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The lights are on but nobody’s home

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 30 September 2022 -

The lights are on but nobody’s home

The Ministry of Education’s headquarters has sat abandoned for four months but is still costing taxpayers thousands of dollars because the lights haven’t been turned off, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Despite being empty since 30 May when it was deemed structurally unsafe, Mātauranga House has racked up a power bill of more than $21,000.

“The Ministry’s headquarters is just a stone’s throw from the Beehive, yet the Minister clearly hasn’t noticed that it is lit up like a Christmas tree with the lights on day and night.

“Not one of the Ministry of Education’s 4,000 plus staff, or any of its leadership, have thought to turn the lights off in a locked and completely empty building. Instead, the Ministry has continued to rack up a bill that taxpayers will pay.

“This is at the same time some schools are finding out they will lose thousands of dollars due to funding changes as a new equity index replaces the decile system.

“Labour has no regard for taxpayer money, and this is another example of waste from a Government that has created a culture that is tolerant of wasteful spending.

“This Government has increased education spending by $5 billion every year since coming to power, yet achievement and attendance levels have plummeted. Labour is utterly incapable of delivering better outcomes, believing that more spending and press releases equate to actual achievement.

“As taxpayers are forced to tighten their belts as Labour’s cost of living bites, the least the Government could have done is turn off the lights and save some cash.”

"If someone would like to lend me the keys, I'm happy to go and turn off the lights myself."


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