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Public pressure forces Parata back-down

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson
8 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Public pressure forces Parata back-down

Hekia Parata’s about face on the mergers of four Christchurch secondary schools can’t be shrugged off as non-consequential and her protestations that mergers weren’t on her agenda are just double-speak, Labour’s Canterbury Recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel says.

“This is pure sophistry from the Education Minister and it is not something that can now be tossed into her ‘out’ tray.

“Ms Parata is attempting to cover her back by saying she had never received formal proposals to merge the schools – Christchurch and Avonside Girls’ and Shirley and Christchurch Boys’ – hence their mergers were never part of the Canterbury renewal plan.

“The only reason she hadn’t received a specific proposal was because her Ministry was still waiting for detailed geotechnical reports on those schools.

“Mergers or closures of these schools were as much on the cards as was keeping them open. They were all options put forward by officials.

“The truth is Ms Parata has backed down because of another major public backlash. These schools pulled out all the stops to achieve this.

“Unfortunately, for other schools not awaiting technical reports, their fate was sealed when the Minister announced the plan.

“This has meant huge stress for families already struggling to deal with the aftermath of the earthquakes.

“It could all have been avoided if Ms Parata had consulted with schools and parents before her ‘firm proposals’ were promoted,” Lianne Dalziel said.

© Scoop Media

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