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More of the Secret Agenda Revealed

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

27 August 2008 Media Statement
More of the Secret Agenda Revealed

The National Party has revealed new policy that would effectively mean the end of a fully state-run education system, says Education Minister Chris Carter.

National’s Education Spokesperson Anne Tolley told Morning Report on Monday that National supported private business playing a role in property developments at state schools.

Ms Tolley cited Australia as an example of how such Public/Private Partnership could operate. This view was supported by National’s Transport spokesperson Maurice Williamson on TV1’s Agenda programme on Sunday morning.

“The Labour-led government totally rejects any move to privatise state education.

“This government believes that education is a core responsibility of the state. We reject the idea that taxpayer funds should be used to drive profits for wealthy business people in our public school system,” Chris Carter said.

Education Minister Chris Carter said Australia’s public education system does not provide a very good model for New Zealand.

“In Australia the nature of PPP agreements has resulted in diminished parliamentary scrutiny over school facilities.

“After 11 years of a Howard government there has been an exodus from the state school system with almost half of Australian students now attending private schools.

Chris Carter said there are numerous international examples about the negative impact of PPP’s on public education systems.

“In the USA multi-nationals use PPP’s as ‘feeders’ for profit by setting up the likes of McDonalds in the school canteen,” said Chris Carter.

This week’s revelation brings further light to an announcement by John Key some months ago that National would lift the cap on tax-payer support for private schools.

“By contrast, the Labour-led government has already demonstrated a huge commitment to funding a quality public education system.

“I don’t want to go back to the 1990’s when National created a demoralised education system struggling with bulk-funding, decaying buildings and a growing gulf between winner and loser schools,” said Chris Carter.


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