The cost of getting a so-called free education in New Zealand has soared over the past decade and wages are struggling to keep up.
Sending a child born this year to a state school will now cost almost $40,000 over 13 years, according to a new study.
Research firm ASG says that's up 13 percent in a decade and its putting a strain on parents. Bruce Lawson, Chief Operating Officer at ASG said the costs of a free education were numerous.
"Voluntary donations combine with the cost of uniforms, textbooks, tech, extracurricular activities, music lessons and all the other incidental costs that go hand in hand when sending a child to school."
Parents Newshub spoke to in Wellington think money shouldn't impact whether or not children have an opportunity to learn.
One parent said: "I want education to be free, if you want to educate the next generation of thinkers, why would you charge them?"
Another said: "I think the cost of living that whanau are under at the moment, yeah I think it's too expensive."
Mr Lawson says the cost of education has risen at more than double the rate of inflation in the last decade and it's only picked to get worse.
"There's no such thing as a free education, whilst schools might not pass on the fees and cost, all the other added costs for sending a child to school just add up for the family."
But while the cost of getting a state education is rising, it's worse for parents who choose to go private. They'll need to shell out more than $360,000 on average, up 42 percent in the last ten years.