Watch: Jacinda Ardern, in impromptu speech to striking teachers, asks them to 'work with' Govt to 'move forward'

Jacinda Ardern has addressed a crowd who gathered outside Parliament during today's teachers' strike, in an impromptu speech.

About 29,000 primary and intermediate teachers who belong to the NZEI union have walked out of classrooms in the first strike for 24 years over pay and work conditions.

In the big cities and in small towns teachers turned out in force. Source: 1 NEWS

The Prime Minister told the throng of Wellington teachers the country's education system is in need of "radical change" but that it "takes time".

Ms Ardern said she "wasn't scheduled to be here" but decided to speak to the crowd after seeing them "streaming" through and thought she "could not not be here".

"I didn't have this sense of 'them and us' - I just had the sense of 'us'. You're all here because you're passionate about kids and you know, as we know, that the education system has the power to overcome so many of the issues and challenges we face as a country - and you are the frontline of that," Ms Ardern said.

She continued: "There's a reason that I put myself into the portfolio of Minister for Child Poverty Reduction - because I believe, and I know, that my motivation in politics is kids, just like your motivation of what you do is kids. There is no you and us, there is only us. That means that we have to take on board every challenge that you've raised."

Ms Ardern said there is "so much more work to do", and asked the crowd to work with Government to implement change.

"I am here today to ask you to work with us as we try to move forward," she said.

"We know there's a lot to do, and we want to work with you as we do it. Thank you for the work that you do."

Ms Ardern later added, "There was a good reason why I was sworn into Parliament with my social studies teacher who was there with me, and when I was made Prime Minister, it was my social studies teacher who stood with me when I signed that warrant of responsibility."

"We will keep working with you, but in the meantime, thank you for what you do for all of us."


The Prime Minister told the throngs of Wellington teachers the country is in need of “radical change”. Source: 1 NEWS



Live Stream: Judith Collins set to put pressure on Government over housing affordability during Question Time


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'It’s an opportunity for us to take New Zealand to the rest of the world': Steve Hansen reiterates call for Government cash

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has repeated his views that the Government ought to sponsor the rugby national team, saying it’s a world-renowned brand.

Hansen revealed after last month’s Bledisloe Cup-clinching win that he had asked Grant Robertson for funding while the sports minister and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern were in the Eden Park changing rooms.

“If you think about the All Blacks and the brand, it’s important that we represent New Zealand really well, and she leads our country.” Source: 1 NEWS

Hansen reiterated those views today in Wellington, saying the brand was world renowned and that’s why he felt the Government should do more for the team and rugby in general.

"It’s not about going cap in hand to the Government, the whole point of making that comment and it’s interesting everybody has jumped on it," Hansen told media in Wellington.

"This is my opinion and people can boo hoo it if they like, I believe the All Blacks over a long time have been a great brand for New Zealand.”

READ MORE: 'Who would put that on a Prime Minister!?' Jacinda asked to choose between cash for grass roots - or keeping Beauden Barrett

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was on the hot seat today, responding to questions about Government money for the All Blacks. Source: Breakfast

"You can go anywhere in the world and people may not know New Zealand, but they’ve heard of the All Blacks, I think it’s an opportunity for us to take New Zealand to the rest of the world by using that brand, be it in tourism, business and that’s why I mentioned they should be one of our sponsors."

Hansen said in his mind, rugby continued to be an important part of New Zealand’s national identity and he felt the country’s top players were missing out on rewards.

"Rugby in this country is an important part of who we are and what we are and not all the money that we make goes to the players, it goes to grassroots and funding development and women’s rugby. I don’t know if you’ve seen the budget but we’re spending more than we’ve got and that’s not a great way to run your budget."

"If the money goes to grassroots and developing women’s rugby and developing young talent to come through and be All Blacks then maybe some of the money we get from Adidas and AIG and our other sponsors can be used to keep players here."

