Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Failure to Teach Reading Inexcusable

Failure to Teach Reading Inexcusable

Thursday 22nd Mar 2001 Donna Awatere Huata Media Release -- Education

ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata today condemned the failure of schools to teach children how to read.

“We have reached the inexcusable low of having seven out of ten Maori unemployed not able to read and write properly.

“All the Minister of Education can say is that there is a shift in focus to reading recovery. But the Ministry has commissioned research that has raised serious questions about whether reading recovery works. Can we take it from the Ministers statement that his Ministry is ignoring its own research?

“Reading Recovery is part of the problem. What New Zealand needs is to upskill teachers in the phonics-based method of teaching. Using this system, children learn how to read by sounding out words rather than by guessing them.

“New Zealand teachers are clinging to techniques the rest of the world is dropping fast. Look and Guess methods do not work for poor children. Where it’s the only method a teacher knows, Maori and Pacific Island children are put on the back foot from their first day at primary school.

“Teachers’ colleges and the Ministry of Education are in denial, insisting that there’s no problem. Their low expectations have having a serious effect on Maori children. They should lift their expectations by setting literacy standards that everyone has to meet”

“Maori families have to also accept responsibility and not leave such an important task solely up to the Government. Many families have either lost, or never acquired the ability to read. Yet there’s still so much that parents and iwi can do to improve literacy. Even the poorest families have access to a library.

“We must get rid of the processes failing our children so that parents and iwi can concentrate on actually making a difference,” Donna Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election