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School funding row in parliament

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/03/2017

Education Minister Hekia Parata has rejected Labour's assertion that funding for school buildings has decreased under National, and that children are "languishing in cold, damp, leaky classrooms".

Labour's education spokesman, Chris Hipkins, came to parliament on Wednesday armed with an analysis by Infometrics, commissioned by teacher unions.

He questioned Ms Parata on its findings, saying it showed a 13.9 per cent drop in school capital funding, in real terms, over the past eight years.

Ms Parata told Mr Hipkins it was hard to take him seriously.

"Factually, we have spent a third more in the eight years we have been in government than occurred during the eight years of the previously administration," she said.

"It's all in the government's accounts - for anyone who can read them."

Ms Parata said her associate minister, Nikki Kaye, had commissioned a condition assessment of every school building in the country - which had never been done before.

"That gives us a basis against which to invest taxpayer funds and prioritise redevelopment, refurbishment and earthquake strengthening," she said.

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