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Closing The Gaps Committee Left in Dark

Thursday 11th May 2000 Donna Awatere Huata Media Release -- Education

ACT Education spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata said today, she was concerned the Minister of Education had failed to brief the Closing the Gaps committee about the detrimental effects the Education Amendment Bill will have on Maori achievement.

The Closing the Gaps committee was established by the Government to investigate the differences between low and high achieving Maori and Non-Maori students.

“The committee has obviously been left in the dark on the issue of zoning. The re-introduction of zoning in the Education Amendment Bill will seriously affect the lives of Maori students attending out of zone schools.

“Everyday over 3,000 students bus out of South Auckland to attend schools their parents believe will help them get ahead.

“Yet Education Minister Trevor Mallard would rather see families who benefit from having educational choice for their children, saddled with crippling mortgages because they will be forced to purchase property in the ‘right zone’.

“The Minister of Education’s failure to report accurately and honestly to the Closing the Gaps committee means this significant group of students have been completely overlooked.

“This is yet another example of the Government riding rough-shod over freedom of choice in the education sector. The Education Minister has failed to consult with boards of trustees about the abolition of bulk funding, and now he has not consulted the Closing the Gaps committee.

“Mr Mallard’s actions show that families and their fight for a better life, come a very distant second to his elite ideological dogma,” said Donna Awatere Huata.

Ends

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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