Education 1997 - 1999

Wyatt Creech Education


I am pleased to present this information document setting out the
general approach to education policy reviews over this term of
Parliament. The timing of the Coalition Agreement reviews is explicitly
detailed. Other ongoing work will of course continue.

Where appropriate, similar policy development processes will be used for issues that
arise from time to time.

In the years ahead, the education sector faces major challenges arising from population
and participation growth, the impact of global influences, and social and labour market
changes. The policy programme aims to ensure the education system is capable of
meeting the demands placed on it while also continuing to strive for quality
improvements from education and training.

In developing key aspects of the programme, the Government is putting in place
consultation and decision-making processes that allow full opportunity for public
participation, while also ensuring that the work is brought to a conclusion through firm
decisions. To achieve this, over the next six months the Government will be launching a
number of Green Papers and other discussion documents.

This information document provides a contextual overview, together with an outline of
the consultation processes and timelines for major reviews and initiatives. Further
details will be provided with the Green Papers and discussion papers when they are
released. I encourage all those who are interested in particular aspects of the work
programme to contribute to the consultations, so that all views are canvassed.

Wyatt Creech
Minister of Education


This document outlines the broad educational goals the Coalition Government wants to
achieve over the term of this Parliament. As a general rule, the Government will aim to
build on the successes of previous reforms wherever appropriate.

The Government intends to consult as widely as possible on its major reforms. Over the
next six months, it will release a number of "Green Papers" outlining its thinking on
these significant issues. These papers are designed to support consultation with the
education and wider communities by informing them of the background to the
proposed reform, the issues the reform is to address, and how the Government proposes
to address them. The release of each Green Paper will be followed by an extensive
period for consultation and submissions. This is to allow for the widest possible input
into the decision-making process from throughout the education sector. Submissions
will then be analysed and used to produce a "White Paper" stating firm decisions on
Government policy for the particular issue.

The Government decided on this approach after careful consideration of how best to
conduct its proposed policy development programme, including the nature and timing
of reviews. Other possible approaches included the appointment of an external review
panel or a consultation reference group chaired by the Minister of Education. Both
methods have been used in the past, but they have not always proved effective in
resolving issues. The Tertiary Reference Group, for example, has met a number of times
and spent many months discussing the issues. It has not, however, produced any final
decision on the matters under review.

Using a well-researched Green Paper to initiate consultations and submissions,
followed by a White Paper to explain final Government policy, deals with this problem.
It allows widespread input into the policy-making process from experts, experienced
practitioners, groups and others interested in the issues. At the same time it focuses the
debate to produce definitive and coherent public policy for the sector within a
reasonable timeframe. Many people in the education sector, while stressing that they
want to be consulted on decisions that affect them, have stressed also that they want to
see final decisions reached. Similar exercises in the past have left the issues unresolved
and have caused considerable frustration throughout the sector.

This document sets out the objectives, context and strategic focus for the education
policy programme. It also provides details on the processes and timelines for the Green
Papers and some other important discussion papers. While the document captures the
major issues for now, in an area as dynamic as education, new issues arise regularly.
This document does not therefore constitute an explanation of every policy initiative
that the Government will take, but it covers the range of those currently being
considered. Other issues and priorities will arise from time to time.


To secure our economic and social future, New Zealand needs an education system

  • strives to improve educational outcomes for all students, including those at risk of
  • enhances both personal development and employment opportunities
  • contributes to a highly skilled, adaptable and motivated workforce by promoting
    lifelong learning
  • focuses on the challenges of the 21st century
  • fosters fairness, tolerance, self-reliance and informed participation in New
    Zealand society.

We need to build on New Zealand's record of educational achievements. This is not just
a question of dollars. Our education will be improved by:

  • innovative leadership throughout the system
  • strong, supportive, and involved parents and communities
  • an effective regulatory framework that supports and rewards positive progress
  • the ability of the Government and the education sector to respond to change.


