Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard
Question No. 7—Education
7. ANGELA ROBERTS (Labour) to the Associate Minister of Education: What is the Government doing to better support clearer and more relevant learning in schools?
Hon JAN TINETTI (Associate Minister of Education): Today, I announced, alongside Minister Davis, the next steps on the Government’s plans to refresh the New Zealand national Curriculum. We know significant change is needed to deliver a new Curriculum that will support students’ progress and achievement through quality learning, teaching, and leadership. We are working towards a bilingual national Curriculum that is fit for purpose, reflects our bicultural context, and ensures that learning is not left to chance.
Angela Roberts: How will the refreshed Curriculum make a difference for teachers and students?
Hon JAN TINETTI: As a former teacher, I know first-hand the challenges our teachers face. These changes seek to reduce teacher workload by providing greater clarity and guidance on what to teach and when. For students, we will prepare them for successful futures by developing critical skills and capabilities and provide a strong grounding in their own identity, culture, and language.
Angela Roberts: How does the Government intend to work with teachers on the development and refresh of the Curriculum?
Hon JAN TINETTI: The refresh will be an iterative and collaborative process over the next four years, taking on board the insights from teachers at all stages. It’s an ambitious programme, starting with the New Zealand histories curriculum, followed by the English, maths, and science rewrite. I have made it clear that I want teachers, learners, parents, iwi, and communities to be consulted in a meaningful way throughout the process.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Regarding her statement today that the Curriculum would focus on wellbeing, identities, language, and culture, what happened to the focus on maths?
Hon Grant Robertson: Ha, ha! Wow!
SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! The Deputy Prime Minister will stand, withdraw, and apologise.
Hon Grant Robertson: I withdraw and apologise.
SPEAKER: Now, I’m going to ask the Hon Jan Tinetti to answer the question, but I think people do know that they are meant to be quiet, notwithstanding the provocation, while questions are being asked.
Hon JAN TINETTI: Mr Speaker, I’m not sure that that member actually listened fully to my answers to the second question, when I said that we are starting with the histories curriculum, followed by the English, maths, and science rewrite.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: So why did she say in her press release today that the Curriculum would focus on wellbeing, identities, language, and culture?
Hon JAN TINETTI: As that member will know, all of those areas are most important when developing a new Curriculum, but listening to—I will reiterate—my second answer today, it’s an ambitious programme, starting with the New Zealand histories curriculum, followed by the English, maths, and science rewrite.
Chris Bishop: Point of order. Mr Speaker, just before, you referred to a provocation by what can only have been the question from this side of the House. What did you mean by that?
SPEAKER: Do you really want me to detail it?
Hon Michael Woodhouse: Yes.
SPEAKER: Well, I’m happy to. What I regarded was a question about the importance of maths from the former finance spokesperson for the National Party.
Hon Louise Upston: Unbelievable.
SPEAKER: Order! That was the reason for the excessive noise which I required the Deputy Prime Minister to withdraw and apologise for, both for that and for interrupting me when I was on my feet.
Chris Bishop: Point of order. So are you saying that, because you found it personally funny, you call it a provocation, which we regard as offensive on this side of the House.
SPEAKER: No. I did not find it funny; I found it ironic.
Hon Michael Wood: Will the biography of the Hon John Banks be part of a new English curriculum?
Hon JAN TINETTI: Of course, during all of this rewrite and refresh of our Curriculum, we’ll be looking at the quality of resources that sit beside that. I’m not sure that that’s of a high enough quality.