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Government Should Halt Christchurch Closure, Merger Campaign

5 December 2012

Government Should Halt Christchurch Closure And Merger Campaign

The Government should call an immediate halt to its Christchurch school closure campaign, as the primary teachers’ decision to strike over its ‘renewal plan’ reveal it has lost the faith of the education sector, the Green Party said today.

Primary teachers this afternoon voted to strike next February in protest against the closure and merger campaign, which is threatening dozens of good Christchurch schools and threatens to wreak even more havoc on the quake damaged city’s kids.

“The strike is a result of the National Government’s arrogant approach to Christchurch school closures coming home to roost,” said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“Strike action is always a last resort, but the Government has forced the teachers’ hand as they try to stand up for kids’ education and the importance of local schools to quake damaged communities.

“This is a strike borne out of frustration with a Minister who has refused to listen to them and is a show of support to the communities who are reliant on their local schools.

“Education Minister Hekia Parata has proven, time and again, that she’s not prepared to listen to teachers on the front line in Christchurch.

“Minister Parata’s so called consultation process over its closure campaign is more of a con than real consultation.

“Christchurch needs more time and the communities need good information about where people are going to settle, and what the state of the land will be, before vital decisions about their schools are made.

“The National Government’s school closure campaign must stop. Hekia Parata needs to go back to the drawing board and properly engage with the communities and education experts who know best what their kids and city needs,” said Ms Delahunty.

ENDS

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