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Awatere Huata Defends Auckland Grammar

ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata today defended Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris after he was attacked by Minister Trevor Mallard.

"Auckland Grammar is taking time to ensure would-be pupils live in the right `zone' before they start school. It means that the children attend another school for up to four weeks before they start at Grammar.

"The school is following Mr Mallard's ridiculous zoning laws to the letter. In doing so, Grammar is highlighting how ridiculous this legislation is.

"Due to zoning, it's the kids that are suffering, yet again.

"Why is the Minister of Education spending his time criticising an excellent principal and trying to meddle in the day-to-day affairs of one of New Zealand's best schools? Mr Mallard must understand that this is what happens when you create a zoning system that swamps popular schools with enrolments and turns other institutions into poor ghettoes.

"He needs to accept responsibility himself for desperate parents lying about their living situation to secure enrolment for their kids. He needs to apologise for completely mucking up forecasts of student and teacher numbers. When is he ever going to admit that the teacher shortage crisis he caused is adding to this absolute mess?

"Under-staffed schools swamped with students cannot waste valued teachers' time on processing enrolments non-stop. Classes cannot be disrupted by daily student additions.

"Auckland Grammar's approach is completely understandable. Mr Mallard's attack is out of line. Unfortunately, the children are in the middle.

"Kids will continue to suffer until unfair zoning legislation is repealed. Repealing bad law should be the Minister's priority, not trying to meddle in schools' day-to-day affairs," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

Ends

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