Govt money needed for earthquake prone Catholic schools

Chief executive of the Catholic Education Office in New Zealand, Brother Sir Patrick Lynch, said his office has opened discussions with the Government about funding to assess and remediate earthquake prone Catholic schools.

The Catholic Education Office is responsible for 340 schools throughout the country.

The Minister of Building and Housing Nick Smith has proposed changes in the earthquake strengthening rules.

Under the new rules high risk zones would keep the existing timeframe.

However education and emergency buildings would be targeted, by requiring those in high and medium seismic risk areas to be identified and strengthened in half the standard time.

“We are prioritising all education buildings regularly occupied by 20 people or more,” Smith said.

Lynch says it would cost about $120 million to bring them all up to scratch within the new time frame.

“The Crown’s not going to just say ‘integrated schools, go away’ when in fact we’ve been looking after ourselves pretty well, thank you very much,” he said.

“But when something like this is dropped on you, well, that’s what the partnership’s about – to talk with one another and say, ‘over a 10-year period, what can we do to help one another?'”


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News category: New Zealand.

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