NZ Government’s licence to burn money

Jacinda Ardern’s government’s determination to break charter school contracts and to force charter schools to close down or to change to a much more expensive and significantly less effective educational model is going to cost the taxpayer more than 20 million dollars.

First, let’s look at the money already paid out to five charter schools that are being prevented from opening. The former government gave them $3.4 million dollars worth of establishment grants

  • Vanguard Military School in Christchurch received $757,115
  • City Senior School in Auckland received $727,696
  • Waatea High School in Māngere received $664,239
  • Blue Light Senior Boys High School in Wairakei received $568,763
  • Tūranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne received $663,986


Taxpayers have paid $3.4 million to five proposed charter schools that may never open […]

None of the five schools is believed to have paid back any of the money yet because they are still negotiating about either opening state or integrated schools instead, or recovering their costs for dreams that will never be realised.

End of quote:

Imagine what kind of a negotiating chip that 3.4 million dollars would be to those schools given that the government is hell-bent on preventing them from opening and on terminating charter schools that are already open.

Vanguard Military school in Auckland is currently the only charter school that has officially started the process to attempt to transition to a school of special character. Its sister school in Christchurch has been prevented from opening by the government. Vanguard, however, has 757,115 of government money that a prudent government would want back. If the government refuse to allow the Auckland branch of Vanguard to transition then a prudent Manager of Vanguard might use the establishment fund from Christchurch to hire a very good lawyer.

The government may be happy to burn 3.4 million dollars of taxpayer money and write it off as a one-off cost of terminating the charter school model but that is not the only cost.


The Ministry of Education has advised Hipkins that terminating contracts for the 11 existing charter schools and the five proposed schools “would generate compensation costs for committed costs of up to one million  per school (total of 16 million for 16 schools)[…]

Kaye said adding that to the 3.4 million in establishment grants, plus extra property costs the state may take on if charter schools become state schools, make “a 20 million policy to change the names of the schools”.

End of quote:

Twenty Million dollars is a huge waste of education dollars especially because the much less expensive to run charter schools are being forced to change to a model that requires the government to provides capital for school buildings which is an enormous capital outlay. The charter model allows the schools to save a fortune by leasing premises, thereby saving the taxpayer millions of dollars in capital outlay and in building upkeep.

Labour’s ideological desire to fix a system that isn’t broken in order to placate its union masters is a disgrace. They are burning money to change schools that are superior and a success to ones that are average and are proven failures when it comes to the demographic that Labour claims to care about.


Credit: Luke 


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