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PR staff triple at Education Ministry

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

8 January 2008

PR staff triple at Education Ministry

The number of public relations, communications, and media positions at the Ministry of Education has tripled since Labour has been in government, says National’s Education spokeswoman, Katherine Rich.

“In October 1999, the Education Ministry employed six people for PR, communications or media. By 2007, the number of positions had increased to 19.

“This is another example of spin taking the place of substance during Labour’s reign.

“While PR, media, and communications staff play a role in preparing newsletters, press releases and information to schools, it is hard to see how tripling their number achieves better learning for students in classrooms – although it’s easy to see how it can increase the revolutions on Labour’s spin machine.

“This increase in staff is purely about politics and message management for Ministers.

“In the post-Electoral Finance Bill era this is set to get worse. Labour will increase its use of public servants to churn out Government propaganda while the rest of the country is strangled by anti-democratic, draconian limitations on freedom of speech.

“A tripling in spin doctors is not about better information for schools – it’s about escalating message management for Labour and disguising the failures”.

ENDS

Attached: Current PR staff data from Ministry of Education Financial Review
PQ 15763 on number of staff in 1999

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