Property
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Introduction

Property is a key area of the Board’s role and responsibilities, and the ways in which the requirements of integrated schools differ from those of state schools are:

  • legislative and regulatory requirements for ownership and property standards as laid down in Part 33 of the Education Act and the school’s Integration Agreement
  • the maintenance of buildings and grounds – funding minor and major maintenance
  • new buildings – the funding of expansion and new schools
  • furniture and equipment – funding and maintenance
  • insurance – responsibility for this is shared by the Proprietor and the Board
  • other use of the school premises.
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Property Obligations

The property obligations of the Proprietor and the Crown are set out in Sections 456 to 459 of the Education Act, and in each school’s Integration Agreement and are as follows:

  • the Proprietor provides the land and the buildings for the integrated school
  • the Government provides the funding for the school’s ongoing maintenance.

The Integration Agreement requires the Minister of Education to maintain the integrated area of the school as for an equivalent state school. It also requires the Minister of Education to maintain the contents (furniture and equipment) of the integrated property as for an equivalent state school.

Responsibility for the upkeep of the property and for insurance is split between the Board and the Proprietor.   Consequently, there is an expectation that the Board and the Proprietor will work in close consultation to ensure that school property is not neglected as a result of misunderstandings and omissions by either party. This is now even more important given the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Ownership of land and buildings

The Proprietor is the owner of all the land, buildings and other improvements described in the school’s Integration Agreement. The school site plan (which is attached to the school’s Integration Agreement) shows the school’s premises, clearly distinguishing the land and buildings that are integrated from those that are not. The Proprietor meets liens, mortgages and other charges (such as insurance) associated with the lands and buildings that comprise the school premises.

The Proprietor gives the Board (the school’s controlling authority) exclusive right to the possession and use of the school premises, including buildings and chattels.

Unless other arrangements are made with the Board, the Proprietor is responsible for any costs associated with the non-integrated areas (such as a chapel or hostel). The Proprietor may allow the school to use such facilities, and may require the Board to pay for their use by way of an agreed rental or other contribution.

Any building on the Proprietor’s land belongs legally to the Proprietor unless, by consent of the Proprietor, it is vested in the Board. An amendment to the Integration Agreement between the Minister of Education and the Proprietor will be required before the Board of Trustees has exclusive use of a new building that is part of the school’s integrated portfolio.

The Board may construct a building or other facility on the school premises using its own (Crown) funds, and own this in its own right, but only with the prior agreement of the Proprietor and the Ministry of Education. A Memorandum of Understanding is required between the Proprietor and the Board to ensure that ownership and maintenance of any building that has been constructed with any input of Board (Crown) funds, or funds from other sources (such as the school’s Parent, Teacher and Friends Association), are clearly delineated.

Finally, it is possible under the Integration Agreement to put up a building that is jointly funded and jointly owned by the Board and the Proprietor. However, most Proprietors are likely to refuse such a proposal.

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School premises

A Board cannot add to the school premises, dispose of any part of the school premises, or otherwise alter its boundaries or dimensions. If a Board considers any of these desirable, it is required to approach the Proprietor with a proposal to that effect. To be implemented, such changes require a Supplementary Agreement between the Proprietor and the Minister of Education.

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Minimum property standards for state-integrated schools

Under section 456(2) of the Education Act, property covered by an Integration Agreement must meet minimum standards to ensure that it is safe, in a fit state of repair, and meets all statutory, regulatory and Ministry of Education design standards.

When a school becomes state integrated, the Ministry may identify work required to bring the land and buildings up to minimum state standards. This work will be listed in the Third Schedule of the school’s Integration Agreement.

After integration the Ministry may also ask the Proprietor to do other work to maintain minimum standards.

At a minimum, the Proprietor and the Board must be sure that:

  • buildings with specified systems have a current Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF)
  • the school has a process for managing health and safety issues

The Board is responsible for identifying, eliminating, isolating and/or minimising risks to health and safety on the premises. The Proprietor is responsible for capital work to remedy identified risks.

