The National Education Growth Plan 2030 (NEGP) was released in May 2019 in response to population growth across Aotearoa New Zealand. 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. The NEGP is a dynamic, iterative plan that is regularly reviewed and refined as forecasts change.
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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.
Since 2021, and in response to immediate and pressing need, we have invested about $100 million annually across the country to meet the most urgent requirements, with half of this in Auckland. We know that there are more schools needing extra space in 2023 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 NEGP 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 NEGP 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.
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.
We use the latest school-aged population projections from Stats 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.
Areas outside the NEGP
The development of the 80 Education Network Plans builds on the long-term catchment planning that underpins the National Education Growth Plan (NEGP) and completes the national picture. Together they provide 119 Education Network Plans that make up the National Education Network Plan (NENP).
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.
In the future, the NENP will support and align with a regional delivery focus and 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 NEGP and NENP create a ‘family’ of strategic foundation planning documents.
It’s clear that years immediately before Covid-19, New Zealand experienced record population growth and this has put pressure on all sectors. While we saw some slowing of roll growth in high growth areas as a result of Covid-19, the impacts of increasing immigration numbers are now being felt. But there is still uncertainty around what the long-term impacts of COVID-19 will be on school rolls and enrolment patterns. Previous global events, such as the Global Financial Crisis, show us that there will likely be a significant level of uncertainty around medium to longer-term impacts on demand for schooling, including the potential for:
- Macroeconomic impacts, such as slower rates of release of land development by private developers.
- Changes in demand and distribution in the schooling network (including shifts from private to public schools):
- fluctuating retention rates of senior students
- increased immigration in the short-term
- change in birth rates, population growth and trends.
All of these factors have the potential to influence school rolls and we continue to monitor rolls and adjust our investment plans accordingly, in response to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Note: The NEGP summary sheets provide an update on the implementation of the 39 catchment plans in the NEGP. We are preparing an update with 2023 data which will be available on this website in early 2024.
More information on specific projects is available from our regional offices.
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