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New Zealand is heading into an election like no other, with a focus on “shovel-ready” physical infrastructure projects to create jobs, stimulate the economy and address the country’s infrastructure deficit as we look to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

But what about “social infrastructure” and the opportunity to create a people-centred recovery that puts our children first and gives them the resilience to cope with future challenges to come? Investing in quality education will not only create jobs and stimulate the economy, but will pay countless other social and economic dividends in the coming decades.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is urging all parties in the election to put tamariki and their learning at the heart of their recovery plans. We approached all the political parties currently in Parliament about their position on the key issues highlighted by our members across the education sector.

Here's how they responded…

 

As of publishing National, NZ First and ACT have not responded. We have attempted to fill in the gaps with any publicly known or stated policy.

Education debate

On Monday 28 September, NZEI Te Riu Roa hosted an education debate with the parties in Parliament share their vision for education.

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Recognising and equitably resourcing indigenous knowledge and expertise (e.g whakapakari)

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

No support

ACT's Promise:

There is no education policy for Māori stated.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Introduced programmes for the teaching of the history of Aotearoa, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Green Party also continues to advocate for the universal teaching of te reo Māori in all public schools.

Greens' promise:

The Green Party is committed to developing high quality kaupapa Māori teacher training, professional development and providing incentives to encourage teachers to train for and teach in kura, kōhanga reo, total immersion and bilingual schools.

Labour 2020

Labour's record: 

Provided a $400m increase in funding Māori education, including Kōhanga Reo; taught teachers te reo through Te Ahu o te Reo Māori; and tackled discrimination through Te Hurihanganui (building on Te Kotahitanga).

Labour's promise:

Will build the cultural competency of education workforce, to meet the needs of Māori learners (including through Te Hurihanganui and Tataiako) and Pasifika learners (including through the Action Plan for Pacific Education and Tapasā).
Committed to NZ history being taught in all schools and kura by 2022; and every child having te reo Māori in their learning by 2025.
Will continue to work to attract and develop a strong, culturally competent education workforce that is capable, supported, valued and connected, including through changes to improve Initial Teacher Education.

National 2020

National's record:

No action 2008-2017

National's promise:

Increase access to Te Reo Māori in primary schools for those who want to learn it. Support fair funding for Kōhanga Reo, kura kaupapa and kura reorua (bilingual and Māori language immersion classes in mainstream schools), and taking applications for partnership schools targeted at Māori learners. Work with iwi and other Māori community organisations to co-develop education solutions that provide greater educational choice for young Māori. Continue support for the development of curriculum resources to support schools' teaching of New Zealand history, including Māori history, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the New Zealand Wars.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Not known

NZ First's promise:

Not known

Fully funded pay parity for ECE teachers.

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known - no active support

ACT's promise:

None stated

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Fully funded pay parity for ECE teachers has been a long-standing Green Party policy.

Greens' promise:

Will continue to push for pay parity for early childhood, primary and secondary educators, based on qualifications and responsibility.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

First step to pay parity in Budget 2020 with a 2.3% increase in subsidy rates

Labour's promise:

$600m commitment to move towards pay parity for qualified ECE teachers.

National 2020

National's record:

Froze ECE funding 2009-2017

National's promise:

No commitment, but will continue to lift minimum pay requirements for qualified ECE staff in Government licensed services. Will work over time to reduce the funding gap between kindergartens and non-kindergarten ECE services.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Supported Budget 2020 first step

NZ First's promise:

Tracey Martin committed to this during our 2020 Education Debate

Accelerate pay equity settlements for school administrative staff and kaiārahi i te reo.

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known - no active support

ACT's promise:

None stated

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Committed to pay equity for administrative staff and kaiārahi i te reo.

Greens' promise:

Supports pay equity for administrative staff and kaiārahi i te reo and continues to work towards passing Fair Pay Agreements to lift incomes.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Delivered pay equity for Teacher Aides in 2020, Living Wage for all school staff in 2019.