  • an appropriate professional consultant, such as an engineer or architect, designs and certifies all structural additions and alterations

The Ministry requires certification for this work:

  • the Board has a long-term maintenance plan and implements it effectively in collaboration with the Proprietor. (For more information, visit the Ministry Property website )
  • all aspects of the school’s property portfolio are compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
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Maintenance of buildings and grounds

Ministry of Education’s responsibility for funding

The Proprietor owns the integrated school’s property; the Ministry of Education provides the funding for its maintenance through two categories: minor maintenance and major (or capital) maintenance. It also provides funding for furniture and equipment, and for insuring these.

Funding of minor maintenance

The Ministry funds the Board to maintain integrated school property, including buildings, furniture and equipment, on the same basis as for a state school. This funding covers all day-to-day maintenance costing under $5,000 (excluding GST) – for example, painting, fixing broken equipment, and making minor repairs to buildings and infrastructure (such as repairing a broken water pipe).

Please note: This figure of $5,000 value is not an absolute guideline for maintenance – Boards, for example, are required to make provision for the painting of all school buildings on a regular cycle. Painting is the largest maintenance cost a Board faces and can range from $10,000 to $70,000, depending on the size of the school. Painting associated with remodelling or modernisation capital works within the footprint of existing buildings is also the Board’s responsibility.

The Ministry of Education funds the Board directly for minor maintenance through the school’s operational grant. Each year the Ministry sends Boards an indicative and a confirmed Grant Advice Notice giving details of the school’s maintenance funding for the year. This funding is paid directly into the school’s bank account in quarterly instalments.

Funding of major (or capital) maintenance and modernisation

The Ministry’s website provides further information for Boards about items eligible for maintenance funding.

The purpose of this funding is to keep existing integrated (and only integrated) school property in a state of repair comparable with that of state schools. This funding covers works costing over $5,000 (excluding GST).

The Ministry funds the Proprietor (not the Board) quarterly through Policy One funding to cover:

  • major or capital maintenance
  • significant emergency work (other than that covered by insurance)
  • modernisation projects.

This Policy One funding must be prioritised for urgent health and safety work and for essential infrastructure work.

2010 Policy One Guidelines document sets out how the funding should be spent by Proprietors of integrated schools and the processes for managing this expenditure.

Board’s responsibility for minor maintenance

The Board is responsible for all minor repairs to integrated buildings, including keeping the school premises (grounds and environment) in good order. This maintenance is funded by the Ministry of Education directly to the school through the school’s annual operating grant.

The Board’s legal responsibilities for maintenance are confined to the integrated areas.

The Board’s 10-year property maintenance plan

The Board is responsible for all expected maintenance of buildings and fixtures within a 10-year period. The Board is obliged to have a 10-year property maintenance plan and to set aside an adequate budget to cover maintenance when it becomes due.

The repair (such as painting, fixing broken equipment, and minor repairs to buildings and infrastructure) of damage to buildings caused by reasonable wear and tear, high-spirited student behaviour or carelessness is also a cost to the Board and is covered by the school’s maintenance funding. It cannot be claimed through the Proprietor’s insurance.

Structural changes to buildings or grounds

The Board has no authority to make structural changes to the buildings or grounds (such as putting up or removing a dividing wall or constructing a changing shed or relocatable classroom) without first consulting the Proprietor’s Property Office and obtaining the Proprietor’s written authorisation.

Proprietor’s responsibility for major (capital) maintenance and modernisation

The Proprietor is required to keep the school’s integrated school property up to the standard of equivalent state schools. The Proprietor receives Policy One funding for this from the Ministry of Education. This funding covers works over $5,000 (excluding GST) that improve or replace an existing asset. Works valued at less than $5,000 come into the category of minor maintenance and are paid for by the Board from operational funding.

