Installation by Martin Thrupp, Donn Ratana and Viv Aitken
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, March 2014
Why this installation and why at this time?
This year the Key Government has become unusually upbeat about schools. Festivals of Education are celebrating innovations, collaborations and achievements within the sector. An ‘InspiredbyU’ campaign has been encouraging New Zealanders to write in praise of teachers who have influenced their lives. In January, $359 million of new funding for principals and teacher ‘super roles’ was announced, the so-called ‘Investing in Educational Success’ policy.
This enthusiasm comes after five years of being critical of schools and teachers and often applying damaging policies. It also comes in election year, and just in advance of an ‘International Summit on the Teaching Profession’ where education ministers, heads of teacher unions and teacher leaders from the OECD are gathering in Wellington.
New Zealand’s Education Minister, Hekia Parata, has claimed it is credit to the quality of our education system that this event is being held in New Zealand.
In these circumstances (i.e. in case anyone should get a false impression!) our video highlights how the Key Government’s policies are creating a grave situation for the New Zealand School System.