Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Parata preparing for another backdown? (Part Rua)

Parata preparing for another backdown? (Part Rua)

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After Education Minister, Hekia Patata’s dreadful performance on TVNZ’s ‘Q+A‘ on 30 September, it appears that her ‘minders’ have realised that she is not ‘selling’ the issues of  National Standards and Christchurch School closures, to the public.

In fact, her slip to Shane Taurima that National Standards data  was unreliable must have raised the eyebrows of every viewer in the country,

“ SHANE What’s the point of the information, though, if the Prime Minister, for example, he calls it ropey; the head of your own ministry, she has described it as unreliable.

HEKIA Well, what I have said all along is that it is variable. For the purposes of comparing schools, it is not reliable…”

As was her admission that school closures in Christchurch would add to the trauma already suffered by Cantabrians after two major earthquakes and 185 deaths,

 Well, look. School closures around the country under any administration around the country are always difficult. Here in Christchurch is a community that’s been under intolerable stress for a very long time

Parata didn’t just shoot herself in the foot in that interview – she kneecapped herself.

The consequence was that Parata appears no longer willing to be interviewed by the media.

She refused to accept John Campbell’s invitation to appear on his show on TV3 on 2 October – instead sending a bureacrat to front up, Ministry of Education chief executive, Lesley Longstone.

Longstone put on a brave face attempting to explain why so much of the Ministry’s information was completely wacko – as if they referred to schools in some other country (or maybe Planet Key) – but failed miserably,

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Source

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Little wonder that Parata refused to front. She would have been skewered and hung out to dry.

Again, this morning (3 October), Hekia Parata was invited to be interviewed on Radio NZ’s ‘Morning Report‘. Again, she refused point blank.

See: Radio NZ – Warning from Australia on National Standards

Ok, it’s possible that she had another engagement that prevented her from appearing on ‘Campbell Live‘ last night. But what was so pressing that she could not be on the phone to Radio NZ’s Geoff Robinson at 8.09am?

The answer is; nothing.

National’s policies on school closures and National Standards is an absolute mess. Parata is up to her neck in policies that are hard to defend; based on shonky data; and offer no real benefit to the education of our children.

Let’s be quite clear here; if National’s  so-called “reforms” were such a great idea, Parata should be willing and eager to front at every opportunity to defend  her policies and explain why they will help our children; communities; and country as  whole.

Her new-found ‘shyness’ is indicative of only one thing; her policies are indefensible and deeply resented by New Zealanders. Furthermore, judging by the response she has received from parents and teaching professionals, she has lost the trust of those people who rely on her judgement.

Hekia Parata is the Minister of Education. Her education policies are her responsibilty.

If she is unable or unwilling to front up to the public, then she has no business earning her $257,800 ministerial salary (plus perks, plus gold-plated superannuation) .

When it comes to education, where does the buck stop?

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Sources

See:  Q+A – Education Minister Hekia Parata (video)

See:  Q+A – Education Minister Hekia Parata (transcript)

Radio NZ: 13 schools to close, others to merge in Christchurch

Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2011

Previous related blogpost

Christchurch, choice, and charter schools)

Parata preparing for another backdown?

Additional

School standards report card ‘ropey’

Schools claim merger data incorrect

Ministry admits some errors in data

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  1. SpaceMonkey
    3 October 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I notice that charter schools seem to have disappered from the MSM stream… National not wanting any association with ACT that might shine a spotlight on the Banksie affair?

  2. 3 October 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I get so exasperated with this shemozzle – Parata & co have wasted millions on duplicate measurements that tell us nothing new. That money should have been spent on addressing the needs of Maori and Pasifika students, intensive literacy programmes across all media and students with special needs. We already know what needs to be fixed, ffs. We need the resources to make it happen!!

  3. Possum
    3 October 2012 at 9:42 pm

    common sense will prevail soon and what was with key’s interview on 3 news or campbell 2nite, more gapping holes?

    • 3 October 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Possum – didn’t see Campbell tonight as I was out at an anti-asset sale meeting. I’ll catch up with it on Demand TV.

  4. Paul Carruthers
    3 October 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I have only four words to describe National’s performance: are we there yet?

    • 3 October 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Paul, I’m totally envious: your four words have summed up a years’ worth of my blogging… :-D

      • Paul Carruthers
        3 October 2012 at 10:08 pm

        My childhood car journeys were characterised by my mother’s cigarette smoke wafting into the back seat of the car, gagging me, choking me, strangling me, sucking the life out of me, clawing at me, I just couldn’t stand it.

        Made my skin crawl.

        “Are we there yet?”

        National makes me want to escape but I don’t want to escape New Zealand, I only want to escape National.

  5. JM
    3 October 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I don’t think she’ll do it twice.

  6. KSJ
    3 October 2012 at 9:50 pm

    The constant refusal to appear on TV or radio interviews really annoys me…. who the hell do these MPs think they work for? Not us the public obviously. I can understand anyone being wary of the media but ffs its part of the job and as you say Frank they accept the Ministerial Salary package so it goes with the job… grrr!

  7. Murray Olsen
    3 October 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Longstone looks as if she’d drown kittens for fun.

  8. JOHN (the good one)
    3 October 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Paul Carruthers :

    My childhood car journeys were characterised by my mother’s cigarette smoke wafting into the back seat of the car, gagging me, choking me, strangling me, sucking the life out of me, clawing at me, I just couldn’t stand it.

    Made my skin crawl.

    “Are we there yet?”

    National makes me want to escape but I don’t want to escape New Zealand, I only want to escape National.

    Perfect analogy Paul.

  9. 3 October 2012 at 10:54 pm

    She’s pretty good in reverse gear…

    • 3 October 2012 at 10:58 pm

      That certainly seems to be the case, Peter…

    • Priss
      4 October 2012 at 9:30 am

      LOL, Peter!

  1. 7 October 2012 at 1:07 pm

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