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