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The lodged KiwiSaver (Foster Parent
Opting in for Children in their Care)
Amendment Bill will make it possible for any
foster parent to open a KiwiSaver account for
a foster child in their care.
Mr Walker said the idea for the bill came
after a Clutha-Southland constituent, who
was also a foster parent, approached him
about how difficult it was for foster parents to
open a KiwiSaver account for foster children.
"Under the current model it's basically
impossible to do because you have to go
through a social worker and then they have
to get sign-off higher up. Because social
workers are so busy with so many different
issues, this is always really low on their priority
Under the new bill, all foster parents would
have to do was provide proof of their foster
responsibility, he said.
Mr Walker said thus far the bill got positive
feedback from across the political spectrum,
and also from people who had gone through
the process of opening a KiwiSaver account
for a foster child and not had much luck.
The next step was for the bill to be pulled
from the ballot. Mr Walker said there were
roughly 60 bills in the ballot at the moment,
with around three to four bills usually pulled
A KiwiSaver account is the only financial
instrument that no-one except the owner of
the account itself can access. KiwiSaver has
offered not to charge for the accounts of
foster children until there is a significant sum
in the account.
MP’s first bill focuses on
Hamish Walker has lodged his
first Member’s Bill since taking
office last year, which aims to
improve the financial security
of children in foster care.
Mr Puna said the road to expanding the
primary school to Year 7 and 8 had been 18
months in the making. It kicked off with a
survey sent to parents in the community, and
he said the feedback was clear that Western
Southland parents wanted the option of
having a full primary school available to them.
After what Mr Puna said was a "full-on"
consultation and review from the Ministry of
Education, he got word that the school got
the green light to expand in October.
The curriculum would be focused on
giving the students the critical thinking and
communication skills important for Year 9
"The Year 7/8 curriculum's quite heavily
based on communication," Mr Puna said. "It's
at that age where they need to be able to
start to communicate with adults."
As one part of a project-based learning
initiative, students would be developing a
tourism package revolving around Clifden
Caves. The aim was that they'd touch on a
wide range of subjects, such as developing
promotional videos using GoPros and
publishing pamphlets to learning financial
literacy and developing relationships with
larger institutions such as the Southland
Given the geographical isolation of the
school, he said the school was focused on
providing outdoor opportunities that might
be further away, and giving the students the
skills to pursue their own interests.
Hauroko Valley expands to full primary
Tayla Davey-Hubbard (left), Ishi Manicdao,
Jendi Minty, Felix Fowle, Bianca Collie of
Hauroko Valley Primary School’s new Year
7/8 class get straight into a problem solving
This year Hauroko Valley
Primary School has expanded
to offer Year 7 and 8 schooling.
Its new students will be
embarking on what principal
Glenn Puna says is a fresh
and exciting curriculum aimed
to prepare them for Year 9 and
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