5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding

Information about the 5YA including what it covers and the spending rules.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Administrators

Boards are responsible for the financial governance of their schools including how the 5YA funding is spent. There are many requirements of the funding itself laid out below. This funding provides at least a minimum budget for schools to plan for capital works within your 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP) process. Your allocated budget is reviewed after Year 3 of the programme. 

Key information about 5YA funding

What it is: A capital funding budget to use over a 5 year period, helping schools plan for capital upgrades as part of the 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP) process.

What the 5YA is for: The funding is to upgrade, modernise or replace your existing Ministry-funded buildings and facilities.

The 5YA budget: All eligible schools receive at least the minimum 5YA budget, which is currently $45,000.

For more information about spending priorities: Step 3: Consider inputs at the 10YPP initiation meeting

Receiving 5YA funding

The Ministry of Education gives each board a capital funding budget to use over a 5 year period. This enables you to plan for capital upgrades as part of the 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP) process.

You must use your 5YA funding to upgrade, modernise or replace your existing buildings. 5YA isn't intended for expanding the building area of your school.

How your 5YA funding is calculated

The basic formula for your 5YA funding is: (base area rate x base funding) x 5 years

Your base area is Your base funding rate Your catch up rate

The lesser of:

  • your actual area of Ministry-owned buildings at the school, in gross square metres, or
  • the gross area you're entitled to under the School Property Guide (SPG) plus legitimate space.
  • $30 per square metre of base area, plus
  • a catch-up rate if your school has received less than the expected rate per square metre since 1992/93.

We compare past spending on property with what you should have received. We include all past spending on property in the comparison, except for spending on:

  • new buildings and extensions
  • work paid for through the NTS funding programme
  • work paid for through Unforeseen funding
  • furniture and equipment
  • making learning support property modifications.

Learning support property modifications

Additional funding

If you qualify for it we'll add the following to your 5YA:

  • a top-up rate if you have received less than $40 per square metre since 1992/1993 and the average building age of your school is older than 30 years
  • an isolation rate if your school has an isolation index of more than 2.

Operational funding components

We add top-up funding to help you pay for priority 1, 2 or 3 work. This work involves urgent health and safety, essential infrastructure and Innovative Learning Environment upgrades (previously called Modern Learning Environments).

Insufficient 5YA funding

If you have urgent health and safety works or essential infrastructure work and you've exhausted your 5YA funding, talk to your property advisor.

Minimum 5YA budgets

All eligible schools receive at least the minimum 5YA budget so that they have 5YA funding to do their essential work. The current minimum budget is $45,000.

This benefits small schools that have all the usual infrastructure but based on their student numbers and SPG entitlement would otherwise get less than $45,000.

It also benefits schools that are new or have a number of new rooms. We assess all buildings on a weighted average building age. This is a formula we use to assess the 5YA for new buildings on the basis that they won’t need to upgrading or modernising for a number of years.

Proceeds of property sales are added to the budget

If you sell surplus school property, you receive:

  • 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of school houses
  • 50% of the net proceeds from the sale of any other school property.

This money is added to your 5YA funding to be used to meet the goals of your 10YPP.

Visit our Surplus school property page for more information about disposing of surplus houses and school buildings.

Following the 5YA spending rules

Your 5YA funding allocation is one of the inputs into your 10YPP. Once we've approved your 10YPP we'll send you a letter giving our approval and include 2 copies of your 5YA for signing.

You need to follow these rules when deciding how to use your 5YA funding in your 10YPP.

1. Capital work only

You need to understand the difference between capital and maintenance work. 5YA funding is for capital maintenance and upgrades (work over $5,000). 

Capital work must meet 3 criteria

1. The work:

  • creates new property
  • replaces new property, or
  • substantially upgrades existing property.

2. As a result of the work:

  • a new asset is created in the Ministry's balance sheet or
  • an existing asset needs to be updated in the Ministry's balance sheet.

3. Project value is greater than $5,000 (a lower project value of $2,500 applies to Learning support property modifications).


  • substantial roof replacement
  • extension to an existing building.

