School infrastructure upgrades ramping up

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break.

The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking roofs and windows and do other repair and building work.

“With more than 2,000 school communities receiving up to $400,000 each for building upgrades, the Government is growing our economy, creating jobs and making our schools great places to learn,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The additional funding is available for 24 months, and schools are already busy working with the Ministry of Education to get projects up and running. 

“Even before the start of the school year, some schools have had funding approved, worth more than $1.5 million in total, and have started work. As the new school year gets underway, applications are expected to start coming in thick and fast.

“Tradies are already on the ground in schools across the country and the Ministry is primed for the pace to pick up rapidly.”  

The schools include:

  • Arahoe School in Auckland has contracted a local firm to expand its upgrade programme, to reconfigure and reclad five more classrooms.
  • Rangiora Borough School can now commence the building of a new library thanks to the top up.
  • Westland High School in Hokitika has hired a local firm to build external decking and awning, new aluminium joinery and ranch sliders to outdoor teaching spaces.
  • Riverdale School in Palmerston North is employing a local building company to extend classroom upgrade work to two additional teaching spaces.

Previous capital works

Since November 2017, we’ve:

Delivered 726 new classrooms for more than 15,000 additional students.

Invested in the upgrade or new build of at least 1150 classrooms, benefitting 34,000 students around the country. This includes:

  • Auckland:
    • the rebuild of Onepoto Primary School, benefitting 350 students, for $19.5 million.
    • a new primary school at Scott Point, with a roll of 650 students, for $22.8 million.
    • the redevelopment of 18 classrooms at Onehunga high School, for $28 million. 
  • Bay of Plenty, the redevelopment of Otumoetai College in Tauranga, benefitting 1250 students, for $47 million. 
  • Waikato, an expansion of Rototuna Junior and Senior High School, benefitting 500 students, for $16 million.
  • Tasman, the redevelopment of Golden Bay High School, benefitting 506 students for $12 million.
  • Canterbury, the redevelopment of Ashburton College, benefitting 1408 students for $50 million.
  • Otago/Southland, a new primary school for 400 students in Wakatipu for $17 million.

As part of our wider plan to start meeting growth for 100,000 extra students by 2030, we’ve allocated $1.2 billion in Budget 2019 – the biggest ever single capital investment for new school growth in New Zealand’s history.