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School closures about saving Hekia, not kids

School closures about saving Hekia, not kids

The National Government’s decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today.

“Hekia Parata’s stubborn refusal to budge on her closure plans is a tragedy for the children who fought so desperately for their school to remain open,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“This is about Hekia Parata trying to save face after a litany of back-downs, U-turns and policy failures, but it’s come at the expense of hundreds of little children and their families.

“The children of Christchurch have become a scapegoat for Hekia Parata’s incompetence.

“Even in the last few days, evidence has emerged that the second round of consultation over the closure plans has not been fair, or accurate.

“This is not a ‘new decision’, as the Minister claims. She went in to this second so-called consultation process with her eyes closed and her mind made up.

“From the very beginning Hekia Parata lost sight of what was the best decision for the children of Christchurch and has set out to use the earthquakes to reinforce her hard right agenda to damage and dismantle public education.

“If she had really listened, and engaged in proper consultation from the beginning, the children of Phillipstown and Woolston would have had some certainty, instead many have found themselves fighting the very person who should have been working in their interests.

“The Green Party stands with the communities of Phillipstown and Woolston and wishes them well in their attempts to do what’s best for their kids,” Ms Delahunty said.

Ends

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