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  1. Policies that support a high degree of regulatory efficiency are in place. The entrepreneurial environment is one of the most competitive, with start-up companies benefiting from great flexibility in licensing and other regulatory frameworks. The labor regulations facilitate a dynamic labor market. New Zealand has a vibrant agriculture sector with the lowest subsidies of any OECD country. Business Freedom : 91.0 Labor Freedom : 86.7 Monetary Freedom : 87.5 The combined value of exports and imports is equal to 51.3 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 1.3 percent. As of June 30, 2018, according to the WTO, New Zealand had 242 nontariff measures in force. Overall, openness to global trade and investment is firmly institutionalized. Banking is well established and competitive. Trade Freedom : 92.4 Investment Freedom : 80.0 Financial Freedom : 80.0 heritage.org
  2. Private property rights are strongly protected, and New Zealand ranks among the world’s top countries for contract security. The judicial system is independent and functions well. New Zealand ranked first out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index. The country is renowned for its efforts to ensure a transparent, competitive, and corruption-free government procurement system. Property Rights : 95.0 Government Integrity : 96.7 Judicial Effectiveness : 83.5 The top income tax rate is 33 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 28 percent. Other taxes include goods and services and environmental taxes. The overall tax burden equals 32.1 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 40.7 percent of the country’s output (GDP), and budget surpluses have averaged 1.2 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 26.4 percent of GDP. Government Spending : 50.4 Tax Burden : 71.0 Fiscal Health : 98.6 heritage.org
  3. The former British colony of New Zealand is one of the Asia–Pacific region’s more prosperous countries. The center-right National Party, led by Prime Minister John Key, returned to power in 2008 and won reelection in 2011 and 2014. When Key resigned, his deputy, Bill English, succeeded him in late 2016. Elections in September 2017 resulted in a hung parliament, with the “kingmaker” and populist New Zealand First party subsequently forming a minority coalition, enabling new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labor Party to return to power. Far-reaching deregulation and privatization since the 1980s have largely liberated the economy. Agriculture is important, as are manufacturing, tourism, and a strong geothermal energy resource base. The economy has been expanding since 2010. heritage.org
  4. New Zealand’s economic freedom score is 84.4, making its economy the 3rd freest in the 2019 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.2 point, with higher scores for trade freedom and labor freedom narrowly exceeding declines in judicial effectiveness and monetary freedom. New Zealand is ranked 3rd among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is far above the regional and world averages. A global leader in economic freedom, New Zealand has generally followed a long-term market-oriented policy framework that fosters economic resilience and growth. The new government shook business confidence in 2018 with plans for a higher minimum wage, union-friendly labor code reforms, fewer immigrant visas, a ban on housing purchases by foreigners, and higher taxes. A series of settlements after public-sector union strikes will likely push wage demands higher in the private sector. The rule of law is well maintained, and the judiciary is generally independent. heritage.org
  5. Australia - Fiscal Balance Australian government presents 2016/2017 budget, revises upwards expected fiscal deficits On 3 May, Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison presented the Federal budget to the Australian Parliament for fiscal year 2016/2017, which runs from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. This is the first budget to be presented by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s administration and was announced approximately 60 days before the upcoming double-dissolution election that is scheduled to be held on 2 July. Aside from the political dimension surrounding the budget release, its actual content did not offer many surprises. Turnbull’s government has acted prudently amid sluggish economic growth in Australia, holding off on any major expenditure in order to limit deficit spending, while refocusing government expenditure on job creation and growth. In terms of fiscal forecasts, the government foresees slightly larger fiscal deficits over the next four years compared to the figures published in the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook (MYEFO) released in December. The government is still expecting the budget to move into surplus in 2020/2021 as the economy is expected to gather strength, which, in turn, will bolster revenues. Small and middle sized businesses were some of the winners from this year’s budget, as they received a significant tax cut from 28.5% to 27.5%. Furthermore, more business will be able to take advantage of this tax break as the government plans on continuously expanding the middle size business bracket to larger businesses in coming years. Upper-middle income families also received a boost, as the budget raises the middle-income tax bracket to include higher earners. In terms of expenditure, the government is continuing with its AUD 50 billion infrastructure spending plan that started in 2013, however, there was a distinct absence of any new relevant infrastructure announcements and not much in the way of extra funding allocated to existing infrastructure projects. In terms of government revenues, the government is attempting to close the budget gap by cracking down on tax avoidance, establishing a new so-called “Google tax” on multinational corporations that attempt to move profits offshore as well as increasing the taxation of tobacco products. Rating agencies appeared more hesitant than usual to affirm Australia’s AAA rating after the budget was passed. In previous years, major credit rating agencies have reacted quickly to budget releases, immediately rubber stamping the country’s ‘Prime’ rating. However, this year, S&P Global Ratings hesitated to issue a rating decision, while Moody’s affirmed its Aaa rating, but issued a disclaimer noting that Australia is vulnerable to shocks to public finances which may affect its rating. Such concerns are likely due to the upward revision to Australia’s deficit in the run up to 2020/2021, along with increased government debt expectations. Analysts at the National Australia Bank point out that, although there are grounds for concern, the government’s conservative fiscal approach should keep Australia clear of a downgrade and stated: “We have previously highlighted that rising debt and successive years of Governments pushing out the date when the Budget recovers has means Australia is pushing close to the boundaries for a AAA country. Our sense is the Budget has done enough to avoid a more stringent warning from the ratings agencies but a change in rating outlook is not out of the question.” Overall the budget was associated with a mild contractionary fiscal policy, as the government attempts to rein in spending and reduce the deficit. The government expects the deficit to be 2.2% of GDP in FY 2016/2017, and to narrow to 1.0% of GDP in FY 2017/2018. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Panelists are less optimistic and see the deficit at 2.5% of GDP in calendar year 2016, and 2.1% of GDP in calendar year 2017 focus-economics.com
  6. Australia - Unemployment Employment rebounds sharply in November Seasonally-adjusted employment jumped by 39,900 in November, following a revised 24,800 job shed in October (previously reported: -19,000). November’s result beat market expectations of a 14,000 jobs addition and was driven by an increase in both full-time and part-time employment. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment inched down to 5.2% in November, reversing October’s uptick. Moreover, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate decreased to 8.3% in November, from 8.5% in October, while the seasonally-adjusted participation rate was stable at October’s 66.0%. FocusEconomics panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 5.2% in 2020, unchanged from last month’s estimate, and also 5.2% in 2021. focus-economics.com
