Despite a teacher shortage plaguing the education sector around the country, it seems Hawke's Bay schools are bucking the trend.

New figures released earlier this week show how the National Government failed schools and students with the number of people enrolled in teacher training dropping by a massive 40 per cent under its watch, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Between 2010 and 2016, those enrolled in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) dropped by 5690, from 14,585 (EFTS) to just 8895. During this period, New Zealand's population grew by around 400,000. Those who completed ITE dropped by 5010 to 3665.

Mr Hipkins believed the numbers are staggering and said "in each case, the numbers w​ere going in the opposite direction between 2008 and 2010".


"While tertiary enrolments overall declined between 2010 and 2016, the drop is much more pronounced in teacher training.

"It's a shocking failure of planning by the previous National Government that has left an immediate shortage of teachers, but more worryingly, a ticking time bomb for schools as baby boomer teachers retire and too few incoming teachers coming through to take over."

Hawke's Bay Secondary Principals' Association chairman and Taradale High School principal Stephen Hensman said although there is a problem across the country, it had an uneven impact across the cities and provinces.

However, he did note they had some trouble in finding teachers in maths, some of the sciences; physics and chemistry in particular and technology.

"I wouldn't say what we have is a teacher shortage in Hawke's Bay in those areas, but what I would say is when we advertise for those positions, it is usual to get very few applicants and sometimes no applicants that are considered suitably qualified for the jobs we've got.

"We have got such an advantage because Hawke's Bay is a great place to live and we have got teachers coming from Auckland in particular, so we don't feel the teacher shortage as acutely as Auckland does."

Both Havelock North Primary School principal Nick Reed and Hastings Intermediate principal Perry Rush shared the sentiments, having not felt the teacher shortage as such.

"We do know nationally that a large number of teachers are in the 55-65 age bracket and unless something is done quickly we will potentially face a real crisis. Research also tells us that a worrying percentage of new teachers are leaving the profession within five years," Mr Reed stated.

Havelock North High School principal Greg Fenton said, "While we don't have a teacher shortage at HNHS at the moment, I certainly concur with all the sentiments that have been expressed around an impending crisis in teacher supply."

Nuhaka School principal Nick Chapman said In the Nuhaka district they were not able to source a teacher for reading recovery release.

Mr Hipkins said, "This Government has already picked up the pace to get on top of the problem."