“Why don’t you just buy into the school zone?”

Aidan Kenealy
7 min readMar 23, 2021

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Yeah, okay… Let’s do a little maths, shall we?

Property. It’s the topic that all New Zealand conversation naturally descends to. From board rooms to bars to Ubers, all roads lead to property chat.

“House prices in Auckland up 2000%(!)…In a pandemic! OMG!!!”. etc etc.

It won’t surprise anyone, therefore, that the small talk at a recent function sank to property. I was enjoying a convivial conversation with an older lady I had just met. We were discussing our kids (her grandkids), and she asked which school mine would be attending.

An innocent enough question but, in hindsight, one I didn’t anticipate would lead where it did.

I gave a light answer; I said it wasn’t up to me. It would depend on where we were living at the time.

She then followed up with a rather silly question.

She asked, “What do you mean? Why wouldn’t you just buy into the school zone you want to send your kids to?”.

And there it was; our segway into property.

I looked at her for a moment, trying to gauge if she was having me on. The confused ‘why the fuck are you staring at me like that?’ look on her face told me she wasn’t. She obviously hadn’t understood the broad implications of asking a thirty-something with kids such a question.

It’s a hot topic for us avocado toast loving millennials, now that we have kids. All parents want the best for their kids, and this includes ensuring they get a good education. Schools, and their zones, are therefore something that all young parents spend time considering.

It’s also a fact that schools, and their zones, are unavoidably intertwined with the prices of the property within them. Thus, schools, and their zones, are now something that most people have no choice over, even for top earning thirty something couples.

It’s a topic I’ve done the calculus on, and, if you believe it, dispelling boomer ignorance over a drink or two is a bit of a past time of mine… Thus, this was a question I was prepared to answer and it was an answer this lady wasn’t prepared for.

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Aidan Kenealy

Professional startup advisor for founders of high growth startups. More details @ https://aidankenealy.com/