Education Minister Hekia Parata travelled to Kaikoura today to see first-hand the incredible efforts being made to reopen the region’s schools after the deadly 7.8 earthquake.

“I am grateful to everyone who has played a part in ensuring we could get children and young people back to school as safely and quickly as possible. I am also pleased to see how the schools came through the initial November 14 earthquake as well as the continual aftershocks,” Ms Parata says.

“The resilience this community has shown is inspiring. I’m glad that with schools reopening it will help return a small sense of normality back into life in this beautiful part of the country.”

Building repairs have been completed and water and sanitation services put in place, to allow students to safely return to Kaikoura High, Kaikoura Primary, Lynton Downs and Saint Joseph’s Schools. Hapuku and Kaikoura Suburban are waiting for materials and equipment via the inland route and once arrived will quickly be able to open. Only Kaikoura High School will need further building works to reopen all of their buildings.

Kaikoura High School opened for NCEA exams last week. However, those students unable to travel to the school or who feel unable to sit the exams are eligible for derived grades.

Meanwhile in the nearby Hurunui District all of its 13 schools have reopened.

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