The government will consider leasing compact sites for schools and using community gyms and fields in a new inner city metro school model, says Education Minister Nikki Kaye.
It would be an option in intensified urban areas where it's difficult to acquire larger more traditional school grounds, she revealed on Saturday.
Ms Kaye said the Ministry of Education was looking ahead to where schools might be needed in the next 20 to 30 years, and at how to overcome the challenges posed by population growth.
The model uses partnerships and shared facilities to supplement smaller spaces including taking advantage of local access to museums and libraries as well as community fields and gyms. It is used overseas.
"Looking ahead, the advice I've received is that at this stage, there may only be a handful of metro schools required over the next couple of decades," Ms Kaye said.
"Having the metro model as another option up our sleeves means we're even better placed to ensure we keep meeting communities' need in the future."
The government has been examining the model since last year.