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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes funding to rid schools of dirty coal power

29 January 2020

The Government has announced an initial $4.8 million to replace coal boilers with cleaner biomass boilers for heating in eight schools, with more to come.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford applauded the move, which is part of the $200m New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s clean powered public service fund.

“Schools want to do the right thing when it comes to their impact on the climate, but the cost of moving away from things like coal boilers can be prohibitive, so assistance like what has been announced today is crucial,” he said.

“I think New Zealanders would be surprised to know that about 200 schools are still burning coal for heating. We’ve got to move away from dirty and unsustainable fossil-fuel power towards cleaner alternatives, and this is an important and welcome move.

“Schools play an important leadership role in their local communities becoming low carbon, and this announcement shows the Government recognises that as the country transitions to cleaner energy.”

Eight school heating upgrades were announced today at a combined cost of up to $4.8 million, and officials are working to identify more.

The first schools to receive upgrades will be: Wallacetown Primary School, Waverly Park Primary School, Te Anau Primary School, Catlins School, Opoho School, Fiordland College, James Hargest College and Ruapehu College.