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Principals Appalled At Minister Conveniently Fudging Reality!

Principals in Te Tai Tokerau, who work in the lowest socioeconomic area of New Zealand, are appalled that Minister Tinetti’s has hidden behind a trite politicians answer to their genuine concerns, aired on Te Karere last night.

Minister Tinetti was responding to a heartfelt plea by Te Tai Tokerau Principal Leanne Otene, who like most principals is at her wits end dealing with the fall out of decades of failed policies from successive governments.

” Ms Otene speaking in desperation, laid out the daily reality facing just about every principal in Te Tai Tokerau.

Children who have no social skills. Children as young as five who place other children and staff in danger. Children as young as five that refuse to do anything they are told unless it suits them. Children who we have to spend hours getting help for, for their learning needs. Cut backs in Interim Relief Funding to make it almost nonsensical. Totally inadequate support and resourcing for the children just falling between the cracks.

That is our reality. It’s a balancing act always and now a Minister who should know

better ignores our genuine desperation!” said Pat Newman, President of Te Tai Tokerau Principals

He continued, “It really hurts when a Minister who knows reality, who up until 3 years ago was saying exactly what we are saying, (I have a number of past press releases in her name that say basically what we are saying,) resorts to a trite political response as if the list of supposed help available actually covers the government’s responsibility.

It’s like Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the matter.

It’s like the loaves and fishes all over again, with us being expected to cover the high needs of hundreds and thousands of children with resourcing and without the ability to perform miracles!

It sounds good, but in reality is dishonest by omission

What principals know, what she definitely knows, what principals all over NZ are saying is, it’s not the number of programmes that matters, its whether they are actually funded to cater for the real needs of our Tamariki. 1 hour a day if lucky doesn’t cover the 6 hours the child is at school for instance!

When principals are saying the rubber band is stretched too far, and that health and safety issues are occurring on a daily basis, to try to bully boy us by threatening to impose mandatory enrolments as her Ministry has done, is not the way to go. Instead she, her government and the Ministry need to recognise the validity of our concerns. They don’t need new money, just to use the wasted monies for instance for Kahui Ako.

Put that money where its needed and give us the tools, the experts to actually help these kids, but allow us to keep other children and staff safe.

Every child has a right to an education. Every staff member is a right to a safe working environment. Currently that is not the case.” he concluded.


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