The Education Minister is trying to console parents from the Canterbury schools that now have an axe over their heads.
Thirteen schools could close, and 18 others are set to merge under the plan for the region's education.
Minister Hekia Parata has a message for the parents.
"Some tough decisions are having to be made, and we have made them balancing all sorts of considerations, but the centre of those have been about 'how do we ensure the best possible education prevision for all learners?'."
Ms Parata says there'll be a consultation phase before final decisions are made.
"The Ministry of Education will be meeting with those communities to now put some real concrete form around what the options are."
There's shock and disbelief from Canterbury principals.
Canterbury Secondary Principals Association chair Neil Wilkinson was at the announcement.
"A range of emotions, from shock and horror through to relief I guess."
Mr Wilkinson says it's obvious a lot of jobs are on the line.
"Always concerned about job cuts anywhere, and there inevitably will be some loss of teachers, good teachers."
Gemma Dekoster has two children at Burnside Primary, one of those in line to close.
She says it's totally gutting for her kids.
"They are going to be very, very upset. This is where they've grown up, this is where they've gone to school. Going to be really, really hard for them, I know my oldest son, he's needed a lot of help from the teachers and that here just to be able to fit in."
BREAK DOWN OF INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS IN CANTERBURY
Aranui High School
Burnside Primary School
Greenpark School (Lincoln)
Hammersley Park School
Le Bons Bay (possible voluntary closure)
Mckenzie Residential School (closing as per special ed review)
Okains Bay School
Ouruhia Model School
Richmond Primary School
Aranui Community Learning Cluster
Akaroa Area School
Central New Brighton with NB South (no indication of where)
Bromley School with Linwood Avenue (on Bromley site)
Discovery and Unlimited (in year 1-13 school on new site in central city)
Freeville and New Brighton North School (awaiting geotech report)
Gilberthorpe and Yaldhurst
Lyttelton Main and Lyttelton West (seems to be Lyttelton Main)
Phillipstown and Woolston - on a new site and becoming year 1-8
Maori Schools...Waitaha and Te Whanau composite 1-13
Avonside Girls High School - maybe merged with CGHS "dual shift" or closed (dep) geotechnical
CGHS (see above)
Kaiapoi Borough - set to continue awaiting geotechnical report
Mairehau High School - continue...relocate or establish new entity to meet single sex and co-ed aspirations
Redcliffs - earmarked to continue depending on geotechnical report
Shirley Intermediate - close or become year 1-8
Halswell Primary - rebuilt as a priority project
Hornby High - may change to year 7-13 (currently 9-13)
Lincoln High - continues with hub in Rolleston
Rolleston - contines with "new provision"
CONTINUING AND RELOCATING
Marshland School (and possibly change to 1-13)
South Hornby School
Waikuku School (to Pegasus Town)
BECOMING YEAR 1- 8 (CURRENTLY 1- 6)
Linwood North School
Shirley Intermediate (or it closes, awaiting geotech report)
Rowley Avenue School (Halswell)
West Spreydon School