web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Doubling down on Parata disaster

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, January 18th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, national - Tags: ,

Hekia Parata has been a disaster as Minister of Education. Everything she touched last year turned to rubbish. And yet, as widely reported, Key has stated that she will keep the portfolio in his coming reshuffle. Here’s the 3 News account:

Parata doing a good job, Key says

Prime Minister John Key says embattled Education Minister Hekia Parata is safe in her job, despite a horror year in 2012 and calls for her to lose the portfolio. …

Ms Parata presided over a backdown on increasing average class sizes, closing a number of Christchurch schools, and the High Court ruling a decision to close a special needs school in Nelson illegal. She also saw her education secretary Lesley Longstone resign over their strained relationship. Both Labour and the Greens say she should lose her portfolio.

But Mr Key was still backing her, and even described her as a good communicator. “There were some mistakes made in 2012, I think she would acknowledge that. I think equally, she has done a lot of good things. “I am confident she can do the job. There’s a big range of issues we need to deal with when it comes to education. “I think she will take away some learnings [sic] from 2012.”

Protecting the incompetent Parata is a further sign that Key’s government is well in to sclerotic middle age. Key is either out of touch with the mess Parata has made, or more interested in defending Parata (and by implication the decision he made to put her there) than he is competence and accountability.

In some ways it’s good news for education though. Given the Nats’ damaging plans for the sector, I’d rather have the well-tarnished and clearly erratic Parata making a mess of them than some other Minister getting them through.

42 comments on “Doubling down on Parata disaster”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Key should have been up front and said

    “Well at least she can’t get any worserer.”

  2. I really struggle with this. I don’t think I have ever witnessed such mind numbing incompetence in a Minister, ever.

    The only consistent thing about Parata’s performance is that she has been offside and has upset the teachers unions.

    Perhaps that is why she is staying? Perhaps out there in swing voter land there is a virtue in the Government being tough on the teachers? After all there is an anti intellectual belligerence in parts of New Zealand that I struggle to understand. And most teachers are also public servants and ergo to some nothing but a drain on private wealth.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      Mallard, Benson Pope, Brownlee, English, Tizzard……. the list is endless.

      And on your other note – I think most in NZ have a fair amount of time and respect for teachers, but far less time for the PPTA.

      • dan1 2.1.1

        HS, I am interested in your comment re PPTA. For the life of me, I cannot understand the years of negativity to the teacher association. It is voluntary and maintains a very high membership amongst teachers. In what way is it different to the Business Round Table, or the Road Transport Association in pushing policies for their membership.
        The National Party has always managed to get apoplectic about PPTA which feeds through to the media.
        But why?

        • higherstandard 2.1.1.1

          Hi Dan

          I’m away from the internet until late afternoon but would like to discuss this further with you, I’ll post my thought on this tonight.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah time to stick it to the teachers union just like Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has done. Then the neolibs (who have such a good history of improving education for all *cough*) can get on with their agenda in peace and quiet.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2

          Why? They insist that education policy be based on best practice, rather than its ability to divert public money to the National Party’s clients.

        • Peter 2.1.1.3

          I suspect that the Nats hate the PPTA because it’s so damned effective.

        • tracey 2.1.1.4

          and regarded so differently to the Police Union

        • tracey 2.1.1.5

          I am pleased to see the Pm is not seriously ill.

          However I can explain his fainting. He just registered that he said competent not incompetent about Parata!

          • Chris 2.1.1.5.1

            I thought it was because he had just seen that his new rug is bright red under bright lights.Tosser!

          • Ron 2.1.1.5.2

            I have eaten at that restaurant and had no ill effects at all. Still I did not have to swallow keeping an incompetent minister.

            • Fortran 2.1.1.5.2.1

              Good restaurant but what a bill !
              Great, if I can get somebody else to pay next time.

      • toad 2.1.2

        Tizard came close. But Muldoon’s Education Minister Merv Wellington is the only one I can recall to rival her for incompetence. Oh, and perhaps Muldoon’s Transport Minister Colin “Oars” McLachlan

        • millsy 2.1.2.1

          At least Merv Wellington didnt introduce bulk funding, performance pay, or charter schools, and the school system didnt havre the level of stratification that we have now. Under Wellington’s watch (as well as Amos before him), the children of cleaners and beneficaries still went to the same schools as those of accountants and lawyers, and what’s more, a lot of these schools were on the edge of Housing Corp estates.

          My point being — things can always get worse. And I would rather have Parata than Collins.

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.2.2

          I’ll see your Merv Wellington and raise you a Ben Couch.

      • millsy 2.1.3

        It is a myth that the teachers are always on strike.

        As far as I know, the teachers have only been on strike in 1996 ,2002, and 2010 (I think). I dont remember any strike invloving the NZEI (They did strike over the ECA in 1991, for one day)

        Right wingers seem to go on about the teachers “always been on strike”. The facts speak otherwise. People like higherstandard hate the PPTA because it advocates for good quality public schools, and an end to the winners and losers school system.

