Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“This Budget is just a patchwork of ad hocery, a piecemeal package of measures that won’t fix even one of the major problems facing New Zealand, including an out of control housing crisis which the Government wilfully denies. It lacks vision and shows that after eight years in power, National has lost touch.
The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Just 14 per cent of secondary principals told the New Zealand Council for Educational Research their schools had sufficient funding. And 51 per cent said funding was a major issue.
The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
“Documents obtained by Labour show the decile 10 Wakatipu High School used a $100,000 donation after identifying up to 30 per cent of its students’ parents would need assistance to purchase digital devices. The college used $30,000 of the donation to train its teachers in e-learning.
A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says.
“Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini since last year after we highlighted apparent inconsistencies in the length of its advanced rope course.
A shortage of skilled plumbers highlights major gaps in the Government’s trades training which is having serious implications for our construction industry, Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa says.
“Information obtained under the Official Information Act shows an undersupply of plumbers is predicted to hit 58 per cent over the next few years. That means Auckland alone will be 601 plumbers short.
The Government must ensure all international students coming to New Zealand are legitimate after a survey of those approved in Mumbai found only 9 per cent had genuine intentions and met English language requirements, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The 2014 survey obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act was conducted after a surge of 81 per cent more approvals was red flagged by authorities. It is absolutely shocking that of the 221 approvals audited, only 9 per cent met the criteria.
The next Labour Government will encourage innovative and driven young entrepreneurs to create a viable business by providing training, a business mentor and up to $20,000 capital for successful applicants in its Young Entrepreneurs Plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“The changing nature of work is creating a new generation of smart, innovative young Kiwis who need nurturing and capital to get successful ideas off the ground.
Charter schools have been a costly experiment that has distracted attention and diverted resources away from the vast majority of Kiwi kids attending public schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Today my Members Bill to abolish the charter school model has been drawn from the ballot. I welcome this opportunity to debate the issues.
There are serious questions about the rogue actions of the School Trustees Association which is taking controversial stances without the mandate of its members, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
“Labour welcomes the Association withdrawing its submission against paid parental leave extensions after it became clear it had failed to consult any of its school boards about its stance.