John Key and the National Government are stripping thousands of dollars out of low decile school sports programmes to pay for soccer balls in wealthier areas, Labour MPs Ross Robertson and Chris Hipkins say.
“On Tuesday John Key travelled to my electorate to announce his new Kiwi Sport programme, he promised millions of dollars and more active kids, but while he was busy posing for photographs he failed to mention that low decile secondary schools in the electorate would be having money cut from sports programmes,” Ross Robertson said.
“I have been contacted by one school principal in my electorate who because of funding changes will be losing $8,000 for their sports budget and was informed that other secondary school would be similarly affected.
“John Key told the media that he obtained the money to pay for the Kiwi Sport programme from ‘lower-value expenditure’ that statement is an absolute insult to every school that will lose money to pay for sports programmes,” Ross Robertson said.
Labour Sport and Recreation spokesperson Chris Hipkins said funding changes announced by John Key included stopping direct funding of Sport Fit co-ordinators and moving away from needs based funding to population based.
“Kiwi sport might have allowed John Key to pose for some nice pictures but in terms of helping New Zealand’s children it will do little.
“Children living in lower decile areas could be worse off, while obese children or those at risk of being obese are unlikely to improve their health because this Government is not interested in helping to improve their diets
“National seems more interested in creating nice photo opportunities for John Key than really doing anything to help improve the health of Kiwi kids,” Chris Hipkins said.