24 Mar 2010

Saga of school tuck shops, MPs and chocolate bikkies

11:17 pm on 24 March 2010

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley had other MPs reaching for the chocolate biscuits when she appeared before the Education and Science Select Committee on Wednesday.

Ms Kedgley was presenting a petition calling for the return of requirements that schools provide only healthy food for students.

She listed the menu of a Wellington school canteen as evidence the food provided by schools needs tighter regulation: pies; sausage rolls; chippies; chocolate and raspberry buns; chelsea and cream buns; chocolate brownies and caramel and ginger slices.

Ministry of Education officials told the committee schools are still required to promote healthy food, but Ms Kedgley said schools had gone back to selling unhealthy food.

She said research indicated 50% of students buy their lunch at school.

Whether she and the nearly 16,000 people who signed her petition convinced the select committee remains to be seen.

However, Labour MP Trevor Mallard confessed that the talk of cream buns and bottles of coke had made him hungry.

And with that he helped himself to the select committee's stash of chocolate biscuits.