The Ministry of Education New Zealand

2500 New Zealand Schools

OmTrak makes asset condition audits for 2,500 schools more accurate and efficient

The Situation

The Ministry of Education in New Zealand has responsibility over all public education properties. This includes managing, upgrading and improving the portfolio, constructing new properties to meet demand, and disposing of surplus or unusable property. Each school independently appoints a Project Manager to assess buildings, create management plans, apply for funding and perform maintenance work.

The Ministry needed a way to develop:

  • A consistent methodology to conduct condition assessments and audits of all schools across their portfolio
  • A centralised online repository to store information about each school using a standardised format
  • A strategic approach to ongoing capital works so that departmental funding is optimised
  • An easy way to transfer skills and knowledge to the Project Managers so that the benefits are sustainable

The Challenge

There are some 2,500 schools in the Ministry’s portfolio. With so many different Project Managers responsible for such a large collection of buildings, there was no consistent methodology of conducting condition assessments. They each used various approaches, and collated and stored their critical asset information in different formats. The Ministry was unable to achieve whole-of-portfolio visibility and this caused significant problems. It was extremely difficult for them to make strategic decisions about the competing funding demands, or to effectively plan ongoing maintenance budgets. Accessing information from so many sources was time-intensive and hard to manage.

The Optimised Approach

OmTrak and our experienced Consultants delivered a simple and long-term solution for how the department manages capital works.


First, we gained a thorough understanding of how capital works were delivered in the schools, and this enabled us to develop a highly relevant methodology to conduct ongoing condition assessments.

We successfully ran a pilot program to test our plan on 20 schools before rolling out Phase 1 to 500 schools. Based on the results of Phase 1, additional funding was sourced to allow us to extend the program to all schools in the portfolio. As part of the program, we comprehensively trained the Project Managers in our methodology so that a consistent approach to condition assessments and maintenance plans could be achieved.


Our approach to condition audits was smarter. Instead of recording all the minor defects that are already covered within a school’s general maintenance budget, our analysis focused on only the major defects. This dramatically simplified the data collection process, saving valuable time and effort. The defects we identified were all linked to the strategic direction of the school, making them more relevant to capital works funding.

Our approach also made it much easier for the schools to generate and manage an ongoing works program themselves.

The Result

Our combined Consulting and MPlan solutions delivered a new way forward for the Ministry of Education’s portfolio of 2,500 public schools. We have successfully established a highly accurate, efficient, and consistent means of assessing the condition of all schools to optimise departmental budgets. This key planning intelligence is more accurate and more relevant than ever before.

The Ministry now has a centralised and consistent condition assessment methodology they can instantly access 10-year maintenance plans for any school within their portfolio. Our technology reduced condition assessments from 3 days onsite and the identification of over 1,600 mostly minor defect records, to just 2 hours and 30 major defect records. Our training program has built the capabilities of the Project Managers to continue the project into the future.

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