National's 'heads buried in the sand' on teacher shortages - Labour

Labour is pushing back on claims made by National it left school buildings in disrepair.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye made the allegations on Saturday in an interview with Three's The Nation.

But Labour's spokesperson for Education, Chris Hipkins, told Newshub Minister Kaye is more interested in blaming Labour for the problems, rather than take responsibility. 

"Nikki Kaye, like many of her colleagues is still busy trying to apportion blame rather than get on with fixing things."

"The fact is the National Government has been in government for nine years now; that's as long as Labour was in power."

Mr Hipkins said National "had their heads buried in the sand when it comes to teacher shortages", after Ms Kaye ruled out pay increases for teachers, despite many schools struggling to recruit staff - particularly in Auckland - due to low wages and high living costs.

"The reality is schools up and down the country, but particularly in Auckland, are saying that they just cannot recruit teachers to fill the vacancies that they've got."

Mr Hipkins said Labour will provide better support for teachers struggling to make ends meet, however details of Labour's education policy haven't yet released.

But he said it will acknowledge the fact that there's a big issue in Auckland.

"It acknowledges the fact that we've got an ageing teaching workforce and very high turnover amongst the young, splintering the teaching profession."