    • georgecom 2.2

      In my memory no Minister has decimated their reputation to such an extent inside a year as Parata.

  3. Mel 3

    I had to admit I thought John Key was having a laugh at the public’s expense calling her a ‘good communicator’. On what planet is the obfuscating spin she repeats even remotely connected to communication?

    • QoT 3.1

      I think this post (and check the comments for an illuminating video) at DimPost says it all about Parata’s communication skills.

  4. irascible 4

    Apparently the other two good communicators are: Bennett and Joyce.

  5. outofbed 5

    Good communicator? Perhaps he is measuring her against Shearer

  6. bad12 7

    I didn’t think Slippery would give His pet Parrot Parata the kick, i watched the body language between them during the Mana by-election and considering the likelihood of the ex-trading floor functionary being a likely candidate to appropriately wear the title psycho/sociopath Parata would seem to be what passes in the complex equation that makes up that ones intellect, a ‘friend’,

    The depth of that ‘friendship’ is anyone’s guess, mine would be it’s one of mutual co-dependence and i think Slippery keeping Parata in a reasonably high Cabinet position tells us that the number of supporters He has in the Cabinet has dwindled to a number where His opposition within the National Cabinet is able to make Him uncomfortable enough so as to not want to upset what may be a delicate balance,

    As far as oppositional politics goes Slippery has just handed all the opposition Party’s a bonus for the year, Parata a known quantity struggles with any question that requires a deeper intelligence than what She possesses,( really shallow if you exclude Her huge un-tapped reservoir of rat-cunning), and if i was Labour i would actually task 2 MP’s to continually pick at and unsettle the Minister,

    My view, good one Slippery keep Parata right where She is, the longer She stays in the role the more votes will be lost, Parata being one of those gems of a Minister that everyone from the University Professor to the most blatant of Red-necks can find something that they don’t like about Her…

    • ak 7.1

      Credit where credit’s due but, Baddie: Slippery and the Parrot both gained mana by backing away from the Brash hatemongering.

      But that’s as far as it went. Now the limits of sticking one’s oleaginous tongue out and letting the wind blow enless streams of vacuous inanity are catching up for both; as brilliantly portrayed in the Dimpost Hekiaaaaaargh! post linked to by Queenie above.

      It’s a national and National affliction that has plagued us for decades. And finally, mercifully, shows signs of being recognised for the snakeoil routine it is.

      As an entertaining exercise, endure any of a multitude of “great communcators” efforts, wait for the applause and murmurs of “great speaker” to die down, then pose the question “yes but what did she actually say?” The facial reactions can be priceless.

    • bad12 7.2

      PS, when i allude to Slippery’s opposition within the National Government Cabinet don’t get me wrong, such opposition is not one of a ‘directional/policy’ nature, for the Tory’s it’s simply a matter of the continual shuffle in the quest for Power…

    • Ron 7.3

      His problem with Parata is that she is married to a former Dominion Councillor of the Party. If you cannot look after the family of party officials then whats the point of being in the party.

  7. Leopold the Viper 8

    “Blackmail’s such an ugly word, John. Let’s just say I keep my job and you keep your public reputation…”

  8. KJT 9

    Any National education minister has to be destructive as far as public education is concerned.

    Parata is very competent in the desired role. Making public education dysfunctional, so an extremely dysfunctional, private sector can compete.

    She is also stupid enough to be the disposable fall guy when the public figures out the goals.

  9. fabregas4 10

    Key makes the mistake in thinking at this is the ‘us versus union’ chestnut. My feeling is that the general public:
    1. Clearly recognise Parata’s incompetence.
    2. Dislike her haughty and dismissive manner.
    3. Support and appreciate their schools and their teachers more than Key and Parata understand.
    4. Think that schools are generally pretty good but aren’t that happy about the big picture in education (they understand that (some) schools stuggle for money for example but blame central govt not their local school).

    Schools will ride out this govt. As always they will keep working for the children as the govt and ministry fiddles. National Standards being an excellent example. Several commentatotors of late have spoken about how they are now embedded and the battle won by the govt. This could not be further from the truth and when they go at the next change of govt not a soul will notice.

  10. Chris 11

    parata will find it very difficult in Parliament without lockwood smith to give her the answers.

