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John Key closes school used to promote National Party

SEA ROTMANN
Candidate for WAIRARAPA
3 OCTOBER 2011

John Key closes school used to promote National Party

The Green candidate standing for the Wairarapa electorate has condemned John Key’s hypocrisy in using Ohorere School in Masterton as a backdrop for his PR video and then closing it down.

“Last election the Prime Minister used this school and its students to show his caring side in his promotional video ‘Ambitious for New Zealand’. Now the school is no longer needed for his purposes he has turned around and dumped on the school and its staff,” Green candidate Sea Rotmann said.

John Key announced the decision to stop funding Ohorere School on his recent visit to the region, news that has devastated staff and other schools in the area.

“This is a school which boasts an incredible 85% success rate, and is doing so well that the Education Review Office said it should be a model for the rest of the country,” Dr Rotmann said.

“This is a short sighted move by the Government which will save a pitiful $150,000 yet will almost inevitably cost the country much more, when future at risk children miss out on this intervention.”

Dr Rotmann said Wairarapa MP John Hayes had made political capital out of giving assurances to the school’s community that he would save the school from closure, but had failed to do so.

“Not only has John Hayes been ineffective, he has done a cowardly flip flop in an attempt to save face. Overnight he changed from being a brave defender of the school to someone trying to justify why it shouldn’t be funded.

“Worst of all, he allowed the Prime Minister to make the announcement in the Wairarapa and didn’t even have the decency to alert the school and its staff – who had to hear the news via the newspaper and internet.”

“After this year, troubled children who are kicked out of mainstream schools in the Wairarapa will have nowhere to go and will simply cause more problems outside the school system. That will come at a far greater cost to our justice and prison systems.

“John Key’s billboards promise a brighter future but his actions will crush hope for those who are most vulnerable. The Wairarapa community will have to pay the price of this short-sighted action.”

The Green Party calls on National to reverse its decision, and find the very small amount of money required to fund this valuable resource.

Background on the school and National Party comments are below:

Aug 24, 2007, Wairarapa Times-Age: http://www.times-age.co.nz/news/key-drops-in-on-school-unit-and-visits-jnl-mill/982641/ (Karaoke)

July 8, 2008, John Hayes blog: http://johnhayes.co.nz/index.php?/archives/62-Wairarapa-News-09-July-2008.html

Sept 10, 2008, Wairarapa Times-Age: http://www.times-age.co.nz/news/ohorere-programme-hopeful-of-funding-in-2009/996963/

Kete Masterton blog, 2010: http://ketemasterton.peoplesnetworknz.info/m_i_s_50th_jubilee/topics/show/72-ohorere-student-transition

June 1, 2011, Wairarapa News: http://wairarapanews.realviewdigital.com/default.aspx?iid=48870&startpage=page0000001

July 13, 2011, Wairarapa News: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/wairarapa-news/5275992/MP-blasts-decision-to-axe-school (John Hayes calls for ‘sacking MOE officials’)

July 21, 2011, John Hayes blog: http://johnhayes.co.nz/index.php?/archives/196-From-the-House-20-July-2011.html

Aug 6, 2011, Wairarapa News: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/wairarapa-news/5113435/MP-joins-Ohorere-fight (John Hayes)

Sept 30, 2011, Wairarapa Times-Age: http://www.times-age.co.nz/news/no-reprieve-for-school-key/1121502/

ENDS


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