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Maharey In Denial Over Damage to Private Educators

Tuesday, September 18 2001 Dr Muriel Newman
Press Releases -- Tertiary Education

Associate Education Minister Steve Maharey is cynically denying the massive damage his Government is inflicting on private tertiary institutions and the quality of education New Zealanders can receive, ACT Tertiary Education Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Last night I spoke to a number of private education providers, in Wellington for their annual meeting. They said that as a direct result of Mr Maharey's recently imposed moratorium on funding for the private sector, thousands of courses planned for next year were being axed.

"And yet when I asked the Minister in Parliament today if he was aware about the loss of courses in forestry, fire fighting, teacher aid and social work, hospitality, engineering and many other areas he replied that this was 'nonsense'.

"I don't believe even this Minister is so incompetent as to be unaware of the damage he is doing. I have to believe he simply doesn't care and intends to carry on regardless.

"Like so many of his Cabinet colleagues this Minister is an ideologically-driven academic with little practical experience and a pathological hatred of business. That is why he is now actively undermining private education providers at the expense of public institutions.

"In doing so he is hurting the 30,000 students who have chosen to improve themselves through private courses. He is stifling the results-oriented, practical approach provided by the private educators. The private educators have added much to the quality and diversity of the tertiary sector. This minister is wilfully destroying that.

"ACT will continue to fight this and seek restoration of a balanced system which encourages diversity and choice," Dr Newman said.

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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