Govt won't force schools to scrap National Standards

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says while National Standards will be scrapped by the new government, schools will not be forced to abandon the system to adopt the new one put in place.

When questioned by National's Nikki Kaye in Parliament today, Mr Hipkins was resolute that the new government would indeed follow through with its promise to get rid of National Standards in schools.

"The new government intends to honour the commitments made by the Labour Party the Green Party and NZ First to scrap National Standards and replace them with a requirement for schools to report progress to parents against all levels of the New Zealand curriculum.

"A timetable for that is yet to be confirmed by the cabinet," Mr Hipkins said.

When asked a follow up question by Ms Kaye as to whether schools that want to keep National Standards be forced to shift to a new system by the government, Mr Hipkins simply replied "no".

This answer drew some surprised reactions from the opposition, before Ms Kaye pressed on to try and nail down a timeline for National Standards to be replaced.

"We have a timeline we are just yet to sign off on it," Mr Hipkins said.

The Minister of Education also says any system put in place will still require regular reporting to parents at least twice a year.

In a statement released shortly after question time Ms Kaye accused the government of creating confusion for parents around National Standards.

"In the last couple of weeks the Minister has said that National Standards will be gone very quickly, however today in Question Time he admitted he is still yet to sign off the timeline.

"The Minister has created further confusion today by stating that no school will be forced to scrap National Standards, which leads us to believe he is advocating for multiple systems of reporting," she said.

Mr Hipkins has yet to respond to this latest statement.

'Extensive' search fails to find Wellington diver

A search and rescue team have been unable to locate a diver who went missing near Wellington yesterday.

The operation to locate the 24-year-old man kicked into gear after he was reported as overdue from a solo diving trip just off Makara Beach, between Wharehou Bay and Pipinui Point.

A police spokesperson said an extensive search is underway employing a helicopter, as well as a search and rescue vessel the Lady Elizabeth.

The search today was unable to locate the man but recovered his spear gun, flotation buoy and his catch bag.

More of his belongings were recovered on the shore near where he is believed to have entererd the water.

The search is ongoing.

The diver was expected to return around 4pm yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS


Two children and woman hit by vehicle in Auckland, closing road

A vehicle struck three people today in Auckland. 

A police spokesperson said two children aged four and six received minor injuries and a woman, 33, has been taken to hospital with serious injuries. 

The children are at Starship Hospital. 

The crash happened on Sturges Rd in Henderson at 3.15pm. 

The road remains blocked.

Two children and a woman were left in hospital after being struck by a vehicle in Henderson. Source: 1 NEWS