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Nanaia Mahuta, withdraw your bill & debate something useful

Nanaia Mahuta, withdraw your bill and debate something useful

Nanaia Mahuta’s Charter Schools (Application of Official Information and Ombudsmen Acts) Bill would represent a pointless overreach into private management decisions, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“It would be an overreach for the government to force a private organisation to respond to OIA requests. The government contracts with many groups, such as building companies, but they’re not subject to the OIA.

“There are already strict provisions in place to ensure that partnership schools are even more accountable than state schools. They publicise their results every year, and report to the Ministry of Education and the Partnership School Authorisation Board every quarter, against contracted performance standards.

“As schools of choice, they are directly accountable to families – they have to attract and retain willing students in order to receive funding. And unlike state schools, failing partnership schools can be shut down, a provision that has already been used in one case.

“The truth is that this Bill is cynically motivated so that opponents of partnership schools (who have previously used legal proceedings and blacklisting of partnership school teachers and students) will bombard them with OIA requests, which are time-consuming to process even for well-resourced government departments.

“We wonder whether Nanaia Mahuta has discussed this reality with her constituents at the Tainui-affiliated Kia Ata Mai school in Hamilton. If she hasn’t, she should.

“The failure of Chris Hipkins’ charter school abolition bill yesterday should have been a clear signal that the union-driven opposition to these schools is going nowhere.

“Nanaia Mahuta should withdraw her bill so we can debate one of the many actually useful members’ bills, like the End of Life Choice Bill for example.”


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