Parata preparing for another backdown? (Part Rua)
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,
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?
Wikipedia: New Zealand general election, 2011
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