Rotorua school principals are concerned their schools will not be able to support burgeoning student numbers from new housing developments in the city.
Hundreds of new homes are being built in the suburbs of Ōwhata and Ngongotahā, where school rolls are already reaching limits.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education said: "The decision on new schooling forms part of the future investment planning for the ministry, and will be considered if necessary in Rotorua in future.
"There are no planned new schools in Rotorua at this stage."
Ngongotahā Primary School principal Craig McFadyen told Nine to Noon that there was no question that new schools would be necessary, but the ministry had told him they would be a "last resort".
"We all know we need housing for our people in Rotorua - the numbers are climbing.
"My major concern is that the planning (for schools should have) been done prior to these housing developments being put in, so that we're able to accommodate all these new people that they're going to be housing."
Healthcare, such as GP surgeries, and new supermarkets also needed to be factored in before the new houses were built, he said.
The homes were being marketed to low- and middle-income earners, families and first-time buyers, he said.
"These home owners are going to have primary school-aged children and they're going to be coming to our school, because there's nowhere else for them to go."
His school roll was currently 428 children, although it had been built to accommodate only 300. An enrolment scheme was already in place, he said.
"That's starting to push that out a bit. We've got 350 houses being built 900 metres from where I'm currently sitting. There's going to be a lot of children coming in, from within the school zone and ... it's going to be near-on impossible for anyone from outside this zone to enrol their children.
"We've got families who have been here for three generations and it would be a real shame to have to deny enrolments for some of them purely because of numbers."
McFadyen said the ministry had provided a "beautiful" modular classroom to accommodate the rising number of pupils, and were looking at three more such buildings, but his school was reluctant to sacrifice their playing fields.
"We're fortunate to have some beautiful green spaces for the children to get out and play, to spread out and not be on top of each other... But by putting more classrooms on to them... we are limiting the space they have to play, to get active and to socialise."
With the council looking after even more subdivisions in the long term, the ministry should have started planning a new school "three years ago", he said.
Ōwhata School principal Bob Stiles told Nine to Noon that following discussion with the Ministry of Education, his school roll was closed because all his classrooms were at capacity.
Within their school zone, there were currently 296 new houses being built in four subdivisions, including social housing.
Stiles said quality state housing was important, adding that 30 tamariki at his kura were currently living in emergency housing, or cramped, unhealthy rental accommodation.
In the next five years, there were plans to build another 1500-2000 homes in east Rotorua. Local hāpu, who owned the land, had been working closely with kura and the ministry.