Vandalism funding to repair school property

Find out about how vandalism funding is calculated, what it covers and if you are eligible for a top-up.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Administrators

Under the property occupancy document, boards are responsible for undertaking vandalism repairs and taking all practicable steps to reduce vandalism. The Ministry provides vandalism funding to assist with this. 

Key information about vandalism funding

What it is

Funding included each year in your operational funding, to repair damage caused by vandalism.

What it is for

You can only use the funding to repair Ministry-funded buildings and facilities, damaged by vandalism.

The budget

The amount paid to your school is calculated in categories based on the number of pupils, the risk of vandalism in your area (determined by previous vandalism costs), and an upper limit of liability for your board in any one year.

For more details

Your grant advice notice contains the details of the vandalism funding.

Vandalism is “wilful damage to or loss of any part of the school site, buildings or other facilities, excluding arson and normal wear and tear”.

Using vandalism funding

Repair work for vandalism damage must:

  • be carried out immediately, and
  • comply with Ministry design standards.

Property design standards and legal requirements

You can use vandalism funding to repair:

  • arson damage if it costs less than $2,500 to repair
  • deliberately broken windows or etching on windows
  • damage to walls and buildings from graffiti, but only the area with the graffiti, not the rest of the wall or building
  • damage to a CCTV camera, but only if it's attached to a building
  • damage to fences
  • stolen spouting, as it's likely to have been damaged when it was ripped off
  • damage to trees that are part of the school site
  • damage to a Ministry-funded playground
  • damage to Ministry-funded artificial turf
  • water damage from taps being deliberately left on
  • damage to school property by hit-and-run drivers.

You can only use the funding to repair buildings and facilities that the Ministry owns.

The following table lists items that you can't use your vandalism funding for. It also shows other funding sources you may use to pay to repair such damage.

Type of damage Funding source
Arson damage costing over $2,500 to repair. School building insurance funding programme
A caretaker’s time for painting over/cleaning off graffiti or fixing other damage.

Operational funding for the wages of the caretaker as a board employee

Operational funding

Damage to desks, chairs or electronic whiteboards, refilling fire extinguishers let off.

Your school’s contents insurance or the School Building Insurance Programme, which should cover these furniture and equipment items

Contents insurance for schools

Private cars damaged on school site This should be covered by the owners’ car insurance
Accidental damage (not wilfully caused). Your school’s contents insurance or the School Building Insurance Programme, depending on the damage involved
Normal wear and tear. Maintenance funding
Security guards or callouts.

Operational funding.

Security management (security systems)

Installing new fencing or CCTV camera to keep vandals out. 5 Year Agreement Funding (5YA)
Damage to buildings or facilities not owned by the Ministry. Buildings on school sites are sometimes owned by a third party community group or the board. Damage should be covered by the owner’s insurance

Vandalism risk categories

The 5 vandalism risk categories are ranked from A (lowest risk) to E (highest risk). The funding you receive is the mid-point amount within your category, multiplied by the number of your students.

The table below shows the 2024 vandalism rates (GST inclusive). 

Vandalism risk category Funding range based on average historic vandalism costs Funding rate per student (mid-point) Upper limit (per student)
A - Low Risk $0 - $7.50 $4.31 $7.50
B – Medium Risk $7.51 - $14.97 $12.93 $14.97
C – High Risk $14.98 - $22.54 $21.57 $22.54
D – Critical Risk $22.55 - $29.91 $30.16 $29.91
E – Extreme Risk $29.92 - $30.02



If your vandalism costs go over the mid-point, you have to meet the difference, up to the upper limit.

Vandalism funding examples

Example 1

Kiwi Park Primary School has 100 students and is in category B. It received $1,178 ($11.78 x 100) in vandalism funding in 2020. Its vandalism costs for that year were $1,300 to paint over graffiti on an entire wall of the hall. The school’s 'upper limit' is $1,569 ($15.69 x 100). The school must pay $122 ($1,300-$1,178) out of its operational funding.

Example 2

Kiwi Park Secondary School has 150 students and is in category A. It received $589.5 ($3.93 x 150) in vandalism funding in 2020. Its vandalism costs for that year were $1500 to repair smashed windows throughout a block. The school’s 'upper limit' is $1,179 ($7.86 x 150). The school must pay $589.50, which is the difference between the mid-point and upper limit ($1,179-$589.50). But it can get top-up funding of $321, which is the amount it cost to fix the windows over the upper limit ($1,500-$1,179).

Vandalism top-up calculator

If your vandalism costs go over your upper limit, you can get top-up funding.

Download the Vandalism top-up calculator [XLSX, 115 KB] to work out how much additional funding you can claim.

To use the vandalism top-up calculator, enter:

  • your profile number
  • the calendar year for which you want to claim top-up funding
  • the amount of each individual invoice for vandalism costs (including GST)
  • any money you've been able to recover for each vandalism event, such as payment by a student who broke a window
  • your school’s total roll
  • your vandalism risk category
  • the amount you paid up to the upper limit.

The calculator will work out:

  • total funding — the Ministry’s contribution plus your contribution to meet the upper limit
  • vandalism expenses — the total of all vandalism invoices
  • top-up funding — the amount you can claim reimbursement for over the upper limit.

We consider top-up claims throughout the year. You can either:

  • make a claim for 1 vandalism event or
  • add them up and make 1 claim for the year — you'll need to submit this claim by mid-June for reimbursement that year.

Changes to your vandalism risk category

We'll reassess your school’s vandalism risk category if you've:

  • experienced a general increase in vandalism and
  • exceeded your vandalism funding for 3 consecutive years.

To be reassessed you need to provide us with a record of your vandalism costs for the last 3 years. We'll only consider your request if you're taking action to reduce your vandalism costs, like installing security systems.

If you wish for your school to be reassessed to a lower risk category, discuss this with your local office.

Reducing vandalism

You can take a number of steps to reduce vandalism and other incidents like arson or theft. If you have serious, ongoing vandalism problems, you may qualify for capital funding to improve security.

Applying for funding after a major vandalism event

If there's a major vandalism event at your school and the repair costs will be well over your upper limit, you can apply to the Ministry for funding immediately after the event. You need to provide:

  • copies of invoices to fix the damage (including GST)
  • an estimate of the costs if the damage isn't yet fixed
  • a detailed police report
  • your analysis of the event, including any background information that sheds light on what happened.

Contact your local Ministry office to:

  • ask if we'll meet the excess costs
  • find out about temporary accommodation where buildings are too damaged to use
  • decide whether the school should be moved to a higher vandalism risk category.

The extra costs will be met if either:

  • the cost of that one event is above your upper limit or
  • the cost of that event, combined with vandalism expenses you've already had to pay during the year, will put you over the upper limit.

Contact your local office

Property staff contact details

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