Consultation on education reform

The Government is proposing major changes to how schools are administered.

From December:  Minister wants ‘wider discussion’ on proposed schooling changes

The Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce is proposing significant changes to the way our schools are run, governed, and managed to ensure every student receives the best quality education in future, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“The next four and half months until April 7, 2019 provides opportunity for the wider public discussion we are seeking.

“Now is the chance for all New Zealanders to have their say on building a schooling system that meets the needs of all students, educators and parents, and that is fit for purpose for the 21st century.

“The Taskforce will lead the consultation, and report on the results. The Government will make decisions on implementing the review in mid-2019,” Chris Hipkins said.

A full copy of Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together | Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini is available here.

There is alternative consultation going on.

Big Read (NZH): One night with the man who could change all your children’s futures

Bali Haque’s got the electricity of a preacher. He’s an education evangelist with a fire in his eyes.

“We have a world class education system,” says the academic-principal-teacher leading the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce.

He’s on the road, from the south of the country to the north and back again, telling people why this “world class education system” needs to become something completely different.

The reason?

“In this country, we have a really significant issue with equity,” he says.

Haque is speaking in the Kerikeri High School library, the Far North’s centre of relatively comfortable affluence where citizens know all about equity. They are well aware they enjoy a life different from the abject poverty which eats at the heart of almost all Far North towns.

The gap between poor and rich has grown to a chasm. School is one place where foundations are laid to bridge that gap.

“The gap between best performing and least-well performing is large. And it is stubborn.”

And there’s the problem. The 1989 promise of former Prime Minister David Lange’s
Tomorrow’s Schools has not been realised. Our 2500 parent-led schools have developed a host of different answers to the question every child poses, which is: Who is the best person you can be?

He tells the 30 people in the audience: “We are good at innovation but have a problem with scaling up, or sustaining innovation.”

And so, if we are to have an education revolution – this biggest school shake up in 30 years – then it needs to happen in a way which lasts.

“It’s our view one of the reasons we have this stubborn gap is the system we are working in.”

Having listed his Five Great Truths, Haque is off and painting a picture with words of a new system of schooling.

These meetings are happening across New Zealand this month and next. By the time they have finished, Haque and the other four people on the Taskforce will have given or heard this talk 33 times, from New Plymouth on Valentine’s Day to Palmerston North on March 27.

There are around 800,000 children in our primary-through-secondary education system. If Haque gets his way, these changes will have a dramatic effect on how they are educated, and how their children will be educated.

Haque hasn’t just redesigned our school system. He’s drafting a fresh blueprint for our future.

And yet, there are just 30 people in the Kerikeri High School library. Of those, 25 people are teachers or Board of Trustee members. Only five – including this reporter – are parents of children at school.

For such a monumental upheaval, is this really consultation?

A big read follows that.

National’s Nikki Kaye is also going around the country consulting – National to hold 40 education public meetings

“The meetings will be jointly hosted by myself and the local National MPs, some members of National’s Education Caucus will also be in attendance. I plan to attend all of the 40 meetings.

“National has also welcomed a request by the Chair of the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce, Bali Haque, to have some of the taskforce or officials attend some of our meetings as part of their own public consultation process.

“National want to ensure that the 19,000 trustees on school boards and hundreds of thousands of parents have the opportunity to have a good understanding of the proposals. To ensure this we will be providing factual information on the changes as well as seeking feedback.

More from the Big Read:

Last year, Hipkins stressed to Cabinet the importance of “public consultation”. It was this, he said, what he would bring to Cabinet before “decisions on a Government response” to the taskforce recommendations.

He wouldn’t be interviewed about the timeframe, but said through a spokesman he was happy with the level of consultation.

The Bali Haque Roadshow set off for Whangārei, and then further south. They will soon be in a town near you. If you have children, you need to go to these meetings. Not just for their sake but for the children they will have.

Haque and his cohort of revolutionaries will change education for generations.

And if you do go to a meeting, you will hear him say: “Education reform in New Zealand we don’t do well.”

A list of meetings:

The education road show

East Auckland: February 28, 4pm and 7pm at Bailey Road School.

Queenstown: March 4, 7pm at the Crowne Plaza.

Hamilton: March 5, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Taupō: March 6, 7pm, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College.

Gisborne: March 6, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Napier/Hastings: March 7, 7pm, William Colenso College.

Wellington: March 11, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Porirua: March 12, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Lower Hutt: March 13, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Masterton: March 14, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Rotorua: March 18, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Tauranga: March 19, 7pm, Tauranga Boys’ College.

South Auckland: March 20, 4pm and 7pm, Papatoetoe High School.

West Auckland: March 21, 4pm and 7pm, The Trusts Arena.

Central Auckland: March 21, 7pm, Freemans Bay School.

Nelson: March 25, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Greymouth: March 26, 5.30pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Whanganui: March 26, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

Palmerston North: March 27, 7pm, location yet to be confirmed.

