Ministry of Education

Completion Date

June 2021


NZ Commercial Project Awards 2021 – Supreme Award, National Category and Gold Awards, Construction Marketing Services Education category and Value Award, over $15 million category

Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards 2021 – Excellence, Greenstone Group Education Property Award

This project is a great example of collaboration across all stakeholders to deliver a high-quality end result.

Simon Trotter

Project Delivery Manager, Ministry of Education

A long-awaited, one-of-a-kind school project – and a Supreme Award winner.

Te Raekura Redcliffs School opened in June 2020 after almost nine years at a temporary site following the Canterbury earthquakes. The campus includes thirteen teaching spaces, administration areas, a library, a multipurpose hall and playgrounds. Striking red precast panels face the road, reflecting the cliffs that give the area its name. The build also incorporates LVL engineered timber and structural steel with sliding plates for seismic resistance.

We built the school across the road from its previous site, further away from the cliffs but much closer to the sea. The site was one of the earliest and largest Māori settlements in the South Island, so we completed some of the excavations by hand under archaeological supervision, yielding tens of thousands of artefacts. One of the site’s significant challenges was the constantly changing water level from tidal activity. We developed a robust methodology with a strategy to speed up the works, and the school is built with ample ground clearance and a large decked outdoor area, mitigating the risk of tidal flooding in the future.

The Covid-19 lockdown came at a critical time for the project, but ongoing meetings even when we couldn’t get to site meant that we hit the ground running and got the project completed on budget and in time for the long-awaited opening ceremony.

The ECI project had very short design and construction timeframes and high quality expectations. We worked closely with the wider project team right from the preliminary design stage, giving input that resulted in significant improvements to the design. This collaborative approach continued as the build progressed, with the high level of onsite attendance by consultants providing an excellent opportunity for discussion and resolution of issues.


Categories: Canterbury & Nelson, Education, Engineered Timber, Pre-Construction, Seismic