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Consultation - What's That? Says Mallard

Consultation - What's That? Says Mallard

Labour's refusal to consult with the insurance industry over accommodation fees lost through the collapse of the Modern Age English Language school has cost private education providers hundreds of thousands of dollars, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Education Minister Trevor Mallard promised to pay the students' accommodation costs following Modern Age's collapse. He will now increase the student levy taken from private providers to pay for the Government intervention, effectively sabotaging the ability of insurance companies, involved in the student losses, to fulfil their contractual obligations," Miss Coddington said.

"For a claim to be valid, the students involved in this debacle must be able to demonstrate a loss. Because the Minister has indicated the Government will intervene, no loss will have been incurred. The result is a standard student insurance contact will become null and void.

"This is a classic case of Labour underwriting the underwriters, and leaving private education providers to foot the bill. Any responsible Minister should have stepped back and consulted with the insurance companies involved.

"Mr Mallard should have let the insurance claims proceed - then when affected students received their refunds, the Government could have considered assisting those without insurance. The Minister's hasty decision has created an enormous financial burden that could potentially cripple the private English language industry.

"I challenge Mr Mallard to jump on the first plane back from China and make a grovelling apology to private education providers for the mess he's created," Miss Coddington said.

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