Demolition of buildings

Demolition of buildings

Last updated 19 January 2021
Last updated 19 January 2021

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 282 of the Education and Training Act 2020. A demolition is a disposal in terms of Section 282. 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 Manager, Monitoring and Crown Ownership (MCO), TEC enclosing all relevant supporting documents.

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

MCO will assess your application and supporting documents provided before making any recommendation to the Secretary for Education to grant or decline the request under Section 282 of the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act). 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.

Once the Ministry of Education (MoE) receives MCO’s assessment and recommendation it will confirm legal ownership of the building, and will determine whether consent is to be provided. 

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 MCO receiving your request.  A consent is required before you carry out the proposed demolition and retrospective consents cannot be provided. If you need consent more urgently than one month, you should highlight that in your application.