Poll Shows Strong Opposition To National’s Infrastructure Policy Being Applied To Schools
Most people would oppose National's policy of encouraging private developers to build and operate public infrastructure
if it was used for school buildings, according to survey results released by the education union NZEI Te Riu Roa.
National released its infrastructure policy earlier this week, but failed to clarify whether or not its proposal to make
“greater use of public private partnerships for the development and management of infrastructure assets” would apply to
the $500 million school building programme it wishes to undertake.
A UMR Research Associates poll** commissioned by NZEI shows nearly 60% of those polled opposed the idea. Of that group
45% said they were strongly opposed. Just 8% strongly supported the idea, 10% supported it, and 18% of those polled were
neutral. Even among National Party voters, 49% opposed the idea 26% favoured it and 21% were neutral.
NZEI President Frances Nelson said the wider community clearly agreed with NZEI's view that public education in New
Zealand should be owned, operated and funded by the government. She said National’s policy document was short on details
and urged the party to “come clean” on whether or not private developers would be building and operating schools.
"Schools’ ability to undertake teaching and learning should not be compromised by an outside party such as a private
developer. The private developer would obviously put profit first which could bring huge uncertainty into education if
they pulled out or sold off schools. In the long term, our children and their learning would be the losers.”
National also plans to make the trustees of the Super Fund invest 40% of its funds in New Zealand and use Kiwisaver
accounts to fund its infrastructure programme.
**The poll, of 705 people, was conducted on August 30-31st by UMR Research Associates.
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as
early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New
Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.