems for Ranzau families having to cross State Highway 60. Ranzau is a great little country school with a unique history back to 1845 when tuition was in German and should not be disrupted by the growth issues in Richmond West.

“I encourage parents and the Ranzau community to have their say on this important issue by signing my petition for the new school, participating in the survey organised by the Ministry of Education by 16 October or schools making a submission by 30 October. I will be working to advocate that the right way forward is a new Berryfields Primary school.”

People can respond to the Ministry of Education survey by Friday 16 October or through school submissions to the Ministry by 30 October. These can be sent to Janet Kelly, the Ministry Facilitator or to and they will be forwarded on.


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