Ngā iti Kahurangi: Improving classrooms in small or remote schools

We are improving the internal environments of up to 760 state schools that are small or remote.

Ngā iti Kahurangi is the te reo name for the programme. The name directly translates to “small and highly-valued treasures”. Watch our video about the significance of the name. 


The translation of the whakataukī is shown on the screen while being spoken in te reo Māori.

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei.
Pursue that which you treasure, if you are to stumble, let it be upon a lofty mountain.

Ngā Iti Kahurangi was set up to improve the classrooms of our small and remote schools. The name means small and highly valued treasures. It recognises the importance of these schools to their communities and the education of ākonga across New Zealand.

Follow our journey as we work towards ensuring all schools have quality learning environments by 2030.

About the programme

Ngā Iti Kahurangi started as a 4-year programme for approximately 585 schools in conjunction with the wider Government target of all schools having quality learning environments by 2030.

As part of Budget 2023, the Minister of Finance announced an extension of the programme to 175 small schools.

The programme includes:

  • small schools
  • schools that are remote (large and small).

The Tomorrow’s Schools Review noted that small or remote schools face unique property challenges. For example, the high cost of getting building contractors and the significant time that boards and principals spend managing property projects.

Ngā Iti Kahurangi seeks to improve lighting, noise levels, temperature, energy efficiency and comfort.

Improvements include LEDs, acoustic panels in teaching spaces, thermal insulation in ceilings, residual current devices (RCDs) and carpet tiles in primary school teaching spaces.

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Montage of schools and ākonga.

How it works

Three of the planned improvements may be installed school-wide (LEDs, insulation and RCDs).

We have standards for light levels and acoustic performance in teaching spaces. Information gathered during a site visit will tell us how bright or dark a room is, and how noisy it gets. New lighting and acoustic panels will be installed depending on how a teaching space performs. 

Standards for light levels and acoustic performance

To determine if carpet tiles are required, the programme assesses the condition, age and thickness of existing carpet in teaching spaces at primary schools.

Who does the work

Ministry appointed project managers will liaise with schools during the planning and delivery stages. The project management companies are:

  • Logic Group.
  • Torque IP.
  • Programmed Facility Management.

Based on the evidence gathered, we will tell the project managers what improvements need to be made. 


This programme commenced delivery in 2021 and is expected to continue until 2025. 

In the meantime, there’s nothing schools need to do. Their project manager will contact them to schedule site assessments and improvement installations.

Schools in the programme

The following spreadsheet lists the schools that meet the programme’s criteria for inclusion. The criteria are:

  • An isolation factor of 2.0 or higher prior to January 2023.
  • A roll of 152 or less as of August 2022.

Schools in Ngā Iti Kahurangi Programme July 2023 [XLSX, 43 KB]

Light Fitting Recycling Initiative

The Ministry and Signify (programme supplier of LED lights) have partnered with Abilities Group to recycle existing lights and reduce the waste going to landfill. What is special about Abilities Group is that they employ people with mental and physical disabilities to undertake this work. The non-profit organisation aims to enrich lives and provide meaningful employment.

Signify(external link) 

Abilities Group(external link)

Across all Te Tāhuhu request for proposals, recycling, carbon footprint and other broader outcomes are factored in, and companies are required show how they support or deliver on Ministry goals. This is a fantastic initiative by Signify and other partners part of the Ngā Iti Kahurangi programme of broader outcomes in action. This demonstrates the values of Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga.


If you have questions, raise these with your project manager or talk to your property advisor.

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