A solution to Epsom school zoning

Daily Media Review looks at the problem of the two popular schools in Epsom being near capacity. He quotes David Seymour who says:

If the current trend of intensification continues either

a) the schools will grow beyond being able to operate the way that attracted people in the first place.
b) the zones will have to shrink cutting people out
c) a new school divides the zones in half cutting ppl out

In any of those cases people lose out heavily.

My suggestion is allowing the BoT’s [board of trustees] to put a date on their zone (not retrospectively).’

The author doesn’t like the idea that someone who buys a new apartment or house in Epsom would not be deemed in zone, but someone who rents an existing place would be.

He proposes a new school, such as:

The problem raised by Mr. Seymour with regards to introducing a new school is that it would cut the Grammar school zone in half, and the property values of those excluded from the zone would be reduced as a result, but why should the new school interfere with the existing Grammar zone in any way? I feel the following solution will keep all parties happy, including the schools, the current property owners, landlords, apartment owners, etc, and will be more in accord with the principles the ACT party promotes:

Why not retain the current school zones for Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls Grammar, and St. Peters College, and apply the very same or overlapping school zone to the new school? Parents will have the ability to apply to all 3 of the current schools as well as the new school, and when any of the schools reach capacity the excess students can be accommodated at the remaining schools. This option would give the current schools the opportunity to shrink their school numbers should they need to, and all property owners would still remain in the Grammar school zone and the value of their properties would remain the same – the school zone might even be able to expand.

This option also has the added benefit of being in alignment with the principles of the ACT Party, in that the 3 current schools and the new school would have to compete with each other for students in the area, and academic results and standards would be the draw card to the parents.

I quite like this option. It allows for competition and choice.


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