Hansen added that he felt that complacency did not only need to be fought within the team, but by the fans and wider country as well.

"The word complacency has been bandied around about us as a team, we’re fighting it all the time and we need to within our fans and within our country cause I’m sure there’d be a different attitude if this team wasn’t performing."

The All Blacks coach has repeated his views that the government ought to sponsor the world-renowned national team. Source: 1 NEWS

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Construction worker injured in workplace accident above Auckland's city centre

A construction worker has been injured in an accident on top of a construction site in Auckland’s city centre.

One person was transport to Auckland Hospital in a moderate condition, said St John spokesperson Mark Deoki.

Two fire department vehicles were also sent to the scene, near the intersection of Victoria St West and Graham Street.


St John Ambulance (file picture).
St John Ambulance (file picture). Source: St John.


Māori youth labelled 'plastic': 'I'm not Māori enough but I'm not white'

Young Māori have spoken out about being labelled "plastic" because they can't speak the language - saying the hurtful term is used to imply they're fake or less Māori.

This week we've seen New Zealanders everywhere embracing te reo, sharing their stories, and encouraging others to learn the language.

But for many Māori who can't speak it, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori can be a stark reminder of the guilt and shame they feel not knowing their own language.

Eve Duncan Spring is from the iwi of Ngāruahine, but she's never learned how to speak her language.

Growing up it wasn't spoken in her home, and it wasn't offered as a language at the schools she went to.

"Where do I fit because if I say I'm Māori I'm not Māori enough but I'm not white, so if anything it just makes me sad," she said.

According to the 2013 census, just over 127,000 Māori can hold a conversation in te reo.

For Emma Brown, from Ngāpuhi, Māori was her first language as she went to Kohanga Reo.

But she was then enrolled into mainstream education for the rest of her schooling.

Now, she said, she could hold a conversation with a 5-year-old - anyone older and she feels out of her depth.

"We stopped using it around home and obviously stopped speaking Māori at school.

"I found that the better I got going through the westernised education system, the less I was able to retain that Māori that I learnt as a young kid."

She said through high school she often seemed worlds apart from the other Māori.

She had different interests from her peers, she enjoyed physics and she didn't hang out at the school marae.

As a result she was labelled 'plastic' by them, a term which still makes her angry.

"I don't know who came up with the standard."

"I've never heard a Pākehā be called plastic, but it's applied to every other culture like we've got standards to meet that someone else set for us."

Both Ms Duncan Spring and Ms Brown said the main reason they're not able to speak Māori has been their surroundings.

'It comes from within'

Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart had the same experience and she said she has been called plastic several times.

That's further complicated by her Pākehā-Chinese father and his stance on learning te reo Māori.

"I actually got discouraged by a couple of people. There's a outlook about it like 'it's not a global language, why's it so important to learn?' My dad was like, 'you should learn mandarin'."

However not everyone around them has been judgemental.

Tumanako Fa'aui said despite not being able to speak Māori he has had support from his elders.

"I've had enough kaumātua and fairly influential people tell me that it comes from within, it shouldn't be what's on the outside.

"You're Māori because of your whakapapa, it's not something for someone else to tell you."

Despite the label and the names, they're all taking steps to learn their reo. They've enrolled in courses and are learning from those around them who speak Māori.

Ms Brown said she still needs to put in more effort.

"We did a course at Unitec, the free Māori courses. My nana was fluent and my dad is so there are opportunities around for me to learn."

Mr Fa'aui said speaking with his mum at home has been the biggest help.

"I've been doing correspondence te reo courses and my mum has picked it up again so we're trying to speak as much as we can to each other at home."

- Reporting by Radio NZ's Eden More

rnz.co.nz

Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart, Emma Brown, Tumanako Fa’aui and Eve Duncan Spring talk about being labelled 'plastic'.
Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart, Emma Brown, Tumanako Fa’aui and Eve Duncan Spring talk about being labelled 'plastic'. Source: rnz.co.nz