web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Parata bungling inexcusable

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, October 3rd, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, national, schools - Tags: , , ,

Hekia Parata’s bungling on the proposed closure of Christchurch schools is simply inexcusable. The botched announcement. The colour coded principals. And now this:

Errors in data used for Chch schools revamp

The Education Ministry has admitted it used incorrect data when planning the drastic shakeup of Christchurch schools.

Secretary for Education Lesley Longstone said last night there were errors in data about the number of buildings on school sites, when she was grilled on TV3’s Campbell Live.

“I accept there are three cases, that you have pointed out to us, where the number of buildings is not the right number of buildings. One is a transcription error.”

She put the other mistakes down to “interpretation” of what constitutes a building and that the ministry counted all buildings on Crown land “irrespective” of whether they formed part of a school.

It was a reversal of the response given last month, when a ministry spokesman told The Press: “Schools can have confidence the proposals are based on the best information to hand, which has been drawn from a variety of sources and provided in good faith.”

We’re not talking about minor errors here:

Twenty-two schools believe that they are in trouble. They think the Ministry’s figures are wrong.

For example, the Ministry lists all 50 imaginary buildings at Burnside Primary as having earthquake damage, making the school appear way too expensive to fix. “The Ministry has quoted us $9 million to repair the school,” says Burnside Primary principal Matt Bateman. “Our own figures show that this is grossly inflated and we could have a new school for about half that.”

At Central New Brighton Primary, the Ministry says they have 13 quake-damaged buildings. Two cracks represent the worst of the school’s damage, yet “affected buildings” is one of the main reasons given for this school to merge. … [this is just some of the examples] …

At Ouruhia Model School, they’ve been saddled with nine quake-damaged buildings when they don’t even have nine buildings.

It is a similar story at Greenpark School. They think they have just three buildings. Unless the Ministry is counting the roofless pool changing room shed or the library, which is in fact community, not Ministry-owned. The number of buildings matters because they equate with the amount of money the Ministry says it would cost to fix each school. …

Based on March figures, the Ministry says Linwood Ave only needs 11 classrooms, but they already use 15. Phillipstown has grown 32 students since March, and at Windsor School the roll is up by 75.

Some principals think it’s the Ministry’s agenda to close smaller schools, quake-affected or not, in favour of big schools.

The attack on the social fabric of Christchurch (a city which has already suffered enough at the hands of both nature and National’s contempt for democracy) is already inexcusable. To base such an attack on such abundantly incompetent and incorrect data makes it even worse.

Apologists will claim that this latest fiasco is a Ministry error, not Parata’s. Two responses. First, it is the Nats who are gutting the public sector, making errors like this inevitable. And second, Parata is the Minister in charge. If Ministers (and Prime Ministers) are never responsible for anything, what is the point in having them?

73 comments on “Parata bungling inexcusable”

  1. jaymam 1

    The “experts” who inspected the schools should be forced to go back and walk around the schools with the principals and justify their reports. And the amount of damage should be quantifed – a couple of cracks does not equate to to ruined building.

    • insider 1.1

      I’m not sure they actually did physically inspect them. They probably collated a bunch of reports from a range of different organisations. Errors were always going to happen if that’s the case because it is highly likely a building in one report was identified/categorised differently in another.

    • Georgecom 1.2

      Go back to each school with the data, check the veracity of it and then back to the Ministry office to reanalyse the data. Any school which after the reanalysis is found to eb viable is taken off the closure/merger list, the school notified and a press release issued. All schools that remain on the list are advised of this and the consultation period extended.

  2. King Kong 2

    Imagine what a competent opposition education sopkesman could do with this.

    • Zorr 2.1

      So you’re admitting the NACTs are completely incompetent? Good, glad we can agree on that…

      Saying “opposition education spokesman” suggests that there is only one other member of the house that should be able to take advantage of this – tbh, there are multiple opposition partys and I especially look forward to the Greens skewering the NACTs over this as well…

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      And who is going to report any statements by the labour education spokesperson? Or the ones that have been made allready?? Certainly not those poodles you obviously use reinforce your own version of “planet key” as a world view….