Over the past decade New Zealanders have increasingly recognised the importance of
education to our economic and social well-being. Education is a key to progress in the
international economic framework, and is essential to provide New Zealanders with the
high level of skills and adaptability needed to meet the challenges of the future.

Pressures within the education sector are increasing. Factors that have contributed to
this include growth of population and participation in education, the impact of global
influences, and changes in society and in the nature of work.

Population and participation growth

There are major stresses on the capacity of the system to meet everyone's needs, both
right now and in the future.

  • A population bulge is currently passing through primary schools and will move
    into secondary schools about the turn of the century. Current projections are that
    primary rolls will peak in five years' time at nearly 511,000 students, 38,000 more
    than in 1997 - while secondary rolls will peak in 2007 at 311,000 students - 77,700
    more than in 1997. Both rolls are then expected to reduce.
  • Growth in school rolls is not uniform across the country. Auckland, parts of
    Canterbury, and the Bay of Plenty show strong growth, while rolls in the West
    Coast and Southland have declined. Pressure points are unpredictable because
    families move around New Zealand more and parents have a greater choice of
  • Participation rates in early childhood education services, senior secondary school
    and post-compulsory education and training (PCET) have all grown rapidly.
    Participation in early childhood and PCET is expected to continue to grow.

Impact of global influences

Opening New Zealand's economy to the world market has led to changes in the
domestic economy. The growing Asian economies are also having a significant
influence on both the global economy and our own.

  • We need a creative, highly skilled, motivated and adaptable workforce that can
    respond innovatively and quickly to changes in the economic environment.
  • Education itself has an increasingly international focus. As more overseas
    students come to New Zealand and more New Zealanders undertake some
    education overseas, there are opportunities for international economic, social and
    cultural alliances.
  • Innovations in information technology are breaking down the barriers of time,
    location and space, and increasing access to learning opportunities.

Social and labour market changes

New Zealand has experienced major social and labour market changes during the past
ten years, and changes will inevitably continue.

  • Full employment is no longer assured. Unemployment continues to be especially
    high among some groups - those who are young, unskilled, Maori, or from the
    Pacific Islands.
  • The demands of the workplace have changed. Workers increasingly need a strong
    base of general skills, along with the adaptability to retrain in new areas and to
    learn conceptual skills.
  • Women are participating in the workforce in increasing numbers and in a broader
    range of work.
  • Differentials in income are widening, particularly between skilled and unskilled
  • Fewer children are growing up in families with stable relationships.
  • Over the next ten years, the proportions of older people, Maori, and Pacific Island
    people in New Zealand will increase. Internationalisation will also make our
    population increasingly diverse.


Four key strategies are driving the Government's approach. They are:

  • continuing to strive for quality
  • ensuring the education system can meet demand
  • building a system which responds well to the changing needs of individual New
    Zealanders and of New Zealand workplaces, as well as to international influences
    and technological change
  • raising the educational achievement of all students, including those at risk of

These strategies demand professionalism at all levels of the education service. Effective
human resource management, and long-term, co-ordinated policy and operations are
required. Consultation and dialogue between the Government, education professionals,
and the wider community are essential to achieving the Government's objectives.


In developing policy initiatives for education, three inter-related themes flow from the
objectives, environment, and strategic focus outlined above:

  • lifting educational attainment
  • building capacity to meet demand
  • integrating education, social and labour market policies.


New Zealand has a good education system, but we need to continue improving it to
keep up with international developments and to meet the demand for an increasingly
diverse range of educational opportunities. Through the initiatives outlined here, the
Government aims to build on successes so far while striving for better outcomes for all

The resources available can never meet all the demands, however. Decisions on the
priorities for the use of resources must be soundly based.
Some areas of particular concern to the Government are:

  • ensuring that education resources achieve quality outcomes
  • making a sustained effort to address the needs of students who are under-
    achieving or at risk of failure
  • disparities in achievement in some areas of learning (for example, while student
    achievement in reading and writing literacy compares well internationally, 13-
    year-old New Zealanders ranked as only average in mathematics and science in a
    1995 international study).

