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School kids need a break these holidays– from the Government

18 December 2012

School kids need a break these holidays – from the Government

The Government's Christchurch school closure programme must be stopped, and a real renewal process begun, in light of the Ombudsman's findings that the Government failed to properly consult over the closures, the Green Party said today.

The Ombudsman, David McGee, today found the Ministry of Education acted wrongly in its handling of requests for official information about Christchurch school closures and is planning an investigation into its processes for consulting around other school closures.

“How much more do schools and communities have to go through before the sham consultation is dropped?” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“The Ombudsman's findings reveal what we've said all along - the Education Ministry and Minister have failed to listen to those on the ground in Christchurch, and the consultation process was a sham.

“The Ombudsman revealed the Ministry was effectively subverting the Official Information Act over the proposed school closures.

“Education Minister Hekia Parata has lost control over her Ministry, which has been infected by her unwillingness to respect or engage with the children and communities they deal with.

“This Government has been toxic to schools this year. Our kids deserve a break, not just from school these holidays, but from the sustained attack they’ve been under by the National Government.

“The children of Christchurch need a new Minister who will act in their interests and listen to and respect their communities. And they need a new and honest process that puts their needs first," Ms Delahunty said.

ENDS

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