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Mallard Speech To Launch Schools Health Website

Minister of Education

Speech to launch the Health Promoting Schools Website

Parnell Rose Garden Function Centre
85 Gladstone Rd, Parnell, Auckland

Thursday 16 March 2000

Embargoed until 2.30pm


Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.

I bring greetings from my colleague Annette King, the Minister of Health, who was unable to be here.

I'd also like to pass on the regards of the Prime Minister Helen Clark, who opened the first Health Promoting Schools Conference in September last year and is very supportive of the work you are doing.

As Education Minister, I have a vested interest in the success of initiatives like health promoting schools. I want children to reach their full potential in learning. Good health supports successful learning and successful learning supports health. It makes sense, therefore, for schools and health services to work together collaboratively and in partnership with each other. Services such as the Strengthening Families and Social Workers in Schools programmes are also part of this partnership.

Looking through your latest newsletter, I felt very encouraged by the range of initiatives that schools are undertaking as part of Health Promoting Schools.

I know many of the schools have looked at what kind of food they offer in their school canteens. I certainly don't even remember there being healthy food in the tuck shop at the school I went to. It might have been there but I couldn't see past the hotdogs. The idea of a breakfast club like the one set up at Kelston Intermediate is also a hugely positive move as it ingrains into children that you can't beat a healthy start to the day.

I'm pleased to note that issues like spiritual well being, bullying, and safety on the roads are also being tackled by Health Promoting Schools.

Many businesses and government agencies could learn from the holistic approach adopted by healthy schools.

It's great that the information and ideas that health promoting schools have developed are going to be shared more widely through the internet site.

Until a few weeks ago, I was acting Minister of Information Technology. That role gave me a greater insight into the shape of future technology. One of the most exciting tasks I got was to launch a demonstration into what is known as 3g technology. Basically, it is a much more powerful system for technology like mobile phones. It means in a few years time we could be carrying around devices the size of cell phones that will have a screen for internet access.

It highlighted to me how important the web has become for spreading information. I am glad that organisations such as Health Promoting Schools - which have such a positive message to spread, are joining the information highway.

Thank you very much.


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