New Zealand Labour Party

National forget lesson of Serco circus in less than a week

The National Government's misguided ideological obsession with privatisation is continuing with the building of schools the latest target, despite the Serco circus this week, Grant Robertson Labour Duty Spokesperson says.

 "In the wake of the failed Serco contract there might have been some hope that National would wind back their privatisation agenda, but today's announcement of the third round of private builders and managers of schools shows that they have learned nothing.

 "Putting private operators in charge of managing schools undermines their wider value to the community.  The experience overseas has been that private operators have charged for the use of facilities outside of school hours.  Schools are often the hub of community activities and that should not be sacrificed for ideology and private profit.

"National's claims of the possible financial benefits of these approaches do not stand up to scrutiny.  The first private build and manage school project at Hobsonville Point will end up costing taxpayers $1.5 million more than the touted savings. 

 "Today they are claiming there will be millions of dollars of savings over the lifetime of the project, even though the contract is yet to be finalised.  It is time for National to come clean and release the details of how they came to these questionable figures.

 "Labour believes that schools are not the place for the Government to experiment with privatisation and profit making," says Grant Robertson.