Labour propose $4b boost to education

Labour say they will stop schools asking for donations and have pledged a big boost in education spending.

RNZ:  Labour pledges $4bn boost for education sector

The party said it would give an extra $4 billion to education over the next four years, which it said would lift the quality of the education system and reduce pressure on early childhood centres, schools, tertiary institutions and parents.

Note that $4 billion over 4 years is an average of $1 billion per year. Parties have a habit of quoting costs over multiple years.

“We need more qualified early childhood teachers, school teachers who aren’t swimming in paperwork, and tertiary institutions that drive excellence in teaching and research,” Mr Little said.

We need more of everything except inefficient and unnecessary spending.

As part of its education policy, it would give an extra $150 per student to every school that agreed to stop asking parents for a donation.

Labour leader Andrew Little said schools would still be able to request parents pay for extracurricular activities, such as camps, but those that accepted the extra money would not be able to ask for a donation.

“Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education system that’s accessible to everyone and today we’re reaffirming that commitment,” he said.

“That’s why we’ll end so-called voluntary school donations for every school that takes up our scheme.

“Under National, school donations have jumped by 50 percent and they continue to rise due to National’s freeze on schools’ operational funding last year.”

It does look like operational funding for 2016 and 2017 are the same – see:


  1. PDB

     /  July 21, 2017

    Simply carrying on the left-wing theme of money being thrown about no questions asked, first with the Greens giving beneficiaries more money whilst removing any obligations to find work and now Labour essentially handing billions of $ to schools to do what they want with.

    This from the party who couldn’t even monitor and manage 80 odd foreign interns in Auckland.

    • NOEL

       /  July 21, 2017

      Aw come on give them some credit for at least trying something.
      Fifteen years since I was a PTA president having to go to parents to convince them that although it was a “donation” and the school couldn’t demand the payment it was to their child’s benefit that they paid.
      Over that time the number of non contributors have increased.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 21, 2017

        As described, the policy is ridiculous.
        1. All schools will take it up
        2. Affluent area schools will continue to get extra money from parents – they just won’t ask for it in the form of requested donations.


        1. Taxpayers will pay for a lot of stuff parents who could afford it used to pay for.
        2. Affluent area schools will be even more advantaged than they were previously.
        3. Disadvantaged area schools will demand more money to keep up.

  2. John Schmidt

     /  July 21, 2017

    Stopping donations what nonsense. Do people really think that parents would no longer want to dig deep and donate to have their children have a greater better school experience. If I thought my child would gain in someway from my donation I would pay and did pay intially for my children and now for grandchildren.
    All this policy will do is encourage free loading parents until this becomes ingrained and therefore normal school activity with enthusiastic parents looking over the fence and thinking for a donation my child can have this extra.
    You cannot hold back enthusiastic parents who will always want even more than the state provides.

  3. Ray

     /  July 21, 2017

    Just Labour using our money to pay back their union supporter. And considering just how little the two education union actually donate an excellent return.