Demolition of buildings

Demolition of buildings

Last updated 13 March 2017
Last updated 13 March 2017

This page explains how tertiary education institutions (TEIs) can get consent to demolish a building they own, or a Crown-owned building they manage.

Secretary’s consent required

TEIs need the written consent of the Secretary for Education before demolishing any buildings they own, or any buildings where legal ownership still rests with the Crown. 

This requirement is set out in Section 192(4) of the Education Act 1989 . A demolition is a disposal in terms of Section 192(4)(a). This provision allows the Crown to protect its interest in TEIs by exercising an oversight of activities that may expose a TEI, and in turn the Crown, to a financial or educational risk.

Where to send your application

If your TEI wishes to demolish a building, you should write to the Head of the Education Infrastructure Service (who holds the Secretary’s delegation for property-related consents) at the Ministry of Education, seeking consent under Section 192(4) of the Education Act 1989.

What information you need to include in your application

You should provide the following information about the building and your reasons for wishing to demolish, either directly in the application or as attachments:

  • a description of the building (photographs can be helpful)
  • confirmation of ownership (including whether the building’s ownership was transferred to your institution from the Crown under the Government’s TEI Crown asset transfer and disposal policy)
  • the rationale for the application, including the implications for the TEI’s campus master plan, long-term capital plan or strategic plan, for example
  • authority to act – evidence of the TEI council’s decision on the building’s future, including a description of the options the Council considered
  • the value of the building, indicative costs of demolition and the financial impact of the demolition on the financial statements
  • if relevant, the estimated remediation cost that is avoided by demolition
  • if the property is currently being used for the delivery of educational or research programmes, what provision has been made to continue programme delivery
  • a description of any heritage status held by the building and how heritage issues are being addressed
  • whether any local authority consents have been sought or obtained
  • a description of any known issues (for example, asbestos) that need to be managed as part of the demolition and how these will be mitigated
  • any other information considered relevant or helpful
  • the date by which consent is needed.

For further information on what to include in a consent to demolish a building, email

Assessment of your application

Once the Ministry of Education (MoE)  has received your application, it will confirm legal ownership of the building and decide whether to refer the application to us to assess.  Our assessment will focus on the educational and financial impacts, including financial viability and the ability of your TEI to fund replacement assets if required.  We will also check you have considered a full range of options for the building’s future and that your analysis confirms demolition as the best option.

Consents usually take one month

If you have provided all the necessary information with your application, a consent can generally be issued within a month of the Ministry receiving your request.  A consent is required before you carry out the proposed demolition and retrospective consents can’t be provided. 

If you need consent more urgently than one month, you should highlight that in your application and let your Investment Manager know.