WELLINGTON, Aug 14 - This redevelopment will include new buildings as well as building upgrades, Education Minister Hekia Parata and AssociateEducation Minister Nikki Kaye said on Sunday.

After starting out as a registered private school, it became a kura, or Maori language immersion school, for year one to eight students in 1995, achieving wharekura status in 2010, enabling it to cater for year nine to 13 students.

In 2009, a fire affected several buildings.

The gymnasium will be designed to enable it to be extended, and the teaching spaces will allow for roll growth from the current roll of 112 to a capacity of 130 students.

A remote learning suite will allow students to connect with teachers based off-site and in other parts of New Zealand via video-conferencing, the ministers said.

Project design work on the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Taumarere redevelopment is now under way, with construction of the new facilities scheduled to be finished in late 2017.

More than $50 million has been committed to upgrade schools and add capacity in Northland between 2008 and 2015, on top of the money normally provided to schools to maintain their property.

The comment comes amid criticism of underinvestment in infrastructure in Northland, where New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is the MP.