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Tolley refuses to listen over Aorangi School

24 November 2009 Media Statement

Dalziel appalled by Tolley’s refusal to listen to community over Aorangi School

Labour MP Lianne Dalziel says that she is appalled that Education Minister Anne Tolley has confirmed her decision to close Aorangi School.

"She made up her mind months ago and the community has been up against a brick wall trying to change her rigid mindset,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“There has been huge community support for Aorangi, a small oasis for vulnerable children within a desert of high decile schools. There is no way these other schools will be able to cater for the number of vulnerable children who will be displaced by her heartless decision.

"I am sure that the surrounding schools believe that they will be able to cater for these children, but sadly they will be swamped in their new environments. Who will buy them the free books they get from Books in Schools, for example?”

Lianne Dalziel said she was not criticising the other schools. “I went to two of them myself --- Waimairi & St Patricks Primary Schools --- but these children have great needs, and the resources that are available to help them transition to a new school do not last very long.

"I remain deeply concerned that the Minister did not receive quality advice before making this decision; and information the school was still receiving under the Official Information Act indicates that the reports the Minister was being given were biased and highly prejudicial to the school.”

Lianne Dalziel said she did not want to see the issue become a matter for the courts.

“Unfortunately, I cannot see any alternative to this, however, in the face of Ms Tolley’s intransigence.”


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