The announcement comes after a top Auckland school was slammed by the Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier for its response to ongoing bullying complaints.
Sacred Heart College’s lack of action allegedly led to one of the victims, an 11-year-old boy, having to leave the school with severe anxiety.
The Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft is now calling for a compulsory anti-bullying program to be introduced in all schools.
“We need a school-wide culture of zero tolerance to bullying. Schools need to have a climate where bullying can be reported without shame or stigma; in the knowledge there are effective interventions for both the bullied and the bully,” Becroft said.
“Every school must start to collect statistics showing what is really going on in their school.
“We need to be much clearer now and make it an obligation that every board of trustees has in place a validated and effective bullying-prevention programme."
An Education Review Office (ERO) report released earlier this year found that bullying in New Zealand schools was “intolerably high”.
The report – which surveyed more than 10,000 students in 136 schools – found 39 per cent of all school students had been bullied at their current schools.
The report said boys were more likely to have been bullied (41 per cent) than girls (33 per cent) and rates were higher for Māori students (42 per cent) and Pākehā students (40 per cent).
In the survery 46 per cent of primary school students and 31 per cent of secondary students reported having been bullied at school.
“When it comes to reported bullying in secondary schools, we lead the world and that is a national disgrace,” Becroft said.
“Bullying is unacceptable and children need to be able to report it without fear or shame.”
Becroft said a joint effort was needed to help put a stop to bullying, as too much was left in schools' hands.
"Over the past four or five years, the Bullying Prevention Advisary Group has been active and has provided helpful bullying prevention guidelines, but too much has been left to schools to implement on their own.”