Labour's promise:

Committed to pay equity for education sector.

National 2020

National's record:

Supports pay equity.

National's promise:

Supports pay equity.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Committed to the immediate review of the pay structure for school support staff (Election 2017).

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

Improved ratios for babies and young children in early childhood education (ECE)

ACT 2020

ACT's promise:

Not known - no active support.

ACT's promise:

Will continue funding as at present, with direct funding to parents equivalent to current 20 hours free.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Has pushed for improved ratios in ECE and advocated for adequate funding to the ensure the quality of ECE is the highest priority.

Greens' promise:

Would like to see improved ratios for young children in ECE, with a priority for under 2's.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Consultated on ratio improvements as part of developing Early Learning Action Plan.

Labour's promise:

10 Year Early Learning Action Plan commits to "medium term" improvements from 1:5 to 1:4 for under 2 year olds and from 1:10 to 1:5 for 2 years olds.

National 2020

National's record:

No action 2008-2017.

National's promise:

Will fund progressively improved ratios for under twos by removing recently-restored funding for centres that have 100% qualified staff.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Not known.

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

More resourcing to support children with additional learning needs (Learning Support Coordinators for all schools).

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known - no active support.

ACT's promise:

Alternative funding model.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Supported the first tranche of LSCs and resourcing for Learning Support indexed to student numbers.

Greens' promise:

Committed to resourcing the second tranche of LSCs. The party supports increases in ORS funding and will work towards making sure there is enough LSC resourcing so that children can get the help they need.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Increases to Learning Support funding; Introduced first tranche of Learning Support Coordinators.

Labour's promise:

Will continue to implement the Learning Support Action Plan.

National 2020

National's record:

Froze learning support funding 2009-2017.

National's promise:

$480m over first four years in Government to boost learning support and $150m over four years to fund an additional six million hours of teacher aide support in schools. Will continue funding for Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs).

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Led introduction of first tranche of LSCs and supported Learning Support resourcing being indexed to student numbers.

NZ First's promise:

Committed to second (50%) tranche.

Smaller class sizes

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known - no active support.

ACT's promise:

None stated.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record: 

Supports smaller class sizes and has spoken out against funding models that may cause class sizes to swell.

Greens' promise:

Will reduce class sizes over time to support quality learning in classrooms.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Introduced 1:15 in year 1 in 2008 and Learning Support Coordinators in 2020.

Labour's promise:

Through the Education Accord, the government will work with NZEI Te Riu Roa and the PPTA to review class sizes and the formulas related to them.

National 2020

National's record:

No action 2008-2017.

National's promise:

Will progressively reduce student-to-teacher ratios in primary schools.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Not known.

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

More release time for teachers to plan, assess and work with individual children.

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known.

ACT's promise:

None stated.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Supports non-contact time for teachers to reduce unmanageable workloads.

Greens' promise:

Supports teachers having more release time to do their work. The Green Party would also like to simplify unnecessarily onerous and demanding non-teaching tasks to relieve the administrative burden to teachers.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Eight additional teacher only days over 2020-2022 to support the strengthening of curriculum, progress and achievement practice.

Labour's promise:

Committed, through the Education Accord, to considering how to create enough time and space within the system to support teachers and principals to deal appropriately with the growing demands on them.

National 2020

National's record:

No action 2008-2017.

National's promise:

None stated.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Not known.

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

Support for school leadership by improving management staffing.

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known.

ACT's promise:

None stated.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Committed to ensuring schools have adequate funding for the resources they need and this includes management staffing.

Greens' promise:

Believes quality management staffing can ensure school leadership is supported. The Greens will work towards ensuring schools are provided with adequate resources to meet administrative and staffing needs.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

The Education and Training Act 2020 provides clearer and consistent eligibility criteria for principal positions.

