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Minister to video conference with students

Minister to video conference with students

Education Minister Trevor Mallard will next week be revealing what really goes on behind the doors of Parliament when he takes part in an upcoming video conference with students from schools across New Zealand.

The video conference is part of the Digital Conversations programme through which guests from New Zealand and overseas are dropping in to talk to students and teachers around the country.

"As we extend broadband into more and more communities, technologies such as this can help address barriers of distance. Perhaps this kind of interaction will one day become part of the everyday life of a school and community," Trevor Mallard said.

"Our government is funding video conferencing bridges for schools in rural areas, and has invested tens of millions of dollars into Project Probe, the rollout of high speed internet access to the regions. We are also supporting clusters of schools in rural areas which use video conferencing to access specialist teacher support for their students.

"As a government we are committed to ensuring that kids, no matter where they live, can access the same kind of educational opportunities as students in urban areas. We are also focusing on innovation and information and communications technology as key areas with growth potential."

Trevor Mallard's Digital Conversation coincides with the 30th anniversary of the lowering of the voting age from 20 to 18 and will provide an opportunity for discussion about the New Zealand parliamentary system in general.

He will be exploring several topics, including the life of an MP and a Minister, and the different roles of government and opposition MPs.

The video conference takes place at 9.30am on Tuesday 7 September. Students are joining in from Okato College in Taranaki, Tauhara College in Taupo, Stratford High School in Stratford, Reporoa College near Rotorua, Raglan Area School and Te Aute College in Hastings.

Other schools are welcome to take part by contacting Digital Conversations co-ordinator Jane Armstrong for more information on telephone (04) 382 6508 or by email

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