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Waitakere Perfect Location for Policy Announcement

MEDIA RELEASE

January 30, 2008

Waitakere Perfect Location for New Government Policy Announcement

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey today welcomed the government’s new policy to lift the age of participation in education or training to 18 announced by the Prime Minister Helen Clark in Waitakere.

“I feel privileged and honoured the Prime Minister chose this city to make this policy announcement,” says Mayor Harvey.

“And I am particularly impressed with the policy itself. It is very much in line with my thinking around education and skills building. Indeed I am in the process of establishing a taskforce to deal with this very issue.”

The Prime Minister made the policy announcement at a Waitakere Business Club Breakfast Forum at the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere.

She said that while 71 per cent of young people stay at school until their 17th birthday, 29 per cent don’t. Around 60 per cent of students leave school with at least an NCEA Level Two qualification – but 40 per cent don’t.

“We need to lift the participation and achievement levels of our teenagers in education and training,” she told the audience.

Mayor Harvey says the figures quoted by the Prime Minister are reflective of the situation in Waitakere.

“Too many of our young people are leaving school too early and without qualifications. It’s just not good enough and we are doing something about it,” he says.

“And to have the government’s support on this important issue is really good news for us, for Waitakere’s youth and for the future generation of this country.”

Mayor Harvey introduced the Prime Minister at the event and began by asking the 300 strong audience to join with him in congratulating her on her United Nations award for her efforts to fight climate change.

“It is entirely appropriate the PM is in Waitakere the day after the award was announced because Waitakere was the country’s first eco city,” he said.

“Long before Al Gore came along Waitakere was making a difference in this regard and we’ve been supported in our direction by this government. It’s a true partnership.”

The mayor thanked Helen Clark for her great leadership of, and vision for, this country.

“New Zealand watched in awe as you led the state funeral for Sir Edmund Hillary in magnificent style and with great integrity.”

In her speech the Prime Minister said there was no better place than Waitakere to talk about environmental sustainability.

“This city has had tremendous leadership in this regard from Bob.”


ENDS

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