Submission on proposed Orewa College Enrolment Scheme Amendment, July 2018

Submission on Orewa College Proposed Enrolment Scheme Amendment

Living Streets North Shore welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on Orewa College’s proposed enrolment scheme amendment. Living Streets North Shore (LSNS) is the North Shore walking action group focusing on walking issues in Auckland north of the Harbour Bridge.

LSNS makes this submission in support of the families of Red Beach which will be significantly impacted by this proposed amendment.

Living Streets North Shore objects to the proposed enrolment scheme amendment in relation to its impact on Red Beach families living close to the Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Pathway.

Living Streets North Shore supports the Red Beach families seeking a reconsideration of the proposed enrolment scheme so that their children and adolescents can continue to walk or cycle to Orewa College. These families wish to remain in the Orewa College zone.

LSNS believes school children of all ages benefit from being able to walk to school. This also benefits the community and the environment, reducing reliance on carbon based fuels for transport and reducing traffic congestion and “chaos at the school gate”.

There is evidence that regular physical activity is important for the mental, social, and physical health of children and adolescents1. Recent New Zealand research also suggests that walking around 2km to school is the distance which provides the optimal level of exercise for health2.

Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Pathway3 provides the perfect environment for children and adolescents living in Red Beach, in particular those in Rosario Crescent and other streets with easy access to the shared path, to walk or cycle to Orewa College. This off-road facility is a safe, well used shared path designed to connect residential areas and schools.  There is evidence that current students are using this route to Orewa College from Red Beach. Future students living in Red Beach have a reasonable expectation that they would be able to walk or cycle to Orewa College.

The proposed alternative would force these students to catch a school bus or be driven to Whangaparaoa College. This is clearly outside their community, would result in considerable cost to parents and increase traffic at school times on the already congested Whangaparaoa peninsula.

The Ministry of Education Guidelines for the development and operation of enrolment schemes for State Schools4 states that students must have access to a “reasonably convenient school”.

LSNS agrees with the families of Rosario Crescent, Red Beach that forcing their Year 7 – 13 students to travel 7km to Whangaparaoa College would not be reasonably convenient.  Nor would it be economically or environmentally sustainable.

LSNS urges the Board of Orewa College to reconsider the proposed enrolment scheme boundary at Red Beach, taking particular note of the safe walking and cycling infrastructure provided by Te Ara Tahuna Pathway, and most importantly the wishes of the affected Red Beach families. Living Streets North Shore would be happy to provide further information as required.

References

  1. Biddle, S.J.H., Gorely, T., & Stensel, D.J. (2004). Health-enhancing physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents. Journal of Sports Science, 22:679-701. doi: 10.1080/02640410410001712412
  2. Duncan, S., White, K., Mavoa, S., Stewart, T., Hinckson, E., & Schofield, G. (2016). Active Transport, Physical Activity, and Distance Between Home and School in Children and Adolescents, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 13(4), 447-453. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2015-0054.
  3. Te Ara Tahuna Pathway, https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/cycle-walking-maps/te-ara-tahuna-estuary-shared-path/
  4. Ministry of Education. (2017). Guidelines for the development and operation of enrolment schemes for State Schools. Wellington, New Zealand: The Ministry. Online: http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/School/Running-a-school/Enrolment-and-attendance/Secretarys-Guidelines-State-Schools-2017.pdf

About Living Streets Aotearoa Inc.
Living Streets Aotearoa is the national New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities.

Living Streets Aotearoa’s four point plan for walking:

  1. Improve safety in urban areas with a 30 km/h speed limit around all schools and shopping centres  
  2. Properly fund walking and pedestrian infrastructure by assigning 1% of the National Land Transport Fund budget to walking
  3. Reverse the decline in kids walking to school with a national ‘safe routes to school’ programme
  4. Future proof our roading projects by making the NZ Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide the national standard for all new roading projects.

At the Living Streets Aotearoa 2018 Golden Foot Awards two schools were winners recognising their commitment to getting more students to walk to school.
Please see https://www.livingstreets.org.nz/node/5003

Website: www.livingstreets.org.nz

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