26 February 2021
[FYI request #14562 email]
Tēnā koe John
Thank you for your email of 28 January 2021 to the Ministry of Education, and for your
continued interest in dispute panels.
Implementation of the Tomorrow’s Schools review, including new ways to resolve disputes,
was agreed by Cabinet in 2019 (the Cabinet paper can be found here)
. The framework for the
establishment of dispute panels was then included in the Education and Training Act 2020
(the Act), which came into law in August last year. We anticipate that Ministers will make
further decisions on the implementation of dispute panels during this parliamentary term.
Until implementation decisions are made, we are unable to answer your queries about when
and where panels will be established, the terms of reference, or the pay rates for panel
members and the Chief Referee.
The Chief Referee has not yet been appointed. Regulations will need to be passed before
any panel members can be appointed, including the Chief Referee. The regulations are likely
to cover matters such as:
• further criteria for appointing the Chief Referee (the Act already provides that the Chief
Referee must hold a law degree or equivalent), such as life experience and expertise;
• the criteria for appointing other members of panels;
• how many members are required to sit on panels when resolving disputes; and
• powers and procedures of panels.
If you wish to be informed of when public consultation on the regulations begins, please
provide your contact details to Georgie Handley at [email address].
Once implementation decisions are made, we will be able to begin the recruitment process for
the members. Panels will be made up of local members to reflect local communities, as well
as expert members to provide nationwide consistency. An open recruitment process will be
run to appoint skilled members to panel roles. There will also be a recruitment process for the
Chief Referee (and any deputies).
Thank you for taking the time to write.
Nāku noa, nā
Ben O’ Meara Group Manager
Education System Policy
National Office, Mātauranga House, 33 Bowen Street, Wellington 6011
PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140. Phone: +64 4 463 8000 Fax: +64 4 463 8001