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Tolley deluged with complaints from colleagues?

30 October 2009
Media Statement

Tolley deluged with complaints from colleagues?

Anne Tolley's refusal to provide correspondence about night class cuts from National MPs to herself and John Key, on the grounds that it would take too much work to collate, suggests the pair have been deluged with correspondence from unhappy National backbenchers, says Labour's Tertiary Education Spokesperson Maryan Street.

"I put in an Official Information Act request some weeks ago for any correspondence to the Minister and Prime Minister about the cuts to night classes delivered through schools. She has today declined my request because it would take too much work.

"What can this mean? There are only 51 National MPs, when you take out the Prime Minister and Mrs Tolley herself. How many letters or emails did she get? How hard can it be to collate 51 pieces of correspondence? Or did they send more than one?

"There are only eight National MPs who have fronted to any of the numerous public meetings I have been to over the last few months about the Adult and Community Education funding cuts,” Maryan Street said.

“If only those eight wrote to Mrs Tolley or Mr Key that would be an easy collation job. Members of the public might like to know if their local National MP actually represented their views to the Minister or the Prime Minister. That is what they have asked them to do - have they done it?

"But her reluctance to disclose the correspondence because the job is too hard, indicates clearly that there has been a great deal of it. I intend to pursue this with the Ombudsman because it is an entirely inadequate response to a legitimate question about an issue of such concern out in the community that 53,344 people signed a petition about it," said Maryan Street.

ENDS

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