New figures show that every day almost 30,000 kids skip school despite the Government spending millions trying to turn the tide.
Tonight, Close Up meets one community that's taking the battle against truancy into its own hands.
Education Minister Hekia Parata also fronts up on what the Government is doing.
Forgiving the shooter
Halatau Naitoko died more than three years ago, caught in the crossfire by police as they pursued a drug fuelled gunman.
A report today criticised the police actions that day, but Halatau's mother, Ivoni Fuimaono, wants to move on.
She tells Close Up why she would like to meet the officer who fired the fatal shot that killed her son.
Assistant Police Commissioner Allan Boreham also answers concerns over the officer's quick return to duty.