A better way of delivering school infrastructure

National’s Fix New Zealand Schools Alliance is another important part of our Plan to Get New Zealand Working, Infrastructure spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

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

“We have an integrated plan to create jobs and grow our economy. The delivery of infrastructure is a core component of that plan.

“Multiple building companies have collapsed under this Government’s watch, such as Arrow and Ebert.

“The wage subsidy has paid out $1.7 billion to the construction sector so far this year. Given the serious recent job losses at Fletcher Building, making sure the sector can contribute to our economy is vital.

“New Zealand schools clearly need a better way of getting the urgent backlog of repairs fixed. Labour announced funding envelopes for schools with no plan to deliver. National believes that better procurement is the key to success.

“The Education Infrastructure Service currently runs a complex process to get projects underway. The Government Electronic Tender Service is regularly full of education projects seeking bidders, many of a similar ilk.

“We would rather see a professional, co-ordinated approach to repairing schools to deliver better value for the taxpayer and better facilities for our children.

“By bundling up the works, strong project management disciplines can be imposed and efficiencies gained, which means the money is spent on schools – not paperwork.

“The alliance model also allows the Government to set objectives for better training and reskilling outcomes, and use of local labour and sub-contractors.

“Retraining and reskilling our workforce is a core component of our plan. This provides the opportunity to do so in the vertical build sector.

“This is not a public-private partnership model. It’s a collaborative model we have seen on projects like the horizontal infrastructure repair following the Canterbury earthquakes and the State Highway 1 rebuild after the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

“The Crown will remain owner and operator of the schools. Construction companies and professional service providers will have to compete to form the alliance with the Ministry of Education. The Government will set key performance outcomes and a target outturn cost.

“The alliance will work alongside schools to deliver the projects professionally and faster.

“Alliances have a reputation for high-quality outcomes and speed. The reopening of State Highway 1 a year after it was devastated by the Kaikōura earthquake is testament to that.

“National is the party of infrastructure. Today’s announcement follows from our plan to invest a record $31 billion in new transport projects over the next ten years.”

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