Labour promises PCs for pupils

Under a Labour government, all intermediate and high school pupils would own a portable computer, David Cunliffe announced today.

The programme would be based on the successful Manaiakalani project in Tamaki, where families pay instalments of $3.50 a week for new and insured digital devices they get to keep, Mr Cunliffe said.

"From Year 5 to Year 13, under a Labour-led Government every student will have their own personal digital device," he announced on TV3's The Nation.

"It'll be subsidised for parents to get into, there'll be a very low-cost payment plan, with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldn't afford it."

Mr Cunliffe said they projected 70 per cent of eligible pupils would take up the offer.

"It will cost $19 million in the first year, $41 million of operating expenses in the second year and then cruises down to about $30 million a year after that."

NZEI president Judith Nowotarski said the policy would help level the playing field, as long as it was combined with access to affordable broadband.

Other announcements relating to Labour's education platform included that another $25 million would be "sunk into technology training for teachers" and that $15 million would be spent on a rebuild plan to create 21st century learning environments.

Mr Cunliffe also said he stood by saying he was sorry for being a man yesterday, after the comment attracted ridicule.

He made the comments at a Women's Refuge forum in Auckland where he said he's sorry that he's a man because men commit most family violence.

"Can I begin by saying I'm sorry," he said.

"I don't often say it. I'm sorry for being a man right now, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children.

"So the first message to the men out there is: wake up, stand up and man up and stop this bull****!"

On The Nation this morning, Mr Cunliffe said he was proud to be a non-violent man, however no one should be proud of the country's domestic violence statistics.

"Yesterday the message was all about Labour's policy against domestic violence, we've lead that debate and I've stuck my neck out on this.

"I wrote that, and I stand by every word of it."

Mr Key said Mr Cunliffe's comments were insulting to New Zealand men.

"The problem isn't being a man, the problem is if you're an abusive man. I think it's a bit insulting to imply that all men are abusive.

"A small group are, and they need to change their behaviour and be held to account."

Mr Key questioned whether the Labour leader was sincere about the statement.

"Is he going to go down to the local rugby club and get up and say 'I'm sorry for being a man'? I don't think so."

- Brendan Manning of APNZ

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