The Civics and Media Project Workshop 1, on 2 September 2015, saw Paul Satherley from the Ministry of Education discuss the state of formal civics education in New Zealand, from a government perspective. Paul’s presentation contributed to the focus question ‘What is happening with civics and the news media in New Zealand?’

Paul’s presentation is now available on the McGuinness Institute’s YouTube channel. You can also watch the video below.

Satherley provides a broad look at the current curriculum for civics, and provides data from the ICCS 2008 (International Civic and Citizenship Education Study) survey which highlights the areas needing improvement in the New Zealand civics space.

Below is one of the graphs used in the presentation showing New Zealand Year 9 civic knowledge scores by highest level of parental education attainment.

20151117 Civics and Media Project - Figure 1 for blog

Workshop 1 was hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington Institute for Governance and Policy Studies on Wednesday, 2 September 2015. We are currently preparing for Workshop 3, which will be held at the Royal Society on Thursday, 19 November. It will involve collecting ideas in the morning from a diverse range of speakers and then working in self-selected groups in the afternoon to develop a workshop booklet that proposes a way forward. If you are interested in attending workshop 3, email us at

The purpose of the Civics and Media Project is to inform and encourage public discourse and engagement regarding civics and media, with the ultimate aim of informing decisions by individuals, industry and institutions across society. Six agencies have joined together to examine whether citizens and communities have the news and information they need and want in a digital age and determine what a well-informed, civically engaged New Zealand will look like in 2030.