October, 2017Queenstowns housing shortage has forced a suburban primary school on
the outskirts of Queenstown to rely on charity to house new teachers.
Shotover Primary principal Ben Witheford says a lack of affordable
accommodation is stopping teachers taking jobs at the rapidly-growing
Fortunately, local home-builder GJ Gardner is providing a three-
bedroom house in Shotover Country for well below rental market value
at $450 per week to help out.
Last year the company was part of a group of businesses that joined
with Shotover Country landowners Sharyn and Grant Stalker to provide a
house at cost for the school to auction off as a fundraiser.
It sold for $810,000.
Witheford says the rental house, which teachers share, acts as a
We pitch it to staff coming into the area. It enables them to settle as
they have an 18-month lease.
That gives them time to assess whether they want to buy or find a
permanent rental property.
The school opened in 2015 with 88 children but now has 410.
Witheford is currently advertising for six new roles and says
accommodation is always a talking point.
It is a deterrent & The general theme is we would love to come and
work at Shotover [Primary] but I have looked at the numbers on housing
and living and we just cant make it work.
If this trend continues you are going to end up with schools that are
understaffed in the basin.
Queenstown mayor Jim Boult tells mirror image of many in the
He stresses the council is working on solutions through the housing
taskforce and expects a formal announcement soon.
But in the meantime for ordinary businesses and institutions like
schools, council and police it remains a challenge. We have a classic
supply and demand issue.
Witheford gives GJ Gardner owner Nick Tapper kudos. [They] know
they have to live and work in the community and have an impact
rather than just generating income and profit out of it.
Tapper says he feels obliged and doesnt rule out further support.
As builders in the building boom we are benefitting from the increase
in population, Tapper says.
We need to support the education sector and also those infrastructures
that support communities.
Source: Mountain Scene
+64 27 444 1104