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NZEI Acknowledges Minister’s Contribution

Media Release
NZEI Te Riu Roa
Wednesday October 19, 2005
For Immediate Use

NZEI ACKNOWLEDGES MINISTER’S CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATION

NZEI Te Riu Roa acknowledges the contribution Trevor Mallard has made to education in New Zealand during his six years as Minister of Education.

Mr Mallard was today replaced as Minister of Education by Steve Maharey, as part of a Cabinet re-shuffle following the formation of the new Labour-led Government.

“NZEI has not always agreed with Mr Mallard during his time as Education Minister but the union acknowledges that he has worked hard and had a sound grasp of the details of his portfolio,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

“We thank him for showing a commitment to ensuring New Zealand has an effective public education system.”

“He demonstrated this early on in his time as Minister by removing the failed and divisive policy of bulk funding teachers’ salaries in 2000,” says Colin Tarr.

NZEI members also applaud Mr Mallard for recognising the importance of early childhood education.

“Three years ago he introduced a 10 year strategic plan for the sector and has provided the funding to implement its goals of ensuring all children have access to a quality early childhood education,” says Colin Tarr.

“The union welcomes Steve Maharey to the education portfolio.”

“We look forward to engaging with him as soon as possible and in doing so will signal to the Minister that we are eager to make progress on a number of issues.”

“Three priority areas requiring the Minister’s attention are addressing the problems caused by the bulk funding of school support staff wages, reviewing the school operations grant, and successfully implementing the policy of reducing class sizes for five year olds starting primary school, says Colin Tarr.

ENDS

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