PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 12 February 2022 -
Teachers tangled in Hipkins’ web of failure
The Ministry of Education’s emergency request for MIQ slots for teachers who should have been here for the start of Term 1 has been turned down, meaning schools will continue struggling under the strain of teacher shortages, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
“National repeatedly called for Chris Hipkins to either allocate dedicated MIQ spots for teachers or to use some of the 430 out of 800 rooms allocated for time-sensitive travel sitting empty. Instead he chose to sit back and do nothing.
“Recognising the importance of getting teachers here for the start of Term 1, and getting no help from their Minister, the Ministry of Education was then forced to apply for last-minute emergency MIQ spots.
“However, MIQ – also overseen by Minister Hipkins – has now rejected these applications. These crucial teachers will now have to wait until phase 2 of the reopening plan. This means teachers now won’t be in front of classrooms until at least April.
“It’s incredibly ironic that Chris Hipkins’ inaction as COVID-19 Response Minister is costing the very same students he is supposed to be supporting as Education Minister.
“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, but they both belong to Chris Hipkins.
“The Government announced last July that a border exception was being created for 300 teachers in STEM and hard to staff locations – but once again it is all spin, no delivery. Students around New Zealand will now pay the price for the Government’s incompetence.”