Kids in poverty miss start of school year, as siblings share one uniform
Three weeks. That's how long it will take for Taumarunui Primary School to have a full roll once the new school year starts.
Not because children are off on long summer holidays, but because parents don't have food to send in their lunch boxes and can't afford back-to-school supplies, teacher Sharon Shaw says.
When students do turn up for the new school year, it's in "dribs and drabs", often without uniforms or stationery.
The teachers are used to it; they'll buy supplies out of their own money, keep the stationery list as brief as possible and make sure they don't make a big deal out of it.