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Teacher Title bill inconsistent with NZBORA, says Attorney-General

31 January 2018

The Education (Protecting Teacher Title) Amendment Bill limits the right to freedom of expression affirmed in section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, Attorney-General David Parker says.

photo of Scales of Justice.1

In a report under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 on the bill, Mr Parker says the limit cannot be justified under section 5 of NZBORA.

The bill's expressed intention is to lift the status of teachers by removing the ability of those who have not gained certain teaching qualifications to represent themselves as "teachers" by using that title.

The bill is a private member's bill introduced by NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft.

"Unlike other protected titles such as 'lawyer', there are numerous people who legitimately use the title 'teacher' to earn their livelihoods. Indeed, the natural reading of clause 5 would also prevent any businesses using the word 'teacher' in their title - for instance if they were selling teacher supplies. The limit the bill placers on freedom of expression is significant," the report says.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019