More Choices, More Voices: Rethinking school board elections

Closed 16 Jun 2021

Opened 21 Apr 2021


More Choices, More Voices: Rethinking school board elections 

Kura/school boards play an important role in the educational achievement and wellbeing of ākonga/learners. Parents, staff, and students in years 9 and above, elect representatives to their kura/school board. Now, school board elections mostly have to use the postal system and paper forms. But we know that the current process doesn’t work well for everyone:

  • Voter turnout is variable across schools.
  • The current processes have contributed to the underrepresentation of many communities. This includes Māori and Pacific communities.
  • Some students feel like they don’t have enough of a say in school board decisions.

Last year we made some minor changes to the Education (Board Elections) Regulations 2000. This improved the workability of the framework in time for the December 2020 midterm elections. 

Since then, we have reviewed the more fundamental aspects of the legislative framework for school board elections. This discussion document seeks your feedback on proposed changes.

Key suggested change

  1. We are considering enabling schools to choose whether to run their elections electronically, through hui or through the current process. 

Other suggested changes

  1. Requiring schools to consult students (years 9 and above), staff and their school communities on election processes.
  2. Updating the criteria for co-opting and appointing board members so that they are more inclusive and better reflect te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  3. Strengthening student voice by requiring boards, after a failed election to fill a casual vacancy for a student representative, to either select a student representative or establish a different method for students to have a say in school board decisions.
  4. Clarifying casual vacancy procedures.
  5. Making amendments to election timetables to increase flexibility and to allow certain election processes to happen faster.
  6. Making other minor and technical changes.

More Information

For more information about Proposed changes to School board elections click here.

Your Feedback

We welcome your feedback on these proposals. Your feedback will help shape and inform advice to government on possible changes to school board elections.

You can answer some or all the questions in each section. If there are any questions you do not want to answer, simply skip over them. 

We encourage you to fill in the first set of questions to help us analyse and understand the perspectives of the wide range of people answering this survey. 

This consultation will be open until midnight on Wednesday 16 June.