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Wellington teachers rally attracts crowds and PM

Around 4000 Wellingtonians marched from Westpac Stadium to a rally at Parliament today in support of the first teachers’ strike in 24 years, calling for a pay rise and smaller class sizes.

Photo by Giovanni Tiso

Jacinda Adern had not planned to attend the rally, but changed her plans when she saw protesters arriving on to the grounds at Parliament. She asked teachers to work with the government, but that change would take time and

Education Minister Chris Hipkins was cheered when he said that he had heard the teachers concerns.

Earlier at the stadium, representatives of the NZEI, the primary and intermediate teachers union, told the crowd that more strikes might be needed.

The audience were vocally supportive of a two-day strike for any further action.

Across New Zealand, around 1945 primary and intermediate schools closed, with 27,745 primary and intermediate school teachers and 1827 principals who are members of the New Zealand Educational Institute committed to strike action.

You can read a comprehensive RNZ report of the day’s action here.