Religious Instruction: complaints, concerns, internal memos and reports.

Tanya Jacob made this Official Information request to Ministry of Education

This request has been reported as needing administrator attention (perhaps because it is vexatious, or a request for personal information)

From: Tanya Jacob

Dear Ministry of Education,

I would like a list, and where available, copies of, all contact the Ministry has received expressing concern or complaint regarding religious instruction (RI) in state primary and intermediate schools dating back to the beginning of 2005. This would include any log of phone calls made to the Ministry, as well as emails, letters and personal visits to offices.

I would also like copies of any and all internal memos and reports pertaining to RI, including advisories regarding public position statements.

Please attach dates, names of complainants and who dealt with the complaint, as well as who that staff member directly reported to.

Yours faithfully,

Tanya Jacob.

Link to this

From: Tanya Jacob

Dear Ministry of Education,

I am sending this as an addendum to my recent Official Information Request regarding Religious Instruction concerns and complaints.

To avoid any confusion over terminology, by Religious Instruction I am referring to any course that is run within a state primary or intermediate school under sections 77-80 of the Education Act 1964 (also known as the Nelson Clause).

Individual complaints may use the term "religious education", or identify these courses as "values" classes, "Christian Religious Education" (or CRE), Cool Bananas, Religion in Life, Connect, or a variety of other names. They are all relevant to my enquiry so long as there provision comes under the above-mentioned sections of the Education Act.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Tanya Jacob

Link to this

From: Enquiries National
Ministry of Education


Attachment 847150.pdf
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Hey Tanya

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
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Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

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2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Enquiries National
Ministry of Education


Attachment 847150.pdf
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Dear Ms Jacob

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Tania Wright
Ministry of Education

Hi

 

Will let you know

 

Thanks

Tania

 

 

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Wednesday, 2 April 2014 4:55 p.m.
To: [OIA #1522 email]
Subject: Follow up to your emails of 6 March 2014
Importance: High

 

Dear Ms Jacob

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Tanya Jacob

Dear Tania Wright,

I was anticipating a response to my information request yesterday. Can you please advise when this will now be available?

Yours sincerely,

Tanya Jacob

Link to this

From: Enquiries National
Ministry of Education


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment 847150 31 40.pdf
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Second email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[3]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:06 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Dear Ms Jacob

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [4][Ministry of Education request email]| [5]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[6]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
4. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
5. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Enquiries National
Ministry of Education


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment 847150 56 60.pdf
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And final email. Thanks for your patience!

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[3]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:09 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Fourth email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [4][Ministry of Education request email]| [5]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[6]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:08 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Third email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [7][Ministry of Education request email]| [8]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[9]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:07 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Second email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [10][Ministry of Education request email]| [11]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[12]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:06 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Dear Ms Jacob

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [13][Ministry of Education request email]| [14]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[15]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
4. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
5. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
7. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
8. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
10. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
11. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
13. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
14. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Enquiries National
Ministry of Education


Attachment image001.png
3K Download

Attachment 847150 1 20.pdf
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Morning

 

I’m resending email 1 in 2 parts as the file size was too large.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[3]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:10 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

And final email. Thanks for your patience!

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [4][Ministry of Education request email]| [5]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[6]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:09 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Fourth email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [7][Ministry of Education request email]| [8]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[9]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:08 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Third email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [10][Ministry of Education request email]| [11]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[12]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:07 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Second email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [13][Ministry of Education request email]| [14]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[15]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:06 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Dear Ms Jacob

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [16][Ministry of Education request email]| [17]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[18]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
4. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
5. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
7. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
8. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
10. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
11. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
13. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
14. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
16. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
17. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Enquiries National
Ministry of Education


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment 847150 21 30.pdf
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And part 2.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [1][Ministry of Education request email]| [2]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[3]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:27 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: FW: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Morning

 

I’m resending email 1 in 2 parts as the file size was too large.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [4][Ministry of Education request email]| [5]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[6]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:10 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

And final email. Thanks for your patience!

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [7][Ministry of Education request email]| [8]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[9]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:09 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Fourth email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [10][Ministry of Education request email]| [11]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[12]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:08 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Third email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [13][Ministry of Education request email]| [14]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[15]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:07 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Second email...

