$24mil Wainuiomata High School upgrade to include marae facilities

By Talisa Kupenga

Wainuiomata High School has received a $24mil boost from Government to fix weather tightness issues, improve tired classrooms and build flexible learning spaces.

Part of the money will build a wharekai and ablution block for the school's marae.

Teacher Matauranga Te Rauna says, "We're hoping for a generous contribution.  As Wainuiomata's only secondary school, we encourage you to dig deep into your pockets."

Wainuiomata falls into Meka Whaiti's Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate, but Whaitiri was a no-show today.

The PM says she's working from her home constituency this week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, "As I've said, I'm leaving the investigation to run its course.  Meka covers a huge area- there are many, many parts in her electorate which she could be [in] today."

Last year National announced a $12mil plan to refurbish the school.

Ardern says, "We are going to double that and give you $24 million."

That's $4mil more than the amount Labour promised during its campaign last September.

A key project will be building marae facilities, which has been nearly 17 years in waiting.

Student Marire Puketapu says, "We want a dining hall and bathroom facilities so students and the kapa haka group can use them."

Te Rauna says, "That is what we really want.  We have waited a long time for a marae, a communal eating area and an ablution block."

Te Rauna expects the marae facilities to be built next year.