Addressing these concerns is not just a matter of more resources. In a small country with an ageing population, everyone's contribution counts.

Students at risk of failure
Issues affecting the education of students who face the huge personal, social and
economic waste of not achieving to their full potential at school are a priority. The
causes of risk of failure are complex, and the response will be wide-ranging. It will
include both the integrated approaches described later in this paper, and the following
specific initiatives.

  • Continuing to develop policies to
    address truancy. Some 500 students of compulsory school age are
    currently being catered for by church, iwi and community groups in
    settings which are not registered schools. Policy initiatives to deal
    with truancy are designed to return to the education system many
    students who have been alienated by the traditional school setting, and
    also to ensure that schools can focus on providing for the learning
    needs of such students.
  • Improving the effectiveness of assistance to schools at risk of failure
    or poor performance in educational delivery, or schools that are
    struggling to provide an effective learning environment. Some South
    Auckland schools provide one example, although problems are not limited
    to one area. The Government is developing a range of initiatives,
    including alternative administrative arrangements in clusters of small
    schools, to reduce the workload of principals and boards of trustees.

Raising achievement levels for specific groups of students

  • Maori students: a comprehensive education strategy for Maori is discussed later in
    this paper - see "Details on Consultations".
  • Pacific Islands students: the Ministry of Education recently launched a strategic
    plan for action to support Pacific Islands student education.
  • Students with special education needs: the Special Education 2000 policy aims to
    establish a clear, consistent and predictable resourcing framework for special
    education. Phase One, the Special Education Grant, was introduced in 1997 to
    provide for students with moderate special education needs. Phase Two, which
    was announced on 13 May, focuses primarily on students with high or very high
    needs. The Ongoing Resourcing Scheme is designed for students with high or
    very high needs throughout their school years. It will provide an equivalent level
    of resourcing for students with similar levels of need irrespective of their school
    setting or location. Two separate initiatives will meet the needs of students with
    significant speech/language difficulties or severe behavioural problems.
  • Especially able and gifted students: enabling this specific group to rise to their full
    potential will be the focus of development.
  • Students from language backgrounds other than English: English is not the first
    language, nor the language of the home, of 58,000 current students. Of these,
    some 34,000 require extra English teaching to become sufficiently fluent in English
    to succeed in the school system. Early intervention is necessary to redress their
    educational and related disadvantages. Improved support for this group is proposed.

Curriculum development

In 1993 The New Zealand Curriculum Framework was released as an overview policy
document for a complete rewrite of the New Zealand curriculum. The Curriculum
Framework comprises seven essential learning areas and eight sets of essential skills. So
far, four new national curriculum statements - in mathematics, science, English and
technology - along with three Maori language counterparts - te reo Maori, pangarau
(mathematics) and putaiao (science) - have been published.

Although the introduction of these was accompanied by curriculum support materials
and teacher professional development, the pace, size and timing of the introduction
have led to complaints about workload pressures on teachers. The Ministerial
Consultative Group on Workload is currently considering the implementation, support
and training required to complete implementation of the curriculum reforms.

Early childhood education

Quality early childhood education provides an important foundation for children's later
learning, in terms of personal, social and educational development. The sector is noted
for its diversity and rapid growth over recent years, and standards of care and
education vary widely. Current policy is to apply taxpayer funds consistently across the
diverse providers, with a premium for quality to encourage continual improvement.
The policy aims to ensure widespread availability and compliance with quality

Regulation and accountability requirements need to be kept under scrutiny to make
sure they contribute to improving supply, participation, involvement and quality. The
Government will continue to focus on quality through training, and on lifting
.participation by Maori and Pacific Islands children.

