The one-off cash injection is part of the Government’s $396 million infrastructure spending, which is the largest capital injection for school funding maintenance in at least 25 years.

"Nearly every school and community in New Zealand will benefit from this windfall investment," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a keynote speech at the Labour Party conference in Whanganui on the weekend.

"I’m proud that students and teachers will be the first to benefit from our infrastructure upgrade.

"The Government is taking advantage of historically low interest rates to improve school buildings and grounds and creating jobs up and down the country."

School property projects the investment can be spent on include classroom upgrades, resurfacing outdoor courts and paved areas and installing energy efficient heating and lighting.

"This package is a real shot in the arm for our schools, giving them the opportunity to fix roofs, windows and walls to provide modern, comfortable classrooms that are great for kids to learn in," Ardern said.

"I’ve visited plenty of schools and I’d be hard pressed to name one that didn’t have need. You hear horror stories about kids learning in damp, mouldy classrooms."

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said many schools had put off building projects, and soldiered on with patched up classrooms and playgrounds.

"When we have the opportunity as we do now, we should and can do better to lift the quality of the classrooms students and teachers spend so much time in," Hipkins said in a statement.

"This cash injection, to be administered by the Ministry of Education through existing planning processes, gives schools breathing room to catch up on deferred building work.

"It’s a well-deserved early Christmas present for school communities."

NZEI Te Riu Roa and NZSTA welcomed the Government’s education spending announcements.

"It's great to see a significant investment in children's learning environments and a commitment to value the people who work so hard to keep them running," NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said.

"I know schools and those who work in them will be welcoming today's announcements."

NZSTA president Lorraine Kerr said in a statement that the Government was starting to take notice of the poor condition of schools.

"Most schools around the country have a list of things waiting to be done when the money is available.

"It will come as a huge relief to schools around the country to be able to progress that work," Kerr said.

"For the first time since boards of trustees took over responsibility for school property 30 years ago, it is starting to look as if the Government is really seeing and hearing the reality that schools have struggled with.

"Students have told us that when their school grounds and buildings are in poor condition it impacts on their learning and their emotional wellbeing.

"Boards have told us that they and their principals have had to spend too much time trying to manage property issues.

"This announcement tells us that these messages are finally being heard."

Key elements of the policy

• The total value of the package is $396 million.

• Each eligible school will receive $693 per student, up to a maximum of $400,000 in total

• Every school will receive at least $50,000 regardless of size of school roll

• Special schools will receive $200,000 each, regardless of roll size 

• Money will need to be spent within the next 24 months

• Around 2050 state schools opened before 2015 are eligible

• Integrated schools, schools built through a Public Private Partnership, or schools in leased accommodation are not eligible

Education property highlights under the Coalition Government

• This $400 million package

• $1.2 billion investment in school capital in 2019 budget.

• Planning of classroom space for 100,000 extra students by 2030

• 726 new classrooms built or upgraded for more than 15,000 students

• More than 386 new and upgraded classrooms to be delivered in Auckland for 9300 students

• Investment in the upgrade or new build of at least 1100 extra classrooms, benefiting 33,000 students around the country