The Evolution of Policy: A Critical Examination of School Property Under the National-led Government
New Zealand's National-led Government, elected in 2008, has pursued a deliberate policy to design and construct modern school facilities around the country. This article argues that this policy is not simply focused on providing cutting-edge school buildings. A more complex agenda is to fundamentally alter teacher practice and, as the Christchurch experience has suggested, to consolidate schooling provision. The article provides background to understanding the role of building design and why it has developed as a significant educational issue, particularly for this government. Policy is considered from the perspective of the Ministry of Education in relation to building design. An indicator of government commitment is its budgetary resourcing of its property objectives, thus evidence from Vote Education budget data is considered. Specific reference ismade to the property policy enacted in the wake of the natural disaster of the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Finally, a selection of Ministerial press releases is considered, shedding further light on state education policy in relation to school property.