It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
“Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without their charity, the schools involved won’t be able to meet the learning needs of their students. That’s an indictment of the National government.
“We have to do better for our schools and our sensitive land. These iPads for land deals won’t wash with New Zealand families. They don’t want to cut these sort of deals. They want the Government to fund schools properly.
“They don’t want land sold off for iPads either.
“Hekia Parata was warned that a ‘digital divide’ is growing within schools, yet she has rejected recommendations to establish an equity scheme so that all kids have access to the electronic devices they need. It’s no wonder schools are turning to charity.
“If the National Government were funding schools properly, they wouldn’t need the offshore charity and the case for overseas investors snapping up Kiwi land would be further weakened.
“This looks like a clear case of the system being exploited. It’s hard to see how small to modest donations to schools and universities can satisfy OIO requirements for overseas land purchases. These donations are one-offs, the land ownership is forever,” says Chris Hipkins.