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Rod Donald to visit threatened Sth Cant. schools

26 January, 2004

Media Advisory
Rod Donald to visit threatened Sth Canterbury schools

Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald will visit six schools in South Canterbury tomorrow (Tuesday, January 27) that Education Minister Trevor Mallard is threatening to close.

The schools include:

Salisbury Primary, South of Timaru.
Watlington Intermediate, Timaru
Marchwiel Primary, Timaru
Pleasant Point High School
Timuka Primary School
Woodbury Primary School, near Geraldine

"The Green Party is very sceptical of Mr Mallard's motives for closing down rural and provincial schools," said Mr Donald. "The minister has failed so far to produce a shred of evidence to justify any of the schools he has closed in the face of opposition from the community.

"The reviews are more about saving money so he can spend it in Auckland than improving educational outcomes for children. The closures totally contradict the government's own regional development policy.

"Before Christmas, Mr Mallard refused to answer my parliamentary question on why he is closing schools in South Canterbury so I'll visit them myself to find out what's really going on," said Mr Donald.

"On behalf of the Green Party I will be offering to support South Canterbury communities in the fight to keep their local schools."


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