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Thanks For The Consultation, Trevor

Thanks For The Consultation, Trevor

Monday 6 Oct 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today slammed Education Minister Trevor Mallard for merging the Early Childhood Development Board with the Education Ministry, without consulting with education sector stakeholders.

"The ECD and the Ministry were merged on October 1 2003, and the Education and Science Select Committee has called for submissions on the Eduction (Disestablishment of Early Childhood Development Board) Amendment Bill," Miss Coddington said.

"The Bill provides for the dis-establishment of ECD and its incorporation into the Ministry - with a deadline of October 31 2003. I would have thought it was totally inappropriate for the Ministry to take over ECD until the Bill had been passed.

"While this may be a legal requirement, Mr Mallard could have postponed the integration and allowed the early childhood education sector to voice its concerns. Instead, he has chosen to ride rough shod over the sector with barely a skerrick of consultation.

"I have received calls from angry people within the sector, saying they have been deprived of any opportunity to air their concerns. What is the point of anyone making a submission and requesting to appear before Select Committee if the decision has already been made?

"What a waste of taxpayers' money to have Select Committee consider something that's already happened. I doubt anyone will bother sending in a submission. I don't blame them - I can't see Mr Mallard reversing his decision, even if all submissions oppose the integration.

"This entire process smacks of Labour Party window-dressing. Mr Mallard wouldn't know the meaning of consultation even if he tripped and fell over it," Miss Coddington said.

ENDS


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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