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [16][Ministry of Education request email]| [17]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[18]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

From: Enquiries National
Sent: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:06 a.m.
To: '[OIA #1522 email]'
Subject: Response to your letter of 6 March 2014

 

Dear Ms Jacob

 

Please note the attached PDF.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^AF

45-47 Pipitea St, Wellington, New Zealand

Email [19][Ministry of Education request email]| [20]http://www.minedu.govt.nz

 

Note that messages sent to several Ministry email addresses are responded
to by this mailbox

 

[21]cid:image002.png@01CDA7CA.10D17FD0

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
2. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
4. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
5. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
7. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
8. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
10. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
11. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
13. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
14. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
16. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
17. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/
19. mailto:[Ministry of Education request email]
20. Ministry of Education
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Rose Stainer
Ministry of Education


Attachment 847150 41 50.pdf
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847150 – 41-50.pdf attached

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

Link to this

From: Rose Stainer
Ministry of Education


Attachment 847150 51 55.pdf
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847150 – 51-55.pdf attached

DISCLAIMER:
This email (including any attachments) may contain information which is
confidential or legally privileged and may not reflect the Ministry of
Education's view. The Ministry is not responsible for changes made to this email
after we've sent it. If you have received this email by mistake, please reply to
the Ministry immediately and delete both messages.

Link to this

Tanya Jacob left an annotation ()

OIA request key:

This request brought back a huge amount of information. It was sent in six parts and what follows is a summary of what is there and the key points raised. I’ve broken it down into each email block that it was sent in (so that you can find it again). It was a mess, so please just take this as a rough guide! NB Memos from Legal are highlighted. (Some translation from notes, so whether an exact date fits or crosses over with the response below, you may just want to look it up before quoting anything.)
There is a fair bit of abbreviation so for starters:
MoE = Ministry of Education
BiS = Bible in Schools
RI = Religious Instruction
RE = Religious Education
HRC = Human Rights Commission
CRE = Christian Religious Education
CEC = Churches Education Commission

2nd Email

2 Feb ‘07 email to MoE from Massey University advertising complaint re the CEC
16 Oct ‘06 letter to CEC from Senior Manager, Ed Management Policy CEC leaflet attached
? Advertising Standards Authority Complaint CEC website material attached

20 Feb ‘07 letter from MoE to CEC “amendments” required

27 Feb ‘07 Memo from Legal guidance for Christchurch office in response to phone calls from parents re RI. Notes the benefits of doing RI when the school is normally closed for secular instruction: Not appearing different as there is no need to opt out.

15 Mar ‘07 letter from MoE to complainant updating re CEC amendments

5 Mar ‘07 email re letter sent to Rotorua office no reply so resending
13 Feb ‘07 letter to Rotorua office re CEC flyer that claims Ministry approval
concern over inappropriate teaching

20 Mar ‘07 Memo HRC mediation with Avondale School after parent complaint (2006), BiS, discriminatory treatment. NB. School sympathetic to parent but felt pressure from community after a survey in 2206 to which only 32% responded (with 59% of those pro RI). Decision to shift BiS time but Principal feared a backlash, so Ministry wrote a one page note “backing the school’s decision”.

23 Mar ‘07 website query follows query from Principal
21 Mar ‘07 email from/response to Albany School Principal requesting closure for RI info. Sent
relevant Education Act section.

27 Mar ‘07 Memo from Legal to Invercargill re different treatment of opt out families - some children sent to the library because they use the bus, while others told to stay home. Parents work so cannot accommodate this. Nevertheless it is legal to ask some parents to hold their children at home, though it is considered more sensitive to phrase it as the “school opens later”.

21 Aug ‘05 response to Education & Science Select Committee re their request for a briefing on the issues of RI. Demonstrates the Ministry knows very clearly that RI is different from secular teaching about religion (point #7) and states RI is “not neutral activities and either presuppose prior religious belief on the part of students or actively encourage this”. (point #12) “State support… in a school environment may potentially be in breach of the NZ Bill of Rights Act because of the risk of coercion…” “...given the vulnerabilities of students (particularly..primary school age) and their legal obligation to attend school.”
(point #14) “Areas of Concern” states that RI “predates the introduction of the NZ BoR Act by some 26 yrs.”
(point #15) no data kept, aware of “a range of problems” including proselytising, coercion, discrimination.
Therefore they are preparing guidelines for a “rights-consistent approach to RI” (point #18).

10 Jul ‘07 phone discussion leading to this letter from employee previously at Mt Albert Grammar.
10 Jul ‘07 email from MoE to MAG complainant

1 Dec ‘08 parent letter shocked that bible studies happens without permission.
1 Dec ‘08 response from Martin Connelly go to school Board
? 4 Aug ‘09 a proposed version of a letter from Martin Connelly? using the term RE, refers to HRC

4 Aug ‘09 email from Martin Connelly to Enquiries National re a request for info (below): very brief asking “I think you have a stick response?”
4 Aug ‘09 to Enquiries National request for info on what religion can be taught - all or one/is personal opinion allowed to be expressed?

Email 1 part 1 - a busy time for the Minister, Steve Maharey:

Letter to me re what is withheld.
List of contents - ish.

Oct ‘05 response to query re legal rights of staff and students in secondary school.
? letter from Minister Steve Maharey commenting on how “the restrictions on the provision of RI and observances in no way impede schools ability to offer education about religion. The neutral presentation of information about religion is a legitimate part of secular teaching, including…”

Feb ‘06 response from Education Policy & Management re what secondary schools can do (letter attached). “Schools are not able to abrogate their responsibility for their students’ wellbeing and safety merely because the school is deemed closed for RI.” Recommends consultation with the Board in all cases and states that “this should help ensure that decisions made are those that are best for that community.”

Aug ‘06 response by Steve Maharey to email 23 Aug re special place of Maori RI and observances that are not split.

Aug ‘06 letter from Steve Maharey to pro RI? “....there are no restrictions at all around RE - that is the neutral presentation of information about religion in any state school. RE is distinct from RI and observances…” (more insightful stuff ending with…) “On this basis ...I do not believe that further provision for RI and observances is required.”

Aug ‘06 letter from Steve Maharey re the national anthem, stating it is not a religious observance. Mentions that the Ministry will not be issuing the guidelines, but responding to individual complaints.

Aug ‘06 letter from Steve Maharey on behalf of the PM “There has been no recent change in the law and teaching these schools continues to be secular in nature. Equally, for parents who wish their children to be exposed to some RI or observances, the option remains available in many schools to participate in these activities outside of school hours.” “...the curriculum is currently being revised to ensure that values are given a more prominent place in our public education system in the future.”

6 Sep ‘06 email to MP Harry Duynhoven on behalf of Minister Steve Maharey acknowledging Minister’s letter of Sep 5 ‘06 re proposed guidelines for RI in schools and a constituent.
5 Sep ‘06 email from MP H. Duynhoven sending a copy of the letter previously sent by a constituent concerned about the proposed guidelines. MP is stating his understanding that this letter led to the Ministry not “moving ahead” with the proposed guidelines. Seeking confirmation of this.

24 Aug ‘06 letter to MP H. Duynhoven from Anglican Priest pro-RI letter trivialising the complaints against RI and generalising about spirituality and christian heritage. (2 pages)

Aug ‘06 response from Steve Maharey on behalf of PM re restriction on when and where someone is able to pray. “Religion is a private matter protected…”

29 Aug ‘06 note of receipt of letter to Steve Maharey re proposed guidelines

24 Aug ‘06 letter to Steve Maharey pro RI re how religion cannot be a private thing. Accusing the education system of causing “sustained ignorance” of religion shaping our culture. Wants high level talks between MoE and theologians.

Aug ‘06 response by Steve Maharey to above letter Values in curriculum/at Board’s discretion. ie using it as a DEFENCE against encroachment of more fundamentalist positions.

24 Aug ‘06 letter from Diocesan Youth Advisor re sees the separation of secular from spiritual as a ridiculous modernist western notion.
Aug ‘06 response

25 Aug ‘06 Internal redirect for clarification query about religious groups offering publications
to students
24 Aug ‘06 Letter from parent secondary school student given no option but to attend a religious session and take a New Testament home. Wants to know if consent is required. (Response says no it’s not, either from parent or child)

Aug ‘06 Response from Steve Maharey about a prayer room constructed at a Christchurch school without approval from the then Minister. It was advised at the time as innappropriate use of public funding.

Aug ‘06 Letter from Steve re rules for integrated versus state schools on RI and obs.

Aug ‘06 Letter from Steve stating the Act “doesn’t mean children will be kept ignorant of a major part of our cultural history”.

19 Sept ‘06 Martin Connelly to ??? saying since their last meeting that the decision has been made to shelve the guidelines and go to a case-by-case basis.
Sept ‘06 Letter from Steve on behalf of PM re an Aug 30 letter. Usual format.

30 Aug ‘06 email from parent 14 yr old not asked if wanted to attend RI. Also primary school child with RI. Unhappy that it is christian dogma rather than the RE it is sold as.
response secondary schools don’t need to get consent but it is good practice to do so.

13 Sept ‘06 Martin Connelly replying to a letter, stating that we don’t need to broaden provision of RI since we have it already plus state-integrated schools.

Email 1 part 2 The saga continues:

1 Sept ‘06 Memo Format for RI advice and FAQs. Includes notes on teaming up with the HRC to “distance the Minister” and to “lend and air of impartiality and independent expertise”. Ideas for the website/issues/non-issues.

18 Sept ‘06 To Gate Pa School, Tauranga (re 11 Sept letter) stating the Ministry has become involved in the issue because of complaints from parents to the ministry and the HRC, and a request from the Education and Science Select Committee. There will be no guidelines. Thanks for your concern.

? To Senior Media Advisor re Briefing Paper
From Anglican Priest Bringing up as many points of contradiction as he can and asking for clarification.

15 Sept ‘06 Response from Martin Connelly Detailed responses to each point and legislation referenced.

Oct ‘06 Letter from Steve Maharey re Oct 12 email stating no plans for opt-in, no obligation for parents to supervise whilst opting out - the onus is on the school. (NB contradicts earlier advice)

16 Oct ‘06 Letter from parent at Amberley School, Chch Asking for opt-in; feels RI is pushy and christian biased; duplicitous treatment by school leaves them feeling unheard; child bringing home proselytising material. Asking whether there will be a change in policy.

12 Oct ‘06 Letter from Martin Connelly Usual format plus legislation.

16 Oct ‘06 Memo re Tiritea School re legal challenge primarily about total hours of RI. Deconstructed, and states the real issues are coercion and supervision.

16 Oct ‘06 To Brian Pegler, CEC, from Martin Connelly Asking for proof of MoE endorsement and expressing concern of claims to that effect.

14 Nov ‘06 Memo to Martin Re Avondale HRC complaint Detailing case for opt-in and secular instruction for those opted out.

4 Dec ‘06 From Massey, email re CEC false claims repeated from earlier.
16 Oct ‘06 Repeat of letter to CEC.

2 Feb ‘07 from Legal Assistant suggestions for response on how to deal with someone who wants Genesis taught in schools to avert tragedies.
2 Feb ‘07 Steve seeking help to respond re above, and his response

Final email:

3 Dec ‘13 Call from a Board Member re a teacher’s query to the Board wanting advice about the newly adopted RE (RI). States that they are not closing the school.

16 Jan ‘14 To St Helier’s Advising that they must notify parents of closing for RI and that the school is not required to provide alternative programmes for opt-outs but must supervise them. Goes on to state that BoTs are Crown Entities and that the MoE is not authorised to intervene on this issue. States that parents were 1: never told the school was closed 2: never given alternatives to “religious study” 3: the “scope and topics” covered by “bible study” not mentioned.

15 Jan ‘14 Parent at St Heliers Concerned second child starting school and school is still not informing parents.

23/22 Sept ‘11 attached previous email from MoE
9 Sept ‘11 Original email concerned a state school is not meant to run RI

26 Mar ‘14 letter from St Heliers parent feels HRC guidelines not followed by school. Making official complaint that the Board and Principal need guidance.

