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Government Funded the Hatchet Job

Government Funded the Hatchet Job

Thursday 7 Nov 2002 Donna Awatere Huata Press Releases -- Education

The "independent" organisation that produced a biased hatchet job on private early childhood education providers on Monday is funded by the Government, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata revealed today.

"For the year 2002-2003, the New Zealand Council for Educational Research has reaped $1.433 million from the Government. Mr Mallard has increased the amount each year since he took office.

"Now we know that the supposedly "independent" organisation that published this report practically arguing that the private sector should be legislated out of early childhood education is itself funded by the state. There are more questions. What influence did state bureaucrats with a vested interest have in this report? Why wasn't it shown to private providers before it was given exclusively to a national newspaper? How did the report ever get published, given that it lacks intellectual rigour, balance or relevant facts? This relationship between Mr Mallard's Government and the "independent" Council is altogether too cosy and convenient.

"Clearly the Council has produced a report that did not meet basic requirements of fairness and accuracy. Therefore, even if Mr Mallard agrees with the rhetoric that the Council espouses, he has an obligation to withdraw funding.

"I am writing to Mr Mallard urging him to review Government funding to the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. I believe the Council's biased and unfair report has breached its obligation to taxpayers to "avoid excessive and exaggerated claims", "maintain a spirit of open inquiry and open discussion" and "restrict public statements as researchers to areas in which they have satisfactory knowledge and information derived from research findings and theory".

"Mr Mallard cannot sanction the spending of public money to create the sort of tripe we've seen this week. I will continue to investigate the Council and its relationship to Mr Mallard and the Ministry of Education," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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