Schools will not have to teach the new history curriculum — which focuses on Aotearoa New Zealand's histories — until 2023. 

Schools were expected to implement the new content in 2022 but Education Minister Chris Hipkins said due to the pandemic, schools had been focused on teaching children remotely. 

This was a time when schools were focused on doing "the best possible job of supporting people from home", Hipkins said on Thursday morning. 

It would be unfair "to throw" the new history curriculum "on top of that", he said. 

"There will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate New Zealand history in the years to come.

"We've been doing a lot of work. You have to recognise that schools are under a lot of pressure. Saying they would have to implement [the new curriculum] would be an additional burden on top of Covid-19."

In a previous statement from Hipkins, extending the timeframe would also allow Cabinet ministers to look at the content in early 2022 and final curriculum content would be publicly released after. 

This will help schools to start implementing the new curriculum content in 2022 if they are ready, or start preparing for 2023, he said in a statement. 

The Ministry of Education's Hautū Te Poutāhū, Ellen MacGregor-Reid, said in an email that "the decision to rephase when all schools and kura will be required to teach the new Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā curriculum content recognises the significant workload impact that Covid-19 had on teachers and learners during 2021".

"We have received feedback from sector reference groups that sufficient preparation and implementation time for curriculum changes is important to enable successful teaching and learning, MacGregor-Reid said. 

"Teachers will now have more time to engage and plan these important changes."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the new history curriculum can and will still be taught. 

Top Image: Students with masks learning at school. (File photo) Photo: JackF/iStock 

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