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Tolley's cynicism on Christchurch ECE appalling

Tolley's cynicism on Christchurch ECE appalling

Labour's Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel says she is appalled at the cynicism of Education Minister Anne Tolley in effectively poking fun at Christchurch ECE centres.

"Education at all levels is a matter of huge concern in Christchurch following the quakes," Lianne Dalziel said. "Apparently the concern isn't shared by Anne Tolley given her response to a serious question asked by my colleague and Labour's Education spokesperson Sue Moroney.

"Schools with falling rolls have received some support from the Government, but there's been no such relief for the early childhood sector for those centres whose rolls have dropped off as a result of families being forced to move.

"The least the Education Minister could do is to show some sympathy and understanding for these ECE centres, which rely on attendance for their funding," Lianne Dalziel said. "The centres certainly don't expect her to take the political mickey at their expense.

"Yet that is what she has done. When Sue Moroney asked her which ECE centres in greater Christchurch have had their rolls reduced as a result of the two quakes, and what briefings or reports she has received relating to those centres, Anne Tolley responded by saying there has been numerous aftershocks in Christchurch since September, and if Sue clarified which earthquakes she was referring to, she would provide an answer.

"That's a monstrous response," Lianne Dalziel said. "Christchurch people know very well that there have been numerous aftershocks since September. They have felt them. They don't think they're funny.

"They also don't find the plight of ECE in greater Christchurch funny either, even if a cynical Minister does.

"As I said to Sue, Anne Tolley's answer takes the 'quake'," Lianne Dalziel said. "The difference is, I wasn't joking."

Paid for by Vote Parliamentary Service and Authorised by Lianne Dalziel, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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