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Labour, NZQA deceive in unison

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

24 February 2005

Labour, NZQA deceive in unison

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says Labour and the NZQA are working together to hide incriminating evidence about their knowledge of problems with scholarship and the NCEA.

Last week, the education and science select committee requested that NZQA release all advice it had given to the Minister of Education concerning NCEA scholarship results. The select committee normally expects papers within a week. To date, this advice has not been released.

Mr English has also requested, under the Official Information Act, all reports the Minister has received concerning the NCEA. The deadline has passed without the information being released.

"The law requires information requested under the Official Information Act to be released within 20 working days or an extension of time to be requested. The Minister has ignored this requirement," says Mr English.

"This demonstrates total contempt for the public accountability that parents and students want and expect to see around the scholarship shambles.

"Labour and the NZQA are working in unison to avoid accountability.

"This is the second time Labour has been caught out in a cover up in this debacle."

In Parliament last week it was revealed that Trevor Mallard first informed Helen Clark of the problems with the exam results on the 15th or 16th of January. Ten days later, without explanation, Trevor Mallard changed the entire scholarship awards system.

"The Minister and the NZQA have had plenty of opportunity to come clean and address the situation in an open and honest manner. Instead they have focussed all efforts on avoiding accountability and covering their tracks," says Mr English.

ENDS

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