Property Occupancy Document for state school property management

The Ministry notifies boards of trustees of state schools of their responsibilities for managing school property in a Property Occupancy Document (POD). As a board of trustees, you must comply with this legally binding document.

Notifying the standard POD

We have developed a standard Property Occupancy Document (POD) to help you understand your role and manage property at your school effectively.

The POD is like a lease, with the Ministry as landlord and boards as tenants. It is a legally binding document. So when a board is elected, it is effectively agreeing to the terms and conditions in the POD.

The POD lists your obligations for managing school property. Download the Property Occupancy Document for state (non-integrated) schools [DOC, 288 KB].

To learn more about how to comply with it, you need to be familiar with the rest of our property web pages.

The POD is not negotiable

The POD is generally not negotiable. This is because we expect a certain standard for each school’s property management. It also reflects all current Ministry and legal requirements.

You do not need to sign the POD as it is not an individual negotiable contract. It continues to apply to your school even when new board members are elected.

Legal process for the POD

Section 70 of the Education Act 1989 (New Zealand Legislation website) (external link) gives the Secretary for Education authority to notify the POD. That is, when we publish a notice in the New Zealand Gazette, all state school boards of trustees are notified of, and must comply with, the POD.

The New Zealand Gazette is the official publication of the New Zealand Government. It is used to notify official business. (Note: The Education Gazette is a different publication.)

Read the New Zealand Gazette (external link) .

Most recent update

The POD was last updated and notified in 2012. You can download the New Zealand Gazette notice [PDF, 151 KB] notifying the POD to all schools.

Whenever any changes are made to the standard POD, the Ministry re-notifies the POD in the New Zealand Gazette.

Having individualised PODs in unique contexts

If your school has unique or different requirements, you may need an individualised POD. For example, a school on leased land will have different requirements in relation to the land.

If you need an individualised POD, we will send it to you in a letter. This letter amounts to ‘notification’ under section 70 of the Education Act 1989. Individual PODs are not published in the New Zealand Gazette.

Signing a memorandum of acknowledgement

We ask the board of each new or merging school to sign a memorandum of acknowledgement. By signing, you are showing you are aware that the POD is the basis of your school occupancy. Even if you don’t sign the memorandum, the POD still applies.

Download the Acknowledgement of the Property Occupancy Document [PDF, 570 KB].

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