  11. tracey 12

    I think Lockwood’s departure will probably make question time easier for the govt not harder

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Photo Of the Day: What Affordable Housing Looks Like
    This is the just completed Merchant Quarter in New Lynn, designed by Jasmax, it offers one bedroom freehold apartments from around 250k, as well as larger ones. I believe the new owners are about to move in. Merchant Quarter is step along the...
    Transport Blog | 02-08
  • UN/US cease-fire deal designed to fail
    Of all the appalling things caused by the Jewish state's latest Gaza incursion it is easy to overlook the compromised role of the UN and how they have been used by US/Israel to promote a cease-fire agreement that was impossible...
    Tumeke | 02-08
  • Winston Peters’ line in the sand… or farmland
    This is why John Key has been saying to anyone who'll listen that you can take nothing for granted when it comes to this year's election. Out of left field... or at least a field near Taupo... can some an...
    Pundit | 02-08
  • Obviously the start of a ‘We [fill-in-the-space]ed some folks’ meme
    During an otherwise sleepy news conference about immigration and the economy, the president answered a question about the impending release of a Senate report that criticizes the CIA’s treatment of detainees after 9/11. “We did some things that were wrong,”...
    The Paepae | 01-08
  • A brief statement from John Archibald Banks
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I am John Archibald Banks and I’m here to clear the air following my sentencing yesterday on trumped-up and, quite frankly, ludicrous charges of electoral fraud. Let me categorically state here and now, for...
    My Thinks | 01-08
  • The inflationary impact of road spend-ups
    It’s time for a quick round of everyone’s favourite game, Ask An Economist. Today’s question is: What happens when the government decides to spend up large in a growing economy? If you guessed that the answer is that it will...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • The FBI, Kim Dotcom, John Key, and John Banks ‘Coincidence’
    July 16th:  Kim Dotcom announces he has a “political bombshell” about John Key (NZ Prime Minister) which he will release information about five days before the general election   July 31st:  Deputy Director of the FBI attends a secret meeting...
    An average kiwi | 01-08
  • John Banks – all over bar the appeal
    John Banks appeared for sentence this morning at the Auckland High Court and received two months’ Community Detention and 100 hours Community Work. A copy of the judgment is attached here). I’d been waiting for the news that his application...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #5: A Traffic Free Queen St for Christmas
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 5: A Traffic-Free Queen Street for Christmas What if Queen Street stayed closed to traffic after the Christmas Parade? Every year for one Saturday in November Queen Street is closed to traffic for one of Auckland’s greatest...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • A thousand deaths
    Why was John Banks treated so leniently? Why didn't the judge pass sentence of death? The sentence imposed on John Banks for breaching electoral law raises a number of serious questions....
    Imperator Fish | 01-08
  • Herald on regional roads fiasco
    Here is Adam Bennet in the Herald today: Shaky case for $212m fast-tracked road plan The National Government's $212 million plan to fast-track regional road projects using asset sales cash is not backed by a strong economic case, documents released...
    Polity | 01-08
  • Killing civilians
    Emergency workers carry the body of one of the people killed when Flight MH17 was shot down A Gallup poll, of Americans by religious affiliation, about whether it’s ever justified for “the military” to target and kill civilians The same poll, posing the same...
    Cut your hair | 01-08
  • Is the GCSB tapping all our cables?
    So, at the same time the GCSB was planning to inflict their new spy-law on us, they were being visited by an NSA technician to discuss installing undersea cable taps:The most instrusive and powerful tools in the United States' electronic...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • Sign up to increase cycling funding
    In June the Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport was released by the Ministry of Transport. The GPS outlines where transport funding will go over the next 3 years. Sadly it considered the business as usual of focussing on...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what’s wrong in India
    It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified.The arrests are the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 01-08
  • Breach of contract
    When National set up charter schools, they promised that they would be more accountable, and that contracts were a better means of enforcing standards than the usual school system.Only if they're enforced:“The Whangaruru contract online shows that the school must...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • Tamati’s Big Red Fundraiser
    Wow. I’d never organised a fundraiser before. Some people have got that organising gene and some people don’t. I don’t really, but I’m a hard worker and I love a good challenge. Picture this. Saturday night, venue all set, drinks...
    Labour campaign | 01-08
  • Labour Posters are going up!
    We've got massive posters up all around the country. They're about Labour's plan for a positive future for New Zealand that puts people first. The posters in the photos here are in Auckland, but there's lots more going up around...
    Labour campaign | 01-08
  • Spying on their masters
    After being caught red-handed the CIA has finally admitted spying on the US Senate Committee which is investigating them for torture:The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • Lifestyles of the rich & famous – hangin’ with Groser, McCu...
    The quarterly release of the ministerial and MP expense returns paints an interesting picture of some of our MPs. Most of our ministers, it must be said, seem to have heeded the harsh lesson of Shane Jones. The bright, shining...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Curatin’ for Your Love
    I'm pleased and intrigued that Lorde has been commissioned to curate the soundtrack for the next Hunger Games movie -- and I'd like to claim credit. Well, I can't really, but it was obvious to me after Ella picked Lorde's...
    Public Address | 01-08
  • Roads of Significance to National
