National schools weather-tightness survey

A key focus for the Government is delivering safe, healthy learning environments for the benefit of students and education staff.

A significant issue that must be addressed to achieve this is remediating and preventing the impacts of weather-tightness failure on schools.

The Ministry’s building improvement programme is in place to address this issue which is considered a key priority for strategic asset management.

A National Survey of weather-tightness issues in school buildings constructed since 1994 has informed the programme’s approach to remediation and prevention.

The Ministry of Education has published the survey report findings which are based on visual surveys and a data review of 6,130 buildings located at 1,592 schools. [Read the report in the Related Downloads section at the bottom of this page]

The survey report provides: 

  • risk profiles of school buildings constructed since 1994 
  • categories of school buildings based on the level of risk 
  • estimates of both worst case and predicted repair costs.

There is a significant difference between the survey report’s worst case scenario remediation cost of $2.541 billion and a predicted repair estimate of $1.428 billion.

The worst case scenario figure does not consider the range of probabilities around risk factor failure or the proportion of work that would most likely be superseded by other property projects.

The current total cost estimate is around $1.5 billion which reflects the predicted repair figure.

The survey findings have informed the Ministry’s building improvement programme, which is now in its third year of operation. To date more than $150 million has been committed to remediate schools and a further 800 school buildings are identified for future work.

Addressing immediate issues that could potentially pose a health risk or have a negative impact on learning environments continue to be the priority but significant work is also being done to encourage changes in building and supplier practices that will prevent future issues.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback