Minister Parata needs to listen to Aranui

Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Minister Parata needs to listen to Aranui

To have the best chance these school communities need the Government on their side

The Minister needs to show tomorrow that she has listened to the people in the Aranui school cluster and do what’s best for their children, not use the earthquake as an excuse to carry out the Government’s far-right education agenda, the Green Party said today.

Aranui High School, Aranui Primary, Avondale Primary and Wainoni Primary are all anxiously waiting Education Minister Hekia Parata’s final decision tomorrow on whether they will close and be replaced with a new, year 1-13 ‘superschool’ to open in 2017.

“Christchurch kids, their families and teachers have already suffered enough trauma. To have the best chance these school communities need the Government on their side,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Instead of being on their side, Minister Parata seems to be using this chance to swoop in and use the turmoil to push her far right education agenda.

“The Minister’s decisions so far have already undermined the viability of the schools in the area. She has put the schools in an almost impossible position by signalling they will close, because why would parents send their kids to a school destined for closure?

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“In addition, the Minister has said that she wants to put aspects of the building and management of her proposed Aranui super school out to private tender.

“A privately run or built super school may not be what the people in Aranui want for their children and the Minister should listen to them.

“The Christchurch rebuild was an opportunity to improve education in Christchurch, and for changes that are needed to be done with the community, not to the community.

“I would love to hear tomorrow that the Minister has listened to the voices of this community and will establish the school system that they need, not the one that she wants.”

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