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How Much, Mr Mallard?


How Much, Mr Mallard?

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today demanded that Education Minister Trevor Mallard reveal just how much New Zealand taxpayers have had to fork out for Education Ministry officials to close their schools.

"Mr Mallard's answer to my written Parliamentary Question - asking for this very information - was, in reality, no answer at all. He has refused to outline the full cost of sending Ministry officials around the country in his network reviews," Miss Coddington said.

"It appears that the Minister would prefer to keep hard-working taxpayers in the dark, rather than telling them how much they have had to spend to have their schools closed against their will.

"It is absolutely outrageous that New Zealand parents have been forced to pay to have their rights stolen by this Government. What is worse, is that they don't even know how much they've had to pay for the dubious privilege of having the Minister run their lives.

"The fact that Mr Mallard refuses to answer this question indicates that he has something to hide. That is not good enough. The Minister has a duty to disclose how public money is being spent - regardless of how embarrassing it might be for him or his government.

"I predict, however, that he will not offer this information anytime soon. The fact is that this whole process has been a huge botch-up from the beginning. Parents know it, teachers know it, and the Minister knows it - he just doesn't want to have to admit it," Miss Coddington said.

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