Politics | Kōhanga Reo

Budget 2024: $3m funding a year for kōhanga property maintenance

A draft Year 7-13 English curriculum is expected in about a month. File photo. Photo: 123RF

The government plans to invest $2.9 billion in education over the next four years.

Pre-budget announcements included funding for structured literacy, the defunded continuation of the healthy school lunches programme, charter schools and period products in schools.

The budget has increased awards provided for added capabilities. And $600,000 is now available for principals and teachers for bilingual and reo Māori capabilities.

Some $1.5 billion will be invested in education property, which includes funding for school maintenance, new schools and classrooms.

“The investment will also allow us to make repairs and upgrades to existing buildings, improving these learning environments for students and their teachers.”

School operational grants will be allocated $199.5 million including a 3 per cent increase in equity funding to help schools and kura reduce the impact socio-economic factors have on student achievement.

Early childhood education increases

Early childhood education providers will receive $191 million for staff, teaching materials, property maintenance and food costs in the light of rising costs.

A portion of this will go towards a new initiative assisting kōhanga reo property maintenance and upgrade cost pressures. With $3 million a year, this will increase the yearly funding of kōhanga to $8.28 million.

All early childhood education is getting an increase and for kōhanga reo. Economist Matt Roskruge said this would equate to $2 million a year on top of the $3 million for maintenance and cost pressures.

Other key investments include $53 million to build and maintain the pipeline of teachers and $163 to maintain IT infrastructure and services in schools.

This $2.9 billion is an increase of 3.6 per cent to $19.1 billion overall. Some $429 million of this increase was through savings in Vote Education made through the redirection of funds to higher priorities with a focus on frontline areas.

Savings impacting Māori include the disestablishment of the secretariat for the Te Pae Roa Ministerial Group. The independent Māori education group oversees the kaupapa Māori education pathway to reconnect tamariki with language and culture. The remaining funding of $4 million a year will be used to re-scope and focus on government priorities and push a more targeted work programme that provides practical support to strengthen the Māori education pathway.

Te Kawa Matakura, a qualification focused on mātauranga ā-iwi which had low participation and was consistently underspent, has effectively been disestablished.