Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Connecting the dots II

Why is the government closing schools in Christchurch? So it can pay its cronies to build their replacements:

The Education Ministry's $41 million proposed year 1-13 super school for Christchurch is set to be funded by the private sector, a document reveals.

The document, obtained by APNZ, outlines advice given to Education Minister Hekia Parata and shows she signed off on five of eight recommendations.

Ms Parata added in her handwriting that four Christchurch eastern suburb schools should close a year later, in December 2016, to allow for "considerations of public-private partnership procurement."

The privately funded school, known as a public-private partnership (PPP) school, would be the second in New Zealand after the Hobsonville Point primary school opened this year in Auckland.

A PPP means that a company designs, builds and maintains the school buildings. While this is supposed to save the government money, experience overseas (particularly in the UK, where PPPs have been widely used) shows that they are a scam which sees the government pay significantly more for infrastructure than if they built it themselves. And that's the experience here as well - the Transmission Gully PPP will see us pay an extra $300 million straight into the pockets of the private operator.

The advantage of PPPs? They hide debt, which allows politicians to pretend to be "good financial managers". Of course, that service costs money - but its us, rather than the politicians, who are paying for it.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an Education Minister who focuse don education, rather than enriching her parties cronies?