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22nd of October 2018

Politics



Government spent more than $3 million on two education summits

The Government spent more than $3 million for two education summits in May.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins revealed the cost today of two two-day summits in May - one in Auckland and one in Christchurch.

Hipkins released a Cabinet paper reporting back on the "conversation" with New Zealanders about making the education system fit for the future and for the needs of all.

Around 1400 people took part in the two-day events.

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"They included teachers and principals from all levels of education, parents, young people and children, Maori, Pacific people, and other ethnic groups, and representatives of learners with disabilities," Hipkins said.

The Christchurch summit cost $1.41m, the Auckland event $1.26m. Pre-engagement with stakeholders, and material preparation for the events and the ongoing discussions, cost just under $440,000 to design and develop.

The cost breakdown

"This important investment is now influencing all aspects of the education portfolio work programme and supporting us to develop an education system that is fit for the future and delivers success for all New Zealanders," Hipkins said.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made her feelings clear on the costs of summits after it was revealed that the recent criminal justice summit in Porirua for around 600-700 people had blown out from a budget of around $700,000 to $1.5m.

"My expectation is that when we set a budget, we stick to it," she said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Ardern said today she had spoken to Hipkins, and all ministers were clear about her expectations on the costs of such summits.

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