web analytics
The Standard

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.”

    • dan1 1.1

      If Parata was one of the best three communicators (according to Key), who were the other two? The mind boggles!

    • Fran 1.2

      No she can’t get any worserer because she has had learnings. Sadly a police spokesperson recently has also had learnings although all have been unclear about the exact nature of said learnings but I suspect they done these learnings on much things and now think they are real good.

  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

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Report highlights National’s poor funding decisions
    The Government’s poor coordination between its transport strategy and the needs of the regions has been highlighted in a new report by Local Government New Zealand, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Local Government was forced to write its Mobilising… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Government wakes up to Opotiki Harbour
    John Key is expected to finally announce Government support next week for the Opotiki Harbour development, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. "While it is astonishing that it has taken seven years for the Government to commit to this… ...
    10 hours ago
  • New figures show speculators rampant
    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    1 day ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 day ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    1 day ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    2 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    2 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    5 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    6 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    6 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    6 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    1 week ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    1 week ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    1 week ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere