14 Jul 2014

Internet-Mana cold on Labour policy

9:08 pm on 14 July 2014

The Labour Party's education policy to have all school children using personal digital devices is unaffordable for many families, including Maori, the Internet-Mana party says.

A recent Otago University socio-economic poverty study showed Maori and Pacific communities still represented the poorest of people nationwide.

Labour said it would ensure no child was disadvantaged by their parents' financial situation and would provide an affordable way to purchase a portable computer. It would provide a $100 kick-start to reduce the costs and a $5 million hardship fund would be created to help families who could not afford the payments or who fell into arrears.

But Internet-Mana Party education spokesperson John Minto said while the internet was important for school children to have access to, their parents should not have to foot the bill.

Mr Minto said he had spoken to parents in the Tamaki area of Auckland where this payment system was already happening, and they had told him they were struggling to keep up with the weekly payments.