Education (Freedom Of Religion) Amendment Bill

Project discussion: Secular Secondary Education

Education (Freedom Of Religion) Amendment Bill

Member's Bill

Explanatory Note


Education (Freedom Of Religion) Amendment Bill

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1. Title
This Act is the Education (Freedom Of Religion) Amendment Act 2009.

2. Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it received the Royal Assent.

3. Purpose
The purpose of this Act is to amend the Education Act 1964 to ensure freedom of religion in state secondary schools.

4. Principal Act Amended
This Act amends the Education Act 1964

5. Interpretation
Section 2(1) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following definition in its appropriate alphabetical order:
state school has the meaning given to it by section 145(1) of the Education Act 1989”

6. State secondary education to be secular
The following new section is inserted after section 77:

“77A. State schools to be secular
Within any state school the teaching shall be entirely of a secular character.”

7. Section 78 Amended
Section 78 is amended by
(a) omitting “primary” in the heading; and
(b) inserting the words “or 77A” after “77”.

8. Section 78A Amended
Section 78A is amended by omitting “77 and 78” and substituting “77, 77A or 78”.

9. Section 79 Amended
Section 79(1) is amended by omitting the word “primary”.

10. Section 80 Amended
Section 80 is amended by omitting the word “primary”.

11. Section 81 Substituted
Section 81 is repealed and the following section substituted:

“81. Schools other than State schools not affected
Nothing in this Act shall affect religious instruction or religious observances in schools other than State schools.”

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