25 Aug 2008

National weighs private sector role in building schools, hospitals

5:27 pm on 25 August 2008

The National Party is considering private sector tie-ups to build schools and hospitals.

Education spokesperson Anne Tolley says the party is looking to Australia for its lead in the area.

Ms Tolley says National is investigating how the contracts are put together and the advantage of using the private sector.

But Finance Minister Michael Cullen says there is no need for such funding, pointing to the substantial building programme already undertaken without using private money. Dr Cullen says it would be in effect partial privatisation.

Ms Tolley says there are many ways of managing how the private sector could make a profit. One would be that the school would pay a lease for 20 or 30 years, which would include maintenance, before it was sold to the government.