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Dunne: Govt is anti middle NZ values

3 August, 2004

Dunne: Govt is anti middle NZ values

The Government would rather pull teeth than promote the values of middle New Zealand in our schools, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"You can come to no other conclusion when, in the face of Education Ministry figures showing strong upward trends in suspensions and expulsions, we get everything but a real commitment to address the issue," Mr Dunne said, after tackling Associate Education Minister Marian Hobbs in Parliament.

Mr Dunne revealed at the weekend that since 2000, there had been a 30 percent increase in assaults on staff, a 23 percent rise in sexual misconduct, a 39 percent rise in vandalism and a 43 percent increase in possession of weapons, in New Zealand schools. Last year 23,656 school students were suspended or expelled.

"The reality is that, despite it paying lip service to character education, the Government is so taken by its own pink-think agenda of social engineering, that it will ignore these trends - and New Zealand will pay the price for that.

"In fact, there are huge elements in the Government that despise those values and continue to wilfully ignore the requirements of the 1993 Curriculum Framework to initiate character education in schools.

"This is a government that would sooner elevate prostitution to a fully fledged career choice, than actively instruct children on honesty, respect for others and the law.

"This is a government that would sooner thrust gay marriage upon New Zealanders, than help teach their children the values of fairness, caring and social responsibility."


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