Te Haratau – lifting the quality of NZ's physical learning environments

The Government has set a target of all schools providing quality learning environments by 2030 to enable ākonga and teachers to thrive in environments that support their success. To achieve this goal, we have developed a model that will measure and assess the ‘quality’ of learning environments. This is our Te Haratau programme.

About the programme

Te Haratau is a model of data collection that acknowledges the different perspectives and needs of users, operators and owners, as well as the latest research to support learning outcomes and wellbeing.   It measures quality across three pillars, or pou:

  • Condition
  • Fitness for purpose; and
  • Operational efficiency

Our goal is to ensure the physical environments in our schools are suitable for their intended purpose, specifically supporting teaching and learning, and the wellbeing of everyone on site.

How it works

To assess the fitness for purpose of your learning environments, we will install internal environment monitoring (IEM) devices. These devices measure acoustics, lighting, thermal comfort and indoor air quality, which all support better educational outcomes. 

Like CO2 monitors, IEM devices can also help schools understand ventilation requirements, but IEMs are being installed as part of a longer-term solution to support the quality of schools’ learning environments. They will be fixed and permanent, whereas CO2 monitors are portable and have been distributed as an immediate response to COVID-19, allowing schools to monitor CO2 levels in real time and move the monitors between classrooms. 

Schools will be asked to complete the School Evaluation of the Physical Environment questionnaire – or SEPE. SEPE gathers the user’s perspective. It asks schools to describe their education vision and daily practice, and then assesses how well their buildings and site support this. 

Condition assessors will visit schools to assess the site-wide and building elements. They’ll be making their assessment against an established condition assessment framework. Using this framework ensures that consistent, repeatable, and comparable data is recorded across the school and portfolio.

We’ll continue to seek authorisation to collect schools’ current and future energy usage data directly from their retailer. This is to help us get a better understanding of usage and costs to measure the operational efficiency.

Who does the work? 

We partner with the following suppliers to help collect Te Haratau data:

  • Network 4 Learning (N4L) is one of our suppliers installing internal environment monitoring devices. They will also contact schools to ensure they are network ready. Being network ready means schools are connected to a reliable internet network that is resilient, safe and secure.
  • Aotea Communications is another of our suppliers installing internal environment monitoring devices.
  • Cortexo is the company we use to collect your energy data.


By mid July 2023, we aim to have collected a year’s worth of data on condition, fitness for purpose and operational efficiency for 20% of the state school property portfolio. We are rolling out the model in stages and have introduced our sources of data incrementally over the last few years. 

We are now rolling out IEM devices and condition assessments, starting with schools in the 24/25 5YA year. These schools will have IEM devices installed and assessors will come on site to complete a condition assessment. At the same time, these schools will be asked to complete the SEPE questionnaire to gather their perspective on how well their buildings and site support their education vision and daily practice. Any schools that haven’t completed their energy survey will also need to complete this as part of the operational efficiency pou to help schools meet their obligations under the Carbon Neutral Government Programme.

We are also installing IEM devices in schools that are network ready, but not part of the 24/25 5YA year. 

We will continue to take a phased approach to implementing Te Haratau into all schools over the next few years.

How we use the data

The data will be used to assess how school property is performing and supporting education outcomes (includes the physical asset, the internal environment and how efficiently the school operates) and to identify trends and inform business decisions that will help us meet the Government’s target of quality learning environments by 2030. 

We’re exploring its usefulness as an input into a school’s property planning process to inform decisions around property projects, maintenance and improvements. The benefits of this data will continue to grow as more information is gathered.

How we view the data collected

Although we have started collecting the data, we are still building the reporting system that will allow us to view it in a meaningful and easily understood way. It’s expected our reporting system will be available from 1 July, 2023. 

In the meantime, schools can see “live” data collected by IEM devices in real time.

If they have a Smooth Sensor device in their classroom, simply scan the QR code below to download the Classmate App on their phone.

QR code

They will be able see temperature, humidity, CO2 as well as illuminance and sound levels in their classroom while they are within about 10m to the installed device. If they have a Monkeytronics device in the classroom, simply check the LCD screen.

Schools can see their SEPE and EBR as documents in the Helios Portal if they have gone through the 10YPP process since these were introduced.

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