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January 28, 2010 | by  | in News Online Only |
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The Great Tolley Hunt is over

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STUDENT JOURNALISTS “DISTRAUGHT”

Education Minister Anne Tolley has had the tertiary education portfolio taken off her hands in a cabinet reshuffle by John Key this week.

Steven Joyce would take over as Minister of Tertiary Education, reportedly to allow Tolley more time to focus on the implementation of the controversial national standards for literacy and numeracy in primary schools.

The announcement marks the end of the ‘Great Tolley Hunt’, a quest embarked upon by student media outlets across the country in a bid to get Tolley to respond to requests for comment.

Tolley’s lack of engagement with students on tertiary education issues, and her reluctance to talk to student media, did little to instill students’ confidence in the minister.

Craccum reported that Tolley failed to keep an appointment with 2009 NZUSA Co-Presidents Sophia Blair and Jordan King in March last year.

Tolley was also criticised for using a helicopter to get a bird’s eye view of Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT) multiple campuses during a visit to the university.

Tolley was scheduled to speak at a VUWSA Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting in early October, but cancelled her appearance.

Tolley gave one interview with student media—Otago University’s Critic—during her time as the Minister of Tertiary Education. Salient pursued Tolley for an interview in late 2009, only to have the request declined.

Former Craccum co-Editor Matthew Harnett was wearing his infamous Anne Tolley “M.I.A.” t-shirt when he was informed of the reallocation of the tertiary education portfolio.

“The tears rolled down my cheeks and fell onto her face,” Harnett said.

Former Salient Editor Jackson James Wood expressed dissatisfaction with Tolley’s inadequate efforts to engage with students via mime.

“Her repeated efforts to avoid student media made her a silent, yet deadly enemy.”

A number of cuts were made across the tertiary education sector in 2009, including funding for night classes, the removal of consumer price index adjustments for funding to tertiary institutions, the disestablishment of the capital investment fund and the removal of the Step-Up and Bonded Merit scholarships.

Student politicians, refusing to comment on Tolley’s performance as Minister of Tertiary Education, have told Salient they are looking forward to working constructively with Joyce.

“We look forward to Steven being more willing to engage directly with students than his predecessor,” VUWSA President Max Hardy said.

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About the Author ()

Editor for 2010, politics nerd, panda fan and three-time award-winning student journalist.

Comments (5)

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  1. “The tears rolled down my cheeks and fell onto her face,” Harnett said

    I doubt the validity of statements made by a man who, after losing a bet, took the female contraceptive pill for 31 days.

    He smells nice though ;)

  2. hank scorpio says:

    ode to joyce

  3. Kerry says:

    Nice one, Sarah, now keep an eye on Joyce & don’t let him have an easy ride!

  4. Owlzy says:

    Well, now my “Where’s Tolley” novelty poster is useless. Atleast I can still look for Wizard Whitebeard, and Tolley’s Golden Doodle Woof.

  5. Green Lobster says:

    I look forward to going back to Belly Dancing class with her now that she has more time.

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