The Primary School Union, NZEI says their sector is in crisis through a chronic shortage of teachers due to recruitment and retention issues. They are now calling for urgent action to address the problem.

'Kua Tae Te Wā' is a new campaign which gathered these primary and area school principals and teachers.

NZEI President Lynda Stuart says the campaign is a response to the crisis in recruiting and retaining teachers, the lack of time to teach and the inadequate resourcing for children with additional learning needs.

“So that we can actually attract and retain people in the profession. We cannot continue to lose teachers constantly, nor can we continue to put teachers and principals under the stress they've been put under.”

Denise Marshall, the principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manawatū for the last 27 years says despite the struggles they make do with what they have.

“Ko te uauatanga me kī mō tō tātou kura torutoru noa iho ngā rauemi torutoru noa iho ngā kaiako e mau ana i te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.”

Stuart also says more than 100 NZEI leaders and sector representatives and it's confirmed that a 40% reduction in people enrolling in teacher training in the past six years.

“It needs bold drastic measures to be able to fix what’s happened in education - our members will decide what they need to do, they will decide the level we need to go to but we cannot continue in the situation were in at the moment.”

NZEI Te Riu Roa members will make a decision about their claim in meetings over the next fortnight and endorse a campaign for significant investment in the education sector.