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 , 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.