Urgent health and safety work

Find out what you need to do if an urgent issue is identified at your school.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Proprietors 
  • Project Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Health and Safety Officer(s)

Urgent health and safety issues can be identified by anyone at your school, and must be resolved immediately. This guidance provides Boards, principals and proprietors with actions, resources and Ministry support to manage problems. 

What is an urgent health and safety issue?

An urgent health and safety issue is one which will close the school (or part of the school) if it's not addressed. For example, a non-functioning sewerage system or a contaminated water supply.

What to do if an urgent issue is identified

If an urgent issue is identified, you must immediately:

Pay for urgent health and safety work

Pay for urgent health and safety work with existing Property Maintenance Grant funding or 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding.

If you don't have enough of this funding, contact your Property Advisor.

Emergency procurement process

If we agree that the work is urgent, we'll advise you to go ahead with the work.

You must then follow the Emergency and urgent procurement for school property projects.

Contact your property advisor to get verbal approval to go-ahead with the procurement. Leave a message if we're not available (for example on the weekend) and follow up with an email confirmation. We'll let you know if you can go ahead.

Ministry intervention and support

We'll step in with support if we consider you're not fixing an urgent health and safety problem fast enough.

The Ministry will:

  • engage a project manager directly, and/or
  • appoint contractors to undertake the work.

If/when the Ministry steps in, schools are still required to provide the documentation that is part of project management requirements.

Manage risk from urgent health and safety work

While an urgent health and safety issue is being resolved, you must manage any health and safety risks linked to that work.

For example, you may need to:

  • isolate the problem (for example, close a building, unless it's essential to the school’s operation)
  • minimise the problem (for example, put plastic sheeting over holes in the roof or cladding).

Talk to your property adviser at a local Ministry office first.

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