Cost of renewal
In planning for renewal, there is a unique opportunity to think about new ways of delivering education to provide better opportunities for learners and support higher rates of achievement.
The total cost will depend on the mix of options taken and these, in turn, will need to take account of property-related issues such as earthquake damage, strengthening requirements and pre-existing issues such as weathertightness, as well as network considerations that deal with population and demographic changes resulting from the earthquakes.
We need to be sure to spend wisely and well.
Even without adjustment for further damage caused by subsequent quakes (particularly those of December 2011), the total for state and integrated schools could be between half and three-quarters of a billion dollars over ten years.
Independent schools have also suffered significantly.
The major public tertiary education institutions (TEIs) are also facing a combined repair cost of around $300 million.
There will be a gap between insurance payouts and the cost of necessary remedial and/or new work.
Some of the shortfall will be met through rationalisation of facilities, some by using existing reserves, and some by reprioritisation of existing capital budgets. The Government also expects to allocate some additional funding to the work.
Because the costs of renewal will be considerable, dreams around the future direction of education in greater Christchurch need to be tempered by a sense of what is pragmatic and realistic.
This includes the practicalities of sites and buildings, changes in population distribution and concentration, the development of new communities and changes in urban infrastructure.
We need to find economically viable ways of providing for diversity and choice while exploring innovative, cost-effective and sustainable ways of organising and funding education.
We also need to keep in mind that what we do must align with broader government policy and requirements.