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School Camps A Thing Of The Past?

School Camps A Thing Of The Past?

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today expressed disbelief that, thanks to workplace health and safety regulations, New Zealand children may never get the chance to experience one of our country's greatest traditions - the school camp.

"School camps are as much a part of growing up in New Zealand as hokey pokey ice cream, Weet Bix and the buzzy bee - it would be a tragedy to see them fall by the wayside," Miss Coddington said.

"School camps are more than just fun trips away. They allow children to learn outdoor survival skills, learn about the environment and take some risks that this over-protective PC society is slowly depriving them of.

"I sympathise deeply with teachers who must troll through the Education Ministry's `Safety and Education Outside The Classroom' guide - a 90-page tome of red tape that provides teachers with `safety management process and legal obligations'.

"Principals Federation president Kelvin Squires has reportedly said that `under the regulations, schools are forced to identify all possible risks, get parental consent for most activities and, even then, may still be liable if things go wrong'.

"It is high time we put an end to this outrageous nonsense. ACT would re-write the OSH laws without compromising the safety of the students - and without sucking the fun out of life.

"Labour needs an extremely large dose of commonsense. Kids deserve the chance to experience the fun that we, and our parents, enjoyed. This Government already dictates where we send our children to school - now it wants to deprive them of an essential part of growing up. School camps must stay," Miss Coddington said.

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