New Zealand Labour Party

Ministers pass buck on Pasifika centre

The beleaguered Pasifika Education Centre has become a political hot potato with Ministers passing the buck on its oversight in an attempt to shrug off responsibility for its impending demise, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“Answers from Minister for Pacific Peoples Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga to questions around funding cuts to the Pasifika Education Centre send a clear message to Pacific communities that the survival of PEC to deliver Pacific languages and cultures is not a priority to him and the National government.

“Asked if he is committed to ensuring that the Centre continues to be fully funded his only response is that he’s not accountable for the financial side of things, only the governance.

“Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce meanwhile notes that funding for Pacific languages depends on demand for programmes by learners and evidence it contributes to better outcomes for them across the Tertiary Education Strategy’s priority areas.

“The strategy identifies six areas for tertiary funding – Pacific languages do not feature amongst them.

“It is obvious from that the Government doesn’t value Pasifika languages and cultures and that it has already pre-determined the fate of the Pasifika Education Centre.

“For Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga to pretend otherwise is just mischievous.”