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Labour welcomes collapse of White Paper

Labour
2000 web siteConfirmation by the Minister of Tertiary Education that the Government's Tertiary White Paper is on hold is "great news" says Labour associate education (tertiary) spokesperson Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey said today that Labour had labelled the White Paper a disaster in the making and it was clear that the Government now agreed.

"However, problems surrounding the White Paper exercise are a major embarrassment for the Government. Over the past two years the Government has been working its way toward legislation that was supposed to be introduced in April. Nothing happened and it was clear that the Government was in trouble.

"With the announcement that tertiary policy is to be incorporated into other policies due out in August, it is clear that the Government will not be able to accomplish anything before the election.

"This means that the last three years have been wasted. No wonder the tertiary sector feels it is drifting without leadership. No wonder students are going overseas. No wonder businesspeople are gloomy. No wonder the issues of research and development have reached crisis point.

"The Government can not avoid the fact that it has been in control for the past nine years. Its policies have failed. Indeed, it now has no policy at all.

"It is clear that the tertiary education sector desperately needs a Labour Government. Labour is committed to lowering the costs of education to students, focusing tertiary institutions on the drive to create a knowledge society, increasing the role of research and linking tertiary institutions to business.

"Unlike the National Party, Labour knows what is needed and will show leadership," Steve Maharey said.

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