Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


NZSTA wants councils to stop dumping on schools

4 July 2006

NZSTA wants councils to stop dumping on schools

The decision to drop a controversial tax on school toilets in Auckland is being applauded by the New Zealand School Trustees Association, but they warn such taxes need to be dumped for good.

NZSTA president Chris Haines is telling trustees at the association’s annual conference in Christchurch this week, that the issue of “pan taxes” remains a serious threat to school boards throughout the country. However, the decision by Waitakere City Council to ditch its proposed tax is a step in the right direction.

“We are thrilled that in this case common sense has prevailed. Some schools in this area were facing more than 400% increases in their sewage rates which would have placed unsustainable pressure on already stretched finances,” he says.

If the tax had proceeded, schools would have been forced to use money from their operations grant to cover increased costs. “The Ministry does not provide additional funding for sewage charges so this would have been another burden on the operations grant.

“Operations grants are inadequate for the daily needs of most schools, so the added load of an increased ‘pan tax’ would have put many schools in an extremely tight financial situation.”

He says the NZSTA is now calling for other councils to follow the lead of Waitakere City Council. “Over the years, NZSTA has had to battle a number of councils over similar proposals. We want councils to accept that taxing schools in this way is unfair and puts them in an extremely difficult situation,” he says.

“In many cases schools have been the piggy in the middle in a funding battle between local and central government.

“Councils are saying they will increase the tax on sewage disposal, but they will support schools in trying to get more funding from the Government. However, the Ministry of Education won’t provide money to cover these costs – so it’s a no-win situation for schools.

“Even if the Ministry was willing to fund pan taxes, there is the risk that the willingness to fund any pan tax increases would simply become a cash cow for local authorities.”

Chris Haines says there needs to be a permanent solution to this problem so that schools are free from the threat of unreasonable council charges.

The annual NZSTA conference, with the theme Strengthening governance – from good to great, runs from July 6 to 8 at the Christchurch Convention Centre. Other topics to be covered at the conference include drug testing in schools and security issues around cell phones and the Internet in schools.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Smelling the Merchandise - The Death of Stalin

Having satirised British democracy with such devastating effect, Armando Iannucci has now turned his lens on the dangers inherent in Soviet authoritarianism. Every gag is girdled with fear and the bleak humour is so pitch black it could only have been pumped from deep underground. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Creole Stylings of Cécile McLorin Salvant

"You only get a singer like this once in a generation or two," commented Wynton Marsalis, who has repeatedly hired her to front his jazz orchestra and mounted a 25 foot high portrait of her on the exterior of Lincoln Center. “She radiates authority. She has poise, elegance, soul, humour, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth, and grace.” More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. The latest incarnation of this six-strong male singing group includes Kiwi Christopher Bruerton, and it was a delight to hear him sing the solo on the achingly beautiful My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland