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Teaching couple ditch jobs for new life

Newshub logoNewshub 10/08/2018 Karen Rutherford

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An Auckland husband and wife have ditched their teaching careers, saying they represent hundreds of disgruntled teachers fed up with New Zealand's education system. 

Nigel and Shelley Lowe, who between them have 23 years teaching experience, are opting for a new life out of Auckland. 

They're heading south on Friday to take over Ranfurly Holiday Park and Campground, in Central Otago. 

"I can feel myself getting a bit emotional it's huge" says Shelley, a primary school teacher until last week.

Husband Nigel says they both loved their respective schools in South Auckland, but teachers in New Zealand "don't get treated as professionals, we don't get treated with respect."

"The kids are the best things in the whole of teaching, but it's a bunch of incompetent people in Wellington and we have to try and justify our jobs."

Nigel's boss at his South Auckland secondary school says before resigning, he was on track to one day be promoted to run the Technology department. 

a man standing in front of a building © Newshub But he was already working 65 hours a week, much of it paperwork, assessments, and marking.

Primary teacher Shelley worked similar hours on a wage of $52,000. 

"I worked out her wage and divided it by all the hours she was doing, it worked out to be $13 dollars something an hour, which to me is pathetic so the Government need to pull their finger out. 

"Education Minister Chris HIpkins said he was going to bring 10 new schools into Auckland, well the kids are going to be there HIpkins, where are the teachers going to come from my friend?"

The Minister, whose officials are in talks with primary teachers to avoid next Wednesday's nationwide Primary Teacher strike, says:

"We can't do everything all at once but we absolutely committed to working with the profession to address the issues they have been raising."

Secondary School teachers are also now in pay talks and the PPTA wants a rental allowance for teachers in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.

The PPTA says 40 percent of secondary school teachers who come into the workforce last just five years. 

Newshub has learned of one South African teacher who came here this year for a better life, he lasted just 2 terms, disillusioned with our education system.

"We are in crisis point. ( Officials need to ) get out from behind the desk being a pen pusher, and get out into the field... do our job for a week I dare them, see what it's about."

The writings on the wall say the Lowe's, and its kiwi kids who're missing out. 

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