Overview of the Joint Initiative

NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education jointly launched a new initiative to support children's success at every level of their learning.

The initiative announced in late 2014 is a significant step for all NZEI members and a way forward for NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry. It has come about because members kept true to our values.

We have a great opportunity as educators to have our say through the Joint Initiative process so that we end up with a sustainable, child-focussed alternative to the “Investing in Educational Success” policy. We are asking all members to engage through worksite meetings and other NZEI branch, network, focus group and reference group opportunities.

What has happened so far?

Working parties were established to look at collaboration, transition and success for Maori and Pasifika learners.  These working parties looked for examples of successful practice throughout New Zealand. The Joint Initiative working party has finished visits around the country, meeting with researchers and processing 1300 survey responses from NZEI members. Thank you for your contribution to this first phase of the Joint Initiative.

To help explain the engagement process there is a visual representation diagram.

Download a pdf of the above diagram


93% of NZEI members voted no confidence in the IES ( Investing in Educational Success ) and we asked for genuine discussion with educators. We asked for flexible, locally-driven ways to support collaboration. We asked for resourcing to support kids and their learning, not just for new roles. We rejected top-down, one-size fits all models and said we should build off existing successful practice. We voted against National Standards being the determinant of resourcing or roles. We asked for evidence-based approaches.

You can see more information about IES on our Stand Up For Kids website

So what is the Better Plan Joint Initiative?

Both the union and the Ministry have agreed it is in the best interests of students and the education system to recognise our differences but to make progress where there is agreement - in particular, keeping students at the centre of teaching and learning, supporting successful collaboration and transitions and developing improved career pathways.

The Joint Initiative Terms of Reference

Read the Initiative Terms of Reference

The initiative seeks to identify:

  • flexible models of collaboration
  • improved transitions for children and students from early childhood education through their schooling, and
  • the possible resourcing and career pathways required to support this.

The initiative is comprehensive, looking at what resourcing and roles are needed throughout early childhood education, primary, support staff and special education.

Any new roles identified will be linked to existing career pathways and be negotiated into collective agreements.

Educational achievement is identified in the initiative's terms of reference as being the vision of student success outlined in the NZ Curriculum, not a narrow National Standards measurement.

Ministry and NZEI joint working parties have been looking at existing and potential models of learning communities that encourage greater collaboration and support successful transition. We have engaged with schools and ECE services around New Zealand to identify successful examples of collaboration and transition on-the-ground, as well as through research.

We believe this is an exciting opportunity for NZEI members to really help improve the education system, based on what we know works for kids.  The agreement means we have been able to look at work being done now in schools to lift achievement and look to work with the Ministry to build flexible and locally determined learning communities.

Read the initial joint NZEI-MoE press release

Read our initial press release