“The Education Minister needs to front and take responsibility for a third of the country’s students being needlessly and offensively messed around,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Auckland’s Mayor has been pilloried for his response to the floods, with petitions started for his resignation. Where is the accountability from the Minister of Education and Prime Minister for their leadership?

“Parents told me they had ‘lockdown PTSD,’ from having the schools suddenly shut again. Principals told me they found out their school was to be shut through news media, only to receive an official email at 9pm Sunday, the night before their school was set to open.

“The closure was a communications disaster, but also the wrong decision based on the wrong values. ACT says if a kid can go to school, they should go to school. School Principals should be respected enough to make the call for their school, not dictated to at the last minute from Wellington.

“The most worrying thing about this saga is the total lack of respect for education. A third of the country’s students have just been told going to school is not important. There’s no amount of risk worth taking for education, it’s the first thing to get cut. In this case, it was the only thing to get cut.

“Who was responsible for the school closure move, and who was responsible for the reopening? How can these decisions both be justified? Let’s hear it from the responsible Minister and Prime Minister, where is their leadership and accountability?"

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David Seymour