After reading the Radio NZ report on the funding of this project by the Ministry of Business and I’m none the wiser as to why it received funding.
What was the business case that swayed officals to give $180,000 of taxpayer funds to a so called “business” that will operate from Pehiaweri marae in Northland? Radio NZ reports-
Nigel Studdart, a science tutor at Northtec, is the driving force behind a 22-month digital literacy project that will operate from Pehiaweri marae. It was funded by a Ministry of Business grant of $180,000.
Mr Studdart said the pace of change in technology has created a gap between parents and children, especially in poorer communities where families can not afford digital devices. He said the new project will get people, especially young children, writing code, to create software, apps, and ultimately jobs.
“There are businesses operating in Northland now, that hire people in Brazil and the United States, and that contract out software development. That work is all done online. Work we do in New Zealand can be done for American companies. “
Mr Studdart said the project would also teach cultural literacy as it applies to the digital world, helping parents to guide children through the pitfalls of social media like Facebook.
He said Whangarei has one of the fast broadband services in the country, and there are good opportunities for people work online, or create their own businesses if they learn the skills they need. The Pehiaweri marae chair Les Wakefield says anyone, pakeha or Maori, is welcome to join the digital literacy project, which is free.
He said he hoped it would unleash the community’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“That’s why we’re behind it. We’re all for it. We have whanau who are computer literate, but this takes it to another level. And it’s one that could lead to independence, and to a better life for people.”
The marae and Northtec will advertise soon for an educator to run the project.
It seems to me that the Steven Joyce’s Ministry of Business operates in complete ignorance of the fact that there is a real world out there where private investment exists.
Why is the government, funded by you and I, mug taxpayers, acting in the role of a private investor? We have $17.25 million dolled out to a company owned by one of the richest men in the world, we have another dubious case here and the above grant would seem to me to be lacking in any kind of real substantiation.
Steven Joyce has turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments in the collection of disappointments that make up the National Party front bench. He’s not the worst yet, but he’s definitely in the running.