‘Major maintenance’ covers any unforeseen capital work, including any property modifications needed for students or staff with special needs. The Ministry requires that Policy One funding must be prioritised for urgent health and safety work and essential infrastructure work.

The Proprietor (or their professionally accredited agent) undertakes, year by year, a plan of work that covers the works the Proprietor is obliged to implement. These include:

  • major items of maintenance (replacing roofs, boilers, etc.)
  • modernising existing facilities
  • significant emergency work other than that covered by insurance
  • major maintenance works (including fire doors and disabled access) needed to comply with the Building Act, the Health and Safety in Employment Act, etc
  • altering the shape or area of any building by adding, moving or removing any structures (e.g., interior or exterior wall, partition, ceiling, floor, staircase, lift-well, etc.)
  • removing any building from the site
  • moving any building already on the site
  • placing any building on the site
  • altering the topography or shape of the grounds
  • changing the surface of any part of the grounds (e.g., by asphalting over grassed areas)
  • erecting or removing fences, hedges, trees or outhouses, if the proprietor’s share exceeds the $5,000 threshold) etc.
  • altering any area of the grounds so as to change its use or function (e.g., removing a line of trees to make a vegetable garden)
  • building or removing a swimming pool or tennis court.

The Ministry of Education states that when deciding if a task is capital works or routine maintenance, it is useful to assess the volume or extent of the change required. For example, if a few sheets of iron on the roof need replacing, this is routine maintenance. However, if most of the iron needs to be replaced (so that, in effect, the building needs a whole new roof), this is capital replacement.

In small schools that receive relatively little funding for minor maintenance it may be necessary for the Proprietor to pay for works that cost less than $5,000, particularly if these works improve the capital value of the property.

The Proprietor has discretion in how far to support Boards that are faced with major maintenance expenses, as happens from time to time. This applies to very small schools in particular.

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Board’s responsibility to inform proprietor

The Board is required to bring to the Proprietor’s attention any maintenance items that are in the major category. The Board and the Proprietor are obliged to coordinate their respective 10-year maintenance plans to ensure that the best use is made of the two streams of maintenance funding.

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Proprietor’s 10-year property plan

The Proprietor’s Property Office in each diocese (or individual Proprietors, in the case of schools owned by religious institutes outside of diocesan cooperatives) prepares a rolling 10-year property plan in which it prioritises and plans those works as funds allow. It is important that the Proprietor’s Property Office (or the Proprietor’s agent) consults with the Board on these matters, and that the two parties coordinate their respective (major and minor) 10-year maintenance plans.

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Proprietor’s access

Comprehensive information related to the management of property in integrated schools is found here

Because the Proprietor owns the land and buildings, the Proprietor’s agent has the right to visit the school, after giving reasonable notice, to ensure that the asset has not deteriorated through lack of maintenance. If the Proprietor’s appointees on the Board have cause for concern, the matter should be raised with the Proprietor’s Property Office, the Proprietor’s agent in the diocese, or the Proprietor’s Trust Board, as appropriate. In any case, the Proprietor’s appointees on the Board are required to report on the state of repair of the integrated and non-integrated buildings and grounds when they make their annual report to the Proprietor.

Areas of shared access between the Board of Trustees and the Proprietor need to be regularised by means of a written agreement between the parties. This normally is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding.

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New buildings

Proprietor’s responsibility for new buildings

A school may require new buildings or other additional accommodation because of changes in the state school minimum accommodation code, or approved roll increases. Such additions are the responsibility of the Proprietor. The Crown may sometimes assist through Policy Two capital funding.

Consequential effects for maintenance funding

As soon as any capital works are completed, the Proprietor or the Proprietor’s agent completes a Property Maintenance Information Schedule (CPMIS) and lodges it with NZCEO. Within one month of lodgement the details supplied on the form are placed on the Ministry of Education’s Helios system, which is a computerised record of all the assets (including buildings and land) held by every state and state-integrated school. This updated information will ensure that the school’s operational funding for maintenance is adjusted to allow for the upkeep of the new accommodation.