  7. Australia - Public Debt Australian government presents 2016/2017 budget, revises upwards expected fiscal deficits On 3 May, Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison presented the Federal budget to the Australian Parliament for fiscal year 2016/2017, which runs from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. This is the first budget to be presented by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s administration and was announced approximately 60 days before the upcoming double-dissolution election that is scheduled to be held on 2 July. Aside from the political dimension surrounding the budget release, its actual content did not offer many surprises. Turnbull’s government has acted prudently amid sluggish economic growth in Australia, holding off on any major expenditure in order to limit deficit spending, while refocusing government expenditure on job creation and growth. In terms of fiscal forecasts, the government foresees slightly larger fiscal deficits over the next four years compared to the figures published in the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook (MYEFO) released in December. The government is still expecting the budget to move into surplus in 2020/2021 as the economy is expected to gather strength, which, in turn, will bolster revenues. Small and middle sized businesses were some of the winners from this year’s budget, as they received a significant tax cut from 28.5% to 27.5%. Furthermore, more business will be able to take advantage of this tax break as the government plans on continuously expanding the middle size business bracket to larger businesses in coming years. Upper-middle income families also received a boost, as the budget raises the middle-income tax bracket to include higher earners. In terms of expenditure, the government is continuing with its AUD 50 billion infrastructure spending plan that started in 2013, however, there was a distinct absence of any new relevant infrastructure announcements and not much in the way of extra funding allocated to existing infrastructure projects. In terms of government revenues, the government is attempting to close the budget gap by cracking down on tax avoidance, establishing a new so-called “Google tax” on multinational corporations that attempt to move profits offshore as well as increasing the taxation of tobacco products. Rating agencies appeared more hesitant than usual to affirm Australia’s AAA rating after the budget was passed. In previous years, major credit rating agencies have reacted quickly to budget releases, immediately rubber stamping the country’s ‘Prime’ rating. However, this year, S&P Global Ratings hesitated to issue a rating decision, while Moody’s affirmed its Aaa rating, but issued a disclaimer noting that Australia is vulnerable to shocks to public finances which may affect its rating. Such concerns are likely due to the upward revision to Australia’s deficit in the run up to 2020/2021, along with increased government debt expectations. Analysts at the National Australia Bank point out that, although there are grounds for concern, the government’s conservative fiscal approach should keep Australia clear of a downgrade and stated: “We have previously highlighted that rising debt and successive years of Governments pushing out the date when the Budget recovers has means Australia is pushing close to the boundaries for a AAA country. Our sense is the Budget has done enough to avoid a more stringent warning from the ratings agencies but a change in rating outlook is not out of the question.” Overall the budget was associated with a mild contractionary fiscal policy, as the government attempts to rein in spending and reduce the deficit. The government expects the deficit to be 2.2% of GDP in FY 2016/2017, and to narrow to 1.0% of GDP in FY 2017/2018. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Panelists are less optimistic and see the deficit at 2.5% of GDP in calendar year 2016, and 2.1% of GDP in calendar year 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Public Debt (% of GDP) 30.7 34.1 37.8 40.5 40.7 focus-economics.com
  8. Australia - Exports Goods and Services Growth disappoints in Q3, held down by weak domestic demand GDP expanded 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms in Q2, following a revised 0.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter), according to figures released by Australia’s Statistical Institute (ABS) on 4 December. The result disappointed market analysts’ expectations of a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter expansion and underlined soft growth dynamics. Meanwhile, on an annual basis, the economy grew 1.7%, marginally up from Q2’s revised 1.6% (previously reported: +1.4% year-on-year), which had marked the weakest expansion since Q3 2009. A slowdown in household spending and another contraction in fixed investment weighed on the domestic economy. Private consumption weakened (Q3: +0.1% qoq; Q2: +0.3% qoq), weighed on by a frail housing market, soft wage growth and high levels of debt. Additionally, a notable increase in the saving ratio frustrated the government’s efforts to boost spending through the introduction of tax cuts to low and middle incomes reflected in the sizable rise in disposable income. Moreover, fixed investment fell again (Q3: -0.2% qoq; Q2: -1.5% qoq), albeit to a lesser extent than in the previous quarter, on the back of another significant drop in dwelling investment and as tumbling mining investment weighed on business investment. Meanwhile, government spending lost pace following Q2’s surge—associated with May’s general election—but remained robust nevertheless (Q3: +0.9% qoq; Q2: +2.5% qoq). The external sector, meanwhile, continued to support the economy, albeit less than in Q2. Exports rose 0.7% in Q3 (Q2: +1.3% qoq), supported by strong foreign sales of commodities, and imports dipped 0.3% in Q3, after contracting 1.1% in Q2, due to subdued domestic demand. The combination of higher exports, more favorable terms of trade and falling imports boosted Australia’s current account surplus compared to Q2, which had marked the first current account surplus since 1975. Commenting on the prospects for the Australian economy going forward, and how this will likely influence the future path of monetary policy, Andrew Ticehurst, Australia and New Zealand economist at Nomura, stated: “Growth clearly remains sub-trend, and we believe this data undermines somewhat the more upbeat narrative we heard from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday. Moreover, while the level of growth remains underwhelming, we also describe the quality of growth revealed in the national accounts as poor. We continue to see further policy easing from the RBA next year, including 25bp rate cuts in Q1 and Q2, and we continue to assign an approximate 50-60% probability to unconventional policy easing, most likely in late-2020. In turn, we retain a positive view on AUD rates, expecting them to outperform US treasuries, and we maintain our cautious medium-term view on AUD.” Growth should gather pace in 2020, underpinned by favorable financing conditions and a supportive business climate. Mining and housing investment are set to expand, which, coupled with somewhat stronger consumer spending, should prop up domestic demand. That said, a volatile external backdrop and further slowdown of the Chinese economy pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists project GDP to expand 2.4% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2021, growth is seen accelerating to 2.6%. focus-economics.com
  9. Australia - Investment Growth disappoints in Q3, held down by weak domestic demand GDP expanded 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms in Q2, following a revised 0.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter), according to figures released by Australia’s Statistical Institute (ABS) on 4 December. The result disappointed market analysts’ expectations of a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter expansion and underlined soft growth dynamics. Meanwhile, on an annual basis, the economy grew 1.7%, marginally up from Q2’s revised 1.6% (previously reported: +1.4% year-on-year), which had marked the weakest expansion since Q3 2009. A slowdown in household spending and another contraction in fixed investment weighed on the domestic economy. Private consumption weakened (Q3: +0.1% qoq; Q2: +0.3% qoq), weighed on by a frail housing market, soft wage growth and high levels of debt. Additionally, a notable increase in the saving ratio frustrated the government’s efforts to boost spending through the introduction of tax cuts to low and middle incomes reflected in the sizable rise in disposable income. Moreover, fixed investment fell again (Q3: -0.2% qoq; Q2: -1.5% qoq), albeit to a lesser extent than in the previous quarter, on the back of another significant drop in dwelling investment and as tumbling mining investment weighed on business investment. Meanwhile, government spending lost pace following Q2’s surge—associated with May’s general election—but remained robust nevertheless (Q3: +0.9% qoq; Q2: +2.5% qoq). The external sector, meanwhile, continued to support the economy, albeit less than in Q2. Exports rose 0.7% in Q3 (Q2: +1.3% qoq), supported by strong foreign sales of commodities, and imports dipped 0.3% in Q3, after contracting 1.1% in Q2, due to subdued domestic demand. The combination of higher exports, more favorable terms of trade and falling imports boosted Australia’s current account surplus compared to Q2, which had marked the first current account surplus since 1975. Commenting on the prospects for the Australian economy going forward, and how this will likely influence the future path of monetary policy, Andrew Ticehurst, Australia and New Zealand economist at Nomura, stated: “Growth clearly remains sub-trend, and we believe this data undermines somewhat the more upbeat narrative we heard from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) yesterday. Moreover, while the level of growth remains underwhelming, we also describe the quality of growth revealed in the national accounts as poor. We continue to see further policy easing from the RBA next year, including 25bp rate cuts in Q1 and Q2, and we continue to assign an approximate 50-60% probability to unconventional policy easing, most likely in late-2020. In turn, we retain a positive view on AUD rates, expecting them to outperform US treasuries, and we maintain our cautious medium-term view on AUD.” Growth should gather pace in 2020, underpinned by favorable financing conditions and a supportive business climate. Mining and housing investment are set to expand, which, coupled with somewhat stronger consumer spending, should prop up domestic demand. That said, a volatile external backdrop and further slowdown of the Chinese economy pose downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists project GDP to expand 2.4% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2021, growth is seen accelerating to 2.6%. 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Investment (annual variation in %) -1.7 -1.9 -3.6 -2.3 3.3 focus-economics.com
  10. Australia - GDP Australian gross domestic product (GDP) is the most important measure with which to evaluate the performance of Australia’s economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes GDP figures on an annual and quarterly basis. The table below shows the change of price-adjusted GDP for Australia, typically referred to as Australia’s economic growth rate. Overview Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the economic performance of a country over a given period, typically a year or a quarter. It is therefore the most important economic indicator to evaluate the country’s economy (see our GDP page for more information on this indicator). Australia’s GDP data (National Accounts, NA) are produced by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) based on the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008). Australian GDP Growth Performance In the ten years before the great recession, from 1999 to 2008, Australia’s GDP grew 3.4% on average per year. Economic growth decelerated to 1.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial turmoil. Although 2009 was the worst year for the Australian economy since the recession in 1991, the economy showed great resilience to the global crisis. In fact, Australia was one of the few developed countries that recorded positive in 2009. Australia’s economic performance improved in the following years, with GDP growth averaging 2.7% from 2010 to 2013. Structure of Australian Gross Domestic Product The increase in demand for raw commodities from emerging countries since the early 2000s, which led to a strong rise in global commodity prices, has played a very important role in the dynamics of the Australian economy. Along with higher terms of trade, which sparked a substantial rise in the purchasing power of households, the rise in commodity prices caused a boom in mining investment, particularly coal and iron. Mining investment, hence, has been one of the main drivers of Australian growth during the last 10 years. The Australian economy is now in transition from the investment phase of the mining boom to the production phase. The expansion in production capacity for iron and coal has already had a strong positive effect on Australia’s exports to the Asian market. The mining sector, together with the financial sector and related professional and scientific services have markedly increased in importance in Australia’s GDP over the course of the last 10 years. In contrast, manufacturing output has seen its share steadily shrinking. As a result, around three-quarters of the economy now involves mining and the production of services rather than goods, with the financial sector replacing manufacturing as the largest single industry in the economy. When are Australian GDP Data Released? The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes GDP data on a quarterly and annual basis. Annual GDP data for Australia are released each year in November. Quarterly GDP readings are released two months after the end of the quarter, i.e. at the beginning of March, June, September and December. Quarterly GDP data are published along with a press release in which the Australian Bureau of Statistics provides an analysis of the results. The press release is available on the government website along with a calendar of the upcoming releases. How are Australian GDP Figures Computed? The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculates GDP by applying three methods: the production, the expenditure, and the income approaches. The production approach determines the value added of all producers as the difference between the value of goods and services produced (output) and intermediate consumption, adding the taxes on products (such as tobacco, mineral oil and value added tax), and subtracting the subsidies on products. The expenditure approach calculates the expenditure for the final use of goods and services, i.e. final consumption expenditure of households and government final consumption expenditure, capital formation and the balance of exports and imports (net exports). Finally, the income approach determines the income of the economy as the sum of compensation of employees, gross operating surplus, gross mixed income and taxes less subsidies on production and imports. Volume estimates are derived at the total GDP level by deflating current price estimates by the implicit price deflator from the expenditure approach. While each approach should, conceptually, produce the same estimate of GDP, if the three measures are compiled using different data sources, then different estimates of GDP result. The ABS aligns the estimates of GDP annually by balancing them in supply and use tables. Balancing in supply and use tables ensures that the same estimate of GDP is obtained from the three approaches. focus-economics.com
  11. Human Rights Commission Report 2010 The Human Rights Commission periodically releases an intensive report documenting human rights in New Zealand, mapping how they are being "promoted, protected and implemented." Of the thirty 'priority areas for action on human rights' released in the 2010 report, three were workplace and employment related. These included: Implementing a new framework for equal opportunities that addresses access to decent work for disadvantaged groups such as Maori, Pacific youth and disabled people Timetabling pay and employment-equity implementation with a minimum target of halving the gender pay gap by 2014 and eliminating it by 2020 Addressing barriers to the employment of migrant workers and ensuring the rights of temporary, seasonal and rural workers and those on work-to-residence visas are respected Māori and Pasifika rights Barriers to employment and promotion and equal employment opportunities continue to be one of the major issues facing Māori and Pacific peoples across the full range of occupations. The Ministry of Development's Social Report 2010 assessed the social and economic wellbeing of New Zealanders across a range of indicators. It found higher rates of unemployment for young people, Māori, Pacific peoples and other ethnic groups, and lower rates of median hourly earnings for the same groups as compare with Pakeha/European groups. This was in line with findings from previous years. The report also found that 14 per cent of the population live in low-income households. Since 2001, the annual Social Report, published by the Ministry of Social Development, has charted improvements in unemployment and employment rates and outcomes for Māori in socio-economic outcomes for Māori. Despite these improvements, average outcomes for Māori tend to be poorer than for the total population and the median hourly earnings, occupational spread, representation in senior roles and workplace injury claims. Despite improvements over the last decade, these gaps have widened due to the economic recession that began in late 2008. Unemployment rates in particular have risen, and are higher for Māori than for non-Māori. Māori youth unemployment rates stand as one of the highest figures of any group in New Zealand, sitting at 30.3 per cent in June 2010. Disabled rights New Zealand has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Currently, disabled people, though being protected by a number of domestic statutes (for example the Human Rights Act and NZBORA), are considered one of the most disadvantaged groups in New Zealand when it comes to the right to