Better Funding, Better Learning message hits heartland New Zealand


7 February 2017

Educators from early childhood to secondary school are heading into heartland New Zealand in a colourful campervan, taking the better funding for better learning message to every corner of the country this election year.

The Better Funding, Better Learning Heartland Tour was launched today. It is the next phase in the historic, joint campaign by educators from both the PPTA and Te Riu Roa NZEI, which last year defeated plans to introduce bulk funding in schools.

“New Zealanders have a fantastic opportunity to use their vote this year to ensure every child has the best start in life through a world class education,” said NZEI TE Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart.

“We know our young people deserve the best education, and we are convinced that most New Zealanders value education over tax cuts. This election year we need every political party to make education their top priority.”

The campervan tour kicks off in Christchurch on Sunday, and Mrs Stuart is heading to Blenheim, Seddon, Ward and Kaikoura in the next few days to offer her support to local educators and kids grappling with the aftermath of the earthquakes.

For the next few weeks, the colourful campervan will visit almost every corner of the country, from Bluff to Kaitaia.

“Last year, thousands of educators from throughout the primary, early childhood and secondary sectors came together with their communities to win the battle against bulk funding in schools," said PPTA President Jack Boyle.

"This year, we're coming together again to fight to restore funding for early childhood and increase funding for schools, so every young New Zealander has the best start in life."

Early childhood funding has been frozen for the past seven years, on a per child basis, and core funding for many schools has been frozen this year, leaving millions of dollars less for children's education when inflation is taken into account.

Already schools are planning to cut back on teacher aide and support staff hours this year, or to increase parent donations to cope with the funding crunch.

"We want to take the call for better funding for education out to small towns all over New Zealand and hear how whānau, children, and educators are coping," Mrs Stuart said.

"New Zealand can afford to provide every child with the best education in the world. Our message to heartland New Zealand is, if you want better funding for better learning, demand action from politicians and make this election about education."

For more information on the Better Funding, Bettter Learning campaign, including dates and places for the Heartland Tour visit: www.betterfunding.org.nz

For detailed information the Every Child is Worth It campaign for the restoration of funding to ECE visit www.everychild.org.nz