Feb ‘14 Back and forth emails re Forrest Hill School trying to ascertain whether this is from a parent.
29 Jan ‘14 email from parent at Forrest Hill Referencing KROOS and stating RI discriminatory. Says they do not opt out because they don’t want their child ostracised.

Feb ‘14 To Forrest Hill School from parent Stating discrimination of RI, and no response.
(forwarded to MoE)

19 Feb ‘14 re complaint, from MoE take it to the Board.

11 Feb ‘14 from parent to MoE stating complained to Principal at Forrest Hill and ignored. Going to HRC.

19 Feb ‘14 follow up concerned complaint not from legitimate source.

16 April ‘14 “Religious Ethical Discrimination” - St Heliers
bounced internally from infoline at HRC from 2 Feb. almost incomprehensible diatribe against being complained against.

11 Feb ‘14 Bulletin re religion in schools for school leaders Board Member wanting more advice.
14 Feb ‘14 Bulletin as above advice: you can pretty much do what you want as long as the principal wants to and you can say you’re doing it apparently nicely. (my interpretation - getting pretty jaded now). Attached notes from earlier sources of discussion around anthems, karakia, spirituality, values… Why no guidelines? “most schools operate on a common sense basis….”

Re-issued email (due to privacy breaches) June 26 pdf 41-50:

11 Aug ‘10 re email 6 Aug from Judith Kavanagh MoE unable to advise about a class action. Concerned about bullying over RI. Advise going to Principal then Board.

15 Jan ‘14 email from St Heliers stating RI is an ongoing issue that they have dealt with twice before with the Board and Principal. Pro-RI, anti-parent. (attached email) repeat of St Heliers parent email.

23 Sept ‘11 from MoE offering “guidelines” on closing, saying the school must notify parents, that they can withdraw their children, the school has a responsibility of care, but need not have an alternative programme.

22 Sept ‘11 St Heliers repeat - unaware of RI, thinks it shouldn’t be allowed.

16 Feb ‘12 Christchurch East School, action log wanting info about parents’ rights
28 Mar ‘12 Chch East School, update due pending intervention
26 Mar ‘12 Chch East School, update STA aware of ongoing complaints to Board re BiS with parents asking for it to be removed.

10 Oct ‘12 MoE response on behalf of PM science okay, but RI “giving parents choice”

15 Oct ‘12 Chch East School two complaints registered.

15 Oct ‘12 a follow up with HRC notice
12 Oct ‘12 forwarding a complaint
11 Oct ‘12 internal MoE request to call re a complaint

9 Oct ‘12 From Maria Hansen at HRC Unable to get a response from Chch East Sch. or Board for 6 months! Seeking MoE assistance.

4 Apr ‘12 From Celia O’Dell at Crown Law attaching letter notifying BoT and advising to let Maria Hansen at HRC know if intending to participate in mediation.

15 Oct ‘12 MoE summary of Chch East Commissioner’s take on the situation

12,11,9 Oct ‘12 repeats.

11 Apr ‘12 complaint to Maria Hansen at HRC no content shown

4 Apr ‘12 repeat
25 Jun ‘12 from Principal at Chch East to Maria Hansen at HRC notifying that the Board has been dissolved and a Commissioner appointed. Review of Ri to be done in due course.

26 Nov ‘12 email from Anna Geling, MoE internal re repeal of section 78 , saying “sounds pretty good to me” - respect :)
22 Nov ‘12 email to Anna Geling, internal re repeal of section 78, “how does this sound”
20 Nov ‘12 re 78 needs repeal response queries usefulness of a remider to schools about requirements.
15 Nov ‘12 FW 78 repeal notes correspondent wants repeal rather than change in RI at Harewood School.
11 Nov ‘12 From Anna Geling Re repeal forwarding to colleague
9 Nov ‘12 From kathryn Palmer to Anna and Sean re repeal designated for ECP Manager reply
9 Nov ‘12 re repeal request, internal “please help”
1 Nov ‘12 re 78 repeal, letter from me. letter from parent at Harewood School seeking repeal of section 78. Notes discrimination.

