Collaborative contracts explained

Schools can join collaborative contracts when buying goods and services. Learn more about these contracts, which enable schools to save both money and time, while also reducing risk.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Principals and Tumuaki,
  • Staff responsible for buying in schools
  • Boards

What is a collaborative contract?

A collaborative contract secures discounted prices and preferential contract terms for buyers in the public sector.

The supplier of a collaborative collaborative contract benefits from the access to a large number of reliable government customers.

Schools who join a collaborative contract benefit from the buying power of the government’s collective spending.

  • Money is saved by schools because suppliers offer their best prices.
  • Time is saved by schools because there is no need to develop or negotiate the contracts in house.
  • Risk is reduced for schools because the terms of collaborative contracts are preferential and standard for government agencies. Each contract has gone through extensive reviews.

There are 2 types of collaborative contracts often joined by schools:

  • all-of-government contracts
  • syndicated contracts.

How does it differ from a commercial contract?

Commercial contracts are made when a school establishes an agreement  with a supplier directly, often using the supplier’s contract. The contract involves just the school and the supplier, so happens outside of a collaborative contract.

  • Schools often receive less value from a commercial contract than they would from joining a collaborative contract.
  • The terms of a commercial contract are typically in favour of the supplier.
  • Schools use more of their own time and resources developing, negotiating, monitoring and managing their own commercial contract.

All-of-government contracts

An all-of-government (AoG) contract is an agreement between the New Zealand Government and a business.

  • The agreement is for that business to supply their goods and/or services to the public sector.
  • New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) develops, negotiates, monitors and manages AoG contracts. They are also the key point of contact for the contracts.
  • All state and state-integrated schools are eligible to join these contracts and there is no cost to join.
  • Once signed up, a school is typically required to purchase all goods and/or services within the scope of that contract exclusively from the supplier/s (although some exclusions apply).
  • Goods and services not covered by the contract can usually be purchased through other means.

What do other schools say about AoG contracts?

Many schools are taking advantage of AoG contracts. In October 2023, 1,110 schools had signed up for the AoG office supplies contract and 1,261 schools had signed up for the AoG print technology and associated services contract.

Buying office supplies

Buying print technology and associated services

Craig McWilliam from Wellington East Girls' College said that "At first it can be daunting, but once you've joined one, you are essentially replicating the same process".

Watch the video to hear how Wellington East Girls' College saved money and time through AoG contracts.

Video transcript

Craig McWilliam: When you’re buying things that you need and you’re buying them cheaper, means that you can spend it where you want to be spending money, on delivering better education outcomes.

Jan Barnett: There is 18 of these all-of-government contracts but 10 of them are really the ones that we see are a good fit for the schools and those savings can vary anything from 6% right through to around about that sort of 45%.

Craig: We kind of got addicted once we got into it. So we’ve joined the Office Supplies, we’ve joined Rental Cars, we’ve joined Travel Management Services. We’ve joined Electricity just recently, which is exciting.

Jan: There’s 800 schools that are currently signed onto one or more contracts. With the Office Supplies contract there is actually 570 today that are signed to that one. So yeah absolutely the office supplies one is a good one to start with.

Craig: We used to purchase quite a number of pallets of paper at once to be able to secure good savings. Now we can get the same price as what we were having to purchase pallets of paper for just one single ream. And what’s that meant is that we’ve got lots of space, we don’t have to order in bulk and that helps for cash flows and people like me like that.

I think it’s also easy once you’ve done one all-of-government contract. So if you haven’t done one before it’s a little bit daunting there’s some big paper work to go and sign and look through, but once you’ve figured that out joining up to other contracts is essentially the same process. And so replicating that has worked really well across the schools.

Jan: And it does mean that the money that they’re saving here they can use it obviously somewhere else for the student’s needs. It may not necessarily be with procurement, it might be for their learning.


Popular AoG contracts

The most popular AoG contracts amongst schools include:

Buying office supplies

Buying print technology and associated services

Buying IT hardware

Buying workplace and classroom furniture

Buying motor vehicles

Banking services

Syndicated contracts

Syndicated contracts are led by a single government agency, such as NZ Police or the Ministry of Justice.

This lead agency goes to market with a group of other agencies. Together, they agree to a contract with a business for that business to provide goods and/or services to the group.

The lead agency develops, negotiates, monitors and manages the syndicated contract. They are also the key point of contact for the contract.

When would I use a syndicated contract?

A syndicated cleaning services contract may be suitable for medium to large schools with extensive cleaning needs.

Syndicated cleaning services

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