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No sugar-coated questions for visiting PM
Manawatu Standard, Palmerston North Manawatu  by Virginia Fallon
01 Apr 2017
General News - page 4 - 413 words - ID 750125759 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 289.00cm2

"If you wait around long enough," the prime minister said, "you finally get the job."

A crew of young journalists extracted some interesting admissions from Bill English when he visited a school in Porirua's East yesterday.

Sada Taualai - who wants to be a journalist - was ready when English came to breakfast at Holy Family School.

The 11-year-old, armed with a clipboard, waited until the PM had finished his Weetbix before he posed his toughest question: "What exactly is your job?" "I'm the leader of the government and we do all sorts of things from locking up criminals to paying for the school," he told Taualai, who ticked the question on his clipboard, nodded, then asked for an autograph.

The grilling continued when 9-year-old Jayelle Temarama set aside her Milo, shook English's hand and got down to business.

"How exactly did you get this job?" English - who doesn't have sugar on his Weetbix - considered the question. "If you wait long enough you get a turn," he said.

"I did my other job well so they gave me this one."

After breakfast, English's cavalcade drove across the road to Windley School to re-launch the Graeme Dingle Foundation's Kiwi Can programme back into the city.

Foundation regional manager Lee Pownall said 600 students from Windley, Maraeroa and Bishop Viard College would benefit from the life-skills programme.

A lack of funding saw the Porirua programme end some years ago so the re-launch was a triumph, he said.

Windley principal Rhys McKinley said the programme matched the values already taught at the school and the children loved taking part.

"We're a low-decile school and we do have extremes so when people talk about the 1 per cent of the nation who struggle, that's 20 per cent of our kids. We need all the help we can get."

Kiwi Can co-ordinator Faafoi Seiuli was delighted to have the nationwide programme back in his home town.

"We're actually making a difference in the kids' lives and they take that home and out into society. Even better is that they love doing it."

After the ceremony, while English posed for photos with officials, one schoolboy said he had enjoyed meeting the prime minister.

"I don't know much about what he does but he's got a sweet car."

Caption Text:
Prime Minister Bill English and Mimisa Omeri at Windley School, Porirua. PHOTO: ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ
Sada Taualai, 11, from Holy Family School, asks the tough questions. PHOTO: VIRGINIA FALLON/FAIRFAX NZ

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