work, and barriers to employment such as gaining interviews. This was reflected in figures released in 2006 showing the New Zealand labour force participation rate for disabled people was 45 per cent, compared with 77 per cent for non-disabled people. Gender rights Despite having pioneered a number of rights issues in the international sphere, in 2010 the United Nations Human Rights Committee raised concern about the low representation of women in high-level and managerial positions and on boards of private enterprises with respect to compliance with arts 2, 3 and 26 of the ICCPR ( International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ). It was recommended the state seek ways to encourage women participation in these roles including through enhanced cooperation and dialogue with partners in the private sector. Although the part-time employment rate in New Zealand has almost doubled for men since 1986, women continue to have a higher part-time employment rate than men (23.1 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively). There was also pervasive inequality found between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels. The current mechanisms in place were considered insufficient at all levels to address the advancement of women and the gender pay gap was criticised with average median levels of difference sitting at 10.6%. Immigrant rights Immigration in New Zealand is governed by the Immigration Act 2009. While, New Zealand generally complies with and exceeds international standards in terms of its legislation and policies where it regards race relations, barriers to employment and promotion continue to be one of the major issues facing migrants and refugees living in New Zealand. The Human Rights Commission cited that plight of migrant workers in New Zealand has received extensive mainstream media coverage on a range of issues including discrimination, exploitation and battles over work and entry visas. wikipedia.org
  12. Minimum rights and entitlements A number of rights and entitlements arise from the various employment enactments. Under New Zealand law, an employee cannot be asked to agree to less than the minimum rights and obligations as provided by the law. An employee must have a written agreement and the minimum employment rights must be met whether or not they are included in this agreement. Minimum wage The minimum wage rates apply to all employees and must be paid if a person is over 16 years of age and not a starting-out or trainee worker. The wage rates are reviewed annually by the government. As at 1 April 2019, the minimum wage is set at $17.70 for adults and $14.16 for the starting-out rate. Meal and rest breaks Employers must keep an accurate record of an employee's time worked, payments, and holiday and leave entitlements. Employees are currently entitled to: One 10-minute paid rest break when they work between two and four hours One 10-minute paid rest break and one unpaid 30-minute meal break when they work more than four and up to six hours Two 10-minute paid rest breaks and one unpaid 30-minute meal break when they work more than six and up to eight hours These requirements begin over again where the employee works more than eight hours. The legislation provides for breaks to be taken at times mutually agreed between the employer and employee. If there is no agreement, then the breaks must be evenly distributed throughout the work period. The minimum break entitlements are currently under review by Parliament. This has caused controversy in some circles in New Zealand. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) has argued the relaxation of the breaks provision places too much power in the hands of the employer and raises concerns about workplace health and safety. Holidays and leave Employees are entitled to four weeks' paid annual holiday leave at the end of each year of employment. New Zealand also has 11 annual public holidays and an employee is entitled to these days off work on pay, if they are days when the employee would normally work. Where an employee does work a public holiday, the employee must be paid at least time-and-a-half for the time worked and is also entitled to an alternative paid holiday. After 6 months of employment an employee is entitled to 5 days' sick leave on pay and paid bereavement leave. The entitlement varies from: Three days' leave on the death of a spouse/partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or spouse/partner's parent (That is, three days for each separate bereavement, even if they all occurred simultaneously.) One day if their employer accepts they have suffered a bereavement involving another person not included above. Employees may also be entitled to paid and unpaid parental leave if they meet certain criteria. This paid leave is funded by the government, not employers. wikipedia.org
  13. Other important labour related legislation includes: Health and Safety at Work Act 2015: This Act requires employers and employees to take steps to maintain a safe work place; Holidays Act 1981: This Act sets out minimum entitlements and requirements with regards to annual holidays, public holidays and special leave; Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987: sets out entitlements of employees to parental leave. It currently gives employees 22 weeks of government funded parental (maternity) leave. Employees may also take an additional extended leave for child care (up to 52 weeks' extended leave—less the number of weeks primary carer leave taken, up to 22 weeks). There is a presumption that the job will be kept open for the employee taking leave; The Accident Compensation Act 2001: sets out the no fault scheme in New Zealand whereby employees who suffer an injury at work have an entitlement to compensation from a state-funded insurance scheme. As a result of this scheme, employees are barred from a suit at common law for compensatory damages; New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA): This statute is considered of fundamental constitutional importance. The seeks to affirm, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand and to affirm New Zealand's commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Act expressly recognises a number of fundamental rights such as the freedom of association; Minimum Wage Act 1983: sets out minimum wage rates for employees; Privacy Act 1993: sets out various privacy principles including those on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Personal information includes information held about employees; The Equal Pay Act 1972: seeks to remove and prevent workplace discrimination, based on the sex of an employee. wikipedia.org
  14. Human Rights Act 1993 The Human Rights Act 1993 expressly prohibits discrimination on certain stated grounds including sex, race, family status, political opinion and the like. It applies to almost all aspects of employment including job advertisement, application forms, interviews and job offers. It also applies to unpaid workers and independent contractors. The ERA expressly applies the HRA to employment matters. Discrimination Workplace discrimination is dealt with under the Human Rights Act 1993. Discrimination in employment can involve: Refusal or failure to offer and employee the same terms of employment, conditions of work, fringe benefits or opportunities as other employees with the same or similar qualifications, experience or skills working in the same or similar circumstances; Dismissal or detriment by the employer in circumstances in which other employees doing the same kind of work are not, or would not be, treated in such a way; and Retirement or being made to retire or resign by the employer While the Act in New Zealand covers women, trans persons and discrimination based on cultural grounds a number of barriers still exist in practice in relation to persons who fall within these socio-economic groups. The findings from The Inquiry into Discrimination Experienced by Transgender People conduction by the Human Rights Commission in 2008 found that the majority of submissions made describing some form of discrimination focused on the area of employment. Four out of five submissions described examples of discrimination that ranged from harassment at work to vicious assault and sexual abuse. In 2010 the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research at Victoria University published a meta-analysis of all research relating to the experience of discrimination by Asian New Zealanders. The results found that Asian people experienced significant discrimination both working at and applying for jobs, and had higher rates of unemployment and under-employment than other ethnic groups. If an employee has been unlawfully discriminated against during the course of employment they may pursue a person grievance under the ER Act through the MBIE or make a complaint under the Human Rights Act; however they cannot pursue both. If the discrimination occurs before employment, an individual can only pursue a complaint under the Human Rights Act. It remains difficult to gauge the levels of workplace discrimination in New Zealand nationally due to inadequacies in data recording and reporting. wikipedia.org
