December 10, 2018

How Each Political Party Views Home Education: Updated with more comments from the Parties

As the General Election approaches and we start considering who we should vote for, it should be an easy task to decide, but with each passing Election I have been finding it harder and harder to make that choice.  In earlier Elections, Craig and I always voted for the National Party, however, we have not voted for them for several Elections now.  Many things have changed.  There has been a huge cultural shift away from our Judeo/Christian base.  Who should we vote for?  That is not an easy question to answer.

We can look at how the MPs have voted in the past.  This does give us some indication of their Party’s objectives and their personal morality.  Bob McCoskrie from Family First has put together an informative brochure which is helpful in this regard.  (valueyourvote.org.nz/2014-general-election/)

We also need to look at who the minor Parties would like to see as Prime Minister for the next three years, and who they see that they can work with.  This report by the New Zealand Herald gives some information on this.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11318606. It is concerning that Winston Peters is not letting us know his thoughts on this.

Another issue to think about is if the Party we give our Party Vote to does not pass the 5% threshold then their votes are split up proportionally with the successful Parties.  But if we don’t give the Party our vote, they will never reach the 5% threshold.

Also of consideration for us as home educators, is how each Party views home education.  We enjoy a relative freedom here in New Zealand compared to many of our overseas counterparts which we would like to preserve and continue to encourage.  However, we should not vote on one issue. We should look at what the Party stands for and look at most of their policies rather than voting on a single issue like home education.  Below I have listed, from what information I could find and responses I have received, how each Party views home education.

Sadly, as the Western Nations of our world move away from their Judeo/Christian roots, we see its outworking in all areas of our society.  More than ever, we are the ‘salt’ needed to savour, and the ‘light’ needed to shine.  As Christians, we need to be scrutinising each Party’s policy through the lens of the Word of God, looking at which Party is more closely aligned with the principles laid out in Scripture.  Whilst we cannot expect a secular organisation to hold to Biblical principles, we can choose to vote for one who will best represent Biblical values and what the Bible has to say.

Lots to think and pray about.  May God grant you wisdom as you vote.

How each Political Party views home education:

ACT:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: Support

Website:

Remove all compulsive regulations around enrolment schemes, allowing schools to choose whether, when, and what sort of enrolment scheme they choose

Recognise the role for quality properly tested home education (This is of concern.  What testing?)

Conservative:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: Support

Website: nothing on website (They should have something about home education)

Colin and Helen Craig are home educating parents

From Christine Rankin: Our website does not have all of our policies  up there but we are supporters of home schooling. We believe people should have choice in education and that the funding should follow the child.

Green:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: Oppose (This does not seem to line up with the below policy from the website)

Website: 6. Diversity And Equity Of Access (Would they impose ‘diversity teaching required’ i.e. sex education etc)

The Green Party will:
7. Support home schooling families and identify ways to improve resources for home-based learners. Ensure the Ministry of Education and ERO understand home schooling education philosophies and practices. (Good to hear.)

Internet Mana:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: Support

Website: Nothing on website (They should have something about home education)

Labour:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: No Response (Not a good sign from a major Party)

Website: Nothing on website (They should have something about home education)

From Emma King, Office of Chris Hipkins: I am writing to acknowledge that Chris Hipkins has received your email. I don’t think we have anything specific on home schooling in the policy documents but if you’re interested in particular aspects of it, please tell me what they are and I’ll get Chris to respond to you.

Maori:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: No Response (This does not seem to line up with the below policy from the website)

Website: Education should be driven by whanau aspirations so that learning is meaningful, relevant and creates a foundation for self-determination, entrepreneurial skills and opportunities for a positive future.

Help whanau to create their own teaching and learning models

(This is promising but in what context?  State schooling, private schooling, home schooling?  How much freedom for individual families or possibly like-minded community groups?)

Nothing about home schooling

National:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements: No Response (Not a good sign from a major Party)

Website: Nothing on website (They should have something about home education)

From Cameron Cotter, Campaign Communications ManagerNational recognises the importance of choice in our education system, and has no current plans to change the law as it relates to home schooling specifically.

NZ  First:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements:  Support

Website: Nothing on website (They should have something about home education)

From Tracey Martin, Deputy Leader,

At this time the New Zealand First Manifesto is silent in the area of Home Schooling.  The reason for this is that no member of the Home Schooling community approached us over the last three years to inform us of any difficulties or areas of concern/improvement.  New Zealand First does  not create policy without first having a relationship with those to be directly affected by that policy.

Having Home Schooled one of our sons for a period of time I have a working understanding of the current environment under which the parents and students you represent are working.

Should your organisation wish to have a discussion with New Zealand First after the election we would welcome that invitation.

United Future:

Family First Brochure—Parental choice for education and ECE arrangements:  Support

Website: Nothing on website (They should have something about home education)

From Fraser Seifert: Unitedfuture does not have any specific policy on home schooling but we support the right of parents to choose home schooling if they wish.

I have written to all the Parties with nothing on their websites about home educating. I have only heard back from two parties so far: NZ First and Labour

Update: Conservatives, United Future and National have now answered my email – see their comments above.

Still need to hear from: Internet Mana and  Maori

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 22 April 2014:  Two years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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