Cívica education

I think that building civics education into our school system would be a great way to increase participation. It's hard for ppl to get involved when they don't have a good understanding of govt and how they can contribute.

Why the contribution is important

It would make citizens more engaged in government and what happens in their community.

by GaryS on March 01, 2021 at 12:45PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 7 votes


  • Posted by stowellj March 01, 2021 at 13:41

    Agree absolutely, though I don't know to what extent civics education is already available. As part of the last National Action Plan there was an initiative to introduce some young people to the process of making submissions to select committees, which was not doubt good but presumably only reached a limited number of young folk. Another initiative which might spark interest would be to introduce an element of participatory budgeting into schools, whereby a small part of the school's annual discretionary budget is set aside for the pupils of the school to allocate, using a democratic process.
  • Posted by design55 March 01, 2021 at 20:58

    My understanding is that there are some minor activities at High School levels for this Civics idea that could be further transformed into an on-site Schools budgetary Team that year 12 and year 13 students could participate within. It could be an extension of the School Executive and Prefects committee but as a wider Senior Students group. This may be a simple start as "stowellj" alludes but a start that should grow as the initiative grows and better communication amongst the young people and Government Ministries grows.
  • Posted by pgov March 02, 2021 at 15:28

    Civic education is particularly important to dispel the idea that nothing can be changed. Compared to many other countries in the world, the average person in NZ has relatively easy access to those that are in power, whether it is through speaking to your local MP or making an official information act request. Particularly immigrants like myself, from countries were governance is obscure and those in power are difficult to access, the fact that NZ has quite good transparency and accountability needs to be further emphasised. In my opinion if people do not believe they can make change, this demotivates them from learning about governance in the first place.

    Within school and at university I have encountered many intelligent people who only have a faint idea about how NZ is governed. Even more disheartening however, is the multitude of people who have expressed to me no interest whatsoever in engaging politically or with their community. This may be a difficult problem to address as I think it may be caused by the individualistic nature of society in NZ.
  • Posted by jfro012 March 11, 2021 at 13:26

    Fully agree with everything here, and wrote my comment under another idea.
  • Posted by jfro012 March 11, 2021 at 13:27

    Here's my full comment. This is an absolute must and I think pretty easy to implement into social studies classes in year 8 or year 9. Young NZers need to know our structure of government and how it works and why voting is important. The Electoral Commission has lots of great teaching ideas and materials for this. I know teachers are busy but perhaps we can get former educators to volunteer to offer units in this. I would love to do this when I retire!
  • Posted by Harry May 10, 2021 at 10:53

    I agree with these comments, so long as the subject is not presented in an 'identity politics' way, as so much is these days. The Treaty of Waitangi is a simple document which says "we won't allow you to be killed and no-one can take your land, if you agree that the Crown governs". This is constantly reviewed and built upon by people with a clear conflict of interest.
    It's appalling how people feel disconnected from voting, jury service, submitting to select committees, recycling and conservation, and community spirit and duty generally. Entitlement without responsibility.
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