Other initiatives

Other current policy initiatives to lift educational attainment, described in later sections,

  • professional development and support of pre-service and in-service teachers
    through a comprehensive review of teacher education
  • further development of the National Qualifications Framework
  • development of national assessment policy
  • a review of the Education Review Office
  • a comprehensive review of all aspects of tertiary education and training.

Forces which are placing pressure on all areas of the education system to meet the
demand for teachers, property, and other resources include:

  • unavoidable pressure from roll growth in the compulsory education sector
  • increased demand for early childhood education, and for tertiary education and
  • curriculum demands and recent improvements to staff:student ratios in schools
  • teacher workforce demographics and the changing nature of the teacher labour
  • policies to promote access, parental choice and diversity among education
    providers, which are blurring traditional boundaries between services (primary
    school, secondary school and tertiary) and changing institutional structures.

A range of responses and initiatives are under way or planned to build up the capability
of the education system.

Teacher supply

The recruitment and retention of trained and skilled teachers is a priority. A substantial
increase in the number of teachers will be required over the next five to ten years to
meet student population growth. The forecast additional requirement for 1998 is 760
primary and 520 secondary teachers. The growing number of teachers reaching
retirement age will also increase demand.

The main strategies co-ordinated by the Ministry of Education to meet the demand for
teachers are:

  • building the numbers and increasing the
    availability of high-quality pre-service training (the review of
    pre-service and in-service teacher education, discussed later, will
    focus on ensuring an adequate supply of high quality teachers)

  • further recruitment and support of overseas teachers

  • retraining former teachers to return to the classroom.

These are supported by additional strategies including:

  • incentives to attract teachers to hard-to-staff positions such as those in specific
    schools or in subjects in which there are shortages, including mathematics, science
    and Maori-medium
  • assistance to schools to improve relief teacher recruitment
  • national recruitment campaigns.

Other initiatives

Other policy initiatives to build capacity, described later, include:

  • a review of teacher workloads
  • consideration of a unified pay system within an integrated teaching service
  • a substantial increase in the education property capacity and a comprehensive
    review of the Ministry of Education's capacity to effectively plan and manage the
    property portfolio and capital works programme
  • a comprehensive review of the Education Act 1989.

The Government is looking for effective co-ordination between education, health,
welfare and labour market policies to ensure that education, economic growth and
social cohesion reinforce one another. Too often, there is duplication or people fall
through cracks. Education contributes to an integrated approach to finding solutions in
several areas.

Students at risk
Increasing numbers of students have health, welfare and behavioural
problems, and special education needs, which contribute to
under-achievement at school. As the primary responsibility for
intervention may not rest with the school, the issue is how central
agencies can best work together in finding solutions.

An inter-departmental programme is being undertaken to help families raise healthy
and capable individuals. This work includes a stocktake of existing programmes, the
development of objectives and action plans, and co-ordination to improve the
effectiveness of support for students.

In considering how to better co-ordinate the provision of Government services to such
families, the role of education will be to ensure that schools and teaching staff can focus
on providing for the learning needs of students, while also supporting the work of other
agencies to meet students' health and welfare needs.

Employment Strategy

The Government has introduced an Employment Strategy. Its two key objectives are:
reducing the percentage of job-seekers who are long term unemployed; and involving
unemployed job-seekers in part-time community work and training. The strategy is
driven primarily by policies supporting economic growth. In addition, specific
measures to improve access to appropriate education and training and labour market
attachment of job-seekers will be implemented. A steering group is co-ordinating work
on details of this policy and its implementation.

Youth income support

Youth policies must be properly integrated to encourage all youth to be either in
employment or in some form of education and training. The Coalition Agreement
announced that the Government will work towards a universal system of living
allowances for tertiary students, as part of a comprehensive system of youth income
support that gives comparability between unemployed job-seekers and students.


As noted earlier, several key policy initiatives are planned or in progress, including
some signalled in the Coalition Agreement. The Government intends to make sure that
policy development and implementation of changes are carefully managed and
supported. In particular, the next three years will see:

  • genuine commitment to consultations and engagement with the education sector
    as an integral part of the policy process
  • better co-ordination of the processes of change, particularly among the education
  • sensitivity to the impact that the extent and speed of changes can have
  • emphasis on more effective regulation to minimise compliance costs.

