Have a say on education proposals

By: Mark Mitchell

Over summer, I have enjoyed getting more involved with Surf Patrols this summer and want to acknowledge the surf lifesavers from our local clubs who volunteered throughout the summer and extended their patrolling hours to 7pm. As Patron of Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club I will be joining our fundraising committee this year to help raise the funds needed to deliver a new club for our area. This will be a huge asset offering new facilities and a central gathering point for our community and various clubs and organisations.

In the last week it would be fair to say I have received enormous feedback on the report of the Tax Working Group and their recommendations. Unfortunately it would impose on us one of the highest rates of capital gains tax in the world. When I look at the impact it would have on the Hibiscus Coast, it is totally unacceptable. There would be very few Kiwis who would escape its net. Small business owners, farmers, bach and lifestyle block owners, Kiwisaver account holders and those with retirement savings would all be caught by the current recommendations.

I have taken a very strong position against the proposals and will continue to apply pressure on the Government. One of our great advantages as a country is that we have a very simple tax system. To complicate it will create more red tape and compliance costs.
I am also holding a local public meeting to discuss the Government’s review of Tomorrow’s Schools – reforms that changed the governance, management and administration of schools almost three decades ago.

The Tomorrow’s Schools Review taskforce presented its report to the Minister of Education last November, and that report is now available for public consultation.
The proposed changes are far-reaching; while the taskforce has undertaken significant consultation it is clear from discussions with parents, Boards of Trustees and some educators that they are not aware of all of the recommendations.

I am hosting a meeting on March 29 at Orewa Bowls Club, 214 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa, 5.30pm. It will be facilitated by myself, Chris Penk Helensville MP and National’s education spokesperson Nikki Kaye. The meeting will give parents, students, teachers, principals and Boards of Trustees the opportunity to have their voice heard. Once complete, a summary of the feedback will be sent to the taskforce.

This weekend I will be supporting the Orewa Lions Club by judging their Hot Diggety Dog Show on Sunday at Western Reserve – come down and join us.

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