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English wrong again on Aoraki course claims

English wrong again on Aoraki course claims

National Party Education Spokesperson Bill English should apologise to Aoraki Polytechnic for the baseless claims he continues to make about the Timaru-based tertiary provider, Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey said today.

“Aoraki’s chief executive Wendy Smith has rightly demanded a retraction from Mr English over his latest erroneous allegations,” Steve Maharey said.

“Today in Parliament Mr English claimed ‘that people who attended a business lunch in Timaru earlier this year were told that they could stay and hear Mr [Mike] Tamaki speak if they filled out a form enrolling them at this course at Aoraki Polytechnic’. This is total nonsense. Aoraki Polytechnic says none of its courses refer to Mike Tamaki.

“Instead, it turns out that Mr Tamaki was in Timaru to speak at a Small Business Day function organised by the Aoraki Development Trust, one of 23 such events around the country funded by the Ministry of Economic Development (MED). The Aoraki Development Trust confirms there was no charge to the public; it was an open meeting and attendees were not required to fill in any ‘enrolment’ forms. The Small Business Day in Timaru was a joint exercise with the Chamber of Commerce and MED and there was no education funding involved at all.

“Mr English should stop making these scurrilous allegations without bothering to check the facts and start apologising to the people he has so wrongly accused.”

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