Property Advisory Services for Schools2021-04-09T10:07:54+12:00
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Property Advisory Services for Schools

Sector: Property & Planning

Client: Ministry of Education

Dates: Ongoing

Project Location: Across New Zealand

Frequency Role: Property Advisory & Acquisition

As New Zealand continues to grow, the pressure on our education network increases which accelerates the rate at new school sites are required. The traditional land banking mentality of central government has long since been replaced with a more commercial ‘just in time’ acquisition of development land and as such, the process to acquire land has become pressurised.

Frequency has been engaged by the Ministry of Education to provide property advisory services for the acquisition of new school sites across New Zealand, from Central Auckland to Central Otago. Our services range from site identification and selection to risk assessments, due diligence and commercial advice on preferred sites, and engagement with landowners.

The process to identify sites and work within the Ministry framework for site suitability requires an ability to identify opportunities that match the Ministry’s network needs to the actual environment. In urban areas this could involve working with other government agencies to identify land swap or amalgamation options. In rural areas this could mean working with iwi to develop Māori land with reduced capital outlay to the Crown and financial benefits to iwi.

Frequency also provide detailed risk assessment and due diligence services and advice on structuring payments and programmes to bring essential services to the site where required. These provide the client with more certainty of development costs and risks, and permit a more robust business case for the development of new schools.

The changing dynamic of the New Zealand property environment requires new and adaptive thinking to the same enduring requirements.

Key Challenges:

• Working in Central Auckland to identify new school sites is a challenging proposition, land parcels of a required size are very limited and the likelihood of a willing vendor decreases. The challenges to identify suitable land holdings within the identified search area requires an innovative “cross agency” approach to bring options to the table.

• In Shotover Country in Queenstown, a collective of landowners began a private plan change to create the footprint for the development of a new suburb. Frequency advised the Ministry how to engage with the collective to acquire and plan a new school site, resulting in the collaborative implementation of vital infrastructure for the new school in a timeframe that allowed a tight opening date to be achieved.