Ngā iti Kahurangi - Improving Classrooms in Small or Remote Schools

The Ministry is improving the internal environments of up to 600 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. It was produced by Josiah Wood, who is a Master of Screen Production student at University of Auckland


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

The programme includes:

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

The four-year programme is part of a wider Government target of all schools having quality learning environments by 2030.

Small or remote schools face unique property challenges. These include the time that boards and principals spend managing property projects, and the challenge and high costs of getting building contractors. The Tomorrow’s Schools Review noted these challenges for small schools in particular and stated that they are exacerbated if they’re remote.

This work programme will help schools that are small or remote to meet the Government’s 2030 target.

We’ll be looking to improve lighting, noise, temperature and energy efficiency. Improvements may include LEDs, acoustic panels and thermal insulation in ceilings. We will also install residual current devices (RCDs) at the same time and support state primary schools to update their Asbestos Management Plans.

How it works

We have standards for light levels and acoustic performance in classrooms and we will be ensuring that these standards are met. The improvements installed will depend on how a classroom and school performs. Information gathered during a site visit will tell us how bright or dark a room is and how noisy it gets.

Internal environment monitors will be installed that show how temperature fluctuates and the levels of CO2 in a room. The monitors also measure acoustics and lighting. Analysis of the information will tell us what improvements need to be made. We will re-measure the environment after the improvements have been made to find out how effective they’ve been.

Three of the planned improvements will be installed school-wide (LEDs, thermal blankets and RCDs). Acoustic panels will be installed in classrooms which do not meet Ministry acoustic standards.

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, and
  • Programmed Facility Management.

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


This programme is expected to be completed by September 2024. Classroom assessments for the first group of schools will start from September 2021 and delivery of improvements will start from November 2021.

Schools have been divided into three groups based on factors such as geography. You can see which group your school is in under the Schools in the programme section.

The estimated financial year for improvement delivery is available for group 1 schools. Group 2 and 3 school timeframes will be added as the programme progresses.

In the meantime, there’s nothing you need to do. Your project manager will contact you.

Schools in the programme

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

  • An entitlement of four teaching spaces or less
  • An isolation factor of 2.0 or higher
  • A roll of 100 or less as of June 2020.

Improving Classrooms in Small or Remote Schools - Schools in the Programme [XLSX, 53 KB]

Improving Classrooms in Small or Remote Schools - State Integrated Schools that opted in [XLSX, 36 KB]


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

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