  15. Employment Relations Act 2000 The Employment Relations Act 2000 (the "ER Act") is the most fundamental employment law statute in New Zealand. The ER Act repealed the Employment Contracts Act 1991 (the "ECA"). It enacts a number of core provisions on freedom of association, recognition and operation of unions, collective bargaining, collective agreements, individual employment agreements, employment relations education leave, strikes and lockouts, personal grievances, disputes, enforcement of employment agreements, the Mediation Service, the Employment Court, the Employment Relations Authority and labour inspectors. Many of the key provisions apply once an employment relationship has begun. This includes a principle duty to act in good faith and to communicate openly. Other provisions operate on an ongoing basis irrespective of the employment relationship and are more declarative (as in the case of trade union operations), or administrative (as in the operation of the Employment Relations Authority) in nature. Trade unions Section 110 of the ER Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for their involvement (or non-involvement) in a union or other employees organisation. The ER Act acknowledges that there is an "inherent inequality of power in employment relationships" and promotes collective bargaining (Section 3) as a way of evening up the power disparity between employers and employees. It also "recognise(s) the role of unions in promoting their members' collective employment interests" in Section 12. Other important recognition's contained in the Act include: Part 4: Recognises the operation of unions generally; Part 5: Recognises the right to collective bargaining, and; Part 8: Recognises the right to strike. Right to association Under Part 3 of the ER Act trade unions in New Zealand have the right to association: (a) employees have the freedom to choose whether or not to form a union or be members of a union for the purpose of advancing their collective employment interests; and (b) no person may, in relation to employment issues, confer any preference or apply any undue influence, directly or indirectly, on another person because the other person is or is not a member of a union. Employment Relations Authority Under section 157 the Employment Relations Authority is defined as an investigative body that examines the facts of the case, as opposed to legal technicalities, in seeking to resolve problems with the parties' employment relationship. wikipedia.org
  16. Types of discrimination - Workplace In Victoria it is against the law to discriminate against an employee because of a personal characteristic that they have, or that someone assumes they have. Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment, workplace terms and conditions and dismissal. The personal characteristics protected by the law include: • age • parental and carer status • disability • employment activity • gender identity, lawful sexual activity and sexual orientation • industrial activity • marital status • physical features • political belief or activity • pregnancy and breastfeeding • race • religious belief or activity • sex • expunged homosexual conviction • personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these personal characteristics. Sexual harassment is also against the law. Are there any exceptions? While the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 aims to ensure fair employment opportunities for all people, it does include some general exceptions. This means that an employer may be allowed to discriminate in particular circumstances. Complaints Employers may be vicariously liable for their employees’ acts of discrimination or sexual harassment. Employers can also be directly liable. Find out more about who is liable for discrimination and harassment. Employers also have a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as far as possible. Complaints of discrimination made to the Commission are resolved through a process called conciliation. Find out more about our process for resolving complaints. Federal laws Federal anti-discrimination laws also apply to Victorian employers, and protect people against sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of age, disability, race, sex, marital status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, sexual preference, medical record, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion, social origin, religion, and nationality or ethnic origin. humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
  17. Workplace terms and conditions for employees As an employee, you have the right to workplace terms and conditions that are fair and non-discriminatory. You should have equal opportunity to apply for available jobs, higher duties, job rotation schemes and flexible working arrangements. Your background or personal characteristics should generally not influence an employer’s decision about your: employment as a permanent, casual, full-time or part-time worker hours of work wages, salary levels or remuneration packages any other terms and conditions offered to you at the start of employment. Setting awards and agreements Your employment benefits and conditions may be set down in an award, enterprise agreement or individual employment contract. Your employer should consult widely across your workplace during any negotiations about award conditions or enterprise agreements to make sure that there is no unfair disadvantage or indirect discrimination. Access to training Professional development is an important part of any workplace. It helps you to be productive and to develop your chosen career path. Your background or personal characteristics should not have any impact on your opportunities to participate in workplace activities such as: training promotion mentoring skills rotation transfers. Discrimination through stereotypes Sometimes you may find yourself subject to negative stereotypes that can lead to discrimination through workplace terms and conditions. For example, assumptions that: older workers are less able to learn new skills people with disability create more difficulties or costs for the organisation women will leave the workforce to raise children newly-arrived refugees won’t be able to develop the necessary English-language skills. Imposing dress standards If your employer sets a dress code, it should be: a reasonable requirement and directly relevant the job equally applicable to men and women compatible with cultural or religious beliefs fair to people with disabilities. Your employer has also a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. This means that employers can sometimes impose standards of dress that may discriminate, where it is reasonable and necessary to maintain workplace safety. Employer responsibilities Employers can be held legally responsible for acts of discrimination by their employees. This is known as vicarious liability and employers should take reasonable precautions to reduce this risk. Read more about the responsibilities of employers when developing and managing workplace terms and conditions that are non-discriminatory. Complaints to the Commission An employee can lodge a complaint of discrimination with the Commission if they believe their workplace terms and conditions discriminate against them because of a personal characteristic that is protected under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
  18. Workplace dismissal rights for employees It is against the law for an employer to dismiss you or select you for redundancy because of a personal characteristic covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and federal anti-discrimination laws. However you can be dismissed at work if your: work performance is unsatisfactory employer has genuine financial and operational reasons. Age You cannot be cannot be retired because you have reached a certain age. Your employer also cannot threaten to retire you or do anything to make you retire because you have reached a certain age. This includes making your working environment so unpleasant that you are forced to retire. This is against the law. The Commission has more information for mature age workers in our Resources and Publications section, including: Mature-age workers and the Equal Opportunity Act: Know your rights Rights in focus: report on the rights of older Victorians Injury You cannot be dismissed simply because you have an injury. This is against the law. If you are given a medical retirement or dismissals, it must comply with: anti-discrimination laws workers' compensation legislation the relevant award or enterprise agreement. Your employer must have independent medical advice that confirms that you are no longer able to meet the requirements of the job and: no adjustments can reasonably be made so you can continue working, or you pose an unacceptable risk to safety in the workplace. Employer responsibilities Employers have responsibilities to follow before they dismiss someone because of poor performance of financial circumstances. The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code at the Fair Work Australia website also has information that could be useful. Complaints to the Commission An employee can lodge a complaint of discrimination with the Commission if they believe their workplace terms and conditions discriminate against them because of a personal characteristic that is protected under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
