A Civilised Society
Duration: 105 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Director: Alistair Barry
This is the untold story of the epic struggle between teachers and the radical right during the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1984 free market zealots took power intent on transforming public education. Schools were to be run as a business competing in the marketplace. Teachers passionately opposed this dog-eat-dog vision and battle was joined over the transfer of teachers’ unemployment from central government to schools, a process called ‘Bulk Funding’.
This is our history told from the front-line – parents, teachers and politicians,. We see archive footage of Treasury officials confidently espousing their theories, and ministers like Lockwood Smith forcing the changes. Board of Trustees wrestle with weighty decisions, while teachers march out of classrooms and onto the streets. Those ultimately affected – the students – face an increasingly unequal system. The struggle intensifies.
From the makers of Someone Else’s Country and In a Land of Plenty, this is the third feature documentary in a loose trilogy examining the New Right revolution in New Zealand. It is the essential viewing for all those wanting to understand the forces that continue to transform our way of life.