Hobson Article – July / August 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

One of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had in Epsom as a Member of Parliament was accompanying the Prime Minister one bright morning in November 2012 to visit the InZone Te Kainga Wananga in Owens Road. Hearing the stories of the boys who came from far flung parts of Northland and beyond to attend Auckland Grammar School, and what it meant to them, was magic.

The Prime Minister spoke about his childhood after his father had died when he was a young boy, and how his mother had told him simply “you get out of life what you put in”. The boys understood it.

A sister project, InZone Girls, Te Kainga Huarahi, opened at the start of the year beside Epsom Girls Grammar.

I was recently pleased to see that the InZone Education Foundation has been awarded $10,000 by the Government to help disadvantaged youth. Inspirationally led by Terrance Wallace, InZone partners with Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls Grammar and helps to put the right support and pastoral care in place for Maori and Pacific Island students to attend the schools, and do well.

This funding has come following this year’s Youth Week, which ran in the final week of May. The theme of this year’s week was “we are the future”.

Since coming into Government in 2008, the National Party has stood for giving our most disadvantaged the help they need to succeed in life on their own terms – not through lifelong reliance on the state. We believe it’s better to invest in people early, so that they can get the best start in life. Our plan is working well, and there are examples all over the country to prove it.

Creating more education opportunities for people with disadvantages has emerged as one of the themes of this year’s Budget. Over the next four years, we are investing an extra $62.9 million to better assist children with special education needs. Around 9,000 students with the highest special education needs will be supported with access to resources such as speech-language therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as well as funding for additional teacher time. Additionally, we’re providing funding for more in-class support for 1,500 students who have needs such as dyslexia or autism spectrum disorder.

This is just a portion of our $10.8 billion investment in education in Budget 2015. From new schools and classrooms to more funding for early childhood education, we are committed to raising achievement in schools across the country.