Integrated schools look at legal action over Government maintenance funding

maintenance funding

Integrated schools are considering legal action against the Government after being left out of the $396 million funding package announced at the weekend to upgrade state school properties.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says state-integrated schools funding will go up as a result of an investment and he isn’t worried about potential court action.

Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS) chief executive Paul Ferris said there is no obvious explanation as to the Government’s actions and that at times their actions are very confusing.

He at first assumed the Government had made a mistake when there was no mention of integrated schools in the weekend announcement.

“I was hoping to go to the detail and find that was an oversight in the announcement, because in every way in our legal agreements, we would expect to be treated the same way”.

“That’s the partnership arrangement we believe we have with the Government”.

Speaking to Mike Hosking on NewTalkZB, Ferris said he believes the Minister has been very poorly advised.

Under the legal agreements covering integrated schools, the Government is required to pay for their maintenance on the same basis as state schools, once a school’s proprietor has completed upgrading it to the same standard as state schools.

Ferris told Hosking that integrated schools put over $4 billion of property into the hands of the Government at no charge.

Most of the state-integrated schools, which have over 90,000 pupils, have completed the upgrades, many of them years ago.

Hipkins said that the state-integrated schools would see a funding boost indirectly as a result of his policy.

“State integrated schools are funded differently to state schools. We don’t fund their capital in the same way.

They own their own buildings and maintain their own buildings.

But we do provide them with maintenance funding – and their maintenance funding is based on the overall value of the state school portfolio.

So as they spend more money on their maintenance the value will go up based on that.”

“They are going to benefit. They just aren’t going to benefit in the same way.”

“The reality is they are funded based on a formula they signed up to that they negotiated with the last Government. We are not changing that.”

Ferris however, said state-integrated schools participate as state schools do in the same system.

Ferris said that at one point the Minister told the integrated schools to use attendance dues for maintenance, but the law specifically forbids this.

He said there is one network, not two and that the announced funding was handed out on a per-pupil basis not a needs basis.

They expected to get exactly the same as every other state-integrated school.


  • Supplied: David McLoughlin
    Communications Adviser, NZ Catholic Bishops
    Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa
  • NewsTalkZB
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