You can't use 5YA funding for routine maintenance. Maintenance funding, provided through operational funding, is to carry out day-to-day maintenance of existing school property.

Property Maintenance Grant funding

We monitor 5YA spending when we receive the Occupancy Use Certificate for 5YA projects to make sure it's being spent on capital works and upgrades. You or your project manager must reconcile the Schedules of Payments in the Occupancy Use Certificate back to the project and provide copies of all supporting invoices.

Project management forms

2. Work on existing buildings only

You must use your 5YA funding to pay for work on existing buildings. Usually you can't use it for new buildings or extensions.

There are 2 exceptions.

  • when you replace an existing building that has reached the end of its useful life with a new building of the same size (that is, you're not increasing your school’s net building area)
  • when you have completed the School Evaluation of the Physical Environment (SEPE) and identified a priority 3 project to upgrade and enhance learning environments that requires extending an existing block and there's no way to achieve this without an extension (this is known as a footprint extension). 

All footprint extensions must be approved by the Ministry and meet the following criteria: 

  • Modernisation upgrades can't be achieved within the existing building footprint
  • after the extension, your school will have under 300 m2 in gross surplus area
  • money isn't being spent on a footprint extension at the expense of maintaining other school property.

3. Work on Ministry-owned buildings only

You can only use 5YA funding on Ministry-owned buildings and facilities.

You can't use it to:

  • pay for work on community or board-owned buildings
  • build something, such as a car park, on land not owned by the Ministry.

4. 5YA contingency sum

Following a review of the 10YPP policy, the 5YA 10% contingency will no longer be required to be set aside.

Removal of 5YA contingency aims to support improved long term asset management planning across the school property portfolio, as it enables schools to use funding more effectively.  

The full 5YA budget is now available to consider as part of your 10YPP planning process, and you may allocate your total 5YA to projects.

The 10YPP Application in the Property Portal has been updated to reflect this change, and no longer automatically keeps the 10% contingency aside.

Although you're no longer required to set aside 10% of your 5YA funding as a contingency, you may set up a project called ‘Contingency’ and hold this for any unexpected urgent health and safety or essential infrastructure projects.

5. Unspent 5YA budgets

In your 10YPP all your 5YA funding will be committed to projects. If any projects aren't completed within the 5 years, the 5YA budget will be transferred to your next 5YA period.

6. Advances on next 5YA budget

We don't give advances on 5YA budgets. If you need to carry a project across two 5YA periods because you can’t afford it in 1 period, you should break it into 2 separate contracts.

7. When Ministry approval is needed

You must get our approval before doing something that's outside 5YA spending rules.

In addition, all projects over $500,000 must be confirmed by the board by 30 June of the year before the project starts.

8. Timeframes and limits

Your timeframes and limits around spending 5YA funding depend on when the Ministry signs your 5YA. For instance if we:

  • sign your 5YA by the start date (1 July) you can spend up to 90% of your 5YA budget immediately
  • sign your 5YA by 30 September in Year 1 you can spend up to 50% of your 5YA budget immediately
  • haven't signed your 5YA by 31 December in Year 1 your property advisor will work with you to address any issues.

9. Engaging contractors for your 5YA projects

You must follow normal Ministry procurement rules to engage contractors and consultants to carry out your 5YA project.


Reviewing your 5YA budget

We'll review your 5YA budget after Year 3 of your 5YA programme. The review will take into account changes in your school roll. Your budget may be increased if it's grown. The budget will not be reduced if your roll drops.

Making changes to your 10YPP

If you're making major changes to your 10YPP, you'll need to talk with your property advisor and then update your 10YPP and send it to the Ministry for approval.

These major changes include:

  • cancelling capital projects, or adding new projects to the 5YA (which includes adding new floor area, also known as a footprint extension)
  • changing the order of projects
  • changing project costs which impact other projects
  • adding a project in the NTS funding programme.

Non-teaching Space funding

Paying for urgent health and safety work

If you have an urgent health and safety issue to deal with at your school, and your 5YA funding is insufficient, talk to your property advisor.

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