In 2009 the then Minister of Education agreed to the Ministry undertaking consultation with the Kawerau community and stakeholders about the future of education in the town.
This area has experienced significant population decline, and at the time that consultation was initiated there were 1250 students in 6 schools and a schooling network that had more than 950 spare places for students.
Following the consultation, the Minister agreed to the merger of 3 primary schools. The merger was implemented from the start of 2012, with the continuing school changing its name to Kawerau Putauaki School.
The Minister also agreed to retain 1 primary school, Kawerau South School, without any change. A further decision was to establish a new Year 1-6 kura, Te Whata Tau o Putauaki, which opened in 2012.
Consultation on secondary provision in Kawerau continued through to 2011. Following this, it was decided that Kawerau Intermediate School and Kawerau College would close at the end of 2012 and a new Year 7-13 school would be established. Tarawera High School opened at the beginning of 2013.
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