Education Act update underway – have your say!

20 November 2015

The Education Act 1989 has served education well in the 26 years since it became law, but a lot has changed since then. It’s time to take another look at the Act, to see how it can better fit our modern educational environment, and help raise achievement for all children and young people. Minister of Education Hekia Parata launched a public consultation on November 2, which runs until December 14.

The proposals in the update take into account the recommendations made by the Taskforce on Regulations Affecting School Performance, which was appointed in 2014 by the Minister of Education to look at how better legislation could help raise achievement. The taskforce recommended changes to the Act to focus more on student outcomes, and to clarify roles and responsibilities within the education system.

The Minister is asking for the views of everyone involved with education in New Zealand – students, teachers, administrators, academics, trustees, and families and whānau.

What are the proposals for discussion?

We want to hear your views on:

  • Making sure everyone knows the goals for education - What the goals for education should be, and how national priorities for learners aged 0-18 years could be set out.
  • Supporting school and kura boards to focus on what’s important - How the responsibilities of boards can be made clearer, unnecessary red tape can be removed, and boards can respond more effectively to lift student and school performance.
  • Enabling collaboration, flexibility and innovation - How resources can be better focused to get the best whole-of-community education outcomes.
  • Making every school and kura a great one - How a graduated range of responses could be developed to better support schools when difficulties arise.
  • Making the best use of local education provision - How local arrangements can support choice and diversity.

Have your say

There are a number of ways you can get involved. You can have your say about the proposals at

The online consultation includes an introductory video from the Minister, background information, and links to discussion document, which details the proposals being consulted on.

The Ministry’s Directors of Education are running a number of consultation workshops around the country and we encourage people to attend these. A workshop schedule can be found on the Education Act update page of the Ministry’s website.

You can also email a submission, or ask questions at or you can write to:

Education Act Update, Ministry of Education
PO Box 1666
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand.

All workshop contributions along with other submissions will be carefully analysed by the Ministry of Education and will help shape some firmer proposals for the Minister of Education to consider. The Minister will then seek Cabinet’s agreement to her preferred proposals. If Cabinet agrees, a Bill will be drafted.

There will be a further opportunity to comment on any specific proposals for change through a Parliamentary select committee process in 2016.