Labour's promise:

Establishing a more visible support system for school leadership across both the Ministry and the Teaching Council.

National 2020

National's record:

No action 2008-2017.

National's promise:

None stated.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Not known.

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

Public provision of education

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Charter schools are ACT's flagship education policy and part of its first coalition agreement with National. Supports market model of ECE.

ACT's promise:

Advocates return and expansion of charter school model. Supports market model of ECE. Would halve number of Ministry staff.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Opposed charter schools, supported more public provision of ECE and championed expanding quality public education.

Greens' promise:

Opposes market model of ECE and charter schools. The party will also increase the operations grant and ensure that all state schools are fully funded for high quality educational delivery. The Greens would like to phase out state funding for independent (or private) schools and reinvest that into quality public education.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Repealed charter school legislation; reduced funding to private schools; and discontinued the introduction of public-private partnerships. In ECE, provided significant funding to kindergartens through restoration of the 100% qualified funding band.

NZEI Te Riu Roa comment: Failed to deliver significant shift toward public provision in ECE.

Labour's promise:

Will introduce 'active management' of the ECE network and public provision in low decile communities.

National 2020

National's record:

Will introduce 'active management' of the ECE network and public provision in low decile communities.

National's promise:

Supports market model of ECE; proposes unannounced spotchecks to monitor poor practice.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Opposed charter schools.

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known - no active support.

ACT's promise:

None stated.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Has actively worked towards making PPL 26 weeks and has set targets to close the gender pay gap. The Greens pushed for the Parental Tax Credit to be available to all families who don’t get paid parental leave.

Greens' promise:

Would like to see PPL extended to 15 months and increase the rate of payments to 100% of the average male wage.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

PPL at 26 weeks and set targets to close the gender pay gap.

Labour's promise:

Continue to work to close the gender pay gap.

National 2020

National's record:

Supported PPL at 26 weeks.

National's promise:

None stated.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Supported PPL at 26 weeks

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

Prioritising Pasifika language nests in ECE provision

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Not known.

ACT's promise:

None stated.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Has always maintained that Pasifika learning should be embedded throughout the New Zealand Curriculum and developed with the input of communities.

Greens' promise:

Supports Pasifika language nests in ECE. The Greens will promote the use, regeneration, and protection of Pasifika and heritage languages in education environments.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Commitment to "Strengthen governance and management support for Pacific language and other community early learning services" as part of Early Learning Action Plan.

NZEI Te Riu Roa comment: No action.

Labour's promise:

Will explore options for new models of governance and management in the context of network planning.

National 2020

National's record:

No action 2008-2017.

National's promise:

None stated.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Not known.

NZ First's promise:

None stated.

Fair pay agreements

ACT 2020

ACT's record:

Does not support fair pay agreements.

ACT's promise:

Would expand employer's ability to use trial periods when employing staff.

Green 2020-3

Greens' record:

Has always advocated for Fair Pay Agreements and during COVID-19 proposed a package of strategies to lift the wages of New Zealand's workers, including the urgent passing of Fair Pay Agreements.

Greens' promise:

Supports Fair Pay Agreements and would like to see legislation for this urgently passed to lift incomes in the wake of COVID-19.

Labour 2020

Labour's record:

Formed the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group and undertook public consultation on a proposed Fair Pay Agreement model. Amended the Employment Relations Act 2000 to improve protections for workers and unions. Increased the minimum wage to $18.90.

NZEI Te Riu Roa comment: Proposed but failed to deliver fair pay agreements in its first term.

Labour's promise:

Supports Fair Pay Agreements.

National 2020

National's record:

Introduced anti-worker laws including 90 day fire at will law. Recently opposed increasing sick leave.

National's promise:

Opposes Fair Pay Agreements and would re-introduce 90 day fire at will law.

NZ First 2020

NZ First's record:

Opposes Fair Pay Agreements.

NZ First's promise:

Opposes Fair Pay Agreements.