Boards can access their details on the Ministry’s website and check whether they are receiving the correct amount of property maintenance funding for their integrated school property portfolio.

Board-funded buildings

The Board of a state-integrated school is a Crown entity. As legal entities, Boards have the status of body corporates as established and constituted under the Education Act 1989. This means that they can own land, enter contracts, and so on. As Crown entities (defined under Section 7 of the Crown Entities Act 2004) they are subject to rules about what they can and cannot do without resorting to the Minister of Education for approval, such as lend or borrow and enter certain investments.

While Boards can legally own land and buildings, Crown funds (including funds raised by the Board) cannot be used to fund buildings that will legally belong to the Proprietor. Any building on the Proprietor’s land belongs legally to the Proprietor unless, by consent of the Proprietor, it is vested in the Board. An amendment to the Integration Agreement between the Minister of Education and the Proprietor will be required before the Board has exclusive use of the new building.

Boards need to be aware that a building funded by Crown monies will not be integrated and therefore Board funding will be needed for maintenance and insurance. The Proprietor may not wish to have an unintegrated building on Proprietor-owned land, and may therefore withhold permission for it to be built.

The Ministry accepts that is possible to put up a building that is funded jointly by the Board and the Proprietor. However, most Proprietors are likely to refuse permission for such a proposal.

A Memorandum of Understanding is required between the Proprietor and the Board to define ownership and maintenance responsibilities for any building that has been constructed with any input of Board (Crown) funds.

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Board-funded capital works

Boards may wish to undertake major capital improvements to the school buildings or grounds, using Crown funds.

Major capital work funded by the Board may be undertaken only to provide facilities in excess of the code entitlement, as major capital work on facilities to bring the school premises up to code requirements is the responsibility of the Proprietor.

It is essential for the Board to consult the Proprietor at an early stage about any proposal for capital works. The Board may not undertake such works without the written permission of both the Proprietor and the Ministry of Education. A local authority building consent and, if necessary, a resource management consent are also required.

Planning and approval for Board-funded improvements

It would be most unwise to begin planning or financing major projects without the written permission of both the Proprietor and the Ministry of Education. All the relevant issues need to be clarified first – for example, estimated costs; who will be responsible for what aspect of the work; who will be responsible for insurance and maintenance; whether the Ministry of Education will supply furniture and equipment; whether the project will affect any covenant or mortgage on the land; whether it meets the Ministry of Education’s health and safety requirements; whether the addition or alteration is permanent or temporary and, if so, how long it will be in place.

The Ministry of Education’s website details the process for obtaining approval from the Ministry and recording a Board’s investment in a Proprietor’s property.

If a capital work is executed without fulfilling all the Ministry of Education’s requirements, particularly those related to health and safety, the Ministry may prevent the school from using the new facility until the requirements have been completed at the Board’s expense.

If a capital work is executed without the Proprietor’s authority, the Proprietor may require a reversal of the work at the Board’s expense.

Maintenance of Board-owned property

Boards are required to use their own funding (which can include money from fundraising or the use of surplus operational funding) to pay for the maintenance of property that has been paid for with:

  • the Board’s funding, or
  • funding provided by the community.
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Furniture and equipment

Ministry of Education funding of furniture and equipment

The Ministry provides Boards of state-integrated schools with an annual grant to replace and modernise existing furniture and equipment. This funding is paid to Boards on 1 July each year. The annual furniture and equipment grant is calculated as a fixed percentage of up to 5% of the Proprietor’s Policy One funding. The percentage amount depends on the type of school.

The Ministry also provides Boards with funding for furniture and equipment for new teaching spaces at stat-integrated schools, as appropriate for the room’s intended use. The funding for new teaching spaces is based on net square metres (this does not include corridors, circulation space, toilets, etc.) up to its School Property Guide (SPG) entitlement. The Proprietor makes the claim and the Ministry pays the funding to the Board.

