October 4, 2023

Zach’s Certificate of Exemption 8/10/87

We began by writing to the Headmaster at the local School. The headmaster had changed so this was all new to him as it was with the headmaster for Genevieve. At this time there were less than 100 children being home educated in New Zealand – although no-one really knows as the exemptions were not being counted or sent to a central place. Each headmaster was in control of the exemptions in his area.

30 March 1987 we hand delivered our exemption to Mr Turner the Headmaster at Russell Street School.

Dear Mr Turner

My wife and I have been teaching our eldest daughter Genevieve at home since mid-1985. We received a Certificate of Exemption from the previous headmaster of Russell Street School, Mr Johnson. Since the beginning of 1987 we have included our eldest son, Zachariah …… ….. whose birthdate is .. ……..1981, in our regular home-schooling classes along with Genevieve. We therefore request that a Certificate of Exemption likewise be issued for Zachariah.

We have searched the Scriptures for God’s directives regarding the education and training of our children. This has led us to the conviction that we must keep our children at home and educate them ourselves. The Bible indicates that it is our duty as parents before God to provide a Christ-centered education for our children. And of course the state school system is simply not set up to do this.

We have a separare building on our section which functions exclusively as a class room. It contains desks, a library and craft area. Both my wife and I have successfully completed a home-teacher training course with the Accelerated Christian Education–Parent Home Education Programme, directetd by Mr David Worboys. We are using the ACE materials and supplementing as we see the need.

Respectfully yours


29 April 1987  Mr Turner rang us to say he and an inspector would be visiting us the next week.

6 May 1987 we had a visit from Mr Wickham a visiting teacher.

15 July 1987 We rang Mr Turner to inquire about the progress of Zach’s Exemption. We were told that the Palmerston North Headmasters had decided NOT to issue the Exemption Certificate but instead refer us to DSI’s. He said he would chase it up for us.

29 July 1987 We rang Mr Turner. He said he would make further inquires and get back to us.

7 August 1987 We got a ring from Mr Turner who said that Zach’s Certificate of Exemption was approved by Mr Burney. We should recieve the official notice within a month.

4 October 1987 we sent the following reminder letter to Mr Burney.

Mr D Burney

Inspector in charge of Exemption Certificates

Department of Education


Dear Mr Burney

I am writing in regards to the Exemption Certificate we have requested for our son Zachariah …… ….. whose birthdate is .. ……..1981.

In the first instance we made our application for exemption to Mr D Turner of Russell Street School on 31 March 1987. Visiting teacher Mr Wickham came to see us on 6 May. Then there was the passage of the Education Amendment Bill No 4 which understandably caused some delays. The last we have heard was a phone call from Mr Turner of Russell Street school who said that our application for exemption had been approved by you, and that we should receive confirmation in writing within a month. That phone call was on 7 August, two months ago now.

We trust the information given to us on the phone by Mr Turner indicating your approval of our application for an Exemption Certificate for Zach was correct. We therefore hope that we will very soon receive from your office the actual certificate confirming Zach’s exemption.

Thanks very much

Yours faithfully

6 October 1987 We received a phone call from Mr Wickhan to say he’d drop off a form for us to fill in and he would pick it up on his way to the Board Meeting on Thursday. This form was needed before an exemption could be granted apparently.

7 October 1987 Mr Wickhan picked up form from us to take to Wanganui on Thursday 8 October 1987

9 October 1987 Received Certificate of Exemption in the POST!!!

Exemption dated 8 October 1987 was granted for Zachariah …… ….. and in compliance with Section 111 of the Education Act 1964, I (Mr Burney) agree to this exemption from enrolment on the grounds that the child is elsewhere under instruction as regular and as efficient as in a registered school.

NOTE: This Certivicate of Exemption can be cancelled at any time by the Education Board (acting on the advice of the appropriate district senior inspector) if the Board considers that the ground on which the certificate was granted no longer exists or has become in the particular case no longer such as to warrant the continuance of the exemption.