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Heartless Minister lets kids shiver

Anne Tolley MP National Party Education Spokeswoman

2 July 2008

Heartless Minister lets kids shiver in derelict school

Wairoa primary school children who have been suffering three years of cold and discomfort in a run-down, leaky school will have to wait least a further month for relief, says National's Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.

"This school has had 25 meetings with the Ministry and endured unacceptable conditions without any solution.

"There is sewage on the playing fields, blocked toilets that children refuse to use and a crumbling drainage system that requires teachers to put pallets down as a path when it rains so children can avoid flooding and sewage.

"This is a school where children are shivering because its dilapidated boiler chimney fell off the roof last month and they have no heating. A school where they have had to resort to putting Blu-Tack on the alarm system because it shorts out when it rains and the alarm rings continuously.

"Why is it that the school submitted a plan several weeks ago for $1.5 million to put this school into a position where it was at least a safe and healthy environment and had that plan rejected?

"This is like something out of the Third World, not Hawke's Bay. It is absolutely unacceptable that this has gone on for three years, and even more unacceptable that it will be a further month until the school will get a cheque from the Minister.

"Labour is happy to spend the thick end of $1 billion buying back rail while little children endure intolerable conditions that could have been fixed years ago for a fraction of that.

"It is simply heartless."

ENDS

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