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Mallard’s claims utter rubbish says Smith


Mallard’s claims utter rubbish says Smith

National MP Nick Smith is rubbishing allegations by Education Minister Trevor Mallard surrounding education funding for a literacy programme run by ACT MP Donna Awatere Huata.

“The funding for the Four Minute Reading Programme was properly approved by Cabinet and was one of a number of programmes designed to lift literacy levels, that were all approved at the same time,” says Dr Smith.

“These included the Alan Duff Books in Homes programme, the Tatari, Tautoko, Tauawhi and Hippy initiatives - the process for these was the same.

“There is no question of special treatment,” says Dr Smith

“As Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard has been responsible for monitoring this spending for more than three years.

“If he was concerned about the original decision, he’s had three years to act, but he’s done nothing,” Dr Smith says.

“I welcome the audit office inquiry but the terms of reference need to include the level of monitoring for the last three years, while Trevor Mallard has been the Minister.

“The fact that the funds may not have been used for their intended purpose suggest the auditing and monitoring of the contract has been inadequate.

“I will be extremely angry if any of the funds intended for raising literacy standards of Maori and Pacific islanders has not been used for that intended purpose.

“The trust and any of its contractors must be held to account and that is why I welcome the audit office report,” Dr Smith says.


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