School transport for directly resourced schools

Find out how school transport funding works for directly resourced schools.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Parents, Caregivers
  • and Whānau

School boards receiving direct resourcing funding are paid a quarterly grant to arrange school transport assistance for eligible students. The Ministry is currently not accepting any additional schools into the direct resourcing funding programme.


Directly resourced (DR) schools receive transport assistance funding every year via a funding agreement with the Ministry. The funding is paid to school boards quarterly in advance and funding rates are reviewed on an annual basis.

Students at directly resourced schools must meet the same eligibility criteria as other schools.

Eligibility for school transport assistance

In some situations, students who aren’t eligible for school transport assistance may be able to access a Ministry-funded DR school bus service, at the discretion of the DR school or network. This is a private arrangement between DR schools, transport providers and caregivers, and the Ministry cannot require any of its DR schools to arrange transport for ineligible students.

Funding rates

The Ministry establishes the most effective combination of bus routes and individual conveyance allowances to transport the school’s eligible students. The funding is paid to the school board based on the Ministry designed bus routes.

The three components of the funding formula for each bus route are:

  • a fixed base amount per day
  • a national per kilometre rate
  • a quarterly administration fee

The following rates apply from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024:

DESCRIPTION RATE – no driver wage uplift applied* RATE – with driver wage uplift applied*
Base rate per day $83.02 $85.28
Per kilometre rate $3.62 $3.72
Quarterly admin rate $176.00 $176.00

* In January 2023, extra funding was made available to ensure that the wage rates of rural school bus drivers did not fall out of step with the wage rates of public transport bus drivers. This funding has been applied in regions where public transport wages are demonstrably higher than comparable school bus services, and where the region has already applied wage increases.

These rates are reviewed annually. The review considers changes in transport costs and takes account of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency index data and processes to calculate any adjustment for movements of input costs.

How the funding is worked out

The quarterly amount the school is paid for each route is calculated as follows:

Funding formula.

Routes and stops

Directly resourced schools (or schools that are part of a directly resourced network) can design their own transport routes as long as they comply with their funding agreement.

Selecting a supplier

The funding agreements for directly resourced schools require contracts with a total budget of over $100,000 to be advertised on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS).

The below RFP template and Appendices may be used to invite proposals. The documents are based on the school bus tender undertaken by the Ministry in 2020-21. They incorporate key regulatory and legislative requirements and follow a structured method for inviting proposals.

Schools considering switching from direct resourcing to Daily Bus services procured and contracted by the Ministry must contact


DR Bus Procurement Request for Proposal Template [DOCX, 285 KB]

APPENDIX A Quality Response Form (DR) [DOCX, 109 KB]
APPENDIX B Price Response Form (DR) [XLSX, 26 KB]
APPENDIX C Due Diligence (DR) [DOCX, 37 KB]
APPENDIX D Contract (DR) [DOCX, 170 KB]
APPENDIX E Monthly Reporting Requirements (DR) [DOCX, 62 KB]
APPENDIX F Route Maps and Additional Information (DR) [DOCX, 42 KB]

The documents are provided as a guide only and must be updated by Boards to reflect the specifics of the services they wish to procure. Boards are encouraged to obtain independent professional advice with respect to the procurement and the proposed contract to be entered into between the Board and the supplier. In particular, the Board should satisfy itself as to its financial and legal obligations within the contract.

Help from the Schools Buying team

The Schools Buying team can facilitate uploading RFP to GETS. Send the completed RFP and its Appendices to for uploading on GETS.

The Schools Buying team will also:

  • inform schools of questions asked by suppliers and post the schools’ answers on GETS.
  • provide schools with the offers made by suppliers so that they can be evaluated upon tender closure.
  • post an award notice on GETS once schools have entered into an agreement with a supplier.

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