Weathertightness remediation

This programme addresses state school buildings that have been subject to destructive testing reports as part of the Ministry’s national survey of buildings with weathertightness issues, but are yet to have remedial work completed.

Keeping school buildings weathertight

We want all schools to have quality learning environments, and one of the Ministry’s priority work areas is to ensure that schools are safe and in good physical condition.

If you become aware of a weathertightness issue causing damage or an issue that may represent a health and safety concern, this situation should in the first instance be:

  • addressed through your usual maintenance processes, or
  • brought to the attention of the Ministry property advisor depending on the severity or urgency.

Work to keep buildings weathertight will normally be funded from your Property Maintenance Grant or more significant projects scheduled as part of your 5 Year Agreement (5YA).

Property Maintenance Grant

5 Year Agreement (5YA)

For buildings either built or modified from 1994 onwards the Ministry’s remediation programme will address any occurrences of weathertightness failure in such buildings. However, all buildings will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

If your school building is involved in a current legal claim, contact the Ministry’s project manager for claims and assessments. In the first instance email:

What is weathertightness failure?

Weathertightness failure happens when water gets past the external cladding of a building. The failure is often a localised matter such as:

  • defective or missing flashings
  • wall and roof cladding penetrations poorly formed
  • inadequate clearance between the base of cladding and adjacent gardens or ground (paved or unpaved).

If left unaddressed, the resulting moisture levels can create further problems and lead to damage and possible health and safety risks.

Ministry's approach to weathertightness remediation

The Ministry’s general objectives in relation to weathertightness remediation are to:

  • address all urgent health and safety issues as a priority
  • repair weathertightness failures and consequential damage
  • complete the work with the least disruption to schools as possible, and
  • ensure all remediation work complies with the NZ Building Code.

Our approach includes an initial desktop exercise to review all existing information the Ministry has available. The information may include:

  • conversations with the school staff
  • previous building survey reports
  • information gathered during the annual school visits, and
  • any other building condition assessments.

Once the existing information has been reviewed, the Ministry will usually organise a remediation inspection by an appropriately briefed Registered Building Surveyor. The onsite inspection will include meeting with the principal, caretaker or other staff members with knowledge of the weathertightness issues.

The purpose of the remediation inspection is to accelerate the process of remediation and find the most effective solution for repair. Where weathertightness failures and consequential damage are found to be localised, this approach can help reduce potential disruption to the school.

Your property adviser will be able to advise you further on the process.

Getting the work done

Where possible, the actual remediation work to address the weathertightness issues will be incorporated into your next 10 year property plan (10YPP) in line with your 5YA budget cycle, or included in another capital work programme currently underway.

10 Year Property Plan (10YPP)

If the work is urgent or high risk it will be addressed as quickly as possible. The current 10YPP may need to be revised.

The Ministry will provide technical support. This includes arranging for a registered building surveyor to:

  • meet with the principal, caretaker or other staff members with knowledge of the weathertightness issue
  • review any previous survey reports
  • undertake onsite inspections, and
  • identify the proposed remediation solution.

A Weathertightness Review Panel provides technical assistance around weathertightness remediation works.

For architects, building surveyors, designers and other property professionals involved with remediation, refer to the following Ministry strategy.

Weathertightness Remediation and Regulatory Strategy [PDF, 849 KB]

Repairing destructive testing patches

Repair of the patches from previous destructive testing will be included within weathertightness remediation projects. Where previous invasive testing has been undertaken and the current outcome is that no weathertightness remediation is required, the Ministry will pay the full cost to repair the invasive testing and of the remediation inspection.

Funding the work

For buildings built or modified primarily from 1994 onwards and subject to weathertightness failure, the cost will be funded partly from your 5YA budget based on the following approach.

Fully owned Ministry Buildings

You will pay 50% of the cost from your current 5YA budget capped at 50% of the 5YA budget value, plus all residual 5YA funds from previous cycles. The Ministry will top up your 5YA budget for the difference.

Buildings jointly owned between the Ministry and a board of trustees (or other third party ownership)

As above for the portion that is Ministry owned.

The board will be fully responsible for the remediation costs of its portion.

Wholly board owned property

The board will be fully responsible for the remediation costs.


For wholly board owned property, the Ministry may provide technical assistance to boards with inspection and review process but does not contribute to meeting the associated costs. Note also that any defective school buildings with potential or current legal claims will be addressed on a case by case basis.

If you have exhausted your 5YA funding talk to your property advisor. There are existing processes in place to cover this kind of situation.

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