School transport

School transport provides schools with school bus services, or direct resourcing in some cases. We help to make sure students are transported safely to and from school and provide Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA). Students need to meet 3 criteria to be eligible for transport assistance.

Types of school transport assistance we provide

Eligible students

To be eligible for assistance, students need to meet these 3 criteria:

1. Type of school

For students to be eligible, the school they are attending must be the closest school that the student can enrol at and is one of the following:

  • a mainstream state school
  • a state-integrated school 
  • a Māori-medium school
  • a partnership school.

2. Distance between home and school

Students must live more than a certain distance from the school they are attending. The distance is over the shortest public road or pedestrian route from the student’s home roadside gate to their school’s front gate:

  • students from Years 1–8 must live at least 3.2km from their school
  • students from Year 9 or over must live at least 4.8km from their school.

3. Suitable public transport

If suitable public transport options are available for a student, we will not offer school transport assistance. To be suitable, a public transport service must meet all of the following criteria:

  • the public transport service travels within 2.4kms of the roadside gate of the student’s home
  • the public transport service travels within 2.4kms of the closest appropriate school
  • the public transport service does not require the student to change transport services more than once on a journey
  • the public transport service has a suitable timetable:
    • allows morning pickup no earlier than 7am and enables the student to arrive at school before the school’s start time
    • allows afternoon pick up no later than one hour after the school day’s official end

Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA)

SESTA is for students who have special educational needs and may have difficulty getting to the school that can meet these needs.  Go to the parents website for further information on SESTA (external link) .

SESTA is not for:

  • students on ACC (the Accident Compensation Corporation). ACC (external link) may help students who are temporarily incapacitated because of an accident
  • students boarding at residential schools who need transport to and from home for the weekend/holidays. 

Applying for SESTA

Caregivers will initiate the SESTA application, but there is a section on the application form that you must complete as well.

All requests for SESTA must be made using the SESTA application form [DOC, 1 MB].

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