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Labour Rips Children Apart

Labour Rips Children Apart

Tuesday 2 Mar 2004 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today accused the Labour Government of tearing families apart, after reports that school zoning laws have prevented two young brothers from attending the same primary school.

"Zoning separates the rich from the poor, pakeha from Maori - and now brother from brother," Miss Coddington said.

"Jake Gardner, 8, attends Manurewa's Hillpark Primary School. His mother believed her home was zoned for the school, but was told the zones had changed and she'd missed the October out-of-zone ballot - Jake's four-year-old brother Luke can't attend the same school.

"Jake's mother Sharron is at her wit's end. She is reluctant to remove him from Hillpark Primary because he is performing well. She wrote to the principal, but pointy-headed Education Ministry bureaucrats prevent him from helping.

"This is a ghastly example, but not an isolated one. Zoning steals parents' rights to choose their children's school, and props up under-performing schools by maintaining their roles. It is unfair, elitist, and creates a disincentive for top schools to maintain their standards.

"Education Minister Trevor Mallard must abandon zoning, to give every school and every child an equal chance at success. ACT will repeal zoning and bring choice to every Kiwi parent and child. It's time to let parents - like Mrs Gardner - choose," 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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