The Hawke's Bay education sector has had a peep at what's in store for them this coming year in Budget 2018 and they like what they see.
Yesterday the Government announced it planned to fund 1500 extra teachers, increase special education funding and build more schools.
Taradale High School principal and Hawke's Bay Secondary Principals' Association chairman Stephen Hensman said initial announcements were encouraging for the sector.
"It's very promising that they've said that the education spend is aimed at addressing demand through 1500 new teachers and early childhood care funding.
Almost $400 million has been set aside to build new schools and classrooms, $62m of which will be directed to Christchurch, but Hensman said big city centres may be prioritised.
"That is a lot of money but I'm conscious too that there's significant expansion happening in Auckland so some of that will be soaked up in new schools, but it's looking promising."
Hastings district councillor and a former principal of Hastings Girls' High School Geraldine Travers welcomed the funding for education infrastructure.
"A huge percentage of New Zealand school buildings are over 50 years old and some are starting to come to the end of their useful life so that's really good."
Travers' overall impression of Budget 2018 was "really positive", and said many aspects of other social investments, such as health and housing, would have direct and positive impacts on the education sector.
"Of course anything that's done about housing is hugely significant because we know that even in Hastings we have a significant housing shortfall.
"All of those things have a huge impact on education because when families move from place to place that has a huge impact on student education, particularly if it means they have to change school."
Hensman echoed the same sentiments about the flow-on effects of social investment in other sectors.
"Health infrastructure is being strengthened which is fabulous; you can't learn if you're not living in a house, if you're living in a car.
"Housing has received more than has previously been signalled so that's fabulous ... it will contribute to wellbeing. When people are suffering negative health and wellbeing out of school that trickles into school."
There was "no doubt" there was a strong feeling in the sector that special education had been underfunded so any money for that would be useful, he said.
Travers said, "It's pleasing to see an increase in operations grants and particularly pleasing to see increasing support for special education; that's been an area that's been sadly neglected over recent years."
Napier city councillor and former principal of Napier Girls' High School Claire Hague ONZM said funding for special education was "well overdue" and she hoped the Government would continue to assist NEETS (young people not in education or employment).
"I think there is a real need to look at what's working and scale it up, not reinvent the wheel."