Wakatipu High reveals open tender for new supplier

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Wakatipu High is scrapping its unpopular school uniform contract and will tender afresh on the open market.

In what appears an about-turn on its longstanding supply deal with local retailer Rockies, school board papers now reveal the uniform contract is being terminated and a new contract is going out for tender.

Wakatipu High and sole supplier Rockies both came under fire this time last year after complaints
from parents about the “exorbitant” price of uniforms.

Back then, Queenstown mum Rebecca Thompson told Mountain Scene she objected to stumping up almost $1500 for her two children’s uniforms at Rockies – she said she could buy the same gear at Postie Plus for $700 less.

The school stood firmly behind Rockies as preferred provider until as late as September – but last month board chairman Peter Doyle told Mountain Scene his board changed its mind soon after.

“Other suppliers came to us and said, ‘We want a piece of the action … but we don’t want to stock everything.’

“We’ve looked at it all and said, ‘This is stupid, we’re trying to please too many people.’

“People were saying the price of Rockies has gone up in the last two years so we said, ‘Let’s get back to basics, put all the concerns that we have and parents have [together] and start afresh.’

“It might be Rockies continue on. It’s just to give everybody who’s been beefing about it a chance to [tender].”

There will still be a monopoly once a decision is made: “I’m afraid that’s the way it has to be if you’ve got a school logo,” Doyle says.

“It can be anybody – anyone who wants to stock the whole lot, logo, everything … it’s quite a commitment.”

Tenders will go out in April or May with a decision made in time for the new supplier to stock up before the 2011 school year.