Students protest against education cuts

University of Otago student Hayley Gyto (19) protests against cuts to the education budget during...
University of Otago student Hayley Gyto (19) protests against cuts to the education budget during a march which began at the Otago Museum Reserve on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
"Where are your priorities Mr Key?" That was the main message delivered to Dunedin residents by more than 50 people who took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the Government's $30 million cut to the education budget.

Protester and Otago Polytechnic student Sean Mueller said the Government had "clearly got its priorities wrong".

"It is sending out the message 'Prisons rather than adult education', and is prepared to spend an estimated $40 million to send 70 SAS soldiers to Afghanistan to help the USA fight an unjust and illegal war, at the same time planning to cut over $30 million in adult education funding," he said.

While the Government continued to pour money into the war in Afghanistan, thousands of New Zealanders would lose adult community education and the training incentive allowance, which meant many people living on benefits would no longer be able to continue their training.

Mr Mueller said New Zealanders could not accept the planned cuts in education because education was the nation's future.

"Well-educated New Zealanders are vital in helping New Zealand secure a sustainable future."

The protesters marched from the Otago Museum Reserve, up George St to the Octagon.

Students and concerned New Zealanders were urged to get together and plan other protests in other locations, in a bid to help the Government redefine its priorities.

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