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Government should let all kids learn in an Enviroschool

24 November 2010

Media Statement

Government should let all kids learn in an Enviroschool

“It’s great that the National-led Government has made funds available this year to support Kura Kaupapa Maori to run enviroschools programmes. But it’s a crying shame that kids, parents and teachers in every other school that wants to run an enviroschools programme have to do their own fundraising”, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

Mr Chauvel was commenting on questions in Parliament today put by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell to Environment Minister Nick Smith. Those questions and answers revealed that as part of National’s deal to obtain Maori Party support to amend the Emissions Trading Scheme last year, 6 months’ worth of funding was made available “to create a network of Kura Taiao-Enviro-Schools”.

“National cut funding of $19.4 million over 4 years that had been budgeted by the previous Labour-led Government to fund the Enviroschools programme. As a result, only about 700 of New Zealand’s more than 6900 schools participate in the programme, since the schools have to fund their own participation.

“Every student in every school in New Zealand should be able to attend an Enviroschool, not just the 1% of pupils in schools that are the beneficiaries of a political deal between two political parties in Parliament”, Charles Chauvel said.

“I’ve visited schools in Wellington like Maungaraki School and Cashmere Ave School that are participating Enviroschools. They are doing a great job very little to help kids become aware of how best to interact with the world around them. The Government should support them, and every other school, to run such programmes.

“A future Labour Government will do this, rather than single out only 73 schools on the basis of a political deal that disadvantages kids in every other school”, Charles Chauvel said.

ENDS

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