Creech Takes On Health, Relinquishes Education

  • Wyatt Creech

Deputy Prime Minister Wyatt Creech said today he was looking forward to helping give New Zealanders increased confidence in their health services.

"Every New Zealander has a stake in making certain we have high quality health services that keep up with technological changes.

"While I am still to be fully briefed, I am committed to seeing that the new booking system is a success, so everyone who requires surgery gets the right level of care in the right time frame.

"I want to see our system capable and modern so we can handle the needs of the 21st Century.

"I want to work to continue to develop health services that deliver for those who need them. I am also concerned that an element of mythology has developed around the health system and will work to dispel the myths.

"I have found real satisfaction working in the education portfolio and believe we have made good progress in getting better outcomes for the young people of New Zealand. Significant improvements have been made, setting our schools and tertiary institutions up well for the future," Mr Creech said.

"I have no doubt that the gains in education will be built on by the new Ministers.

"I have built up good personal relationships with many in the education sector. I hope the education sector will continue to work constructively forward in the best interests of students.

"We have invested a lot more in education over recent years - since the last election an extra $1.5 billion has been committed to improving the quality of education our young people receive.

"There have been many highlights since I became Education Minister. We're putting extra effort into lifting the reading, writing and maths abilities of young New Zealanders, better support is being phased in for students with special education needs, and we've developed a new system of qualifications for secondary school students.

"Schools now have more certainty about funding with significantly more for their day-to-day running costs and the new Fully Funded Option of direct resourcing.

"Teachers have received a lot more support. New recruitment and training programmes mean we will have the right number of teachers in our schools now and in the future.

"We are paying teachers a lot more. We set up the Unified Pay System for secondary and primary school teachers. This was an historic feat that will really make a mark in education in the years ahead.

"The improvements to tertiary education have involved substantial new investment, and also treat all students and institutions fairly while helping ensure courses are relevant and high quality.

"Under National our early childhood centres, schools and tertiary institutions are much better placed to deliver quality education for students to take them into the new Century," Mr Creech said.