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


New housing policy threat to rural schools

New housing policy threat to rural schools

The Education Ministry’s new school housing policy is a kick in the guts for rural schools struggling to recruit and retain teachers, in some cases on top of school reviews, according to the PPTA.

PPTA senior vice-president Jen McCutcheon said though the association was pleased that non-core houses currently tenanted would be retained under the new policy, ultimately there would be fewer school houses and rents for those left would go up.

Under the new policy, a significant number of teachers will see their rents rise by up to $25 per week next year, and $25 per week each subsequent year until service tenancy rents – 75 per cent rentals – are reached.

“We’re pleased schools won’t be compelled to sell houses if they have teacher or principal tenants,” Mrs McCutcheon said. “However, this new policy still has the potential to further degrade rural education and hamper rural schools already struggling to recruit and retain teachers.

“Feedback from teachers and principals tells us that higher rents – though below market rental – act as a severe disincentive to teachers moving to rural and or isolated areas.”

Mrs McCutcheon said cheap housing encouraged teachers to teach in rural areas, to live in the community, help maintain it and prevent rural decline. It also enabled some teachers to teach in resort areas such as Queenstown which would otherwise be too expensive.

“The Ministry of Education – and the Minister – have a responsibility to ensure that schools in rural areas are not disadvantaged.

“The effect of the increased rents might be disguised in the short term but long term could lead to an increase in teacher shortages in rural areas and thus a lowering of educational opportunities for students in these areas.”

Mrs McCutcheon said PPTA was disappointed the Ministry was encouraging school boards to buy houses, effectively forcing boards to spend operations grant money to either maintain or sell them on.

“They are exporting the problem to boards who should be using operations funding on educating children, not maintenance and administration of school houses.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland