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John Key Ditches His Own School

John Key Ditches His Own School

Rahui Katene, Candidate for Maori Party

Thursday 6 November 2008

Maori Party Te Tai Tonga candidate Rahui Katene is appalled that experienced politicians from both major parties have done nothing about a school which is a health hazard to its students. Aorangi School in Christchurch is 'famous' as the school John Key attended. But the school is also well known for its long running and highly public battle with the Ministry of Education over the state of its buildings. The buildings are now so bad they should be condemned and the rooms are taking a toll on the students' health.

Mrs Katene is visiting the school today at 10am. She wants to know why Ministry of Education officials have gone back on their word to provide the school with a total rebuild.

"What astounds me about this state of affairs is that both John Key and Labour MP Mahara Okeroa know the problems the school faces and neither have done anything about it," said Mrs Katene.

"Gerry Brownlee must also know as the school is in his electorate, yet likewise has done nothing".

"Key seems to easily remember his tough childhood, living in a state house in Burnside and attending this very school as a primary student. Yet Key has ditched his roots and hasn't been prepared to challenge the Minister of Education to cut through the red tape that is wrapped around this school. In the meantime young children are left to suffer, whilst he uses this neighbourhood in his bid to become the next Prime Minister. It's a clear case of chasing power and forgetting the poor".

"It's nearly fifty years since this school was first opened as a way of reducing pressure on its neighbour, Wairakei School, and yet while children like John have all gone on to bigger things, the buildings have stayed virtually untouched" said Mrs Katene.

"But what's even more of concern, is the promises that were given to the school community, to transform the school into a state of the art 'learning street'. Promises which have not been honoured".

"I am concerned for the health and educational needs of primary children. When I am the MP for Te Tai Tonga I and the Maori Party will do whatever we can to give those children a solid base from which to learn. I sure won't be sitting on my hands and letting the school rot to the ground".


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