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Schools Competition for NZ's Biggest Challenge

Schools Competition for New Zealand’s Biggest Challenge

Media Statement

Embargoed until:
7.00 am
Monday 4 October 1999

Angela Foulkes
Chair, Super 2000 Taskforce

Schools Competition for New Zealand’s Biggest Challenge

Secondary and composite schools have the opportunity to win an $8,000 first prize from the Super 2000 Taskforce’s Schools Competition being launched today.

Armstrong Jones, a leading financial services company, is sponsoring a $42,000 total prize package, to be shared by winning students and their schools.

Chair of the Super 2000 Taskforce, Angela Foulkes, says the competition has been designed to involve secondary school students in the search for a long-term framework for retirement income policy – because they’re the generation facing the biggest effects of demographic change.

“Right now there are 17 people of working age for every three aged 65 plus,” she says. “By the time today’s secondary school students are reaching retirement, those numbers will be just seven for every three. New Zealand’s economic and social wellbeing depends on the Taskforce being able to forge public and political consensus on how to respond to this change. It's New Zealand’s biggest challenge.”

The Schools Competition is based on curriculum and qualifications objectives for students in Years 12 and 13, and asks them to mirror the Taskforce’s work in their own communities. The assignment was developed with the assistance of the Ministry of Education and Wellington College of Education.



“We envisage geography students analysing the demographic forecasts out to 2050, economics students considering the fiscal implications and statistics students finding out what their communities know, think and want,” Ms Foulkes said.

“Students then bring all that work together, and have until 3 July to write a proposal for the Government on what their community believes would be a fair, affordable, efficient and sustainable framework for long-term retirement income policy. In addition to getting the economics right, they also have to get the local politics right by surveying and involving their community.”

In preparing its proposal for Government, the Taskforce will be keenly interested in students’ views and conclusions.

The $42,000 in prize money has been divided into 10 awards:

:::::::::::::::::Prize School Student team
Grand Prize:::::::::::::$8,000 $6,000
Runner Up:::::::::::::::$6,000 $4,000
Winner, Decile 1-3::::::$4,000 $2,000
Winner, Decile 4-7::::::$4,000 $2,000
Winner, Decile 8-10:::::$4,000 $2,000
::::::::::::::TOTALS::::$26,000 $16,000

Note: The winner of the Grand Prize and the Runner Up are not eligible for the decile prizes.
Students divide the team prizes as determined by their team contracts, copies of which must be sent to the Taskforce in order for entries to be valid.

Ms Foulkes says the prize structure provides incentives for all schools to be involved and has been designed to distribute prize money to a wide range of schools.

Schools should have received information and entry forms for the competition last week, along with a resource pack to help students get started. They have until 1 November 1999 to register for the competition and until Monday 3 July 2000 to complete their proposals. Winners will be announced in October 2000. The Taskforce presents its proposal to the Government in November 2000.

For further information on the competition, the Super 2000 Taskforce can be contacted on 0508 2000 SUPER, or on the Internet at www.super2000.govt.nz

END

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