Multimedia story by Leilani Sitagata in Auckland
About 30,000 primary and intermediate school teachers and principals went on strike for the first time in almost a quarter century today.
A total of 1479 schools were closed – about threequarters of the number in New Zealand – with an impact on more than 400,000 children across the country.
Thousands of parents took the day off work to look after the children in the first teacher strike since 1994.
Many children too part in the protests with placards declaring “It’s time for more teachers so our kids get the education they deserve” and “Teachers are superheroes”.
The rallies sought attention from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government for better pay, conditions and incentives to attract new teachers.
Ardern said in a speech on the steps of Parliament that the teachers had gone on strike “too early” and more negotiations were needed.
Leilani Sitagata is a reporter on the Pacific Media Centre’s Pacific Media Watch freedom project.