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Surplus school houses could fetch $300m

Schools are in for a significant increase in funding from the sale of unwanted teacher housing.

From July 1 this year, schools will be offered 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of surplus school houses, up from 50%.

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says, “The extra revenue will be added to the lump sum given to each school every five years to maintain and modernise school property and infrastructure, and to bring classrooms up to modern learning environment standards.”

About 1900 school houses are on Ministry of Education administered land with a total value of over $300 million, she says.

The initiative is intended to encourage school boards of trustees to dispose of surplus housing more quickly.

“This change will enable us to reduce long-term vacancies, sell houses that are no longer required for education purposes and manage the ministry land portfolio more effectively,” Ms Kaye says.

The proceeds of each sale, however, must be added to the school’s five-year agreement budget, meaning the money has to be spent on modernising existing school property and infrastructure.

Jason Walls is an AUT journalism student

Comments and questions

Great initiative. Hope the Teachers Union and MOE bureaucrats don't get in the way as has happened in the past.

Why are they not sold as they become "surplus"/ Whoops that's right the government run it!! That's why.

It actually wasn't that long ago that the ministry forced schools to take over what in some cases were very run down houses or risk losing them altogether. I had a client forced to take them on as their remoteness meant there was little other option in order to actually house their teachers. Returns never covered the maintenance and the ministry excludes houses from calculation of property maintenance funding so ended up dragging funding out of educational needs. No choice though, there are no private rentals in the area and most land is leasehold so no one will invest to build them.

Smoke & mirrors again. Sell the house to balance of the budget. Whats next, because the cupboard is getting pretty bare?

It will be the smaller rural schools next, which due to having no houses available for teachers will be forced to close.