11 Dec ‘12 response from Anna Geling refers to legislation and HRC guidelines.

11 Mar ‘13 log of receipt of letter to Peter Hughes, Secretary for Education, from me.

26 Apr ‘13 re repeal letter to Hughes “serves the government of the day”, repeal “not on the work programme”, “student achievement a priority”, HRC and diversity blah, blah, schools are “self-managing” by BoTs. (letter attached)

5 Aug ‘13 re St Heliers School please ring the school to discuss
5 Aug ‘13 MoE to St Heliers they’ve elected not to close and this needs addressing
5 Aug ‘13 repeat
5 Aug ‘13 St Heliers, MoE internal how do you want to deal with not closing for RI?
5 Aug ‘13 to St Heliers please close because of breach of Act, cease RI until sorted.
5 Aug ‘13 repeat of parent letter to St Heliers re ostracism and unindoctrinating.
9 Aug ‘13 re St Heliers, MoE internal Principal got legal advice from NZSTA that not required to notify parents re closure and believes that St Heliers has done nothing wrong.
7 Aug ‘13 St Heliers, MoE internal Principal’s and Deputy’s versions differ. Think written notice to parents required re closure.
7 Aug ‘13 St Heliers, MoE internal spoke to Principal, all okay with the Act.

5 Aug ‘13 Repeat, re closure.

Re-issued email June 26 (due to privacy breaches) pdf 51-55:

12 Aug ‘13 register of section 78 repeal request to Peter Hughes
12 Aug ‘13 from Peter Hughes to Andrew Hampton FW repeal request of 11 Aug. Open letter from SEN (attached)

11 Sept ‘13 from Jim Greening, MoE re 6 Sept. email go to BoT

14 Apr ‘14 FW from 21 Feb re Dominion Road School DRS saying MoE approved RI programme
20 Feb ‘14 FW of Dom. Rd Sch. newsletter with CRE
from 11 Feb email re no response to complaint re BoT discretions
3 Feb ‘14 parent email to MoE following up on complaint sent last year, seeking confirmation of action.
11 Dec ‘13 on behalf of Leisa Maddix confirming complaint re Dominion Rd Sch. received and being investigated.
11 Dec ‘13 parent to MoE asking if they got the complaint

26 Nov ‘13 MoE internal redirect re complaint about Dom Rd Sch BoT
21 Nov ‘13 Enquiry from parent to MoE how to complain since BoT response has been unsatisfactory.
25 Nov ‘13 to Leisa Maddix re Dominion Rd School, BoT breaching Act
20 Feb ‘14 re above advice to go to the HRC, but states school is fulfilling half-day obligations
25 Sept ‘13 from Dominion Rd School pro RI letter
31 Oct ‘13 to BoT at Dom. Rd School from parent letter detailing problems with RI

11 Nov ‘13 Dominion Rd School response BoT considered and attached survey from 2012. Satisfied they are in the right and will not be engaging in further correspondence.

10 Oct ‘13 HRC response to DRS parent re RI/RE definitions and the difference of opinion at the school. Yes, the CEC’s definition of RE is in fact RI, but they are allowed to call it that because it’s “blurry”.

? Dominion Rd School Community Survey, text endorsing the CRE programme and saying it is MoE approved and values.

14 Apr ‘14 to Ken White from Carol Stoney FW from 21 Feb, and stating the “MoE does not approve any such (RI) programmes”

21 Feb ‘14 from Carol Stoney to Emmet Geoghegan query “does MoE approve?”

21 Feb ‘14 Dom. Rd Sch repeat
20,3 Feb ‘14 repeats
11,11 Dec ‘13 repeats
26,21 Nov ‘13 repeats
16 Apr ‘14 repeat
5 Dec ‘13 from Dominion Road School parent to Leisa at MoE response to school response - suspecting survey fraud (ie RI question added retrospectively)

16 Apr ‘14 FW BiS Christian propaganda email re 7 Apr OIA request

21 Nov ‘13 re christian propaganda email re steps to take with the school, and the use of candy.
20 Nov ‘13 to Hamilton MoE letter from parent about religious propaganda handed out to opt-out children, religious songs, and family’s beliefs ignored.

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Ministry of Education only: