Government to build new schools and classrooms for 100,000 students

  • Commitment to build new schools and classrooms for up to 100,000 children by 2030
  • Initial funding of $1.2 billion over 4 years the largest ever outlay on school property
  • A new primary school and 200 new classrooms in Auckland announced 

For the first time ever the Government has committed to a long-term plan that will see brand new schools and classrooms built, to meet demand for around 100,000 extra student places for children entering schools over the next 10 years.

The country’s first ever National Education Growth Plan (NEGP) identifies where new schools may need to be built or additional classrooms are needed at current schools.

The Government has also released specific Growth Plans for Auckland and Tai Tokerau today, which includes funding for a new primary school in Auckland, and more than 200 new classrooms and 24 additional special education satellite units across the two regions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement today during a visit to Hingaia Peninsula School, in south west Auckland.

“Ensuring all our children learn in smart new classrooms is critical to their learning success. We are seeing too many kids getting taught in cold school halls and prefabs and our plan will turn that around,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“This Government inherited a decade of neglect which has seen funding for building classrooms falling behind the growth in students. Our plan both catches up and brings the building of new classrooms in line with future roll growth.

“This plan sits alongside the largest ever single investment in school property in New Zealand history. The $1.2 billion in guaranteed funding for new classrooms gives certainty to schools, parents, and the construction sector.

“It’s important we plan ahead for growth so parents can be confident that they can send their child to their local school, and that their local school will have enough warm, dry and modern classrooms to learn in, something the previous Government failed to do.

“Our investment in schools is yet another way the Government’s making progress to make sure that New Zealand is the best place in the world to be a child,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Our national plan includes individualised Growth Plans for regions with the highest forecast student population growth. It enables us to take a strategic approach across the whole country and within each region, instead of having to react to population issues school by school,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We are already experiencing unprecedented growth in the number of school-aged children in parts of the country.  This is expected to continue and even increase in some areas over the next decade.

“We know this puts a strain on school space and resources. We are committed to not just delivering more student places, but ensuring we deliver those places where they are most needed.

“The Growth Plans show that we need to provide for more than 60,000 new student places by 2030 in Auckland and Tai Tokerau,” Chris Hipkins said.

Of the $1.2 billion of funding for school property in the Wellbeing Budget, the investments announced today represent about $200 million of that funding. This includes:

Auckland

  • $20m for the construction of a new primary school in Milldale, Wainui – 370 additional student places
  • $155m for 228 roll growth classrooms in 42 schools across Auckland – around 4,700 additional student places
  • $5m for the expansion of Hingaia Peninsula Primary School – 250 additional student places

Tai Tokerau    

  • Around $20m for 27 roll growth classrooms in 9 schools across Tai Tokerau – over 500 additional student places

Further announcements about investment in school property, including the release of Growth Plans for other regions, will be made in the coming weeks.

Links for editors:

  • Auckland and Tai Tokerau Growth Plans can be found here.  
  • Building a School Factsheet can be found here.
  • National Education Growth Plan factsheet is here.  
  • The Auckland Growth Plan factsheet is here.
  • List of schools receiving funding in today’s announcement.
  • Here is the Cabinet Paper for the National Education Growth Plan to 2030.