Call for safe travel as schools zoned

Pictured: Wanaka Primary School zone. All areas outside this zone, from Glendhu to Cardrona to Albert Town will fall in the new Wanaka South Primary zone.

The Board of Trustees for Wanaka Primary School and the Establishment BOT for the new Wanaka South Primary School have announced their enrolment zones this week which is set to provide certainty for parents wondering where their children will attend.

They have confirmed that students currently enrolled at Wanaka Primary School (WPS) – and those with younger siblings who have not yet started school, will be able to remain at WPS should they choose to.

WPS BOT chair Andrew Howard said, “This arrangement will ensure minimal disruption in the transition period.”

At a glance, the zone for Wanaka South is enormous: stretching from Glendhu Bay, to Cardrona, taking in all of Albert Town and stopping just short of Luggate village. The WPS zone by comparison takes in Penrith Park in the north, Eely Point in the west, Ardmore Street in the south and Mt Iron in the east.

Its highly populated but geographically small zone has shrunk so drastically that there will no longer be any school buses for WPS students as the zone never extends beyond the 3.4km threshold. For out-of-zone parents toying with the idea of keeping their child at WPS if they only have a year or two to go, or siblings coming up behind, their decision may be influenced by the fact that there will no longer be that transport option.

For those using a bus at the new Wanaka South Primary, the gains that were made this year in bus safety will remain in place. Iain Hall, chair of the Establishment Board of Trustees said, “the same provision will be made for bus safety that has been agreed by the Ministry of Education.”

But another transport safety issue has now become an even more urgent priority: how do children cross State Highway 84 to get to Three Parks?

Bike Wanaka said, “with the announcement this evening that Albert Town is to be in the new primary school zone, we continue to implore NZTA and QLDC to make a safe crossing under SH84 into Three Parks a priority.”

“There is a great track around the back of Mt Iron for children to walk and bike to the new school, but how many parents will want to risk their children crossing an 80kph busy arterial road? Let's make safety and access to active transport a cornerstone for the development of the new primary school—please.”

Wanaka South Primary is due to open at the start of 2020.




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