Mana College gets $15mil renovation boost from Govt

By Talisa Kupenga

The Government has announced more than $15 million to boost renovations at Porirua's Mana College. Education Minister Chris Hipkins says staff and students have put up with leaky buildings too long.

Year 9 student Rosa Stratford says, "It's sometimes quite cold and if it was warm I think more people would be focussed on their work."

Year 9 student Ariyah Bryce says "the old classes do look boring and old-school but we would like an upgrade."

The $15-million includes $9 million promised last year under the previous government. It means a new library, administration block and new classrooms for students.

Year 10 student Maddy Vai-Little says, "It would be really cool to have a performing arts block because we have lots of students here that are interested in music and dance so if the money goes towards that as well it would really help people's passions so they can follow their dreams." 

Māori account for nearly 70 percent of the school's 400 students. The college has a long relationship with Ngāti Toa.

Principal John Murdoch says, "Mana College was built 61 years ago in 1957. It was the first secondary school built in Porirua. Ngāti Toa gifted us the land and the motto 'Akona te mahi pai' (Learn what is right)..[which] is the guiding statement for our lives and our future."

Twenty-one classrooms will be demolished and replaced by 17 larger learning spaces.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says, "The original intention was to scale the school down a bit and now that there is significant roll growth here the school is being rebuilt to accommodate the larger number of students."

Planning is expected to start next year.