Furniture and equipment for state schools

As a board of trustees, you receive funding for furniture and equipment through your 5 Year Agreement (5YA) budget and other funding programmes providing new space. You also get furniture and equipment funding when you are building new space. Several funding sources are available to pay for furniture and equipment for students with special education needs. You need to follow our accounting and recording rules when receiving funding for or buying furniture and equipment.

Furniture and equipment funding for upgrades and modernisation projects

You will receive a budget to upgrade and modernise furniture and equipment based on the amount of your 5YA funding.

To work out how much funding for furniture and equipment you will receive, multiply your 5YA budget by the rate for your type of school using the following table.

5YA funding rates for each type of school

School typeFunding rate
Contributing primary (Years 1–6) 4.0%
Full primary (Years 1–8) 4.3%
Intermediate (Years 7–8) 5.0%
Composite (Years 1–15) 4.5%
Restricted composite (Years 7–10) 5.0%
Secondary (Years 7–15) 5.0%
Secondary (Years 9–15 5.0%
Special school 4.5%

Timing of 5YA furniture and equipment funding

Your school receives:

  • two-thirds of this 5YA funding in Year 1 of your 5YA
  • the final third following the 3 Year Review - this allows for any increases to your 5YA budget which will increase your furniture and equipment entitlement.

If your 5YA budget increases in the Year 3 5YA review we adjust your final furniture and equipment budget.

Receiving your 5YA furniture and equipment grant

The first instalment of two-thirds of the furniture and equipment contribution associated with the 5YA will be allocated with your 5YA budget, and will be paid on 1 July in the year that you enter your new 5YA cycle.

The final third will be paid following the three year review. This will be paid automatically on (or just after) 1 February following the approval of the three year review.

Replacing furniture and equipment

When replacing furniture, take the opportunity to update it in line with curriculum changes and modern teaching practices. For example, buy chairs and tables specially designed for use in Flexible Learning Spaces. See Designing learning environments.

Furniture and equipment funding for new space

If your school is getting additional space, you will get funding for furniture and equipment to fit it out. This funding is for projects to increase:

The table sets out the rates for different types of spaces, which vary according to the type of building area.

New teaching space and SPG furniture and equipment funding rates. Please note: for Integrated Schools, GST is applicable. 

Type of building spaceFunding rate ($ per net m²)
Regular space (roll growth and SPG deficiencies) including gymnasiums $125
Specialist teaching space (secondary school Years 9–15) $450
Specialist teaching space (all other school types)



Note the following about the funding rates for new space:

  • The funding rates are based on the net square metre of the space. The net square metres exclude corridors, circulation space, toilets etc where furniture and equipment are not needed.
  • The regular area rate applies to all types of schools, both new and existing, and schools changing to a different school type, such as from primary to composite (a school with both primary and secondary levels).
  • You get the full furniture and equipment funding for new regular net area even if you build something like a storage room as part of the project.
  • Do not use the new square metre funding rate to furnish space built with 5YA funding. You must use the 5YA furniture and equipment grant for this.

You can use the furniture and equipment calculator [XLS, 587 KB] to work out how much furniture and equipment funding you are entitled to for your new square metre project.

Invoice the Ministry for the new space funding

Send an invoice to your local Ministry office to receive the furniture and equipment funding for the building project. We will pay it in the project budget. When you undertake the project, you must meet our project management requirements.

No furniture and equipment for other capital works funding programmes

Furniture and equipment funding does not apply to these projects:

  • fire alarm upgrade
  • property rationalisation (disposal)
  • insurance projects
  • site extensions
  • structural mitigation, such as earthquake strengthening
  • unforeseen work like urgent plumbing repairs
  • rooms being rebuilt – because you will have ongoing funding for them in your operational and 5YA funding.

The appropriate source of funding can vary

As a general rule, if you are installing items like security cameras, use your:

  • 5YA funding for items that cost over $5000
  • new square metre furniture and equipment funding for items being installed as part of a larger project
  • operational funding for items that cost less than $5000, are able to be unplugged and moved, and are not part of a larger project.

Furniture and equipment funding for integrated schools

Different rules for funding furniture and equipment apply to state integrated schools.

For more information, go to Furniture and equipment for integrated schools.

Furniture and equipment for students with special education needs

You may be able to get funding for furniture and equipment for students with special education needs from the:

  • Ministry of Education– first time enrolment property funding; operational grant funding; assistive technology
  • Ministry of Health – assistive equipment funding
  • Accident Compensation Corporation – assistive technology funding.

Each organisation has its own criteria for this funding. Contact the Special Education teams in our local offices for advice.

Property funding when a student enrols in your school

When a student with special education needs enrols in your school, additional funding may be available to pay for things like a changing table, adapted workbench or a hoist.

There is no set rate. We provide furniture and equipment to meet the needs of the student. We provide it as part of your property modification project budget.

This funding does not cover washing machines or dryers. You need to fund these items from your furniture and equipment grant.

Note: If a student needs specialist furniture or equipment, but not property modifications, they won’t be eligible for this funding. You can still apply for funding for furniture and equipment through the Ministry of Education’s assistive technology programme.

There may be additional help provided through the Ministry of Health, Accident Compensation Commission and other organisations. Contact our local office for advice.

Operational grant funding

We may be able to provide an operational grant for a student who is supported through any of the special education initiatives.

Contact the Special Education teams in our local offices for advice.

Maintaining furniture and equipment

You need to maintain your furniture and equipment to keep it safe and fit for purpose. Use your operational funding to pay for maintenance. Maintenance involves:

  • keeping items clean and in good repair
  • replacing them when they are past repair.

Insuring furniture and equipment

To insure your furniture and equipment, you can either:

  • arrange your own cover through your choice of insurance company and use your operational funding to pay the premiums, or
  • seek cover under our Risk Management Scheme, where we deduct your costs quarterly from your school's operational funding.

The Ministry’s School Buildings Insurance Programme does not cover replacement of furniture and equipment damaged or destroyed in a fire or other disaster.

Accounting for and recording furniture and equipment

Identifying ‘furniture and equipment’ items

For funding and accounting purposes, it is important that you know which items we classify as furniture or equipment:

  • Furniture includes moveable furniture items that are not permanently fixed to a building’s structure, like tables, chairs and desks.
  • Equipment includes all loose items of teaching, administrative and maintenance equipment like blackboards, photocopiers and computers.

Items that are not furniture and equipment include:

  • Capital items – assets that are part of the building and increase the building’s value. Typically these are built into the building, for example fixed, built in shelving, and built in wall ovens.
  • Consumable items – items that are likely to be used in their year of purchase and do not add value to the building where they are used, such as stationery and books.

Use the flow chart to help you work out whether an item is furniture and equipment, capital or consumable. These classifications are from our insurance provider’s definition of furniture and equipment.

 Classifying items as furniture and equipment, capital or consumable

Flow chart for classifying items as furniture and equipment, capital or consumable.

Accounting rules for furniture and equipment

Follow these accounting and recording rules, when receiving funding for or buying furniture and equipment: 

  • You get furniture and equipment funding through one of the Ministry’s capital funding programmes. This means there is no GST included and you don’t have to account for GST when recording it in your accounts.
  • You can claim back the GST when you use the funding to buy furniture and equipment.
  • Credit furniture and equipment funding you receive to your school's capital equity account in the Statement of Financial Position. Don’t credit it as revenue in the Statement of Financial Performance.
  • You must have an asset management plan showing how you will use the furniture and equipment funding.
  • When you buy an item, you must record it in a fixed asset register. 

Fixed asset register

You must keep an accurate fixed asset register of all furniture and equipment. You use this register: 

  • as the basis for a proper asset management (replacement and repair) plan
  • to work out values for insurance purposes
  • for accounting purposes. 

For each item in the asset register, you must record: 

  • its purchase price and date, or who donated it
  • a description, including its asset classification, such as furniture and equipment
  • its estimated useful life
  • its residual value, which is the value after it has been fully depreciated (depreciation is an accounting exercise that writes off the value of the asset over the period of its useful life)
  • its annual depreciation expense, depreciation rate and accumulated depreciation
  • its book value (its purchase price less accumulated depreciation)
  • its condition
  • its location in the school
  • when you dispose of it. 

Store a copy of the asset register in a safe place off the school site in case of a disaster like a fire or flood.

Do a regular stock take

At least once each year, you must do a stock take of the fixed asset register. You check that the items listed: 

  • still exist
  • have not been ‘borrowed’ or stolen
  • are in working order. 

For more detailed information about reporting, go to the Financial Information for Schools Handbook.

All-of-government (AoG) procurement for schools

You may be able to make significant savings when purchasing equipment for your school through the all-of-government contracts. See New Zealand Government Procurement for schools (external link) .

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