In the back blocks of Melville, Richmond Park School has been sitting in near-silence since 2004.

However, the land is just months away from a decision on its future, head of education infrastructure service for the Ministry of Education, Kim Shannon, said.

The ministry has been working through a subdivision process to decide on what land to keep, and what to declare surplus to requirements.

Hamilton City Council and other agencies and local authorities will be able to declare an interest in the surplus land.


"This [the process] will involve demolishing some buildings to isolate parts of the site that are unlikely to be needed for education purposes long-term. We expect to confirm these parts of the site as surplus to our requirements over the next few months.

"Surplus land is passed over to LINZ for disposal in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Act 1981.

The Crown's land disposal process allows other agencies and local authorities, including councils, the opportunity to signal their interest in properties before they are put to the market."

The Ministry of Education has said they have no further interest in using surplus land in the future and does not consult on disposals handled by Land Information New Zealand.

The Hamilton City Council was given until December last year by the Ministry to decide whether it wanted the land.

Council's community services manager, Debbie Lascelles, says there has been some consultation with local residents.

"Council staff facilitated a couple of meetings with community groups at Te Whare Kokanga in Melville. The community groups represented had a presence in the southwest of the city and shared some views on potential uses for the site — however, it's important to stress no decisions were made.

"The council saw a need to facilitate this discussion within the community. One, to ensure their views were heard and understood, and two, because of the significance and sheer size of the site."


A kōhanga reo has been operating out one of the buildings.