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Mallard's Axe, A Cruel Blow For Wairoa


Mallard's Axe, A Cruel Blow For Wairoa

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman and buddy MP for Wairoa Deborah Coddington today accused Education Minister Trevor Mallard of waging a bitter war upon rural communities, following his announcement that nine Wairoa schools will effectively be closed.

"The Minister's decision is a cruel blow for Wairoa. Schools are an integral part of what brings communities together," Miss Coddington said.

"Turiroa School board chairman Ken King is right to call Mr Mallard's attempts to consult with the Wairoa community `little more than a PR exercise'. The Minister has ridden roughshod over the wishes of parents, students and teachers - and closed their schools.

"East Coast MP Janet Mackey and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia have failed to stand up for the community they purport to represent. Sadly, Labour MPs have a nasty habit of representing their caucus's decisions to the electorate, rather than vice versa.

"Last night's decision will bring dire consequences. Teachers will be forced to reapply for their jobs, children will have their education disrupted, and schools will inevitably lose some of their community support.

"ACT accepts that schools will, from time-to-time, close or merge. But that decision must be made by the communities affected - not by a Minister whose prime motivation is to save money," Miss Coddington said.

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