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Labour Introduces Shoemaker Education System

Labour Introduces Shoemaker Education System

Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party Education spokesperson   20 August 2008

The Maori Party has discovered the Government is re-introducing an education system based on a 19th century classic from the Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

"In the Elves and the Shoemaker, the poor Shoemaker worked long and hard, but could never get through all the tasks of the day.  At desperation point, elves appeared out of nowhere, quietly, behind the scenes, and got the mahi done," said Te Ururoa Flavell, education spokesperson for the Maori Party.

"In 2008, those invisible elves have grown to more than 12,000 support staff in primary, intermediate, area and secondary schools," said Mr Flavell.  "These people are absolutely essential to the successful running of a school. They work with teachers and students in innumerable ways to support good outcomes for students."

"They may be the boss of the school (also known as the school secretary); or work in the office; they may be sports co-ordinators, nurses, teacher aides, librarians - often working with our most vulnerable kids - all on next to no pay," he said.

"We acknowledge the enormous difference that support staff make to enhancing the lives of our tamariki".

"Schools regularly struggle to cover costs through schools operations grant funding - leaving the workers insecure and on low pay," said Te Ururoa Flavell.

"The Maori Party supports NZEI Te Riu Roa's campaign, 'Stronger Together - Fair Pay for Support Staff' and wishes them a successful launch in Rotorua this Friday 22 August."

"In the Grimm tale, the elves were able to turn rags into riches - but as we all know now - that was a fantasy," he said.

"Government has to get real and respect the significant responsibilities and workload our support staff take up - and the Maori Party will continue to hammer that message home until we can see fair pay being addressed," said Mr Flavell. 


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