Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Turner: Ray of light on vision-testing fiasco

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Turner: Ray of light on vision-testing fiasco

Associate Health Minister Pete Hodgson's pledge under questioning in Parliament today to look at evidence on the flawed national schools vision and hearing testing programme was the first positive sign from the Government in "12 months of ministerial evasion", United Future deputy leader Judy Turner said.

"There is strong evidence that this programme falsely clears up to 40 percent of children and we've had Annette King, Trevor Mallard and Damian O'Connor show no interest at all in the scheme, and consequently whether our kids can see or not.

"Indeed, the Government surpassed itself last week by disgracefully blocking my move for a select committee inquiry into the programme," she said. "So I salute Pete Hodgson for having the integrity to do what his colleagues wouldn't and actually look at the evidence."

Last year, Mrs Turner revealed a two-year trial carried at Wanganui's Castlecliff School involving 71 children who had been cleared by the screening programme. They were then assessed by an optometrist, with the result that 28 of them (40 percent) needed glasses immediately and a further 16 (23%) were asked to return in 12 months for further tests.

New Zealand's screening programme does not test for long-sightedness or eye co-ordination problems and one Australian study indicated that the tests carried out here detect less than 10% of vision problems in children, Mrs Turner said.

"It would be lovely to think that on the same day that this Government proudly launches a two-year health and nutrition pilot in 65 schools, it at last commits itself to having those healthy and well-nourished children able to see the blackboard."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election