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School squatters evicted

The squatters occupying the closed-down site of Tuturumuri School have been moved on.

Land Information New Zealand [LINZ] manages the site for the Ministry of Education [MoE].

LINZ head of Crown property Sonya Wikitera confirmed to the Times-Age that the occupation ended earlier this week.

“The unauthorised occupation of the site has been resolved. The occupiers were requested to vacate the site on Monday and have since left,” Wikitera said.

“We are unable to provide further detailed information about the unauthorised occupation.”

Power is still connected at the property, but Wikitera said the power use would have been minimal because the squatters were only there a short time.

The property is likely to be offered to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui-a-Rua Settlement Trust, which has the right of first refusal, within the next two or three months, Wikitera said.

Tuturumuri School was a small rural school 30km south of Martinborough on White Rock Rd.

It opened in 1923 and operated for 97 years until MoE permanently closed it in 2019 after its roll dropped from seven to two students.

The Times-Age visited Tuturumuri School on Thursday last week to try and speak to the squatters, but the site was completely empty, despite some evidence of occupation.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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