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The Better Funding Heartland Tour, 2017

The Better Funding Heartland Tour took in regional towns all over New Zealand in one amazing campervan tour. On our trip, we got to hear some amazing stories from families and educators about what they're doing in their communities, as well as seeing the real-world impact of the last few years of funding decisions.

See our tour diaries below.

Heartland Dannevirke

June 2, 2017

Kannevirke street twinsTe kohanga reo going for their daily walk met the Heartland tour in Dannevirke.
Southern Hawkes Bay Branch members Sandra Eggleton, Janet Tolley and Jo Brown were collecting signatures on High Street.

Manawatu schools warn of reduced hours for support staff

June 2, 2017

Manawatu Standard picPhoto Manawatu Standard

The van parked up at The Square in Palmerston North at lunchtime yesterday, and local reporter Samuel Kilmister from the Manawatu  Standard came down to find out what teachers were up to.  He was pretty close to deadline but made sure he got a story into the paper that afternoon, read here:

“Lisa Woodward and Elaine Savage collect signatures in support of better funding for support staff in Manawatu schools.

Manawatu schools say they may be forced to cut the working hours of support staff unless the Government provides funding to pay them higher wages.”

Dannevirke day supported by Labour

June 1, 2017

McAnulty signsLabour’s Wairarapa candidate Kieran McAnulty signing the ECE pledge with Mark Irwin and Sandra Eggleton members of Southern Hawkes Bay Branch. A beautiful day in Dannevirke. Watch video here, William Knight talks with Kieran McAnulty about our Heartland Tour

Teeshirt men May 31


Hawkes Bay Today coverage

May 30, 2017

Hastings Central School deputy principal Beverley Ward signs a postcard presented by St Matthew’s Primary School support staff teacher aide Suzanne Rogers.

Photo Hawkes Bay Today

Photo Hawkes Bay Today

Hawkes Bay Today newspaper on Saturday reported Raureka Primary School principal Greg Riceman, also on the NZEI national leadership group for principals, saying in this week’s budget there did not appear to be much at all for schools.
“We are staying still and having to make do – there’s been no real increase at all, and we need more funding now instead of waiting.”
He said that in real terms, teacher salaries had been dropping over the last nine years, despite the Government saying it was putting more money into the sector, and there were growing issues as schools coped with increasing rolls.
“There’s overcrowding in Hastings and Napier schools now – quite a few schools are full – we all need more to help the kids.”  Read more…


Five hundred school principals' lettter to Government

May 29, 2017

Five hundred school principals signed an open letter published in the Sunday Star-Times yesterday  to the Government asking for an increase in funding.
Principal Nigel Bioletti and support staffer Nicole Young at Birkenhead Primary say their school will struggle to pay support staff.

Principal Birkenhead

Photo – David White Fairfax NZ

NZ Herald weighs in on teacher aides.

May 29, 2017

Higher pay, fewer hours?

Photo NZ Herald.

Teacher aide Donna Victory was earning only $15.94 an hour after almost nine years as a teacher aide in 2009. File photo

Schools say they may be forced to cut the working hours of 20,000 support staff unless the Government provides funding to pay them higher wages. More in NZ Herald, 29 may, 2017.

What the campaign is about!

May 26, 2017

Little beauties

Today in Hastings,welcoming visitors from the Better Funding campaign, the beautiful children and their teachers at Te Whare Aroha O Nga Mokopuna, the house of love for all children. Doesn’t it show? Taime Samuels on ukulele.

Taime Samuels

Lining up, dressing up, chatting, dancing, loving their early childhood education – this is what the campaign is about.House of Love

Everyone has tamariki

May 25, 2017

“As soon as we said kids, schools, they were in.” Wairoa branch president Sharon Jane talking to Lee-ann Goodley, a teaching reliever. They were signing up on the national petition in main street Wairoa yesterday (Wednesday). “Everyone has tamariki or knows tamariki.”


May 24, 2017

There’s a high level of interest from media, here’s the Gisborne Herald yesterday (photo Gisborne Herald).

Gisborne Herald

Widespread media coverage keeps up the pressure

May 23, 2017

It’s great to see the hard work paying off with such widespread coverage of our campaign.  Local media reports are providing extra visibility and helping carry the message as the campaign rolls through Bay of Plenty and down the East Coast visiting schools and communities. The South Waikato Times (below) reported on dire consequences for kids.  Fiona Gott

The Rotorua Review caught up the the van in Ngongotaha Primary.  “It’s about having these personal conversations,” says teacher Marion Brits from St Michael’s School.  “People don’t always have time to read emails, but they will talk.”

In Tauranga, Fairhaven Primary School principal and NZEI Principals Council member Paul Hunt said schools’ budgets were stretched to breaking point. The Bay of Plenty Times headlined that story with  “Tauranga Gets Behind Better Funding For Schools Campaign”, video here of Paul Hunt outside Te Puke Kindergarten.

Paul Hunt
Paul spent the day on the van with the concerns of teachers, making sure that education was a high profile for the upcoming Budget and elections.

Te Puke times cropped

The campaign lead the front page of the Te Puke Times where Paul Hunt urged parents making voting choices in the upcoming general election to consider which education policies offer the best learning outcome for all children.