School capacity across New Zealand will increase significantly as a result of $392.4 million of capital funding and $64.1 million of operating funding over four years, Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe say.
“This will provide six new schools, two school expansions, the relocation of two special education schools, 11 new special education satellite units and around 305 new classrooms nationwide,” Ms Kaye says.
“We inherited a school property portfolio with an average age of 40 years, beset by issues such as leaky buildings and poor maintenance. We’ve prioritised extra money to tackle big issues such as earthquake strengthening, weathertightening and major redevelopments.”
Mr Macindoe says this investment is all part of our commitment to provide the public services we need in a growing country, and will help us modernise and transform schools into 21st Century learning environments.
“A total of $277.6 million, comprising $240.3 million capital and $37.3 million operating funding over four years, will be committed to projects in Auckland,” Mr Macindoe says.
Ms Kaye says this will fund four new schools, one school expansion and the relocation and rebuilding of two special education schools to collocate on a new site, as well as around 170 more classrooms at various schools across the city.
“The investment in Auckland delivers on the Government’s pledge in 2014 to build nine new schools as well as extra classrooms to address roll growth in the city,” Ms Kaye says.
“The extra funding announced today will see us increase the total number of new student places in the city to more than 21,000 by 2021.”
Outside of Auckland, Budget 2017 provides $146.9 million for school property, comprising $125.7 million capital and $21.2 million operating funding over four years.
“Other parts of New Zealand are growing too, and we’re committed to expanding school property across New Zealand,” Mr Macindoe says.
“This funding will provide two new schools, one school expansion and around 130 extra classrooms in other parts of the country.”
The Government will announce further details on all these school property projects over the coming months.
“A school’s physical environment plays a crucial part in supporting students’ success. Our goal is to ensure students learn in modern, inspiring environments, no matter where they go to school,” Ms Kaye says.
Budget 2017 also provides $31.9 million, comprising $26.4 million of capital funding and $5.5 million of operational funding over four years, for land purchases to ensure we can build new schools as demand grows.
“This $456.5 million investment means the Government has now committed more than $5 billion towards school property, significantly more than any previous government,” Ms Kaye says.