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Don Brash visits wananga

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

13 September 2005

Don Brash visits wananga

The embattled Te Wananga o Aotearoa has a “great future” with a National Government, according to National Leader Don Brash, who visited the Te Awamutu campus today.

“I have come here today to deliver a message. A message that I hope will assist in putting the past behind us and building a great future for this place.

“This place has become a symbol of much that is wrong with the tertiary sector under the Helen Clark Government and a monument to the political correctness which has seen our country lose its way.

“And while those who have previously occupied positions of responsibility here must shoulder some of the blame, the real culprits are to be found in Wellington. In 1999, the annual funding provided by the government for the wananga was $5 million. Last year that had grown to a massive $239 million.

“If a National-led government is elected on Saturday, and I am elected Prime Minister of this country, the face of tertiary education is going to be very different.

“First, we are going to remove any distinction based on race. Helen Clark and her colleagues in the Labour Party hold the separatist view that this institution should exist to focus on Maori students and so-called Maori needs.

“In doing so, she and her ilk would condemn Maori to a future that is second rate, and New Zealand to a future that is second-class.

“In 2005, New Zealand has no need for separate tertiary institutions based upon race. In 2005, New Zealand should be funding tertiary institutions solely on the basis of their ability to deliver high quality courses which represent good value for money for taxpayers and for students.

“That does not mean that institutions like this one have no future under a National Government. To the contrary, institutions like this have a bright future under a National Government.

“Under a National Government, funding will be delivered on the basis of merit, not race or political correctness. Over recent months, major changes have been made to this institution. I welcome the advances being made.

“Today, I want to say to all of those involved, that if we have a change of government on Saturday, there will be a different path forward for the tertiary sector in New Zealand. One which focuses on standards and quality and on value for money,” said Dr Brash.


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