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Words Can't Mask Truth on PTE Funds Moratorium

Words Can't Mask Truth on PTE Funds Moratorium

Wednesday, September 26 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Tertiary Education

ACT Tertiary Education Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman says Minister Trevor Mallard is simply playing with words when he tries to dismiss Treasury concerns about the likely negative impact on Maori and Pacific peoples from the Government's funding moratorium on Private Training Establishments (PTEs).

"Mr Mallard is quoted in the media today as saying that most Maori and Pacific Island students study at public institutions. Given that a total 225,000 students study in public institutions and 40,000 at private institutions this is not entirely surprising.

"The point that Treasury made in papers released to me under the Official Information Act is that Maori and Pacific peoples: 'Make up a disproportionately high percentage of the PTE student population' and that a moratorium will have 'a negative participation impact' on them. This is a fact that the Minister's evasive use of words can't hide.

"Mr Mallard, like his associate Minister Steve Maharey, is simply ignoring the evidence. The fact is that this moratorium was a cynically political move ' made against strong Treasury advice - to help get the Government out of the fight it was involved in with public tertiary education providers over funding.

"As well as its warning about the negative impact on Maori and Pacific Islanders, the Treasury report also said the moratorium would:

Adversely affect quality Not greatly assist polytechnics Reduce innovation in the PTE sector "The fact is the Government has, for purely political purposes, sold 40,000 students short with this moratorium. The result will be a decline in the quality and diversity of tertiary education available ' and that has to be of concern for all New Zealanders," 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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