A most unusual campaign being run by Labour MPs and candidates in Pakuranga and Botany. Labour are campaigning against a school opening in the local neighbourhood.
As Prime Minister John Key enjoyed the hospitality at the Pakuranga Country Club yesterday, Labour Candidate for Botany Chao-Fu Wu joined hordes of locals who displayed their strong opposition to Thurston Place College through a picket demonstration.
The community is outraged that proper consultation has not taken place and that plans to build Thurston Place College continued despite the strong community opposition to the development.
So why are they against Thurston Place College opening? It is because the 100 or so kids who will go there are in CYFS care. They are not criminals, but they are kids with some serious problems.
Once upon a time Labour might have been the champion of helping kids in serious need. Now they are the champions of NIMBY politics. Let’s look at the status quo they are trying to maintain:
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: This is a very difficult position for these young, vulnerable students. The previous Government allowed them to be educated and housed in disgusting conditions for 9 years. The Education Review Office reported year after year, and the ministry put in commissioner after commissioner. These students were being educated in nothing more than sheds. This Government has said that we cannot do that to this vulnerable group of young New Zealanders. They deserve a good education, they are in the care of the State, and at this school we are looking to provide that.
I’m sure they were nice sheds though. Oh, and how is this for playing the race card:
Raymond Huo: Would the consultation have been better if the majority of the immediate community had not been Asian, or does this approach meet the new standards for consultation generally?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: I find that accusation absolutely insulting. I did not know that the majority of the local community was Asian.
Also Whale Oil pointed out:
Raymond, do you know which electorate Thurston College is in?
It is in Pakuranga Electorate, so the Labour candidate in Botany is protesting at a function in Botany electorate for the Botany MP on behalf of locals in Pakuranga.
Thurston College is more than 3 kms away from the nearest edge of Botany electorate.
Whale incidentally lives around 200 metres from Thurston Place College and he is happy for it to open, and not be a NIMBY. he also points out the school was specifically designed for high need kids.