Board’s responsibility for furniture and equipment

The Board purchases and becomes the owner of the furniture and equipment, and is responsible for insuring it. The purchase must be recorded in the school’s accounting system and its property register. The Board is also responsible for the routine maintenance of furniture and equipment.

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Insurance

Responsibility for insurance is split between the Proprietor and the Board, and possibly others who use the school. It is wise for the Board to consult with the Proprietor to make sure that the cover is adequate and, if it appears advantageous, to have one cover for all risks. In most dioceses the Proprietors’ Property Office can arrange a comprehensive cover that shares the costs.

Because insurance can be complex, Boards should seek information and advice on particular matters from the insurance brokers retained by Proprietors’ offices (Diocesan Education Offices, Diocesan Property Offices or the Proprietor’s agent) or from individual Proprietors.

Proprietor’s responsibility for insurance

The Proprietor is obliged to insure the buildings against fire, earthquake, storm, flood, burglary, arson, vandalism and malicious acts. In this context ‘buildings’ includes any item fixed to the buildings or grounds (e.g., toilet pans, doors and fixed shelving). It does not include tractors, computers, library books and so on, which are classified as contents.

Damage to buildings caused by reasonable wear and tear, high-spirited student behaviour and carelessness cannot be claimed on the Proprietor’s insurance. It is covered by minor maintenance, which is a cost to the Board.

There may be items that are, in effect, contents but are lent to the school by the Proprietor (including items listed as such in a schedule to some Integration Agreements) or are stored in the school but not owned by it (such as equipment belonging to an associated sports club). In these cases it is the responsibility of the Proprietor or other owner of these items to make sure that they are insured.

Board’s responsibility for insurance

The Board is responsible for insuring school contents – any items that meet the definition of furniture and equipment and which are on the Board’s register of assets. Contents insurance is met from operational funding.

The Board is responsible for other insurance (such as public or third-party liability, loss of cash and fidelity guarantee) and for insuring any Board-owned buildings, if any.

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Use of school premises

Other users of school premises

The Proprietor grants the use of the school premises to the Board, subject to conditions set out in the Integration Agreement. These conditions include the following.

If the Proprietor asks the Board to make all or part of the school premises or equipment available to the Proprietor or other persons, the Board may not withhold consent without a good reason to do so. Examples may include using classrooms for parish meetings, using the school hall for church functions and parking in the school grounds during Sunday Mass. The user should pay the Board enough to recover any costs (such as heating and lighting) and make good any damage caused.

The Board may also lend or hire its facilities to other users but must have the consent of the Proprietor, who may not withhold that consent without good reason – for example, if there was danger of damage to the asset or if the proposed use was unsuitable for diocesan-owned schools.

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Access by the Proprietor

The Integration Agreement gives the Proprietor or the Proprietor’s agents (including the parish priest, the Director of Schools and Religious Education advisers) access to the school at any reasonable time to ensure that the special character is being maintained or that the property is being looked after. Normally the Proprietor’s agents would first contact the principal to make sure that by exercising this right they do not disrupt the school. The relationship between agents of the Board and agents of the Proprietor should one of cooperation and good faith.

Resources and Appendices

Policy One funding for capital work at integrated schools

The Ministry provides proprietors of state-integrated schools with funding to modernise and upgrade their integrated school property. Known as Policy One funding, it fulfils a similar purpose to the 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding the Ministry provides to state schools.

View more information about using policy one funding for capital works here.

Policy One Guidelines

These guidelines set out how Policy One funding should be spent by Proprietors of integrated schools and the processes for managing this expenditure and can be found here.

Furniture and Equipment Funding Guidelines

State integrated schools are eligible for furniture and equipment funding for modernisation projects, and new square metres projects (which are planned projects to create additional accommodation).

These guidelines explain the entitlement for furniture and equipment funding calculation, and the process for claiming funding. Click here to download PDF.