Hobsonville Point Schools Hero

Hobsonville Point Primary and Secondary Schools: New Zealand’s first PPP

On 6 April 2011 the Government announced it intended to commission two new schools in Hobsonville, a primary and a secondary school, which would be designed, financed, built and maintained for 25 years under a public-private partnership (PPP). These schools were to be New Zealand’s first PPP.

Following a robust tender process, Learning Infrastructure Partners (LIP) a consortium of Hawkins Group, ASC Architects, Perumal Pedavoli Architects, Holmes Consulting Group, AECOM, Programmed Facility Management and the Public Infrastructure Partners Fund (PIP Fund), were awarded the contract. Finance was provided by Westpac and the PIP Fund.


The Ministry of Education’s aims:

  • To reduce the Crown’s exposure to design and construction risks by making these the responsibility of the private partner who must fix them promptly or face financial penalties.
  • To make school property maintenance the responsibility of the private partner, allowing Boards of trustees and school leadership to focus fully on student learning and achievement. 
  • To achieve better value for money.
  • To achieve more price certainty for taxpayers through greater price competition and a more accurate and transparent assessment of whole-of-life costs. 

What we did:

Hobsonville Point Primary School was the first of the two schools to be constructed on a greenfield site. Both schools were designed to service the developing Hobsonville community and will be a catalyst for further development of residential communities within the wider area.

Hawkins and ASC Architects were commissioned to design and construct both the primary and the secondary school, with a combined student population of 2,290.

The common design philosophy of the layout and organisational programme for the schools centres around creating learning environments. These are focused on delivering enquiry based learning, which is internationally regarded as educational best practice.

In order to maximise the building’s efficiency without restricting the space required for a modern learning environment, we used a large rectangular structural grid. This maximises the span of the roofing purlins and limits the number of internal columns. This enabled the structure to be erected quickly, which was essential given the tight build programme.

We carefully selected all building materials for this project to ensure the school gained a 5 Greenstar built rating and to make certain the school is as efficient and sustainable as possible. This will reduce maintenance requirements over the 25 years during which LIP is responsible for the schools’ upkeep.

The primary school incorporates the following design features:

  • Significant heat recovery on ventilation systems
  • A comprehensive automated lighting control system complete with daylight linking and occupancy sensor control
  • Rain water recovery system supplying 100% flushing water
  • Data transfer/interconnection with the BMS and the school’s intranet system giving staff and students access to selected information
  • Specific and common ‘zoning’ for all lighting, power, HVAC, PA, communications, MATV and security building services
  • Access control on all frequently used secured doors, negating the need for manual keying and associated key administration.

The first sod was turned in February 2012. The Primary School was successfully delivered for the start of the school year in 2013. The Secondary School commenced construction in October 2012 and opened in early 2014. We made the decision to commence construction on the secondary school prior to Financial Close in order to make the completion date.

Unique challenges:

  • There were several challenges associated with the construction of the secondary school including a tight programme, complicated design elements, inclement weather affecting the programme, and more commissioning activities than traditional projects, which were needed in order to meet the requirements of the PPP contract.

The  outcome:

The bar has been raised in terms of construction quality, building performance and effectiveness. These two schools are like no others in New Zealand – they cater for the growing population in the Hobsonville area and give children access to a good education in a modern, 21st century learning environment.