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Brash shows he is behind the times

Hon Trevor Mallard
Co-ordinating Minister, Race Relations

13 September 2005 Media Statement

Brash shows he is behind the times


Don Brash has demonstrated yet again that he is not on top of issues and is confused and out of date in relation to tertiary policy, Co-ordinating Minister, Race Relations Trevor Mallard said today.

"Dr Brash should get with the times and take time to get himself properly briefed.

"His pronouncement today that all tertiary funding should be merit-based and not race-based is quite bemusing, since that is the way the tertiary system operates now.

"He is announcing a policy which presumably he thinks is new - but this approach is already happening in tertiary education.

"Dr Brash's memory must be fading yet again. I undertook a major review of all race-based funding throughout this year, and changes across all government services have been made, to make sure that services and programmes were addressing need and not race.

"In addition, the government has undertaken a major shake-up of tertiary provision, and made a series of key decisions - announced back in July.

"These decisions will support and strengthen regional provision in the tertiary sector, and shift funding to high quality courses that are good value for taxpayers and students, from areas of low quality and low value.

"But I guess that since Dr Brash can not remember what has happened from one day or week to the next, it is not surprising he can not remember what was a major announcement two months ago,'' Trevor Mallard said.

"I would also note that National has failed to give local communities any assurances that their regional polytechnics will be protected - an issue that was a top priority when our government conducted the review of tertiary provision.

"He should disclose his real agenda and tell the communities of Northland, Taranaki, the East Coast, South Canterbury, Taranaki, Otago and Southland among others - what will happen to their regional polytechnics should National be elected to government. What is he intending to put at risk?"

ENDS

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