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Mallard Responsible For Smear Campaign

Minister of Education Trevor Mallard raised the idea of printing newspaper advertisements designed to turn parents against teachers, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata revealed today.

Answers to parliamentary questions show that Mr Mallard and the Secretary for Education decided together to print the advertisements in the name of the Secretary. The advertisements led to teachers walking out across the country.

"I was shocked to discover that it was Mr Mallard who dreamed up this smear campaign against teachers. On 15 April in a back-room meeting with the Secretary for Education, the Minister of Education thought only of winning a public relations war.

"Teachers and parents will be furious to discover that the Minister not only discussed the advertisement with the Secretary for Education, he also approved the actual advertisement. He used the public relations firm Singleton Ogilvy and Mather to design and place a full-page newspaper advertisement in every daily newspaper, signed by the Secretary. This agency has received over nine-and-a-half million dollars from the Ministry of Education for assorted advertising campaigns. That's more than this Minister has spent on literacy campaigns for our primary school kids this year.

"The Minister is the worst since Merv Wellington. Mr Wellington is remembered for trying to force every school to fly a New Zealand flag. Mr Mallard will only ever be remembered for flying the anti-teacher flag," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

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