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Labour
2000 web siteLabour's associate education spokesperson (tertiary) Steve Maharey said by giving up on students, National MPs were giving up on the future of the country.

Steve Maharey was commenting on news that Maurice Williamson was pulling out of a planned address to Auckland University students tomorrow. It follows Tertiary Education Minister Max Bradford's decision not to go to Otago University following an incident at Canterbury University which resulted in the Minister being accused of assault.

"A decent education system is crucial to the country's economic future. Yet National Ministers are running away from groups which are rightfully challenging their record on the provision of tertiary education.

"What students are mainly taking offence at is National's complete denial that there is anything wrong with the rising costs of tertiary education and student debt. They are also aggrieved at being treated like nuisance children by Max Bradford and his political cronies.

"By contrast, Labour Leader Helen Clark has won the respect of students because of the respect she has shown to them and their concerns. Helen Clark has spoken on five university campuses in the last two weeks and has received overwhelming support.

"Labour is not promising students the world. What we are saying is that we see tertiary education as integral to our aim to boost New Zealand's economy through a knowledge society and that that aim cannot be achieved without lowering the costs to students," Steve Maharey said.

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