Religious teaching review ruled out

Last updated 08:36 25/07/2014

Related Links

'Kitchen work' for no-bible student Editorial: Silly complaint about religion

Relevant offers


Trans-Tasman roll call - the best and worst of the 2015 political year Faces of Innocents: Too many children are dying, are we about to break another promise? Prime Minister John Key defends 'green' credentials ahead of major summit Andrew Little to unveil Labour's shadow Cabinet New Zealand and Australia condemn Japan for resuming Southern Ocean whaling Jenny Shipley: Why we need a silver fern flag Children's flag referendum views are being heard by voters in their families 'Our job is not to censor. We're not serving the political elite, business or corporations' Stacey Kirk: Strewth! Join Australia? They're a bunch of flaming galahs! 'I don't want to be prime minister' – Jacinda Ardern

Education Minister Hekia Parata is not considering a review of the law allowing religious instruction in state schools.

Christchurch mother Tanya Jacob, along with the Secular Education Network (SEN), is leading a fight against the Education Act sections that permit volunteers to teach religion after her son felt discriminated against and was made to wash dishes for opting out at his school. They are asking for a review of the Act.

Parata said she was not considering a review of the Education Act .

"I'm more concerned to ensure that parents have the opportunity to express their views." It was up to individual boards of trustees to decide whether religious instruction was offered to pupils, and members were chosen through a democratic process.

"Parents have choice. If they don't want to have their children going to a school that offers that, then choose another school." Christianity was where the country's "traditional history" came from.

"The country as a whole at a public national level still has a view about the place of that in our society." She predicted the role of religion in education could eventually change, as the population "decides that that is what it wants to happen".

It would have to be a problem among a majority of schools before she considered any kind of review of the ability for schools to provide religious instruction.

Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins said religion in schools was a "vexed area" and he would be open to a review.

SEN spokesman David Hines said the people being hurt by bibles in schools were often in a minority. "But that's what human rights is about, caring for minorities." Christianity was being taught as superior to other religions, and that people with no religion were morally inferior.

* Comments are now closed on this story.

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

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



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content