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Will there be McSchools under National?

Megan Woods
Associate Education Spokesperson

24 March 2014

Will there be McSchools under National?

Education Minister Hekia Parata needs to tell the public whether international companies will be part of the Government’s schools-for-sale experiment, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says.

“Seven of the 28 companies that bid for the Minister’s so-called ‘market sounding exercise’ for four public private partnerships were international corporations.

“That is a huge concern. Are we going to see McDonald’s running schools in New Zealand? Communities, not international companies, should be running our schools.

“The Ministry of Education has now called for expressions of interest to build and maintain two new Christchurch schools: a new 1500-pupil secondary school in Rolleston and a 1300-pupil school in Aranui. Expressions of interest are also open for a proposed 1200-pupil secondary school in Queenstown’s Wakatipu and an 1130-pupil junior high school in Auckland.

“The contracts for these four schools are expected to run to more than $200 million.

“New Zealand tax-payers are going to end up paying more for these schools than if the Government ran the entire process. To add insult to injury, we now learn this could line the pockets of international investors.

“Labour believes the government should be responsible for schools, not private companies. No-one can build school buildings more economically or access capital cheaper than the state.

“We do not want to sees parents and communities having to negotiate with a global giant over whether they can use the local school hall for a weekend meeting.

“Labour wants the best educational outcomes for children, not the best deal for corporate players,” Megan Woods says.

ENDS

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