Aug 20 2023

Labour pledges compulsory teaching of ‘financial literacy’ in schools

PM Chris Hipkins fronts a press conference (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Schools will be required to teach financial literacy at all levels to address concerns around the budgeting skills of school leavers in a new Labour policy that would kick in in 2025.

“Evidence tells us the current approach means too many students leave school without the financial skills they need. Over the past six years, Labour has been growing financial teaching capability through making it a core part of the School Leavers Toolkit and encouraging partnerships with banks to provide education and advice in schools – but more needs to be done,” said the prime minister, Chris Hipkins, who was minister of education for most of the course of the current Labour government. 

The teaching would begin at primary level and taught via maths and social science classes in secondary school. It would echo the introduction of compulsory New Zealand history in the curriculum. “Financial skills in schools will be delivered the same way, mainly through maths and social sciences as this is where existing resources are aligned.”

In March, National announced a “Teaching the Basics Brilliantly” policy that would require all primary and intermediate students to spend an hour on average per day on reading, writing and maths.

Te Pāti Māori set to bring youngest MP to parliament for 170 years

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke. Photo: Supplied

Te Pāti Māori has revealed a list ranking which puts 20-year-old Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke in fourth spot. On current polling, and assuming TPM wins at least one electorate seat, she would become the youngest MP in the New Zealand parliament since 1853, when James Frederick Stuart-Wortley, a colonist who spent just a few years in New Zealand, was elected at the age of 20 years and seven months.

An activist, published author and expert on māra kai and the maramataka, Maipi-Clarke is also standing in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate. Ahead of her on the list are co-leaders Debbie-Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi, with Meka Whaitiri, the former minister and sitting MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti who defected to Te Pāti Māori from Labour earlier this year, in third. Academic Tākuta (Doc) Ferris, candidate for Te Tai Tonga, is fifth. Party president John Tamihere, who in 2020 stood in Tāmaki Makaurau and was seventh on the list, is not pursuing a seat by either means this time round.

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke. Photo: Supplied

“Governments change every three years, but Te Pāti Māori is intergenerational. We are laying the blueprint for an Aotearoa hou and are putting our money where our mouth is. Hana is our succession plan. She embodies the future of this country” said  Waititi. His co-leader, Ngarewa-Packer, said: “Our rangatahi are more politically engaged than any other generation. It’s time we listen to them and make way for them. When we talk about an Aotearoa hou we are talking about people like Hana.”

The last time a 20-year-old was elected to New Zealand’s parliament, there was no prime minister, women could not vote, and hardly any Māori were in practice able to vote. The age of suffrage was 21, meaning Stuart-Wortley, “a man of means and an accomplished gentleman”, was ineligible for election. Maipi-Clarke would become the youngest woman to be elected to parliament, knocking Marilyn Waring, who was 22 when she became National MP for Raglan, off that perch.

TPM is currently polling around the 3.5% mark. If that was the figure hit on election day it would be a party-vote record for TPM and likely deliver five parliamentary seats. Following National’s announcement yesterday, all five parties currently in parliament have now revealed their election lists.

Te Pāti Māori top 8

1. Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (Te Tai Hauāuru)

2. Rawiri Waititi (Waiariki)

3. Meka Whaitiri (Ikaroa-Rawhiti)

4. Hana Maipi (Hauraki-Waikato)

5. Tākuta (Doc) Ferris (Te Tai Tonga)

6. Takutai Kemp (Tāmaki Makaurau)

7. Mariameno Kapa-Kingi (Te Tai Tokerau)

8. Merepeka Raukawa-Tait (Rotorua)