      The fact is that the labour party has been all over this, as you would know if you had the wit, and desire to inform yourself… which, patently you don’t….

      Back to the job raking the sand bunkers on johnny’s personal golf course for you youngster…..

    • insider 2.3

      Let’s check on twitter to see what she’s up to.

  3. framu 3

    “She put the other mistakes down to “interpretation” of what constitutes a building”

    thats sounds like BS to me – im guessing that any building on a school would need a permit to be built

    So surely the number of building can be found via plans and council permits

    which would seem like the correct method from a legal and provable perspective

    Anyone know the specifics?

    • David H 3.1

      Ummm Hekia its one of those funny things you see everywhere, It has walls, a roof ,windows, and even doors and you can even live in them. What do you live in a cave??

    • Plan A – ask the principal of each school how many buildings there are.
      Plan B – send people out to count the buildings. Maybe even get them to confirm with the principal..
      Plan C – create and keep an asset register.
      All of these would have worked, none are particularly difficult.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 3.2.1

        Plan D: leave it to the market.

        They went with Plan D.

        PS: Plan E: release invented figures and wait for people to correct them…

      • framu 3.2.2

        exactly

        “Plan C – create and keep an asset register.”

        this alone would be required for insurance anyway

  4. shorts 4

    thank goodness for Campbell Live picking this up and doing something… in isolation each school and community is pretty powerless against the govt… united and given the attention country wide one hopes sanity can prevail

    what a clusterfuck – can this govt do anything with any degree of competency? Other than feather their own nests

  5. BLiP 5

    .

    Oh, c’mon peeps! All that lovely juicy tender land sitting around in the middle of the burbs, empty for most of the week, sitting there doing nothing but amuse children for a few hours a day. Just aspire to think of the potential wealth a few developers could wrought from such waste. Think of the big picture. Just once. Christchurch needs this. New Zealand needs this. Put the schools in Charter Warehouses and free the land!!

  6. BM 6

    How incompetent is the public service, must be gutting for a minister to be let down by such useless staff.

    On a side note
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/AboutUs/LeadershipTeam/LeadershipTeam.aspx
    Don’t see a lot of representation for white males, might explain why kiwi boys are lagging behind.

    • felix 6.1

      “Don’t see a lot of representation for white males,”

      What an interesting insight into your tiny damp mind. How many non-white people do you see in that picture, BM?

      • BM 6.1.1

        2 Maori
        5 Caucasian woman

        No Caucasian men, not very inclusive.

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          I see one non-white face out of seven, you see two out of seven.

          Even giving you the benefit of the doubt it’s fascinating that you think that’s too many darkies.

          • BM 6.1.1.1.1

            Funny, you just looked at the picture.

            Is Rawiri Brell not Maori enough for you.

            • felix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know anything about the Brell family, sorry. No idea if he’s maori or not.

              However I’ve already given you the benefit of the doubt that you do, so it’s moot. I guess it’s better for you to talk about this though than address why you think two brown faces out of seven is too many.

              • Lanthanide

                “I don’t know anything about the Brell family, sorry. No idea if he’s maori or not.”

                All you have to do is read the first 8 words of his bio:
                “Rawiri, of Te Arawa (Ngāti Whakaue – Ngāti Rangitihi)”

                • felix

                  Which I didn’t – obviously.

                  However I already mooted the point – even more obviously.

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Aww, BM, is Lesley Longstone not enough of a hand-picked rightwing ideologue for you? Diddums.

    • tc 6.2

      Livingstone looks like lurch from adams family…..the hands look just about right to choke the life out of those pesky teachers disagreeing with their lords policies.

      Good to see Campbell has grown a pair now and again….plenty of material and shows what a bunch of gov’t lackeys TVNZ are.

