“New Zealand’s future prosperity depends on the next Government being able to fix the crises in health and education. It’s going to be a huge job, but ACT is committed to turning things around,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The state of New Zealand’s health and education services are slipping away from first world status, but with some political courage they can be turned around. This week ACT has highlighted a range of solutions for restoring them, whether its solutions for the truancy crisis, new ways to fund health infrastructure, innovative education facilities that service underprivileged Kiwis, or ways to fix the health workforce crisis. This is the Real Change that New Zealand so desperately needs.

“If Labour has proven one thing, it’s that we can’t spend our way out of this mess. Spending in education is up 38 per cent in five years, but fewer kids attend and learn less when they do. Health spending is up 68 per cent. It’s impossible to fathom where all those billions have gone, but they’re not coming back.

“We’re not passing down enough knowledge for New Zealand students to have a bright future. The Ministry of Education is failing young New Zealanders by focussing on ideological fads instead of equipping them with the skills they need.

“Just look at the curriculum refresh, the English Curriculum Refresh says ‘Throughout history, literature, language, and texts have been used to uplift and share, and to dominate and exclude. Recognising and using the power and influence of literature, language, and texts give us tools to advocate for ourselves and others. Exploring the effects of colonisation on our languages and literatures is an important part of understanding power relations in Aotearoa New Zealand.’ However, it does not mention spelling, grammar, or punctuation.

“That’s a pretty good indication as to why the latest Progress in International Literacy Study (PIRLS) report says Russian children, living under a corrupt war mongering dictatorship, have overtaken New Zealand children in literacy.

“That is before we consider the various fads of ‘Modern Learning Environments,’ ‘Child-centered education’ (hint, if children already knew what they need to know, education wouldn’t be necessary), and the whole language model of education.

“ACT believes the principles of the charter model have the answer for all education: Demand high standards, trust principals and teachers as professionals able to achieve them, reward excellence, do not tolerate failure. This is what it takes when it comes to the raising of children and this is what will inform ACT’s approach to education.

“Healthcare has had problems for years. The DHBs were broke, Kiwis got far fewer funded medicines than Aussies or Brits, and the system was held together by the goodwill of health professionals long before Labour decided to completely blow it up with a huge bureaucratic reform.

“ACT would end the racial division, stop the war on anything private, fund GP clinics properly, use private surgeries where they’re more efficient, welcome overseas nurses and doctors to bolster the workforce, cut red tape preventing care, and use public private partnerships to get facilities built, because nobody believes the Government is good at building and maintaining hospitals.

“We don’t want to return to the system Labour destroyed, we want New Zealand to have a genuinely world class system where anyone who needs to be seen can get an appointment.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher this election. New Zealand can’t afford to keep sliding away from first world status in health and education. A change of Government alone won’t do it, we need a Government of Real Change.”

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