Taking part in yesterday's strike action was a no-brainer for teacher of 22 years, Missy Te Kiri, from Rotorua Primary School.

But she wasn't waving her sign or pounding the pavement wanting more money.

"It's not about the money for me, it's about our children."

A passionate teacher, Te Kiri told the meeting of about 200 NZEI members at Destiny Church they shouldn't even consider the Government's pay rise offer.


"One of the things that bugged me about what we do is I don't want to attract teachers who are going to come in here just for the money.

"That's not what it's about. I reckon that should be taken off the table. It's confusing a lot of people.

"They money they are going to spend on attracting teachers should be coming into our classrooms. People are called to be a teacher. If you haven't got that calling then bye bye."

Teachers striking yesterday. Photo / Stephen Parker
Teachers striking yesterday. Photo / Stephen Parker

She told the Rotorua Daily Post after the strike meeting she had never seen the struggle so bad for teachers in more than two decades in the job and it was mainly due to the issues children now faced.

"I know we are all committed to this. But every single classroom now has those children who are now coming in with behaviour problems, medical problems, mental health problems and we are finding it very hard to get the funding for them.

"So it's left to teachers to play that role and that's not fair and that's where our fight should be, it's not about money for me, it never has been."