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Playing hooky to hikoi unacceptable - English

Hon Bill English MP

National Party Education Spokesman

28 April 2004

Playing hooky to hikoi unacceptable - English

"It is unacceptable that parents are excusing their children from school to take part in seabed and foreshore protests," says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

"They're playing hooky to hikoi - they're supposed to be in school.

"The Education Minister should be asking who is looking out for these students and why they weren't at school yesterday.

"The parents of these children should be taking a far more responsible approach to education.

"This blatant disregard for the law comes off the back of damning statistics that show the number of children playing truant jumped 35% last year," says Mr English.

Ministry of Education statistics show the number of cases being investigated by truancy officers jumped to 26, 082 last year, up from 19, 676 in 2002.

"Every possible tool must be used to ensure our children attend school.

"There is a tolerance of truancy culture in New Zealand that must be confronted.

"The Government needs to show some leadership and stop cringing about the firm measures needed to combat this problem," says Mr English.


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