Labour Ministers at odds over tertiary education

Published: Sun 16 Dec 2007 04:09 PM
Dr Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Tertiary Education Spokesman
16 December 2007
Labour Ministers at odds over tertiary education
The obvious weakness of Labour’s tertiary education policy is illustrated by one Cabinet Minister now advocating that provincial polytechnics should be able to offer courses outside their region – a position totally at odds with that of the Minister, says National’s Tertiary Education spokesman, Paul Hutchison.
“It’s incredible that within 24 hours of the ink drying on Labour’s investment plan, Rural Affairs Minister Damien O’Connor is directly contradicting Tertiary Education Minister Pete Hodgson.
“Pete Hodgson has been consistently circumspect over the reforms.
“He has not turned up to one debate on the second and third readings of the bill, and he can’t make up his mind about whether or not there should be restricted access to tertiary institutions.
“Now he’s at odds with his own caucus.
“I have huge admiration for Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt who is prepared to go to jail defending the Southern Institute of Technology’s right to provide courses outside the region.
“This Government is punishing institutions that are providing quality and value for money while propping up some of the under-performing institutions.
“This Labour Government thought they could announce some policies unnoticed after the Electoral Finance Bill had passed and just before the Christmas break.
“It’s a sign of a troubled Government when one Minister contradicts another over major tertiary policy just 24 hours after it’s announced.”

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