BREAKING NEWS
Auckland primary school in police lockdown ... More soon
Close

Politicians lobbied over bible class

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 01/06/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

Robertson hunts for finance gospel PM reveals Slater texts Labour president quits John Key: No dirt has stuck to my office Spy watchdog queries report release Beehive Live: Spies and flags Greens call for donor disclosure Auckland affordable housing target beaten Apologise or resign, MPs tell Key Mfat's John Allen off to NZ Racing Board

Secular school campaigners are knocking on politicians' doors to lobby for a law change over religious lessons in school.

The latest effort to cut bible classes from school time follows a recent success for the group with the Human Rights Commission.

Secular Education Network spokesman David Hines said he had met with education spokespeople from the Greens, Mana Party and NZ First and was hoping to talk to Labour and National.

Although Education Minister Hekia Parata wasn't "bubbling with enthusiasm", her office has indicated she would agree to meet with him.

"We're not hopeful [for change], but I'll be surprised if they don't talk to us."

Although no political party is willing to make religious lessons a political issue for this year's election, he said the three political parties he spoke to are open to debating the cause.

However, Hines said no one knows exactly how the rules should be interpreted, so schools are operating off their own assumptions.

"There's no rhyme or reason to the rules. When we go to complain to ERO [Education Review Office] or the Ministry of Education, they say they have no guidelines."

A group of Auckland primary schools recently took their concerns about religious teaching to the Human Rights Commission.

The Secular Education Network celebrated the commission's decision in January, which made Auckland's St Heliers School halt half-hour bible classes during school time.

However, it was a bittersweet victory after the school restarted classes during the lunch break.

The apparent retreat came after the Churches Education Commission was unable to offer teachers outside school hours.

Hines said he was preparing to make a group complaint to the Human Rights Commission following a number of new complaints from parents concerned about bible lessons in class.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday Star Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content