Limitoo News

Auckland schools can open from tomorrow as ministry lifts closure order

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Auckland Grammar was among schools that announced they would reopen on Thursday. Photo: RNZ Insight/Teresa Cowie

Auckland's education institutions, including schools and early childhood services, can reopen from Thursday if they want to.

The Ministry of Education has lifted an order that banned the region's education institutions from opening until Tuesday next week.

The original closure order, on Monday, was made to minimise traffic while flood damage to roads and schools was repaired.

Auckland Grammar and Macleans College were among schools that announced they would reopen on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Orewa College and Rangitoto College are sticking stick with the revised opening date of Tuesday, with Rangitoto College criticising very late and unclear communication from authorities.

On Wednesday afternoon, the ministry announced that water is draining more quickly than expected and it is lifting its directive.

"Some roads are closed, and some may remain so for the next few days, however it now seems reasonable for this to be managed without needing a direction to close."

It said before the flooding, 380 of the region's 580 schools had planned to reopen for the new year this week.

ASPA president Greg Pierce said its members would have differing views on the decision to let schools open from Thursday instead of waiting until Tuesday next week as previously ordered.

His own school, Orewa College, will remain shut to students until Tuesday while it repairs flood damage.

"Another reason why we're not going to change is I don't think parents and communities in this very stressful week would appreciate another change from communications that was sent out within the last 24 hours," Pierce said.

"From the communications yesterday, a lot of families would have planned to leave until Waitangi weekend, so to change that again would be quite problematic for a number of families."

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown welcomed the decision and said it was the right move for them to stay closed today.

"With blue sky over much of the city, the worst is hopefully behind us. We can now resume the big Auckland clean-up that communities got underway on Saturday morning, and prepare for the even bigger repair and removal stage."

It was still important to be wary of the region's saturation which might cause more slips, Brown said.

"Floodwaters are still present with dangerous hidden debris. As everyone heads back to work and school tomorrow, please keep well away from anything that looks like it could become a slip, and do not play in floodwaters."