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Adoption of Creative Commons policies by NZ schools


Next week, a range of teachers, principals, government officials and copyright experts are getting together to discuss how New Zealand teachers can legally share and reuse teaching resources.

Speakers include Andrew Matangi from Buddle Findlay, Stephen Lethbridge, principal of Taupaki School and Carolyn Stuart, Education Sector Lead for the Network for Learning.

Taking place in Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington on 12, 13 and 17 March, the events follow the rapid uptake of Creative Commons licensing policies by New Zealand schools. These policies make it legal for teachers to share their resources without asking advance permission from the school.

As Matt McGregor, Public Lead of Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ, points out, more than forty New Zealand schools have now adopted Creative Commons policies, up from four in March 2013. These schools include Tawa Intermediate, Albany Senior High School and Taupaki School.

“New Zealand has over 50,000 teachers working in over 2,500 schools,” says McGregor. “If teachers were encouraged to legally share and collaborate – rather than reinvent the wheel – the savings of time and money across the education sector are potentially enormous.”

Stephen Lethbridge, Principal of Taupaki School, points out that it’s in the nature of teachers to share.

Taupaki School passed its Creative Commons policy after noticing that, as Lethbridge puts it, “teachers were sharing more on more resources online and connecting with a great many schools who were visiting us. It would have been a nightmare to seek permission from the board, more likely the school principal, every time a teacher or student wanted to share information.”

Mark Osborne, former Deputy Principal of Albany Senior High School, points out that the use of Creative Commons has had broader cultural effects at the school.

As he said in 2012, “The big change taking place is that teachers are collaborating more, and they’re also involving their students in the development of those teaching and learning resources. This is quite different from what happens in most schools.”

Creative Commons policies have been supported by the New Zealand Government’s Open Access and Licensing framework, or NZGOAL, approved by Cabinet in 2010. This framework outlines massive cultural, economic and educational benefits of sharing publicly funded copyright materials.

To find out more about these free events, and to register, visit


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