Food in schools bill delayed for second time

By Kate Shuttleworth

MP Peter Dunne will not support Hone Harawira's food in schools bill.
MP Peter Dunne will not support Hone Harawira's food in schools bill.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira's food in schools bill will not come up in Parliament tonight - a second delay on the bill.

The bill was initially put on hold until today and Mr Harawira has chosen to further delay the bill.

He issued a statement saying he had to delay it because of an "urgent issue in Tai Tokerau which I have been asked to attend to''.

The Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill which would introduce a food programme in all decile 1 and 2 primary schools, at an estimated cost of $100 million a year, will now be bumped to the bottom of the list of members bills to be heard in Parliament.

Mr Harawira said stalling the bill today would allow Mana to re-group and work on building even greater support for the bill when it next comes before Parliament.

"I'm actually pleased it's worked out this way because the issue has become a political football and that's not right; feeding our kids should be our first priority as a decent society.

"I extend a huge thank you to everyone involved for their efforts up till now, and I will be calling a meeting in the next few weeks to plan the next phase of the campaign,'' Mr Harawira said.

Yesterday independent MP Peter Dunne announced he would not support the bill to its first reading, meaning it will not go before a select committee.

The bill has the support of Labour, the Greens, NZ First, the Maori Party, Mana and independent MP Brendan Horan and needed one more vote.

- APNZ

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