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Pacific MPs urge parents to stand on boards

Pacific MPs urge parents and families to support their children and stand on boards of trustees

Pacific Members of Parliament from both sides of the house joined forces today to urge Pacific parents and families to stand on the boards of trustees of their children's schools.

Labour MPs Taito Phillip Field (MP for Mangere); Mark Gosche, (MP for Maungakiekie, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs); Luamanuvao Winnie Laban (MP); and National MP Anae Arthur Anae said education was crucial to the future of Pacific peoples.

"'It takes a whole village to raise a child' – this old Pacific proverb demonstrates the insight and commitment our communities have always had when it comes to caring for our children."

"For our peoples living in New Zealand in 2001 – this means getting involved in our children's future and education. All of us must share the responsibility of nurturing, educating and safeguarding our children's futures."

"Education is vital. The best way we can show our youngsters the value and importance of education is by getting involved in their school and education," they said.

"Our children deserve to have their families and communities represented on the boards of their schools – in the past this has not always been the case but we all have the opportunity to change history."

In the past less than one percent of all trustees have been of Pacific descent despite Pacific children making up more than six percent of the school population.

On March 30, 2001 New Zealand's 2,650 schools will elect a total of 14,000 parent-elected representatives: the elections are New Zealand's biggest democratic event.

"Being a trustee involves a lot of commitment but there is a lot of help and training available to assist new members. Parents, grandparents and family members should consider putting their names forward."

"Our children's future depends on us – the more support we give them the brighter their futures will be."

ENDS

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