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Labour gave away chance to cap wananga growth

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

01 March 2005

Labour gave away chance to cap wananga growth

National Party Leader Don Brash says Labour gave away the chance to cap the extraordinary growth of Te Wananga O Aotearoa.

"Labour broke its own rules so it could keep pouring money into the institute," Dr Brash said after questioning the Prime Minister on the issue in Parliament today.

"In 2003 the Government announced new rules to cap growth in tertiary institutions, but Steve Maharey allowed the wananga to breach this cap because of allegedly 'exceptional circumstances'.

"The reality is that this proposal to cap growth in tertiary institutions met strong opposition from the wananga and now we can see why.

"Had the cap been applied in 2004 the wananga would have received approximately $80 million less in Government funding than was actually received, and its growth would have been slashed by about 20%.

"At the time, Steve Maharey, the Minister then responsible for tertiary education, said the Government was 'delighted' with the growth at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and 'did not have concerns' with the quality of courses provided.

"Labour had a chance to do something and they let it slip through their fingers. The Minister should have seen this coming in June last year and the public expect the Prime Minister to hold him accountable for that expensive lapse," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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