      I hear Close Up’s due for the chop as it’s grown tired according to some research TVNZ’s done, more like Steven says I reckon.

    • Te Reo Putake 6.3

      “Don’t see a lot of representation for white males, might explain why kiwi boys are lagging behind.”
       
      In BM’s world you have to be white to be a Kiwi.

  7. The false figures are especially designed to hide the real truth of what the nacts are
    intending to do in chch, charter schools will be one of them,they have already
    taken chch to a dictartorship via the duly elected council being effectively
    thrown out, now this,its disgraceful to say the least.
    Parata needs to name and shame those who assessed those buildings,that may
    be difficult because obviously they didn’t even have a look,if they had they
    would see that a sand pit is not liquifaction and the numerous ‘damaged’ buildings
    that were claimed to exsist on various sites, just dont exsist.
    Callous,Cold and Calcutlating, the three ‘C’s’ Pararta’s pass mark fails.

  8. Andy 8

    I wonder if the National can remember they got into Government thanks to the seat won by Nicky Wagner for Christchurch Central in the last election, if this goes ahead, I’m sure they won’t get the same support in the next election.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Lady Gardiner is a hopless case. Lesley Longstone? send her back to Hogwarts. She did not give a damn that John Campbell had the ministry on the ropes via its bogus figures, a true heart of stone transient pro.

    Campbell should change his sign off to “good night and good luck” like the Clooney film if he is able to continue the journalism of late.

  10. higherstandard 10

    Parata joins the long of useless Ministers of Education who have been served by a decidedly average to utterly useless Ministry of Education.

    • felix 10.1

      Yes, I’m certain that Parata isn’t actually the dishonest, deceptive, bumbling, stonewalling, arrogant, ego-maniacal fool she appears to be every time she opens her mouth.

      Quite certain.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.2

      ….served by a decidedly average to utterly useless hand-picked rightwing nut job parachuted in having failed overseas. FIFY

      • higherstandard 10.2.1

        The management team at the MoE are undoubtedly useless, but they were equally useless under Mallard, Maharey, Carter etc….

        Can’t you recall the fuck ups from years gone by such as the chimp in the MoE that fronted on closeup giggling moronically after they had failed to deal with the leaky buildings in schools

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.2.1.1

          I just love the BS you guys come up with. According to you, we’ve got useless teachers, useless public servants, useless everybody. Meanwhile, under Labour our OECD PISA ranking was in the top five. No doubt by some sort of voodoo magic, what with everyone (apart from your beloved right wing idiocrats) being so useless and all.

          Since 2008 we’ve slipped a couple of ranks. Oh, I wonder why that could be. What changed in 2008?

          • insider 10.2.1.1.1

            In the interests of accuracy we were 3rd in maths and reading, and sixth in science in 2000. By 2006 we were out of the top 10 in maths, fifth in reading and seventh in sciences. The Ministers of Education during this time were Trevor Mallard and Steve Maharey.

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Citation necessary.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1.1.2

              Link?

              And where were we in 2k7, 2k8, 2k9, 2010?

              Hmmm, IIRC, we were in the top 5 overall.

              I believe we were still having teething problems with NCEA in the early 2000s.

              • insider

                http://www.oecd.org/edu/preschoolandschool/programmeforinternationalstudentassessmentpisa/ but wikipedia is a lot easier.

                They are not done anually. 2009 is the latest and the trend down continued but. Not sure you could blame National for a test done eight months after taking power.

                I love how you guys get all citey when received wisdom is challenged by the facts.

                • BM

                  Brilliant, arse meet plate.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  …but wikipedia is a lot easier.

                  Actually, this link is.

                  The Wikipedia table for 2000 through to 2006 is just wrong as it has a year and a specific subject in each column so we’re not seeing the whole picture.

                  2009 is the latest and the trend down continued but. Not sure you could blame National for a test done eight months after taking power.

