NENP updates

The National Education Growth Plan 2030 (NEGP) was released in May 2019 in response to population growth across Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2021 we released Network Plans for an additional 80 catchments that alongside the 39 catchments that make up the NEGP, form the National Education Network Plan. Since the release of the NEGP in 2019 and subsequently incorporating that into the NENP, we have responded to growth by adding capacity at schools across the country, as well as using other tools to manage growing school rolls. The NEGP is a dynamic, iterative plan that is regularly reviewed and refined as forecasts change.

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NENP implementation

The National Education Growth Plan 2030 (NEGP) was released in May 2019 in response to population growth across New Zealand. The NEGP is a first for New Zealand and represents a step change in the way we plan for, and manage, growth in the school-age population, school redevelopments and school builds. It provides a long-term solution to a long-term problem.

At the time, this plan was supported by the largest investment ever by a New Zealand Government in school property of $1.2 billion. The NEGP is designed to address the complexity and transformation required across all of New Zealand’s high growth regions to ensure that sufficient capacity is delivered nationwide in the right place at the right time.

The NEGP underpins Te Rautaki Rawa Kura – the School Property Strategy 2030 which sets out the desired future state for the school property portfolio, with ākonga at the centre of our thinking.

The Plan identified 39 high growth catchments, 20 in Auckland and 19 across the rest of the country.

Responding to growth

We manage school networks nationwide using a range of data including population projections, planned housing developments, census data, local council information, how well schools are utilised, enrolment data and other local factors. Known residential developments are monitored to understand location, scale and phasing so we can project how many students they might bring into an area. We also consider house sales data, property prices, new transport links and a range of other factors in our planning. This data allows us to plan for growth and to implement changes.

Since the release of the NEGP in 2019, we have responded to growth by adding capacity at schools across the country, as well as using other tools to manage growing school rolls. These tools include implementing new or amending existing enrolment schemes, supporting schools to reduce their enrolments of out-of-zone students, changes to network structure, increasing maximum rolls at state integrated schools, and roll growth funding and establishing new schools as and when they are required.

In 2019, the NEGP forecast 100,000 student places would be required by 2030 across the 39 highest growing catchments. We have since then released the NENP covering all 199 catchments across the motu. July 2023 data now show the spaces required to be added across the entire NENP between 2019 and 2030 is 114,000. To date, 34,500 places have been delivered, 25,000 of these in the original 39 NEGP catchments and 9,500 in catchments experiencing more isolated or moderate growth. We know that there are more schools needing extra space in 2024 due to growing rolls, and we are working with these schools to address this.

Working with stakeholders

Signalling a longer-term view provides direction to the wider community, including other government agencies, local government, and infrastructure and service providers. These catchment plans are intended to support conversations around long-term planning and investment and provide increased confidence to the sector that we are meeting the challenges of a growing population.

The medium-term strategic view and planning approach taken by the NENP is essential to improving equity and access to our schooling network. It will support greater cost-efficiencies, more stakeholder and community input into the design of the school network and allow for more agile responses to rapid shifts in population.

We are finding that the NENP is driving greater collaboration with councils as future growth planning occurs. As a result, we are constantly monitoring the scale and pace of public and private sector development and working with our key external stakeholders to support integrated and joined up planning. For example, in Auckland we are working closely with Kāinga Ora as they plan and deliver housing regeneration projects across the region.

Catchment planning

The NEGP is a flexible and live document that forecasts demand for student places based on regional analysis and catchment modelling. The modelling is regularly updated and refined as forecasts change, growth patterns emerge and as key input data is updated, such as roll numbers, enrolment patterns, population projections and large-scale developments.

Slide about the catchment planning methodology [PDF, 516 KB]

We use the latest school-aged population projections from Statistics NZ (currently 2018-census based) to forecast demand. As the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions being eased are realised, we are expecting to see a continuation of growth in some parts of the country, with Auckland increasing its share of the national population over time.

Most recent population projections – Statistics NZ(external link)

The NENP supports our commitment to focus on barrier-free access to education and the need to develop and strengthen pathways for all learners. With the development of the NENP, we can now provide consistent forecasting, planning and modelling across the entire school network.

With the introduction of Te Mahau in 2021 we have aligned the NENP to support a regional delivery focus through collaboration with communities, the education sector, local government and other government agencies to support integrated planning, investment decisions and education outcomes. Together with our Māori Medium network planning and specialist learning support network planning currently underway, the NENP inclusive of the NEGP creates a ‘family’ of strategic foundation planning documents.

Education network plans

Demand picture – April 2024

As communities change the schooling needs of their children and young people change too. This can require different forms of provision and a reshaping of the local network of schooling alongside the community.  Population Growth is placing pressure on our school network in specific areas of the country. These high growth areas are unique and are experiencing growth in different ways. In some areas we are seeing redevelopment and intensification of existing urban areas, while in other areas entirely new communities are being established.  

Since the NEGP was established in 2019 we have seen significant change in our growth patterns largely driven by Covid 19 and the post covid recovery. Growth has been concentrated with exceptionally high growth in some catchments, particularly Rolleston in Canterbury, and Ormiston Flatbush, Papakura Rosehill Drury and Massey Hobsonville Kaipara in Auckland. Immigration has now returned to above 2019 levels with an estimated 20,800 additional school age students in the 12 months to June 2023 driving the pace of growth. We are also seeing a population bubble move into the secondary sector which will move through in the next 4-5 years.

Within the schooling network we are identifying a range of complex challenges, these include historical deficits in teaching spaces at schools, emerging growth, changes in enrolment patterns and the introduction of large scale Kāinga Ora housing developments, particularly in Auckland.

NENP regional updates

In 2021, we provided an update to the NEGP catchments. In 2024, we provided an update to the NENP inclusive of all 119 catchments based on 2023 roll data. Since the 2021 NEGP update, we have taken a wider view of growth with the NEGP being seen as sitting within the NEP as part of the wider growth and population change picture. The evolution of Te Mahau has also seen Auckland, traditionally the epicentre of network growth, split into three education regions, Tāmaki Herenga Tāngata (Auckland North and West), Tāmaki Herenga Manawa (Auckland Central and East), and Tāmaki Herenga Waka (Auckland South and Southwest). Updates for these regions are now shown as part of the national updates.

Specific updates for each region are provided in the links below (March 2021). These summary sheets provide an update of what we have been doing, what has changed since we published the NEGP, and which projects we have announced. The summary sheets also identify how we are planning to respond to future growth, so that we can continue to deliver the right provision, in the right place, at the right time.

2024 NENP regional updates

The below link relates to regional updates provided in 2024 based on 2023 roll data.

National Education Network Plans 2024 update [PDF, 2.5 MB]

2021 NEGP regional updates

The link below relates to updates given on the NEGP implementation in March 2021.

Auckland [PDF, 495 KB]

All other regions [PDF, 641 KB]

More information on specific projects is available from our regional offices.

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