New research has shown strong public support for more government spending on public education, including a significant pay rise for teachers and more support for children with additional learning needs.
The survey, commissioned by the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA), found 83 per cent of those surveyed believed teachers need a pay rise.
Of those, 91 per cent of respondents supported at least a "moderate" pay increase, while 67 per cent want at least a 10 per cent pay rise for teachers and 29 per cent want more than 20 per cent.
Over 80 per cent agreed that a pay rise would improve teacher numbers and address shortages and there was widespread agreement that there is a shortage of teachers, both at primary and secondary schools.
More than 90 per cent agreed that more support is needed for students with additional learning needs.
There were a number of paid union teacher meetings around Whanganui leading up to the release of the survey results and NZEI field officer Graeme Whitworth said they went well.
"We had a really big turnout at them and there was overwhelming support for the proposals we'd been putting forward," he said.
"The results are extremely exciting. Teachers have basically had enough and now they're wanting to move on and state their case."
Negotiations will begin with the Ministry of Education in May and there will be another paid teacher union meeting at Whanganui Intermediate in June.
"Proposals will be presented in the form of claims to the ministry and then the outcome of that will determine what happens in June," Mr Whitworth said.
"It was clear that there is very strong public support, communities are behind what the teachers are asking for and that came out very clearly in the survey.
"So that was really promising and we're hoping that as a result it shows the Government what New Zealanders are asking for."
* Market researchers The Navigators surveyed 1008 people online in late March, (providing a margin of error of +/-3%) using a Research Now Panel.