Education Minister Jan Tinetti promises to do better for teachers as thousands strike across country

Around 50,000 teachers from kindergarten, primary and high schools took part in Thursday's mega strike, demanding not only more pay but more support across the board. 

Education Minister Jan Tinetti, a former principal, has promised to deliver, saying she's committed to doing better. 

An entire workforce so fed up they're fighting for better pay, working conditions and the next generation.

"If we can't teach, kids can't learn - simple as that," one teacher told Newshub.

"This is so important for the children of this country," another teacher said. 

This is only the second time both primary and secondary teachers have joined in a mega-strike - but this time kindergarten teachers joined too.

"We're all aiming for the same thing, we're all passionate about children," a teacher said.

Across the country, teachers marched through the heart of Auckland, along the Avon in Christchurch, to the Minister's office in Tauranga, and in front of the halls of power in Wellington.

Thousands turned up on Parliament's forecourt sharing their message directly with the Government and Tinetti that the offer isn't good enough.

"This is a hard position because I have been where you are, I have stood where you are right now and I have protested," Tinetti said.

A mixed reception for the Minister, who is also a former principal.

"Today is your day of action, tomorrow we are back at the table," Tinetti said. 

The offer teachers last rejected would have increased their pay by about $6000, ranging from a seven to 11 percent increase. 

They said they want an increase that reflects inflation - but it's not just about money.

"We need more funding, more teachers in the classroom, teacher aides would be nice," one teacher said.

"I know that we have to do better and I commit to you we will do better," Tinetti said.

Because she does not want to see another strike.

More than 800,000 students were disrupted on Thursday, forcing many parents to miss work too.

However, some parents and children showed up to the protest in support.

"I want teachers to be happy," one child said. 

But right now, it's clear they are not.