Tran­sience among school pupils drops

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

Chil­dren in North­land are stay­ing in the same school more than at any time this decade be­cause more of their par­ents have jobs.

A re­cent sur­vey shows the groups which had the high­est tran­sience rates up to 2016 — lowdecile, Ma¯ ori and North­land stu­dents — have logged the big­gest re­duc­tions in 2017.

North­land's school tran­sience rate is still the high­est in the coun­try, but dropped the most, from 1.94 per cent in 2016 to 1.67 per cent last year.

Te Tai Tok­erau Prin­ci­pals As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Pat New­man said the rea­son was sim­ple: jobs.

“We are start­ing to get jobs,” he said.

“Tran­sience was built out of, quite sim­ply, peo­ple not hav­ing work, and/or ca­sual work, mov­ing from Dar­gav­ille for the ku­mara or to Kerik­eri for the fruit pick­ing.

“What we have now is a lot more in work, so they are not shift­ing.

“Build­ing has picked up be­cause the rich in Auck­land are now back buy­ing and build­ing houses here, and tourism is pick­ing up,” New­man said.

He said the tran­sience rate at his decile 2 school in Whanga¯ rei, Hora Hora School, had dropped by about 25 per cent in the past two years.

“We are a bit un­usual. We are 80 per cent Ma¯ ori but, of those, 70 per cent by­pass other schools to bring their kids here,” he said.

“But the word I have been get­ting from most places is that tran­sience is drop­ping, al­though not nec­es­sar­ily in the more re­mote and iso­lated ar­eas.”

Only 0.47 per cent of school­child­ren changed schools more than once last year, mak­ing them of­fi­cially “tran­sient“, down from a peak of 0.65 per cent in 2011 when the worst ef­fects of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis co­in­cided with the Christchurch earth­quake.

Al­though the na­tional un­em­ploy­ment rate rose a frac­tion from 4.4 per cent in March to 4.5 per cent in June, the 4.5 per cent an­nual aver­age for the year to June was the low­est since just be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis hit in 2008, when it was 3.8 per cent.

The Māori un­em­ploy­ment rate is still dou­ble the na­tional aver­age, at 9.5 per cent, but has fallen more than in any other eth­nic group in the past two years, from 11.4 per cent in the year to June 2016.

And North­land, which has had the coun­try's high­est un­em­ploy­ment rate for most of the past 30 years and was still the worst with 8.3 per cent un­em­ployed two years ago, has seen its job­less rate drop faster than any other re­gion in the past two years, to 5.7 per cent, now be­low Manawatu-whanganui (6.1 per cent) and Gisborne/hawke's Bay (5.9 per cent).

PHOTO / MICHAEL CUN­NING­HAM

Hora Hora Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Pat New­man says if par­ents have jobs, chil­dren can stay at the same school.

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