The Heartland tour continues driving the country with principals, teachers, teacher aides and school administration staff urging local parents and families to come and support the call for better funding for education.
The colourful campervan will be visiting Kāpiti Coast and rural heartland schools in Wairarapa next week (Monday June 19 to Friday June 23) before the last leg of the journey to Wellington.
This will complete a full circuit of the country, which started five months ago.
Monday June 19:
08.00 AM Kāpiti Primary School, Rimu Rd, Paraparaumu
10.50 AM Waitohu School, Te Manuao Rd, Ōtaki
12.45 PMRaumati Beach School, 26-34 Raumati Rd, Raumati Beach
02.00 PMParaparaumu Beach School, 65 Gray Ave, Paraparaumu Beach
Every day often more than 200 signed postcards are bundled and posted to members of Parliament as the campaign gets the message out.
The Better Funding, Better Learning Heartland Tour has been touring New Zealand visiting communities big and small since February 8. 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.
“People in this area 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 Heartland campaign campervan will have visited almost every corner of the country (click to website and itinerary, betterfunding.org.nz/tour-schedule/) from Bluff to the Far North meeting parents, staff and the communities when the tour finishes at Parliament at the end of June.
“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 Lynda Stuart.”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.”