School Transport in New Zealand

School Transport in New Zealand

School transport funding is made available by the government to make school more easily accessible for students. In 2020 this funding totalled over $220M with the bulk of funding used to assist students living in rural communities.

School transport in New Zealand is governed by a set of clearly-defined rules and policies. For more information on this, please visit the Ministry of Education’s website.

School communities have the option of managing their own transport via a funding programme called Direct Resourcing. This year almost 20% of the school transport budget will be paid out to school communities, most of which will be used by communities to contract a local bus operator. There are a number of reasons why schools and networks of schools choose to opt in to this programme:

re-designing bus routes to provide higher levels of service to their students, over and above the minimum level of service provided by the Ministry of Education
having greater control over which bus operator will provide services to their community
increasing the provision of assistance to overcome safety issues not recognised by the Ministry
achieving higher levels of efficiency in the provision of services resulting in surpluses being returned to school communities to overcome funding shortfalls.

The Coastal Schools Transport Group is one such example of schools combining to run their own transport systems.

Many schools and networks involved in direct resourcing choose to have their transport managed by an external party such as EasyBus.