The Wellbeing Budget

Investing in New Zealand

Closing the infrastructure deficit

A 10-year plan to invest in schools and classrooms

The Wellbeing Budget, for the first time, makes a multi-year commitment to build new schools and classrooms by setting aside funding for a 10-year School Property Programme.

The Programme will roll out in four waves. The first wave of investment will pay for the following projects to start in 2019/20:

  • three new schools to accommodate 1,320 more students
  • four expansions of existing schools for an additional 1,100 students
  • at least 150 new classrooms at existing schools for 3,500 more students.

Budget 2019 allocates $286.8 million in capital for the first wave of investment to build these new schools and classrooms.

A traditional Budget would have stopped there, leaving uncertainty about what funding would be made available in future Budgets.

The multi-year capital allowance in Budget 2019 means we can now plan further ahead, and set aside money now for future investments that we know will be needed.

An additional $913.3 million is being set aside in this Budget to allow the Ministry of Education, as well as schools and communities, to better plan for growth over the next 10 years. This brings the total capital funding set aside in this Budget for new schools and classrooms to $1.2 billion.

With this funding now confirmed, the Government will shortly release the National Education Growth Plan. The Plan will identify the number of student spaces required around New Zealand by 2030 as the school-age population grows.

"The National Education Growth Plan is a first for New Zealand, representing a step change in the way we plan for, and manage, growth in the school-age population, school redevelopments and school builds over a number of years," Chris Hipkins says.

"This programme will give certainty to schools, communities and the construction sector. It will streamline procurement processes, giving taxpayers more value for money.

"The education programme will focus on the areas of New Zealand with the highest forecast student population growth. This enables us to take a more strategic approach across the whole country and within each region, instead of having to react to population issues school by school."

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