Teachers in New Zealand have overwhelmingly rejected a new funding model which could cause serious detriment to already underfunded school budgets. The government is proposing to change to a so-called global funding system which would see schools getting a lump sum which they could then spend as they please. Teachers fear that in a situation where schools are already strapped for cash, this would mean fewer staff and larger class sizes.

The new system is one typically favoured by so-called education 'reformers' globally, who spuriously claim it as a way of improving local control of education. In an important article on New Zealand secondary teachers' union PPTA website, education academic Howard Stevenson details the effects of this policy, brought in in the UK by the Thatcher government. It has, he says, "acted as a Trojan Horse for the real motives under-pinning reforms – transforming the school system into one that first behaves like a private market, before eventually morphing into a fully-fledged private market in which public funds prop up a multimillion pound business ‘opportunity’."

Both main New Zealand teachers' unions are planning a campaign of action and public education to oppose the moves.