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Ogilvy: Who asked the parents?

Wednesday, 26 May, 2004

Ogilvy: Who asked the parents?

The Government's lack of consultation over school term changes looks like its disastrous school reviews all over again, United Future's Bernie Ogilvy said today.

"Thousands upon thousands of New Zealand families will have their routines thrown into chaos by this change - and it is now revealed that at no point have their representative groups been consulted," Mr Ogilvy, United Future's education spokesman, said.

"Here we have the Parent Teacher Association and the School Trustees Association both coming out saying 'hey, no one asked us'.

"And it was precisely this high-handed, we-know-best approach with that saw a humiliated and chastised Government back-tracking madly over its school closures policy just recently.

"It would have been nice to think lessons would have come from that. Clearly that is not the case," he said.

"Here they go again - this is a hugely significant change for parents everywhere, and yet they read about it in the newspapers as a done deal.

"That is simply ridiculous and it is total disrespect, which frankly has become a hallmark of this Government," he said.

"Other than Education Ministry officials and Labour policy types, precisely who did Education Minister Trevor Mallard consult before deciding to throw thousands upon thousands of New Zealand families into a state of upheaval?"

Mr Ogilvy said he had written to Mr Mallard querying the consultation process behind the decision.


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