New Zealand Labour Party

Minister in cloud cuckoo land

Hekia Parata needs a very big reality check if she truly believes every parent has the choice of sending their child to a private school, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

Questioned in the House today about plans to pump more taxpayer cash into private schools Hekia Parata said she had no qualms about it as they were a “legitimate choice” for every parent.

“If the Minister thinks the vast majority of parents can afford to pay thousands of dollars a term in tuition fees then she is even more out of touch than she makes out. She’s in cloud cuckoo land. 

“Some of these schools make quite significant profits yet the Government seems determined to gift them even more while at the same time choking off funds to state schools.

“Offering additional funding to schools whose students largely come from already privileged homes is completely at odds with the Government’s stated aim of directing resources to the most disadvantaged and the most in need of them.

“At a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet, National's plan to pump more cash into elite private schools shows just how skewed their priorities have become,” Chris Hipkins says.