Monday, July 15, 2024

Independent reviewers for school property inquiry named

Education Minister, Erica Stanford, has today announced the appointment of three independent reviewers to lead the Ministerial Inquiry into the Ministry of Education’s School Property Function. 

The Inquiry will be led by former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully (pictured).

“There is a clear need to review the school property system, and I am pleased to have someone of Murray’s calibre and expertise leading this work,” said Minister Stanford.

Mr McCully will be supported by Tracey Haszard and Mark Binns as independent reviewers, who have extensive experience in infrastructure and construction.

Tracey Haszard.

“These individuals have a combination of infrastructure, capital investment and delivery, commercial and government expertise. This will enable them to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of current arrangements.

“I am also establishing a reference group of school principals, education peak body representatives, and school board representatives to provide insights into the education sector’s views and experiences,” she said.

Ms Stanford reiterated that while the inquiry was underway school building projects would continue.

Mark Binns.

She said it was important to be clear that the Ministry of Education had paused some building projects while it reviewed their affordability, but it had not stopped all building work.

The Ministerial Inquiry is separate to that review and is focussed on how a situation of having around 350 projects in various stages, from design through to pre-construction, where expectations far exceeded what could be delivered was able to occur.

“Some were weeks away from starting, even though the funding available hadn’t been managed well enough to meet what schools understood had been approved,” Ms Stanford says.

The independent reviewers will deliver their final report and recommendations to the Government by the end of June 2024.

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