A recent move - Te Kura

Tenant – Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura)
New Home – Level 12, 191 Queen Street
Move date – December 2022
Interview with – Saleel Kelkar, Facilities Management Advisor

How long did you stay at your previous premises?

12 years.

How far out did you start looking for new office premises? Was it long enough?

We started our office search nine months beforehand. This was long enough for us to engage with our Auckland kaimahi (staff) and prepare for the move.

What were the key drivers for your move?

Our lease was expiring in December 2022, and we were hoping to find a new space which would be modern, centrally located, close to main transport hubs, and would facilitate flexible working for our kaimahi.

How did you determine what your future office should look like? Did looking at other sites help?

We engaged with our Auckland kaimahi to establish their workspace needs and a set of parameters for the new office search. In light of changes that we had implemented in response to COVID-19, we anticipated that kaimahi would require an office space that would enable and enhance our new flexible ways of working. To this end, our Auckland kaimahi requested a modern space with a combination of flexible desking solutions and collaborative working spaces, preferably closer to major transport hubs. Looking at other sites helped us visualise what we did and did not want.

Did the move enable you to change the way you are working?

Yes, it did. The new office space enables kaimahi to build upon our current flexible working arrangements, incorporating our unique Te Kura culture and enhancing services and support for ākonga (students).

Do you provide all team members with a fixed desk? Why or why not?

We identified during the engagement phase that not all kaimahi are in the office every day, so we came up with a 3:1 desking ratio, meaning there is one desk for every three kaimahi. This allowed us to better utilise the floor area to create awesome collaborative spaces, a bigger kitchen and multiple meeting rooms.

Activity Based working (ABW) - fad or fabulous? Why?

Fabulous. The current office set-up is a combination of traditional desking and collaborative spaces. The traditional desking allows kaimahi to efficiently engage with ākonga and colleagues online, while the collaborative spaces offer the opportunity for kaimahi to get away from their desks and have face-to-face catch-ups in smaller or bigger groups.

Now that you are occupying the new space, how has the feedback been from your team members? What is the biggest change?

The Auckland team are loving the look and feel of the new office. The biggest change for kaimahi was getting used to flexible desking solutions, as a scheduling system and clear communication were required to make things run smoothly.

What piece of furniture has made the most impact with team members and how they work?

The furniture in the collaborative spaces has taken away the need for kaimahi to constantly step into meeting rooms for catch-ups, freeing up these rooms for more formal sessions. We also procured personal storage lockers which have proven to be very popular, saving the hassle of lugging IT gear between home and office, and keeping desk spaces clear for colleagues.

Are end-of-trip facilities becoming more important? Have team members changed the way they are commuting to work because of this?

Most definitely, we have multiple team members who bike or walk to work from distant transport hubs. Having facilities such as showers and storage lockers encourages our kaimahi to continue exploring sustainable ways of getting to the office, rather than solely relying on private motor vehicles.

What happened to your on-site storage needs? Have they changed? Are you using less paper?

There is sufficient personal and team storage available on-site. We have used this opportunity to declutter the office, and we are currently rolling out an improved digital document management system across the organisation.

What are some of the things you did right with the fitout?

We didn’t have to do much. The existing floor plan had the ideal balance of open office areas, kitchen space and meeting rooms. The one thing we did was build a partition wall to create a separate lift lobby and reception area to provide increased security for kaimahi.

What is the one thing you would do differently with the fitout?

Nothing, we are happy with the result.

What is the one piece of advice you would give another company looking to move premises?

Engage, engage, engage! Make sure you build strong relationships with kaimahi who are going to be directly affected by the move.


Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) provides quality distance education from early childhood to NCEA Level 3. Our kaiako (teachers) work with ākonga (students), their whānau and communities to help our learners achieve their potential. Find out more on our website: www.tekura.school.nz