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Advisory: Greens step up fight to save schools

27 February, 2004
Media Advisory

Greens step up fight to save schools

Rod Donald to visit Timaru schools & Invercargill on Monday, 1 March

Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald will be visiting Timaru schools this Monday, 1 March, at the request of parents and principals following Trevor Mallard's determination to press on with South Canterbury school closures despite his moratorium on further reviews.

In the evening Rod will speak at a public meeting in Invercargill called by Mayor Tim Shadbolt to mobilise the local community against school closures in that city (7.30pm, Ascot Park Hotel).

"Trevor Mallard's determination to force through the current round of school closures is indefensible now that he has called a halt to all future reviews," said the Green Party Co-leader.

"The moratorium on school closures is without doubt an admission that the process and outcome are both fundamentally flawed. Closures are based on the false assumption that bigger is better and suggest that the government expects its own regional development strategy to fail.

"Trevor Mallard claims that he needs to finish the current reviews because it would be too stressful for locals to do otherwise. The opposite is true; if he took the trouble to visit Timaru and Invercargill he would see that his plans to close schools have been incredibly divisive, splitting communities right down the middle.

"The sensible course of action for the Minister is to cancel the current round of reviews and allow local communities to decide what's best for them. In some cases this may still mean a school closes, but it would happen in a fair and humane manner."


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