Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Improved student safety in hostels

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

22 July 2005 Media Statement

Improved student safety in hostels

New measures to improve the safety of students in boarding hostels were announced today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

Regulations to be made under the Education Act 1989 will provide for:

- Licensing of hostel owners, and checks on people who operate a hostel;
- Minimum standards for hostel premises and a code for management practices; and
- Direct intervention options where serious safety concerns in a hostel are identified.

“Most hostels accommodating school students are already well run and provide a safe environment. However, in a small number of cases, hostels can be unsafe,” said Trevor Mallard.

Every year safety concerns are identified in some hostels – Education Review Office (ERO) reports on hostel reviews carried out in 2004 and 2003 indicated that between 10 and 20 per cent of hostels required improvements in matters relating to boarder safety, including:

- Policies to guide hostel operations;
- Appropriate appraisals of hostel staff;
- Accountability and reporting mechanisms to parents, trustees and proprietors;
- Clear disciplinary procedures; and
- Relationships between hostels and parents.

Past reports prepared by the Commissioner for Children, ERO and others have also raised concerns about very serious problems in a small, but significant, number of different hostels. These problems include bullying, sexual abuse, harassment, physical assault, and related failings of hostel management.

“There are currently no regulations designed specifically for hostels and, because most hostels are run independently, government has had few powers to intervene,” said Trevor Mallard.

“There are gaps in existing legislation in terms of:
- Consistent, appropriate, and well-understood pastoral care standards and procedures for students in increasingly diverse hostel environments;
- Enforcement mechanisms and incentives to report poor operators where serious safety concerns are identified; and
- Coverage of privately run hostels of unknown standards.

“Reporting regimes, such as the ERO review process, can encourage good practice. However they are not adequate where there is a serious risk of harm to boarders and hostel operators are not willing or able to address that risk.

The new regulations are expected to start in January 2006, and all existing hostels would then have to apply for a licence before January 2007.

The Ministry of Education estimates that the average annual cost of a three-year licence for each hostel will be $200 or, on average, $3 per boarder per year.

Boarding fees charged by hostels vary widely, but the Ministry of Education estimates that the average annual fee, per student is between $6,000 and $7,000.

“Business compliance costs will be very low because the new requirements for hostel management are reasonable ‘bottom line’ safety measures that hostels should already be meeting,” said Trevor Mallard.

The Ministry of Education will work with hostel sector representatives this year to develop guidelines to help hostel owners comply with the new regulations.

Detailed proposals for regulations were the subject of public consultation in 2004 after the release of the discussion document Ensuring the Safety of School-student Boarders: The development of proposals for Education (Hostel) Regulations.

For more information on the proposed regulations see the attached regulatory impact statement/business compliance cost statement and the Ministry of Education website: www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/hostelsconsultation.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election