The Government needs to reveal the details of the contract tender for its nationwide school property review, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta
“The review presents an opportunity to consider a number of factors affecting the medium to long-term management of school property. It’s important that the public is assured that a robust process was followed to confirm the successful tender, New Zealand company Becca.
“The school property portfolio amounts to $10.1b, spanning approximately 2300 schools and 6.5 million square metres of property.
“School properties are in varying states. Some properties are contemporary and suitable for a modern learning environment. Other properties are aging and in need of significant investment.
“The review should sit alongside further considerations about the future of schooling provision in urban and rural communities. Otherwise decisions may be seen as operating in isolation of the real pressure facing a comprehensive schooling network.
“It is not clear when the Minister anticipates a report back on recommendations but there are some critical aspects to the review that may require public input.
“There may be concerns about the future ownership and management of school properties if it were to be transferred from the Crown, the strategic utilisation of school properties that are no longer used for their designated purpose and what future role the Board of Trustees may play in school property maintenance.
“Perhaps once the Minister has sorted out the detail she will let the public and schooling sector know. At this stage there is very little to talk about,” said Nanaia Mahuta.