Two Politicians, two very different parties but a common belief in a ‘ Fair go ‘

After the story of the Student teacher hit the headlines I approached three politicians for comment and their responses are below. Two of them have a common belief in a ‘fair go’ for the Student teacher which is heartening to see.

Labour Party?s Spokesperson for Education, Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins,Labour Party?s spokesperson for Education.

I don’t comment on specific employment matters.

On the general issue, I would expect all trainee teachers to be given full support to complete their qualifications. They should not be discriminated against based on gender, race, sexuality, past employment, or future employment prospects.

– Chris Hipkins

Act Party Leader, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education, David Seymour


David Seymour, Act Party Leader, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education

These reports are highly disappointing.? I struggle to believe that the sentiments of the average New Zealand teacher is being represented.? I expect their sentiments are more in line with every response I?ve heard, including from some teachers, that everybody deserves a fair go, and that it?s wrong to pick on someone for their perceived political beliefs or their career plans.

Nonetheless, as I?ve said consistently, Partnership Schools started as an initiative to help kids not well served by the existing schools available.? Along the way, they have also become a test to New Zealand?s dark side; tall poppy culture.? Imagine them celebrating the schools? successes, admiring the men and woman going out on a limb to operate the schools, and respecting the choices of the families and children who enrol at them?

– David Seymour

Minister of Education Hekia Parata, National Party


Minister of Education Hekia Parata, National Party

The Human Rights Commission is yet to answer my question on the legality of what has occurred. They said they would answer my question within 15 working days so I have 9 more days to wait.

My interpretation of the law is that the Act forbids discrimination on the grounds of your Employment status so blacklisting a student teacher which prevents him from doing a placement in a State school because of who employs him is discrimination. However my interpretation of the Act is not shared by Angela Roberts from the PPTA who ironically attended a Fairness at work rally in 2013.
On the PPTA Blog Angela said…

Angela Roberts, PPTA President -EPMU #FairnessAtWork rally Wellington August 20, 2013

Angela Roberts, PPTA President
#FairnessAtWork rally
August 20, 2013

Please read the entire act before you get too excited ….

Prohibited grounds of discrimination
? (1)For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are?
o (k)employment status, which means?
? (i)being unemployed; or
? (ii)being a recipient of a benefit under the Social Security Act 1964 or an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001:

Angela’s interpretation of the Act appears to be that because the Student teacher is neither unemployed or a recipient of a benefit it is okay to discriminate against them. Apparently the Act does not protect gainfully employed people. If that is the case ( and we will know for sure in 9 days ) the Act needs to be reformed as that is shocking if true.