  19. Flexible work for employees Flexible work arrangements are a popular and effective way to keep a balance between work and other commitments in your life. These arrangements can also boost productivity. Employers have a legal responsibility not refuse flexible work arrangements for an employee with parental or carer responsibilities, unless it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances. In practice, there are many different ways to implement flexible work arrangements. They may include arrangements around: when you work, for example starting and finishing work earlier or later where you work, for example working from home how you work, for example job sharing. Making a request There are various ways that you may raise your request with your employer. There may be formal written processes in your workplace to follow or it may be an informal conversation with your supervisor. Your employer must consider each request seriously and individually. An employer does not have to agree to every request. However they cannot refuse a request unless it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances. Factors to consider When you are discussing options with your employer, be prepared to explain how the flexible work arrangements will impact on your carer or parental responsibilities. Also be prepared to consider how the arrangements may impact on your workplaces, based on related to size, nature and financial circumstances of the business. Other issues to discuss include: when the arrangements are to start how long the arrangements will last your entitlements such as personal/carer’s leave or annual leave relevant legal or other constraints such as occupational health and safety laws or award penalty rates. Reasonable adjustments Flexible work arrangements can also be an example of reasonable workplace adjustments, which are changes that allow people with disability to work safely and productively. Employer responsibilities Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, employers must not refuse flexible arrangements for an employee with parental or carer responsibilities, unless it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances. Employers may have other legal obligations to parents and carers under the National Employment Standards. Under these standard, an employee with 12 months continuous service may request a change in working arrangements to assist with a child’s care if they are parents or carers of: a child under school age, or a child under 18 with disability. Complaints to the Commission An employee can lodge a complaint of discrimination with the Commission if they believe they have been discriminated against during discussions about flexible work arrangements because of a personal characteristic that is protected under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
  20. Employee rights during recruitment and selection Under Victorian and federal anti-discrimination laws, if you are the best person for the job, you have the right to be appointed to that position, regardless of your background or personal characteristics. From advertising to interviewing to selection, the entire application process should be open and accessible, and not present barriers that could discourage you from applying. Disability rights If you have a disability or impairment, you also have rights at work, including during the recruitment stage. For example, an employer may need to consider making reasonable adjustments during a job interview. Advertising The advertisement must focus on the essential skills and abilities required for the job. The language used in the advertisement should not discourage some people from applying for the job or imply that only certain applicants will be considered. It is against the law to publish or display an advertisement that indicates, or could reasonably be understood to indicate, an intention to discriminate because of personal characteristics protected by the law. For example, by specifying the preferred race, age or gender of applicants. Anyone can notify the Commission of a discriminatory advertisement, regardless of whether or not they are directly affected. Interviews If you are asked to attend an interview, you should be assessed against the essential and desirable criteria, in the same way, and by the same selection panel. Interview questions should relate directly to the key requirements of the job, such as travel, overtime or performing any necessary physical activities. You are not obliged to disclose information about disability or illness unless it is relevant to the job. During the interview, it is against the law to request information about your personal background or characteristics – such as your age, marital status or parental status – and then refuse you a job based on this information. Testing and assessment Sometimes you may be asked to take a pre-employment test or assessment, for example a medical or aptitude (psychological or psychometric) test. These tests should only be used to assess your ability to perform the requirements of the job, based on the selection criteria. All information must be treated with strict confidentiality. If you have a disability, make sure that the employer has taken any relevant special needs into consideration during the test. An employer cannot refuse to employ you on the basis of a medical test that discloses a disability unrelated to the adequate performance of the job. Employer responsibilities Employers are legally obliged to avoid discrimination during every stage of the recruitment process. Read more about the responsibilities of employers during recruitment and selection, including advertising, conducting interviews, pre-employment tests and the selection process. Make a complaint An employee can lodge a complaint of discrimination with the Commission if they believe they have been treated unfairly or denied legitimate employment opportunities because of a personal characteristic that is protected under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
  21. Māori language in education While English is the dominant language of education throughout New Zealand, this was not always the case, and in recent years there have been ongoing efforts to raise the availability of Māori language education in New Zealand as one of New Zealand's three official languages. Prior to the arrival of the first European settlers in what would become New Zealand, traditional educational systems in Māori society (a ritual transfer of knowledge for most Māori, and the more formal whare wānanga—“house of learning”—model primarily for those of chiefly lineage) were naturally conducted through the medium of the Māori language. In 1816, the first mission school was opened to teach the Māori in the Bay of Islands. Here too, instruction was conducted primarily in the Māori language. Though English-medium education would have also been available for children of European settlers from nearly their first arrival, ethnic Māori continued to learn primarily through the medium of the Māori language for many years. It was not until the Native Schools Act was passed in 1867 that a systematic government preference was articulated for the English language as a medium of instruction for Māori children. And even with the passage of the act, the English-language provision was not rigorously enforced until 1900. Starting in 1903, a government policy to discourage, and even punish, the use of the Māori language in playgrounds was enacted. In the early 1930s the director of Education blocked an initiative by the New Zealand Federation of Teachers to have the Māori language added to the curriculum. Though not the only factor, the ban on the Māori language in education contributed to the widespread loss of Māori-language ability. By 1960 the number of Māori who could speak the language had fallen to 25% from 95% in 1900. Focus on falling Māori academic achievement in the 1960s coupled with the loss of the language, led to heavy lobbying by Ngā Tamatoa and the Te Reo Māori Society in the 1970s for the introduction of the language into the schools. This was accompanied by the establishment of Māori Studies programs in each of the Teacher Colleges by 1973. The 1980s then marked a pivotal decade in the revival of Māori-medium education, with the establishment of the first kōhanga reo (“language nest” – essentially a total immersion Māori-medium pre-school and kindergarten) in 1981, the first kura kaupapa (established at Hoani Waititi Marae, West Auckland) in 