Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education
2007 Media Statement
Education Minister Chris Carter said today that National’s retiring education spokesperson Katherine Rich had been a hard-working Member of Parliament and had made a contribution to public debate about education.
“I have enjoyed debating the issues with Katherine and wish her all the best for the future,” Chris Carter said.
“Katherine represents the liberal end of the political spectrum within National. Her departure opens the way for National to take a more doctrinaire, conservative line on education policy.”
Ms Rich and National’s new deputy education spokesperson, Allan Peachey, were known to have very different views on the issue of bulk funding. Now that Ms Rich had quit, bulk funding will be very much on National’s agenda.
“Bulk funding, ditched by this Labour government, is another of those policy secrets the National Party is keeping very quiet about,” Chris Carter said.
“Just last year, Ms Rich was quoted as saying bulk funding was “not part of my thinking” and was “unlikely to feature in our 2008 manifesto”.
“I welcomed her statements but observed that they were a direct contradiction of Mr Peachey’s. He has run around the country advocating bulk funding for some time.
“Indeed, at the same time Ms Rich was distancing National from bulk funding, Mr Peachey took offence at remarks I made about the issue, saying he was “the principal of a bulk-funded school for a long period” and took “personal exception” to me attacking the policy.
“National’s new education spokesperson now needs to clarify urgently just what National’s policy on bulk funding is,” Chris Carter said.