Deputy Prime Minister Bill English got to see the result of Government spending on education while opening two state-of-the-art classrooms at Arrowtown Primary today.
English – who’s also Queenstown’s local Member of Parliament and the Minister of Finance – cut the ribbon to the new block for Years 7 and 8 while on a brief visit to the Wakatipu.
Addressing staff, students and board of trustees members, English says: “What I really like about coming along to open classrooms is we spend a lot of time getting money into the Government…and it’s really good to see where it all goes.
“It’s great to see it’s going to help our kids with their learning.”
The modern, mullti-functional classrooms were funded by a $450,000 Government grant and completed ahead of time and under budget by local firms The Lakes Building Company and project managed by Triple Star.
Meanwhile, Showbiz Queenstown’s latest production has won over the Deputy Prime Minister.
English attended the opening night of The Sound of Music at the Memorial Hall yesterday.
“It’s just so professional, that’s what surprised me,” English told Mountain Scene during the intermission.
“The voices are excellent – it’s the way they do the happy stuff, really happy, and then the sad bits are sad.
“And the kids just get the audience, don’t they? The whole set-up’s so clever.”
English also praised the orchestra, who performed out of view in the RSA room at the back of the hall.
“The setting’s all quite evocative.”
English said he hadn’t seen the musical before.
“I know the songs, so it’s good I’ve got the words right.”
English couldn’t fault the production: “It’s just great and it’s going to get better and better as the show goes on, and the audience is really appreciating it.”
English also thought the cast and crew did a fantastic job considering the constraints of the hall, which is on the verge of a $3 million makeover.
“If you can get a show this good in this hall, they’re going to be fantastic when they’ve done the hall.”
The Sound of Music, sponsored by Remarkables Park Town Centre, runs till May 26.
English returns to the Wakatipu – part of his Clutha-Southland electorate – for a post-Budget lunch speech to the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce up at Skyline’s restaurant on June 1.