Given its commitment to consultation, the Government recognises that it is important
that everyone within the education and wider communities can see the shape of the
Government's thinking on an issue, and be able to make their views known before final
decisions are made. The Government is therefore extending consultation by releasing
what are traditionally known as "Green Papers", as well as discussion papers. A Green
Paper sets out the Government's thinking on an issue, along with the assumptions and
reasoning on which this is based. A discussion paper, by contrast, raises issues for
consideration and submission.


Green Papers are being prepared on qualifications policy, tertiary education and
training, and teacher education. The likely timeframe for their release over the next few
months is:

Qualifications Policy: National Qualifications Framework June 1997
Tertiary Education Review August 1997
Teacher Education Review September 1997

The process of consultation has several steps.

  • Stakeholders and the general public will be invited to make submissions on the
    issues raised. The period for submissions depends on what is involved, although
    generally those interested in making submissions will have about three months
    after the release of the Green Paper to do so. There may also be consultation
    meetings. The Government is keen that the full range of opinions and ideas are
    canvassed before decisions are made.

  • After a set date, the submissions will be analysed.
  • The views and outcomes from the submissions will be reported to the Cabinet
    through Ministers, together with options and recommendations for any changes.
  • The Cabinet's decisions will be announced and incorporated into a report,
    including details of policies and issues of implementation. Each report will be
    released in the form of a "White Paper" which fully explains the final Government

    policy decisions. It may be necessary to have a further round of consultations
    before final decisions are made, depending on developments during the earlier


Discussion papers are being prepared on an education strategy for Maori (a joint
initiative with Te Puni Kokiri), and national assessment policy.

  • The discussion paper on an education strategy for Maori is expected to be released
    in September 1997. It will invite submissions and discussion on issues as a basis
    for developing the Government's position.
  • The paper on national assessment policy is expected to be distributed before June

The review of the Education Review Office will be carried out by an independent panel,
which will consult with stakeholders during the course of its fact-finding and
deliberations between from July and September 1997. Details of the process of
consultation will be determined by the panel.

As well as the key policy initiatives
outlined in this document, the Government will review and update the
Education Act 1989. This is intended to look at the whole Act with
several objectives in mind, including simplification. It is best
managed as a continuing project, tackled in stages, with consultation
papers on some aspects. As far as the major issues for policy
development described later are concerned, the review will follow once
they are resolved.

As work progresses, and depending on other
pressures, the dates given above may need to be revised. A brief
description of each consultation paper and of some other key policy
development activities follows.

The social and economic needs of a modern society require a flexible
and cumulative qualifications framework that recognises achievement
over a diverse range of subjects and levels, from practical to
academic, and acknowledges that education and training can take place
in different institutions and at different times in a person's life.

The development of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to date has been
intended to provide students and employers with a consistent assurance of the value of
skills and knowledge inherent in a qualification. It is also intended to make
qualifications easier to compare, and improve portability by making clearer the linkages
between them.

While most people accept as valid the concepts behind the NQF, some significant
concerns have been raised at both a policy and technical level, including compliance
costs. The Green Paper, which will be released for consultation shortly, addresses those
issues and proposes a future direction for the NQF.


The supply of a quality teaching workforce is vital in meeting the Government's
objectives for education. Teacher quality depends on attracting people with the right
qualities, and then giving them access to appropriate pre-service training and
continuing professional development. Already more teachers are qualifying to degree
level. For the future, more flexibility and different routes for entering the teaching
profession are possible - for example, more mature people may wish to enter the

During the past decade, teacher education requirements have changed, especially in
how and when it is provided. School structures are changing, along with the demands
of teaching itself, in response to a diversifying student population with different
expectations of schools, and to technological and economic developments. Changing
curriculum, qualifications, assessment and administration requirements have also
affected the teaching profession. Several new providers of teacher education have
emerged, the teaching profession is ageing, and more primary teachers have degrees.

Continuing professional development of teachers is essential to maintaining
professional standards. The Government recognises the importance of this by
providing an estimated $70 million per annum for it. This resource must work to
achieve the maximum benefit. Priority should be given to the development of teachers
that supports successful and stimulating implementation of the national curriculum for
young people. Those who aspire to senior positions in school management must also
have access to appropriate training in the demands of those positions, including the
implementation of modern performance management systems within schools.

Several groups have raised concerns about teacher education, including entry
requirements, the content of training, the extent of the practical element in training, and
quality assurance mechanisms. A comprehensive review of pre-service and in-service
teacher education will consider those concerns, together with the most efficient and
effective options for delivering a reliable supply of high-quality teachers and a flexible
and adaptable teaching service which meets the needs of students. The review will also
consider the route for mature candidates to enter the teaching profession.


In recent years there has been rapid growth in the number of students moving from
schools into institutions of higher learning, as well as in the number of adults seeking to
further their education or enhance their skills. The sector has responded in various
ways. Significant growth has occurred not only in the traditional providers, but in the
number of private training providers, international linkages, and institutions offering
distance learning. The boundaries have blurred between schools and tertiary
institutions, and between universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and private
training establishments. Students have enjoyed a wider range of choices.

The Coalition Agreement committed the Government to a comprehensive review of
current tertiary policy. The review will assess how far current tertiary arrangements
meet the future needs of students, employers and society generally. It will establish the
best possible mix of quality, quantity and range in post-school education to provide the
optimum value for the considerable ongoing taxpayer investment in the tertiary sector.
The key objective is to improve the current funding, regulatory, structural and
administrative arrangements of the sector. We must:

  • assure provider responsiveness to the
    education and training needs of students to meet New Zealand's future
    social and economic needs, including those of employers and the labour

  • improve the efficiency of delivering educational opportunities at all levels, from
    internationally respected quality post-graduate education, through to mass post-
    compulsory education and training
  • improve access to educational opportunities
  • increase the responsiveness, efficiency, accountability and quality of the learning
    opportunities available in tertiary education, thus providing greater assurance of
    the quality and value of educational outcomes for the Government, students and
  • assure more effective management of Crown-owned tertiary institutions,
    including managing the risks to the Crown that would be presented by any
    inadequacies in their performance.


While significant numbers of Maori achieve well in the education system, far too many
do not. A key issue for New Zealand's economic and social development is that the
present disparities and gaps in participation, retention and achievement are
progressively eliminated. Over the next year the Government will work with Maori and
the wider community to develop an education strategy designed both to raise Maori
educational levels to match those of other New Zealanders, and to support the
maintenance of Maori language and culture. The development of the strategy will
include a series of regional meetings towards the end of 1997.


The Ministry of Education is currently considering national benchmark assessment for
all students at key transition points as part of its national assessment policy. The
Government believes that schools need information on student achievement which
allows them to assess how well their students are achieving compared with external
reference points, such as norms or benchmarks, so that they can enhance their
management of the curriculum. It is proposed that the options will be presented in a
public discussion paper to be distributed for comment before June 1998.


The Coalition Agreement commits the Government to a review of the Education Review
Office (ERO). While previously ERO was one of the parcel of portfolios held by the
Minister of Education, since the formation of the Coalition Government the portfolio
has been held by another Minister.

The role of ERO is to evaluate the performance of schools in the context of their Charter
(the contract between the Crown and the school specifying its aim and objectives and
the various regulations governing its provision of education). The review aims to assess
how far the current evaluation system contributes to achieving the best outcomes from
New Zealand schools, and to recommend refinements and improvements.

Unlike the other policy reviews, this is a review of a government department. It will
therefore be carried out by an independent panel whose terms of reference require it to
consult with stakeholders. The details of the process of consultation will be determined
by the panel itself.


The regulation of the education sector is currently spread across a number of Acts and
regulations, and some key policy initiatives are not yet supported by legislation. The
major Act (the Education Act 1989) was built on earlier legislation, and incorporates
numerous amendments associated with the education reforms of 1989, 1990 and later.
As a result, it is a large and complex Act affecting all parts of the education sector. The
Government is concerned to ensure that education legislation does not impose
unnecessary compliance costs on institutions, nor unduly discourage innovation.

The review of the Education Act 1989 aims to: give legislative support to Government
policy; eliminate unnecessary regulation; provide a general legislative base for
supporting a responsive education system; reduce compliance costs for the sector; and
ensure that the legislation can be readily understood. The review will also consider
how far seeking higher standards through regulation and accountability requirements
poses barriers to supply, participation, involvement, and self-management.

Where the major issues for policy development described in this document require
changes to legislation, the timing for the review of the Education Act will depend on
when the policy work is completed. It is also proposed to work through the whole Act
in stages as a continuing project. This review may lead to further consultation
documents. If so, a widespread consultation process similar will be followed.



The school sector advocacy groups have raised concerns about the workload of teachers.
The Ministerial Consultative Group on Teacher Workload was established last year to
address this matter. At the request of the various groups, work in the consultative
forum has focused on the situation of Maori teachers, teaching principals, and
compliance issues.

In giving serious attention to those concerns, the Government is considering a range of
responses. Some will involve additional resourcing, considered in the context of the
demands on the sector as a whole. Others are designed to lessen the load by
simplifying compliance requirements. These include looking at the pace with which
new initiatives are introduced and the professional development necessary to support
them, and examining ways to limit classroom disruption by addressing the needs of
students with behavioural and learning difficulties. Also important is developing a
better picture and understanding of best practice within the sector.


The Government is committed to the principle of developing a unified pay system
within an integrated teaching service. An integrated service involves a common
framework for quality, professional development, career paths, and remuneration
across the school sector. Within such a service, pay is not determined by which part of
the system a teacher works in. Rather, differences in pay should reflect differences in
qualifications, experience, specific responsibilities, performance, and difficulties in
recruiting teachers in particular locations or subjects.

An integrated teaching service has to be implemented through employment contract
negotiations. These contracts will determine in practice how responsive the pay system
is to different needs at different points.
A Working Group on the unified pay system, chaired by the Secretary for Education, is
meeting regularly. It has been working with representatives from throughout the
sector, although from March 1997 the PPTA has chosen to withdraw, thus limiting
secondary sector input. The Group recently released a discussion document identifying
the key issues, and is now addressing the design of a new system. The Group will
complete its work by the beginning of July, allowing time to prepare for the ensuing
contract negotiations.

The Ministry of Education manages a property portfolio worth in excess
of $4 billion. Moreover, it will grow significantly in the next few
years as the major capital works programme of expansion and upgrading
for mainstream and alternative schools, including kura kaupapa Maori,
is implemented. Roll growth ( both local and national), technological
change and curriculum development all require the need for a
significant amount of extra accommodation.

The Government recognises the need for up-to-date accommodation codes. These are
under review, with the primary code almost completed and the secondary code well
advanced. The Government will explore ways in which schools can make better use of
the capital assets. As part of a strategy to ensure effective planning and management of
the property portfolio and capital works, the Secretary for Education is undertaking a
comprehensive review of the Ministry of Education's property capacity.


In this document the Government has set out a work programme that gives
effect to the undertakings for reviews outlined in the Coalition
Agreement. The key objective of this programme of inter-related reforms
is to provide an education system designed to ensure that our economic
and social future is built on sound foundations.

Reforms arising from the co-ordinated
reviews and initiatives outlined here should ensure that all New
Zealanders have increasing access to satisfying, lifelong educational
opportunities and experiences, and are able to achieve their potential.