Home' The Wellingtonian : July 21st 2011 Contents 3
THE WELLINGTONIAN, JULY 21, 2011
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On track: Lesley Murrihy looks out to the Amesbury School site.
Photo: REBECCA THOMSON
for Churton Park
By REBECCA THOMSON
Amesbury School in Churton
Park is on track on to be com-
pleted in time for the new school
year in 2012.
Principal Lesley Murrihy said
construction work on the
Churton Park school was well
under way, and she and the
board of trustees were working
through everything from
interior design to the curricu-
Mrs Murrihy was appointed
principal last December, and
took up the role in April. She
has been working from a house
near the construction site.
The chance to develop a new
learning environment without
the constraints of existing archi-
tecture is amazing, she said.
It s going to be a high-tech
school. We will focus on inter-
activity, so when you enter the
school, you re not just entering a
building, you re entering an
There will be lots of touch-
screen computers. Technology
can be used to bring the world
into the classroom. For example,
children could join a class at the
Los Angeles zoo via the web.
The buildings would also be
high-tech, said Mrs Murrihy.
Once completed, Amesbury
School will be given a five-star
Green rating. The Green star
rating system is part of the
building industry s voluntary
environmental rating scheme.
It means some of the concrete
needs be recycled. We need to
re-use the dirt dug up from the
site and the plants need to be
purchased or grown within 40
kilometres of the school. Those
are just some of the things we
need to do for that rating.
Framing for one of the class-
room blocks has been erected
and the roofing is about to be
added, and the sports field has
been mapped out.
The start on the second build-
ing -- which will house four
classrooms, a hall and an
administration block -- is about
six weeks behind schedule. But,
Mrs Murrihy said, it would be
completed quickly once work on
The school has also had its
first Education Review Office
They do a readiness audit
and they seemed very happy
with our progress, and are confi-
dent we are on track, said Mrs
Two associate principals have
also been appointed. Ursula
Cunningham from Hataitai
School and Angela Johnston
from Bellevue School take up
their positions at Amesbury
School in August.
Soon we ll start advertising
for seven teachers, said Mrs
Murrihy. That s one of the main
Ms Murrihy spent 10 years as
the principal of Mananui School,
near Taumaranui, and has
recently completed a doctorate
Amesbury School, which will
have a capacity of 400 pupils,
will be the first primary school
built in Wellington city since
Newlands Intermediate in 1977.
Film book giveaway
The Wellingtonian has a copy of
New Zealand Film: An Illustrated
History to give away.
The book is published by the
Film Archive and Te Papa Press.
The impressive book, which
retails for $85, traces the history
of the New Zealand film industry.
of the book,
Wellingtonian on Facebook and
leave a comment telling us what
your favourite New Zealand movie
is and why.
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Council on shaky
ground with loans
By REBECCA THOMSON
An $88 million leaky homes bill
could mean Wellington City Council
is unlikely to back a proposal to help
fund the strengthening of
Wellington Central MP Grant
Robertson has proposed the council
and the Government jointly set up a
loans facility to allow building
owners to fund strengthening work.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the
idea warranted investigation, but
the council was limited in its ability
to become involved in a loans
We don t have the capacity to act
as a financier to the commercial
property sector, said Ms Wade-
The council still has to deal with
the financial costs associated with
the leaky homes. With estimates for
our assistance in that matter at
around $88m, we d need to increase
Under a $1 billion government
package, announced last week, leaky
homes owners may be entitled to
compensation, with 25 per cent con-
tributions from the Government and
their local council.
Mr Robertson said the scheme
needed serious consideration.
Everyone seems to think the idea
is a good one. The next step is to take
it up with the Government. All we
can do is ask, he said.
Mr Robertson said he was unsure
how much a loans scheme would
cost, but it would be worth it.
He also said even though
earthquake-strengthening was a
national issue, it is a specific prob-
lem in Wellington, because of our
earthquake vulnerability .
Ms Wade-Brown said the Govern-
ment was in a better position to
address the proposal.
The idea of involving the Earth-
quake Commission is a good one. It s
in the commission s interest for prop-
erty owners to be more resilient in
the event of future earthquakes, she
Mr Robertson agreed the com-
mission should be involved with a
I m not expecting much response
from them at the moment, though,
However, he said he would write to
Finance Minister Bill English with
Ms Wade-Brown said there were
other ways the council was helping
property owners, including providing
grants to assist with engineering
assessment and design work.
Top Arts tour reaches Wgtn
The five-month nationwide tour of
Top Arts stopped at Wellington High
Art portfolios created in 2010 by
leading NCEA level 3 art students
displayed five disciplines -- design,
sculpture, photography, painting
Jania Bates, head of Wellington
High School arts department, said
the tour, which makes 30 stops,
aimed to inspire students sitting
NCEA art and to lift the standard
required for an excellence grade.
Rebecca Telford-Brown used print-
making to show the unique relation-
ship between herself and her twin
sister, and Priscilla Loong took the
simple idea of supermarkets to dis-
play her talent for design.
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