Long term plans underway to meet future education needs - Chris Hipkins

News 05/07/2019

Education Minister Chris Hipkins joins Magic Talk Drive to discuss the Government’s announcement to build new classrooms for one hundred thousand students.

The announcement includes an initial investment of $1.2 billion over four years, the largest ever outlay on school property. 

The first question posed to the Education Minister was why make this announcement so late into the term of the coalition Government and not sooner?

He responded that the Government “had made a significant investment in last years budget, but have gone further with our investments this year.”

One of the first things I did when I became a Minister was ask for a growth plan for the whole country.

So we knew where the areas of growth were and where we would need new classrooms.

Following that Hipkins was asked does he know how many new schools will be needed and how many will be built. He answered that they would build “several, the largest part of the funding is toward expanding existing schools.”

The overall number of new schools is likely to be in the single to early double digit figures.

On the issue of ongoing teacher shortages the Minister conceded “we know we will need more secondary teachers than we have.”

We’ve put more money into the budget in a targeted recruitment campaign so that we are training more teachers.

So that when we need them we will have them.

We know that we could be several thousand short in secondary teachers.

I am confident that with the extra money that we are investing that we are able to meet that demand.