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'Learning City' ambition bang on, says Maharey

6 June 2001 Media Statement

Papakura's 'Learning City' ambition bang on, says Maharey

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey is congratulating Papakura for declaring itself a Learning City.

Mr Maharey attended a ceremony in the city this evening signing a declaration proclaiming Papakura as a Learning City with Mayor David Buist. He said all New Zealanders need to live in cities and regions that put learning at their heart.

"I am delighted with the trend in cities identifying themselves with learning, science and knowledge.

"Our future success as a country depends on the breadth and depth of our knowledge base – it must be vigorous and it must be inclusive.

"As Papakura discovered, there is a learning divide that just has to be bridged.

"Over a million adults in New Zealand are estimated to be below the minimum level of competence in each of the three literacy domains (prose, quantitative and document literacy) required to meet the demands of modern daily life.

"Papakura is showing other cities how to overcome this divide. It is doing this directly by investing in initiatives like a Learning Shop and a Learning Centre, but also by creating a climate that values the crucial social and economic contribution of life long learning.

"It is joining with Dunedin, Wellington, Palmerston North and Hamilton who have all put some aspect of the Knowledge Society at the centre of their cities.

"I hope all New Zealand’s cities and towns will follow this lead", Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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