1985, a finding by the Waitangi Tribunal the Māori language is guaranteed protection under Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1986, and the passage of the Māori Language Act in 1987, recognizing Māori as an official language. Under New Zealand's current education laws, Māori language education is available in many locations throughout the country, both as a subject in a normal English-medium school as well as through immersion in a Māori-medium school set up under Section 155 (s155) or Section 156 (s156) of the Education Act 1990. The full immersion schools are commonly referred to as Kura Kaupapa Māori. Though enrollment numbers in Māori language programs have remained relatively stable in the last 5 years, both the raw total as well as the percentage of students enrolled have fallen since a high mark set in 2004. The decrease has primarily been among ethnic Māori themselves. See table below. The definitions provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Education are as follows: Māori Medium: Māori Medium includes students who are taught the curriculum in the Māori language for at least 51 percent of the time (Māori Language Immersion levels 1–2). Māori Language in English Medium: Māori Language in English Medium includes students who are learning the Māori language as a language subject, or who are taught the curriculum in the Māori language for up to 50 percent of the time (Māori Language Immersion levels 3–5). No Māori Language in Education: No Māori Language in Education includes those students who are only introduced to the Māori language via Taha Māori, i.e. simple words, greetings or songs in Māori (Māori Immersion Level 6), and students who are not involved in Māori language education at any level. wikipedia.org
  22. State school enrollment schemes Geographically based state school enrolment schemes were abolished in 1991 by the Fourth National Government and the Education Amendment Act 1991. Although this greatly opened up the choice of schools for students, it had undesirable consequences. Popular high-decile schools experienced large roll growths, while less popular low-decile school experienced roll declines. Schools could operate a roll limit if there was a risk of overcrowding, but enrolments under this scheme were on a "first come, first served" basis, potentially excluding local students. The Education Amendment Act 2000, enacted by the Fifth Labour Government, partially solved this problem by putting in place a new "system for determining enrolment of students in circumstances where a school has reached its roll capacity and needs to avoid overcrowding." Schools which operate enrolment schemes have a geographically defined "home zone". Residence in this zone, or in the school's boarding house (if it has one) gives right of entry to the School. Students who live outside the school's home zone can be admitted, if there are places available, in the following order of priority: special programmes; siblings of currently enrolled students; siblings of past students; children of past students; children of board employees and staff; all other students. If there are more applications than available places then selection must be through a randomly drawn ballot. The system is complicated by some state schools having boarding facilities for students living beyond the school's zone. Typically these students live in isolated farming regions in New Zealand, or their parents may live or work partly overseas. Many secondary schools offer limited scholarships to their boarding establishment to attract talented students in imitation of private school practice. As of September 2010, 700 of New Zealand's 2550 primary and secondary schools operate an enrolment scheme, while the remaining 1850 schools are "open enrolment", meaning any student can enrol in the school without rejection. Enrolment schemes mostly exist in major towns and cities where school density is high and school choice is active; they rarely exist for primary schools in rural areas and secondary schools outside the major towns and cities, where school density is low and school choice is limited by the distance to the nearest alternative school. Critics have suggested that the system is fundamentally unfair as it restricts the choice for parents to choose schools and schools to choose their students although it does allow all students living in the community to have entry, as of right, regardless of their academic or social profile. In addition, there is evidence that property values surrounding some more desirable schools become inflated, thus restricting the ability of lower socio-economic groups to purchase a house in the zone, though this is off set by the fact that students are accepted from rental accommodation or from homes where they are boarding with a bona fide relative or friend living in the zone. Some parents have purposely flouted zone boundaries by giving false addresses, such as that of a business they own in the zone, or by renting homes in the zone only through the enrolment process and moving out before the student commences school. Schools are now requesting rates invoices, tenancy agreements, or power and telephone bills from parents to prove their residential address, Some schools have gone as far as requiring parents to make a statutory declaration before a Justice of the Peace or similar that they live in the school zone, which makes it impossible for a parent to cheat the zone without also committing a criminal offence (making a false statutory declaration is punishable by up to three years' imprisonment). wikipedia.org
  23. Tertiary education Tertiary education in New Zealand is provided by universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, private training establishments, industry training organisations, and wānanga (Māori education). It ranges from informal non-assessed community courses in schools through to undergraduate degrees and research-based postgraduate degrees. All post-compulsory education is regulated within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications for schools, vocational education and training, and 'higher' education. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is responsible for quality assuring all courses and tertiary education organisations other than universities. Under the Education Act 1989, The Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) and the Academic Quality Agency (AQA) have delegated authority for quality assurance of university education. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is responsible for administering the funding of tertiary education, primarily through negotiated investment plans with each funded organisation. Until 1961, all university education was organised under the University of New Zealand, with university colleges around the country. Eventually the colleges became degree-awarding universities in their own right. Funding Funding for tertiary education in New Zealand is through a combination of government subsidies and student fees. The government funds approved courses by a bulk grant (the Student Achievement Component) based on the number of enrolled students in each course and the amount of study time each course requires. Courses are rated on an equivalent full-time Student (EFTS) basis. Specific funding for each individual organisation is negotiated with the Tertiary Education Commission and established through an Investment Plan that allocates funding over a rolling triennium. Students enrolled in NZQA-approved courses at providers can access student loans and student allowances to assist with fees and living costs. Industry Training is funded differently than other forms of tertiary education. A separate pool of funding - the Industry Training Fund - is used to support training and apprenticeships organised through ITOs, and this system is based on a Standard Training Measure (STM) rate that is considerably lower than per-EFTS rates for courses in the same field and at the same level. The difference in per-learner funding levels between provider-based and ITO-based tertiary education has been a considerable source of tension since the establishment of the industry training system. Apprentices and trainees learning through ITOs are unable to access student financial support (both allowances and loans), on the basis that they are full-time employees earning a wage or salary. Funding for tertiary institutions has been criticised recently due to high fees and funding not keeping pace with costs or inflation. Some also point out that high fees are leading to skills shortages in New Zealand as high costs discourage participation and graduating students seek well paying jobs off shore to pay for their student loans debts. As a result, education funding has been undergoing an ongoing review in recent years. Students Most tertiary education students rely on some form of state funding to pay for their tuition and living expenses. Mostly, students rely on state provided student loans and allowances. Secondary school students sitting the state run examinations are awarded scholarships, depending on their results, that assist in paying some tuition fees. Universities and other funders also provide scholarships or funding grants to promising students, though mostly at a postgraduate level. Some employers will also assist their employees to study (full-time or part-time) towards a qualification that is relevant to their work. People who receive state welfare benefits and are retraining, or returning to the workforce after raising children, may be eligible for supplementary assistance, however students already in full or part-time study are not eligible for most state welfare benefits. Over the term of the fifth National Government (2008-2017), considerable changes were made to the tertiary education sector. In 2017, following the election of the sixth Labour-led Government, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins introduced an entitlement of one year's fees-free tertiary education for all New Zealand school leavers. This entitlement applies to New Zealand citizens or permanent residents who have not yet undertaken post-compulsory education at Level 3 or above of the Qualifications Framework. It covers fees for any study at Level 3 or above, including apprenticeships, provider-based vocational education, or degree-level study; it does not contribute to living costs. wikipedia.org
