The Bill, which was written by Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin, would have meant that the word ‘teacher’ could only be used by those with a formal qualification in education, in an attempt to “lift the status of teachers”.
These qualifications were listed as a three-year Bachelor of Education (Teaching), a Bachelor’s degree with a one-year Graduate Diploma of Teaching, or a four-year conjoint degree that combined study in teaching subjects with teacher training.
Those who weren’t qualified could instead use the titles 'educator', 'lecturer'or 'tutor'.
Under the terms of the Education (Protecting Teacher Title) Amendment Bill, anyone who was not appropriately qualified who used the title ‘teacher’ to represent themselves or their business could be hit with a $2000 fine.
Despite the Bill passing its first reading in parliament with support from Labour, NZFirst and the Green Party, Marcroft withdrew it on Monday.
In a statement, Marcroft said she withdrew the Bill after a “positive discussion” between NZFirst and the office of the Minister for Education.
She said that the Education Conversation 2018, along with the “multiple trains of work the Minister of Education is undertaking”, had given her confidence that the Bill was not needed.
National Party education spokesperson Nikki Kaye welcomed the withdrawal of the Bill and called it “a big win for hardworking swimming teachers, music teachers, ballet teachers and other teachers affected”.
“There are far better ways to raise the status of teachers,” Kaye said in a statement.
“We need to make sure we have high quality graduates choosing teaching as a career and investing in professional learning and development opportunities.”
Industry bodies also embraced Marcroft’s decision.
Chief Executive of the Exercise Association of New Zealand, Richard Beddie, told Australasian Leisure Management that “people working in a teaching role should be able to use the term teacher with no restrictions.
“There are many roles in many industries where the term 'teacher' is used outside of an education setting,” he continued.
“This includes many roles within our industry such as yoga teacher, or those in related industries such as dance teachers.
“Alternatives such as 'instructor' do not correctly describe the role or job of these individuals.
“It would have been inconsistent with the practice in every country and region that we share a common labour pool with such as Australia, the US, the UK and Europe.
“[This Bill] had too many consequences for those outside the education sector that had not been considered,” he said.