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Cantabrians can take little comfort from the Prime Minister’s half-hearted assurances that their voices will be heard over the future of local schooling given the Education Minister Hekia Parata is forging ahead with plans to close or merge schools, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“John Key and Hekia Parata are continuing the ongoing fiasco that is the Canterbury schools plan. Yesterday John Key assured Cantabrians that changes will be made to the closure plans, yet today Hekia Parata sent letters to schools formally commencing the process to close or merge them.
“Schools have been given until 7 December to provide feedback on proposals for closures and mergers, the first two weeks of that time will be school holidays and for senior students, exams will dominate the rest of the school year.
“John Key is out there trying to tell Cantabrians that the consultation process is a genuine one, yet his Minister of forging ahead with the legal process to implement decisions that appear to have already been made.
“We know from the Dotcom case that John Key and Bill English have a breakdown in communication. It’s clear now that the Prime Minister and his Minister of Education are also completely out of step.
“This consultation charade would be funny if it wasn’t about something so incredibly important to the families of Canterbury. The Government needs to get this right but it’s a turning it into a bigger shambles than their plan to increase class sizes,” Chris Hipkins said.