  24. Funding Primary and secondary State and state integrated schools are allocated funding from the Government on a per-student basis to fund the running of the school. Smaller schools receive additional funding due to the added fixed costs of running them compared to larger schools, and schools also receive funding based on the school's socio-economic decile rating, with low-decile schools (i.e. those in poorer areas) receiving more funds. They may also receive funds from other activities, such as hiring out school facilities outside school hours to outside groups. Schools also ask for a voluntary donation from parents, informally known as "school fees", to cover extra expenses not covered by the government funding. This may range from $40 per child up to $800 per child in high decile state schools, to over $4000 in state integrated schools. The payment of this fee varies widely according to how parents perceive the school. Typically parents will also outlay $500–$1000 per year for uniforms, field trips, social events, sporting equipment and stationery at state schools. Most state integrated schools also charge "attendance dues", a compulsory fee paid to the school's proprietors to cover the cost of maintaining and upgrading school land and buildings. Unlike voluntary donations, attendance dues are not optional and parents are contractually and legally required to pay them, and schools can take action to collect these or cancel the enrollment of a student if they are not paid. Private schools rely mainly on tuition fees paid to the school by the parents of the students, although some funding is provided by the government. As of 2013, private schools receives from the Government (exclusive of GST) $1013 for every Year 1 to 6 student, $1109 for every Year 7 and 8 student, $1420 for every Year 9 and 10 student, and $2156 for every Year 11 to 13 student. However, the government funding is more of a partial tax rebate, as the GST payable to the government on the tuition fees collected often exceeds the government funding received in turn. Salaries and wages for teaching staff in state and state integrated schools are paid directly from the Ministry of Education to the employee, and are not paid out of a school's funding. The salaries are fixed nationwide, and are based on the teacher's qualifications, years of service and workload, with middle and senior management awarded extra pay through "units". In 1991, following the decentralisation of school administration (the "Tomorrow's Schools" reforms), there was an attempt to move the responsibilities of paying teachers' salaries from the ministry to each school's Board of Trustees, in which each board would receive a lump sum from the government for all costs, including the payment of salaries. Known as "Bulk Funding", the proposal met strong opposition from teachers and their unions, particularly the Post Primary Teachers' Association, and wildcat strike action occurred among teachers as some schools' boards of trustees gradually elected to move to the new system. Bulk Funding was eventually scrapped in July 2000. Special needs students are entitled to Ongoing Resource Scheme (ORS) funding, which is used for facilitating the adaption of the curriculum to fit the student, funding of teacher aides and specialists, and procuring any special equipment required. There are three levels of funding based on the student's needs: very high, high or combined moderate. For example, a student who is totally blind or deaf is classified as very high needs, while a student who is partially sighted (6/36 or worse) or severely or profoundly deaf (71 dB loss or worse) is classified as high needs. ORS funding is permanent, so it continues until the student leaves school. wikipedia.org
  25. Primary and secondary education All New Zealand citizens, and those entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely, are entitled to free primary and secondary schooling from their 5th birthday until the end of the calendar year following their 19th birthday. Education is compulsory between a student's 6th and 16th birthdays; however most students start primary school on (or shortly after) their 5th birthday, and the vast majority (around 84%) stay in school until at least their 17th birthday. In some special cases, 15-year-olds can apply for an early leaving exemption from the Ministry of Education (MOE). Families wishing to home-school their children can apply for exemption. To get an exemption from enrolment at a registered school, they must satisfy the Secretary of Education that their child will be taught "as regularly and as well as in a registered school". A 2008 proposal by the New Zealand Government, called Schools Plus, would see students required to remain in some form of education until age 18. Disabled students with special educational needs can stay until the end of the calendar year they turn 21. There are three main types of schools in New Zealand: state (public) schools, state-integrated schools, and private (independent) schools. State schools educate approximately 84.9% of students, state-integrated schools educate 11.3%, and private schools educate 3.6%. There are two additional types of schools: Vote Education schools funded directly out of the education budget, and charter schools (or partnership schools) which are state funded but privately run. These schools however educate only 0.1% of all students. Years of schooling New Zealand schools designate school class levels based on the years of schooling of the student cohort, using 13 academic year levels, numbered 1 through to 13. Before 1995, a system of Forms, Standards and Juniors/Primers was used. Students turning five enter at Year 1 if they begin school at the beginning of the school year or before the cut-off date (31 March in legislation, later for most schools). Students who turn five late in the year may start in Year 0 or stay in Year 1 for the next school year, depending on their academic progress. The Ministry of Education draws a distinction between academic and funding year levels, the latter being based on when a student first starts school—students first starting school after July, who therefore do not appear on the July roll returns, are classified as being in Funding Year 0 that year, and are recorded as being in Year 1 on the next year's roll returns. Primary education lasts eight years (Years 1–8). Depending on the area, the last two years of primary education may be taken at a primary school, at a secondary school, or at a separate intermediate school. Students generally transition to secondary education at age 12–13. Secondary education lasts five years (Year 9–13). Curriculum and qualifications All state and state integrated schools follow the national curriculum: The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) for English-medium schools and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA) for Māori-medium schools. Private schools do not need to follow the national curriculum, but must have a curriculum that is at least equivalent to NZC or TMoA. The New Zealand Curriculum has eight levels, numbered 1 to 8, and eight major learning areas: English, the arts, health and physical education, learning languages, mathematics and statistics, science, social sciences, and technology. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa includes a ninth learning area, Māori language. The main secondary school qualification in New Zealand is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), which is offered in all state and state-integrated schools. Some schools offer Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) alongside NCEA. wikipedia.org
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