                  Although down slightly three tests just aren’t enough data to draw a conclusion of a trend. We won’t be seeing the results of NACTs fucking with the system until 2012 at the earliest but the one to watch will be 2015 (Unless the next government drops National Standards).

                  I love how you guys get all citey when received wisdom is challenged by the facts.

                  What you were saying conflicted with what had been reported in the MSM.

                  • insider

                    “Although down slightly three tests just aren’t enough data to draw a conclusion of a trend.”

                    Tell that to KTH…

                    And your faith in the mainstream media is touching

  11. shorts 11

    of the Ministry Of Education is so useless how come we do so well in OECD rankings for education – can’t all be down to the teachers, surely?

    I’d imagine it would suck to work there currently given the anti educational stance of the Minster

    • r0b 11.1

      can’t all be down to the teachers, surely

      Ummm – why not? Teachers and parents between them.

      • shorts 11.1.1

        fair call, I’ve massive respect for our teachers but I don’t buy the ministry is useless line, the directives and leadership maybe

      • mac1 11.1.2

        I think the kids have something to do with it, as well.

        And that’s not just a flip comment. The health, motivation, aspirations, willingness to engage etc of our learners is very important. Not all of this is down to parents and teachers.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 11.1.2.1

          Um, I know I’m repeating myself, but “teacher effect” has a very small role to play. Less than 8% according to some, although I have also seen Professor Margaret Wu put it at more like 10%.

          The elephant in the room is family income.

          • mac1 11.1.2.1.1

            And family income affects and/or is linked to the learner’s health, motivation, aspirations, willingness to engage. It also would play a part in the parents and teachers’ roles; the parents by affecting their health, motivation etc and the teachers by affecting the resources they have, in turn affected by the wealth of the school community.

            Yep, you’re on it, KTH.

            Therefore, calls as put by Ms (Heckled) Parata to the PPTA conference for teachers to do something about the “bottom 20%” are 8-10% effective whilst she and her government ignore the presence of the elephant of family income.

  12. Looks like they had teenage children counting buildings from an aerial photograph too me.

    They must have been counting the white lines on the playing fields as “Buildings”

    Great work Parata ….. Did you pay them for it ?

    I wonder how many kids fit into the Goal Posts buildings they counted.

  13. aerobubble 13

    Education reforms, poor? got a bright child? get school kickbacks
    to send them to a under performing school. Rich and got
    a slacker, buy a place in a high achieving cohort. Welcome to
    the monetizing of education. School fees and National
    Standards together create the opportunity to turn out
    underachieving bright kids of the poor, and overachieving
    dumb kids of the rich. Go figure. Lisa Simpson.

  14. captain hook 14

    she thinks she just has to flash her pearly whites and shake her groove thang and hey presto everybody will fall over for her.
    yeah right.

  15. ianmac 15

    Every school has a location plan showing every detail of buildings, paths fences etc. This is identical to those held by the Ministry. Even if a Ministry officer stayed in her office, she could count buildings on the plan, as well as the list form. How else could decisions be made where buildings need to be added or subtracted?
    Therfore there is something murky going on here given the error rate.

  16. Jokerman 16

    few people of attainments take easily to a plan of self-improvement. Some discover very early their perfection cannot endure the insult. Others find their intellectual pleasure lies in the theory, not the practice. Only a few stubborn ones will blunder on, painfully, out of the luxuriant world of their pretensions into the desert of mortification….(and reward?)

    -White (clearly paraphrased) ;)

  17. All people needed is for Hekia Parata to be human and apologise for any errors, in earnest, and assure them they would beek seeking to get the correct info asap. Instead she offered snarky comments, snide remarks, insane grins, and obfuscation. She has no idea.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    17 hours ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    17 hours ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    17 hours ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    4 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    4 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    4 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    5 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    5 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    6 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    7 days ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    7 days ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson. ...
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere