Coalition Government Results in Major Gains for Education

  • Brian Donnelly
Associate Minister of Education

The coalition Government has resulted in major gains for education after only one year, according to the Associate Education Minister and New Zealand First MP, Brian Donnelly.

"New funding and policies have markedly improved the situation for schools, teachers, parents and students," Mr. Donnelly said.

"For instance, this year's Budget included an extra $55 million over three years for early childhood education. The government is also spending $40 million to make sure that the country has enough trained school teachers. Alongside that, we are also spending another $120 million on nearly 1,000 new classrooms and 10 new schools."

"As the result of a NZ First initiative, the Government will spend $5.8 million to encourage small schools to cluster together to develop innovative administration and management arrangements. New legislation will protect the rights of children to attend their neighbourhood schools when the school is full."

"Two other areas New Zealand First is justifiably proud of are the $150 - $200 million secured in the coalition agreement for Phase 2 of Special Education 2000, and the commitment to pursue a unified pay system for primary and secondary teachers. $134 million of the Special Education
funding has already been announced, and we are close to a settlement with the primary teachers on their collective employment contract."

"The Maori Education Commission will monitor progress in Maori education and design initiatives to
graft onto mainstream departments. The Government is already consulting with parents and communities on a Maori education strategy. As well as that, $11 million has been allocated to Maori language resources and helping Maori teachers cope with their unique workload problems."

"The Tertiary Review Green Paper sets out options for improving opportunities for tertiary study, lifting course quality and improving accountability and management of institutions. We have also started work towards developing a universal system of living allowances for tertiary students."

"This extra funding and innovative programmes are good news for students, teaches, parents and schools and will lead to increased opportunities for early childhood and tertiary education, and funding directed at particular pressure points in primary and secondary schools."