Only a few hands go up


‘Expensive’ Queenstown blamed for low response to St Joe’s vacancy.

The hunt for a new school principal for St Joseph’s may be hampered by the “Queenstown’s too expensive” syndrome.

The Wakatipu has traditionally been a difficult recruitment market – with high house prices and employment uncertainty for candidates’ partners – and it appears no different for the Catholic primary.

School board chairman Rene Kampman says he received only three applications by the closing date earlier this month – but he had plenty of inquiries.

“We had quite high interest but I think as usual Queenstown’s quite a difficult place to get into due to the entry costs.

“It’s only one position and if it’s a couple moving, how easy is it for a partner to get a job, especially in the current climate?”

St Joseph’s also doesn’t have any school houses it can offer a new principal as an incentive to move.

Two candidates for principal are from New Zealand and the third is an expat Kiwi living in China.

Kampman and his board will go through the applications next week before starting the inter­­­view process.

Kampman, former boss of Queenstown Lakes District Coun­-­cil regulatory arm Civic­Corp, says he didn’t know how hard it would be to attract applicants.

“At this stage I’ve got no idea because I’ve never employed a principal before.”

He’s confident they’ll find the right person for the job.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes because we’ve got an acting princi­pal in place and the school is fully resourced. We’re lucky we’ve got such a strong teaching team there.”

The primary starts its school year next Wednesday under the leadership of acting principal Trisch Inder.