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Slippery Steve strikes again

Maurice Williamson National Tertiary Education Spokesperson

3 September 2001

Slippery Steve strikes again

National's Tertiary Education spokesperson Maurice Williamson says the audacity of Steve Maharey knows no bounds.

"I am gobsmacked. Not only is Steve Maharey claiming he's kept his promise to reduce the cost of tertiary education for students, he's trying to spin a story that he's somehow saved them money!" Mr Williamson said.

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey made the claim that 'students will save $1,000 on average next year [as a result of fee stabilisation]' and 'the Government has now delivered on that promise [to reduce the cost of tertiary education] two years running', in a speech prepared for the New Zealand University Students' Association conference at Massey University's Albany campus.

"Fortunately fate intervened and 'travel difficulties' meant Steve's speech was never delivered.

"This sort of spin is outrageous. Steve has let students down and now he's treating them like sycophants who will lap up anything he says.

"Steve Maharey has blackmailed universities to maintain fees at their existing level. There has been no reduction in fees, but there will be a reduction in course quality, resources and an increase in class sizes - Steve doesn't want to tell students that though. And students shouldn't forget that Steve promised to bring back the EUB but now he's in Government he can't do that.

"Steve promised everything and all he has delivered is a bunch of reports and financially strapped universities. Steve is always talking about the 'nine long years' he spent in Opposition but he obviously didn't use that time constructively to develop policies. Twenty months into the new regime, Steve still has no idea what the future of tertiary education will look like.

"Steve's performance as Tertiary Education Minister would be lucky to get a c-minus, even if it was internally assessed," Mr Williamson said.

Ends

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