$2 billion to repair, redevelop and rebuild our schools

National will invest $2 billion in a ‘Fix New Zealand Schools Alliance’ that will bring together builders, educators, architects and engineers to fast-track school repairs and upgrades.

Not only will this give every New Zealand child the chance to learn in a fit-for-purpose education environment, it will also create hundreds of jobs nationwide through incentives for using local sub-contractors and apprentices.

You can read our 'Investing in Education Infrastructure' Policy Factsheet here

The $2 billion Fix New Zealand Schools Alliance is part of National’s $4.8 billion plan to fast-track education infrastructure over the next decade and get ahead of future roll growth.

National Party Leader Judith Collins and Education spokesperson Nicola Willis announced the policy on a visit to New Plymouth Boys’ High today.

“Many schools need to repair leaky buildings, earthquake strengthen, address mould and dampness issues, modernise, and make health and safety improvements,” Ms Collins says.

“All children should have safe, warm and modern classrooms to learn in. That is why we are committing an extra $2 billion to repair, redevelop and rebuild our schools.

“Now is the time to get this work done, to turbo-charge economic activity across our country.”

National will:

  • Establish the Fix New Zealand Schools Alliance that will bring together builders, educators, architects and engineers to fast-track delivery.

  • Allocate $2 billion for the alliance’s five-year period. This will be in addition to funding for capital upgrades allocated through the five-year agreement (5YA) process.

  • Make sure lead contractors are incentivised to use local sub-contractors and labour, including apprentices, to create local employment and stimulate small businesses.

The alliance will be used to streamline major repair and redevelopment projects costing more than $100,000 for the next five years. Delivering repairs and upgrades this way will see the work done rapidly while providing maximum value for the taxpayer, Ms Collins says.

“By creating a collaborative team approach, major contractors can bring professional disciplines to bare, buy material in bulk, find economies of scale and share knowledge.

“This will be particularly beneficial given the large number of school repair projects that are similar in nature. It will create certainty for the building sector by providing a clear pipeline of work and allowing them to develop expertise in school repair.”

Ms Willis says the last National Government invested more than $5 billion in school infrastructure to fix dated classrooms and address legacy issues. More than $700 million was also invested in ICT infrastructure, including connecting schools to fast internet connections.

“Despite this investment, too many of our schools still have outdated or worn-out facilities that no longer meet their needs. Several hundred schools have been assessed as being below average condition.

“Almost every school leader can tell you about much-needed building work that’s been put-off due to budget constraints. The funding we are announcing today will allow schools to accelerate these projects, on top of those approved through their existing property plans.

“All New Zealand children should have the opportunity to learn in world-class schools. Now is the time to invest in better learning environments for this and future generations.”

National’s wider education policy will be announced in the coming weeks.

You can read our 'Investing in Education Infrastructure' Policy Factsheet here