• Nick Smith

Education Minister Nick Smith today announced that agreement had been reached between the Ministry of Education and the He Huarahi Tamariki Trust on the ongoing funding and support for the Porirua programme for teenage parents.

"While Helen Clark is grandstanding on issues, we are resolving them. Helen Clark conveniently ignores the fact that the programmme got started under a National Government and will continue to be supported by National. the 1989 Education Act does not work well for alternative education providers and that is why we have proposed changes. The irony is that Labour promises to shelve the very changes that will make it easier for He Huarahi Tamariki and other such providers."

The new contract agreed today for next year has been the subject of negotiations over the past 2 months. It will provide He Huarahi tamariki with substantially increased funding support whilst still maintaining it's
links with Porirua College and The Correspondence School. Total funding for the 2000 school year for the 50 pupils will amount to $440,600.

"The challenge of providing education for teenage parents is not new, but we are making real gains by working with community initiated programmes.
National has a track record of supporting such innovations and will continue
to do so.?