Key’s record on Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, April 15th, 2008 - 6 comments
Categories: education, election 2008, john key, slippery - Tags: , , ,

The Herald is really doing its best to help out National. Today it proclaims ‘Key’s wananga visit undoes Brash legacy‘. That nice Mr Key has undone all the harm caused by that nasty old Dr Brash, we’re meant to believe. But check the record. It wasn’t Brash who led the attack on Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, it was Key and Bill English. Here’s the transcript from the debate on the Wananga’s funding in 2005:

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Trevor Mallard feels very sensitive about this issue, because he was the Minister of Education for 6 years and in that time he oversaw the growth of the wānanga from fewer than 1,000 equivalent full-time students when National left office, to 35,000 at its peak. Trevor Mallard wrote out every cheque. He ticked off every Cabinet decision, every year. He was chief banker for the wānanga.

John Key: How much was involved?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Over that 5-year period, I am guessing well over $600 million was paid to the wānanga by Dr Cullen and Trevor Mallard.

John Key: What a disgrace!

Hon BILL ENGLISH: It was a disgrace.

Yesterday, Key said National had always “been very supportive” of the Wananga but don’t think people have forgotten the truth. Despite the Herald’s best efforts we see that it’s John Key being slippery again. That’s the real disgrace.

6 comments on “Key’s record on Te Wānanga o Aotearoa”

  1. ghostwhowalks 1

    Wasnt it English when he was an associate Education Minister ( go figure)that allowed the rush to enrol any student by changing the funding formula to the “bums on seats” approach.
    Te Wanaga merely did what English allowed them to do. For every dollar they got they had the required students enrolled in approved courses.
    It was open slather as allowed by English

  2. James Kearney 2

    Well done Steve. It’s a disgrace that the proper research is left to part-time bloggers while the mainstream media publishes puff pieces and spin.

  3. Scribe 3


    You mean the questioning of Te Wananga in the House that led to a report that said the institution had “serious failings”?

    To paraphrase James: It’s a disgrace that part-time bloggers think any criticism is unwarranted when it comes from National, even if independent reports show National to have been right to raise questions.

    Should have just let things continue as is rather than clean up a worthwhile endeavour that wasn’t working properly.

    PS I look forward to the next in your list of investigative pieces into policy changes: “Cullen’s record on tax cuts”.

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    scribe. As the herald article acknowledges the “Brash legacy” towards the wananga and Maoridom in general was attacks, devisive politics, and dog-whistling (National’s approach to the wananga was classic dog-whistle politics). As I’ve shown, Key and English were the ones leading National’s attacks on the issue.

    I think Cullen’s record on tax cuts would show that he is the first Finance Minister since the 1980s to lower business tax, that 70% of families with dependent children receive tax credits because of him, and he is set to cut income taxes ‘substantially’ next month. Beats a bit of chewing gum any day.

  5. randal 5

    So is that how English tried to buy the Maori vote that year?

  6. GWW asked whether it was English who oversaw the introduction of voucher-like funding – bums-on-seats – the answer is no. It was Creech and then Bradford but English was a senior Minister in that Executive. At the risk of link-whoring, I’ve also commented on this issue too – taking a slightly different angle to my brothers here.

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