More from NZ Herald:

• Bali Haque: Tomorrows Schools review must deal with the market’s failure
• Tomorrow’s Schools meeting: Teachers speak out against Bali Haque’s plan
• Biggest education shake-up in 30 years proposed
• ‘Stalinist’ or ‘exciting’: Battle begins over radical school reforms

Leave a comment


  1. The Consultant

     /  28th February 2019

    Interesting that on Education this government – led by this Bali Haque – is determined to have public schools more subject to central government control than for the last 30 years.

    But on your very next article:

    A joint Local Government New Zealand/New Zealand Initiative conference will be held in Wellington today to explore the results of a survey that indicates the majority of those surveyed support a move towards local services being managed and provided by local decision-makers.

    There’s also this:

    Bali Haque’s got the electricity of a preacher. He’s an education evangelist with a fire in his eyes.

    Preacher. Evangelist. Uh huh. Frankly I’ve spent my life trying to keep as far away from these sorts of people as I can.

    And I think we’ve all seen examples of what happens when they gain huge amounts of central power and control. It’s never good, for the simple reason that any mistakes they make are vastly more consequential than if they ran just one school, or a few schools.

    • Mother

       /  28th February 2019

      Despite the fact that all our systems are supposed to run in a secular fashion, this government is particularly strong on emotive type ideology and their lack scientific sense. The opposition are no better with Mr Bridges harping on about conservative notions while himself devoid of personal empathetic character. I see several politicians succumbing to the preachy style. It’s not good, and will show through painfully in children’s education. Will the quiet masses hunker down as always to quietly make the best of it anyway, and will Kiwis continue to slide downhill socially?

      If government made it economically easier for whanau to home care their children – (the basics) – families would have resilience to be be able to cope with the lack in positive education. Do they think they can fix social ills with talky ideologies? They will fail, guaranteed.

      We pride ourselves on gaining more scientific knowledge throughout the generations, yet we show increasing ineptitude at putting it to good use. We allow ourselves to be a social experiment.

      I suspect that the downticks I gain usually apply to my Christian message, but how can I leave my comment in the negative without suggesting a remedy?

      Like never before, we need individuals, if they will, to consider Christianity. If we would do that, we could enjoy Kiwi life together for some generations. The status quo presently is that we are disjointed by politicians’ individual mana or cowardice. The middle ground of scientific moderation has turned to quicksand because for decades we have been all about people. Christianity (politically) is all about the individual. It’s the individual child’s ability to learn at school which is at stake here.

      • Duker

         /  28th February 2019

        You dont even know what secular means

        • Mother

           /  28th February 2019

          Then please explain what secular means in the context of our democracy.

        • Mother

           /  28th February 2019

          It looks like you don’t know why we enjoy Christian laws in order to run our secular society. It also looks like you have no idea how to ensure we are able to continue as a secular society.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th February 2019

            The laws are indeed based on the 10 Commandments. Killing, theft,cheating,bearing false witness are all crimes having one day in 7 free (even if it’s not now to worship God) is the ideal….

            • Mother

               /  28th February 2019

              The day of rest, the Sabbath, was a ceremonial law and is not applicable to Christians although in our usual style we are slow to understand (500 years and counting!). Protestants have clung to religious works and dogma almost as much as Catholics, as a result missing freedom in Christ. Many were/are just Sunday ‘Christians’ and ‘Christians’ only when others are looking.

              I am correctly suggesting that without Christianity we will gradually, or perhaps violently, lose our beautiful privilege to be a secular society. Whether gradual or violent, people will be dismayed. If they won’t listen soon, as individuals, oppression will grow until the masses experience a collective mental health collapse.

              Duker would rather wallow in his preconceived ideas about me than to argue the point.

              Protestants can now become the Uncomplaining Courageous (and you don’t have to be ‘full on’, as I appear to be here, in order to be this sort of Christian). The future of Kiwis depends upon this.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  1st March 2019

              I realise that the Sabbath was Jewish as Moses was, But, like the other commandments, it’s become something that is accepted for the most part.

              Have you read Wycliff’s diatribe about the way Christmas was kept ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  1st March 2019

              500 years ?

              Christianity has been around for 2000+ years. The Orthodox Church has, anyway,

  2. Ray

     /  28th February 2019

    Not sure just how “Independent ” having the Chairman of the New Plymouth Labour Party doing the consulting is going to be, someone who’s finest hour til now was running a sweepstake for a present for the PM’s baby
    Nice payoff though, jobs for the boys eh.

    • Duker

       /  28th February 2019

      Are you sure thats the same Bali Haque, the education one lives in Wellington/Wairarapa region not NP.

  3. Finbaar Rustle

     /  28th February 2019

    Nowadays there are more than 900 million consultants saving the world online.
    The new millennia Tele evangelists.
    As long as you have a PC/mobile device internet capable
    overnight you can become the next guru all knowing prophet.
    You can join Putin, Trump, Merkel, Bishop Tamaki and Mike King
    with your zippy power point presentation 60 minute make over.
    But wait there’s more if you ring in the next 30 minutes you will win…
    Don’t forget to tick, subscribe and share and join my patreon.
    #No animals were injured during this consult because all 6 billion animals
    were busy presenting a power point presentation on line
    you know saving the world in 60 minutes…

  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  28th February 2019

    Why would you go against trained teachers in education ?

  1. Consultation on education reform — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: