Marama Davidson - Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill - Committee Stage

Privatisation is a failed response to when you have gutted funding from public education.


​Madam Chair Tolley, thank you very much. I wanted to pick up on a short call, specifically on a couple of points raised by the National Party members, both Denise Lee and Hon Nikki Kaye, particularly when the Hon Nikki Kaye got quite passionate and righteous about the damage that this was going to do for, I think she mentioned, a few hundred Māori and Pacific children—which we do like to talk about here in the House—and how it was going to harm them. She was referring, I think, specifically through private education arrangements, including charter schools—I know this is the tertiary education amendment bill, but it does relate to the section 2 parts and, particularly, to Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) No. 17 from the Hon Paul Goldsmith, which, essentially, from what I'm reading, is about continuing with the ideological drive for privatising tertiary education and, particularly, allowing them to have a bit of a bite at public monies.


So what I wanted to pick up on there is that privatisation is a failed response to when you have gutted funding from public education, and when you haven't paid teachers and tutors correctly, and when you haven't provided for the education resources. When you are gutting and underfunding public education, that then allows for an ideological response, which is exactly what this National previous Government were trying to do with their original version of this legislation, so it is important that we keep actually saying who are the ideological ones here.

It's about making sure that we are clear and upfront about the difference between private tertiary and public tertiary institutions, and my understanding in section 2 is that that was how we were going to start muddying those lines of differentiation, by trying to play around with the definitions and, I think, calling them “independent”—the proposal was to start to take away the word "private" and instead start calling tertiary institutions “independent”. That was the roundabout way, I believe—that's, I think, what this Supplementary Order Paper is about. The Supplementary Order Paper from the National member is trying to put back in that attempt to continue with the privatisation ideology. You know, the reason why the Greens support this now is because this part of the legislation, section 2, I think it is after clause 11, was taken out by a smart Minister, Chris Hipkins, who understands that we do not want to continue to use public monies—more public monies–for private institutions. Public monies for public education. The member Paul Goldsmith's SOP tries to put it back in—tries to put that ideology back in—so of course the Greens will be opposing this Supplementary Order Paper.

When we stand in this House and we throw on to the floor of this debate Māori and Pacific children, who apparently are going to lose private contract funding through this legislation, we need to call that out, because we need to also throw on to the floor the hundreds of thousands of Māori and Pacific students who do not fare well when we gut public education. If you want to throw numbers and throw Māori and Pacific Island students—I didn't do it first—on this floor, how about we—

Nikki Kaye: I didn't do it at all, all right?

MARAMA DAVIDSON: —throw on to this floor the hundreds of thousands who have not benefited from the very privatisation ideology that this legislation is trying to correct. Thank you, Madam Chair.