    The Minister of Transport released a statement on Wednesday which boasted that traffic volumes were up, and that this was a sure sign of economic recovery: “Total travel [measured in kilometres travelled] was flat between 2005 and 2012, but growth returned in...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 01-08
  • The problem with reporters…
    The problem with reporters, as Usain Bolt has discovered, is that they tend to record things when they want a quote. So when Mr Bolt, sprinter extraordinaire, was quoted as saying the Glasgow Commonwealth Games were “a bit shit”, and...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 1
    Top of the AgendaIsrael Vows to Destroy Gaza Tunnels...
    Pundit | 01-08
  • Helen Kelly Speaks at Otago Uni AGM
    Helen Kelly NZCTU President TEU Annual General Meeting 1pm, Wednesday 13 August Moot Court, Otago University...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • New Fisk
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The judiciary doesn’t take electoral crime seriously either
    That's the only conclusion which can be drawn from John Banks' laughable sentence for filing a false electoral return. A hundred hours of community service and an evening curfew for deliberately attempting to undermine our democracy? Well, that will encourager...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Feed: Food Show 2014: Not Bad
    There are a number of things you can count on at The Food Show in Auckland. Among them: the stall immediately to the left of the entry to the hall is always a busy one. It's most people's first stop,...
    Public Address | 31-07
  • And justice has been seen to be done
    So the first line of John Banks' future obituary has now been written: "John Banks, former mayor of Auckland and a long serving MP and Minister for the National and Act Parties who was convicted of falsely reporting contributions to...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • People talking’ #17
    It being the weekend that truffle growers from all over New Zealand meet to discuss their trade and to eat the fruits of their endeavours, I will be absent from the Hot Topic helm for the next few days. Please...
    Hot Topic | 31-07
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of ISIS, and Labour
    While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. Reportedly, the ISIS fighters...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-07
  • Wet bus ticket
    So John Archibald Banks has been convicted and sentenced for electoral fraud. Good. But the sentence is a complete joke. Here's what he got: 100 hours of community service. That's about 12 days of community work. A bit light, but...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Banks follows fathers footsteps
    For over three years after it became common knowledge that John Banks had intentionally filed a false electoral return, the National led government has relied on the disgraced MP's support to pass numerous controversial policies.Unfortunately National was allowed to continue...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Ministerial eating competition
    What if National wins a third term? The prospect, while unlikely, is worth considering. I think one thing we could do to lighten the mood if National wins is to run an eating competition between McCully and Groser. Whoever orders...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Surviving the restructure – Exiting with the pay out
    So casting your mind back… you’ve discovered that the company needs to shed some people. […] The post Surviving the restructure – Exiting with the pay out appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 31-07
  • Closed Processes Don’t Make For Open Government
    New Zealand has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as an international citizen. We are regularly rated as one of the most effective democracies in the world, and we recently topped a survey as the world’s most socially advanced country. No...
    Bryan Gould | 31-07
  • EBS Newsletter Winter 2014
    Welcome to our Winter newsletter, we hope that you are well and managing to dodge the bugs in the classroom! Have a read through your newsletter below to make sure you know what you can access through your union and...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Stern Criticism of Westpac – From A Surprising Quarter
    A recently published article contains a stern critique of Westpac over their continuing financial support of coal miners Bathurst Resources, who have now begun removing “overburden” (i.e. the ecosystem) from the Denniston Plateau in preparation for larger-scale coal mining when...
    Coal Action | 31-07
  • AT drops Newton Station for cheaper CRL
    Auckland Transport have announced they are cutting the Newton Station from the City Rail link in favour of an upgraded station at Mt Eden. A significant design change to the City Rail Link (CRL), will save over $150 million, improve...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Sen Whitehouse Schools Sen Inhofe about Global Warming on the Senate Floor
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) throws down an epic schooling of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on global warming after Inhofe blocked a resolution from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) simply acknowledging that global warming exists and poses a threat to the interests...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Have they got to 2000 yet?
    The last time Israel invaded Gaza (it isn't a "war" in any traditional sense - it is a ghetto liquidation with consequent resistance) was between the American presidencies of Bush and Obama.  The Israelis wiped out over a thousand Palestinians...
    Tumeke | 31-07
  • Who do you believe?
    On the back of numerous controversies that have plagued the National led government over the last few weeks, the left wing block of Labour and the Greens have managed to increase their support from 38.5% to 42% in the latest...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Labour can’t keep rewarding failure
    A recent column I wrote in the NZ Herald earned a ...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Lack of media interest in election policies
    It is hard not to feel that there is a major problem with mainstream media bias when the main opposition party announces that it plans to raise the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 (14%...
    Closing the Gap | 31-07
  • The agony of Gaza – What price the right of self-defence?
    As I write, the conflict in Gaza has seen yet another ceasefire deal squandered, with more death and destruction. Israel has repeatedly claimed its right to self-defence as justification for ‘Operation Protec