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February 2020

Happy New Year to you! I hope you had an enjoyable and restful holiday break and are now raring to go!

I am contacting you today with a plea to consider making a submission on the Education and Training Bill – even a brief one would be very helpful. There are only 14 days to do so – time runs out at 5pm on February 14.

The Bill proposes to repeal and replace all major existing education and training legislation. The changes to New Zealand schools include amending school board objectives to “ensure school governance is underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and relevant student rights”. This requirement places the Treaty at the very centre of our children’s and young peoples’ education.

The Education Department summary of the Bill states the following:

“The Bill revises the objectives for school boards of trustees to refocus boards on a wider range of objectives so that educational achievement is no longer the only primary objective. It is instead one of four primary objectives, alongside objectives for schools to ensure the physical and emotional safety of students and staff, that they are inclusive and cater for students with differing needs and that they give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.

Please see below for further information which may be helpful when writing your submission.

It is becoming obvious that any proposed legislation, and legislative changes, are being passed through Te Arawhiti Maori Crown Relations office for a ‘make-over’- to see if they comply with the Government’s commitment to “build closer partnerships with Māori”. This is one of the priority outcomes for the Government, agreed to by the Cabinet Priorities Committee in March 2018. (See cabinet paper ‘Building closer partnerships with Maori’, released in July 2019). The paper talks of system-wide changes through reforms being developed for the State Sector.

Minister of Maori-Crown Relations, Kelvin Davis:

“I directed Te Arawhiti to support agencies to form true partnerships with Māori through advice, hands on assistance and by actively facilitating new prototype partnerships between the Crown and Māori.”

On another issue, one of our members has brought our attention to a petition seeking support for a petition to the Prime Minister for An Annual Day of Remembrance for Innocent Victims of the New Zealand Wars of 1847-1879. Good on the petitioner for seeking to correct the imbalance created by those who are twisting New Zealand's history. You can help by signing – the link is available HERE.

And have you signed the Restore NZ beaches to public ownership petition yet? Over 13,000 have, but many more signatures are needed. Please consider sending to at least five of your contacts, inviting them to sign too. The link is HERE.

Our first meeting of the year is to be held on Monday 10th February, when we will be discussing both the Education and Training, and Water Services Regulator Bills. You are welcome to come along. Please email me at: [email protected] for details.

You are welcome to share the information in this update with your friends, family and other contacts. Also, please direct to our website anyone who may be interested in the issues we cover and would like to be added to our mailing list. See: https://www.democracyaction.org.nz/about

Thank you for your continued interest and support. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer, or if you need further information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

And please help spread the message by sharing our newsletters with anyone who may be interested. You can receive further updates by registering or joining us.

Kind regards,

Susan Short

[email protected]

New rules seek to impose Māori cultural values on all our children

With its significant boost to the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in schools, the Education and Training Bill is another instance of the insidious shift of power and authority in government agencies. This Bill will confer undue rights on Maori to influence the education of our children and young people.  Please do not let this Bill go unchallenged! Make a submission on this very important issue. Continue reading