web analytics
The Standard

Parata was briefed on teacher cuts

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, June 30th, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: education, national, schools - Tags: ,

The government’s most recent humiliating bungle just got worse:

Behind-the-scenes budget documents show Education Minister Hekia Parata knew full well the impact her education reforms would have. She knew the number of teachers that would be cut, that technology teachers would be hardest hit, and that there would be negative fallout from the changes.

Ms Parata said publicly that “we are not cutting teacher numbers”, but it turns out that she knew all along that 1063 teachers would be cut by 2016. …

Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins suggested that Ms Parata either deliberately misled the public, or failed to read the advice she had been given. “Either Hekia Parata lied or she didn’t read the advice she was given. There’s no other conclusion that can be reached from these papers that have been released today,” he said.

Parata’s later comments suggest that she had indeed read the advice. I was going to say “unbelievable”, but of course it isn’t, we’re all used to being lied to by Ministers in this government now. So what does Parata have to say?

Behind-the-scenes budget documents show Ms Parata knew technology teachers would go. She said she did not hide it, but just did not have enough time to mention it.

Did not have time to mention it? What?

“I think we have to bear in mind if we step back through that that there was something like less than a week I think when parents and teachers became concerned,” she said.

Keep digging Parata, that will help. Here’s what you said at the time of cuts to teacher numbers:

“I was not given any information that led me to have suspected this outcome was going to be achieved.”

That is now shown to be an outright lie. For a change I think I’ll leave the final word to John Armstrong:

If Hekia Parata is to remain in the education portfolio for any length of time, she needs to stop spouting meaningless blather.

26 comments on “Parata was briefed on teacher cuts”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    “If Hekia Parata is to remain in the education portfolio for any length of time, she needs to stop spouting meaningless blather.”

    But when ‘meaningless blather’ is stock-in-trade for this government can you blame her?

    Joyce, Key, Brownlee et al, are masters of it.

  2. Dv 2

    .>>>She said she did not hide it, but just did not have enough time to mention it.

    That is not believable spin at any level.

  3. Hayden 3

    Apparently, the Ministry didn’t like being made the scapegoat…

    • Dv 3.1

      Apparently middle levels of the ministry warned that the cuts would not fly, but they were ignored.

  4. freedom 4

    Is that like Churchill did not have time to mention the imminent attack on Pearl Harbor? 😉

    • mike e 4.1

      the party of personal responsibility yeah right wing nut job

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2

      Nonsense ! Wartime is full of rumours and false predictions. Why would they not give notice of an imminent threat, after all Pearl Harbour was coordinated with attacks on the Phillipines and British territories. While a fleet at sea is easier to hide

  5. gobsmacked 5

    She lied, but she’ll get away with it. Through a combination of Parliament’s rules (too late to take action), media indifference (who’s going to grill her? Geoff Robinson?), and her boss’s permanent state of relaxation.

    Politically, this is fine for the opposition parties. Parata is a vote-losing machine, in a prominent portfolio.

    Educationally, it’s a disaster.

    • seeker 5.1

      “Educationally it is a disaster.”

      Exactly gobsmacked, and our children just do not deserve this.

      • muzza 5.1.1

        The children do not deserve it, thats right, but they can thank their parents for what is happening..

        Their parents , most of them, are too lazy, ignorant, stupid, self-absorbed, ready to blame someone else, and not take responsibility for their childrens futures..

        Until this changes, then the kids will continue to get exactly what their parents allow to happen to them!

  6. Tim 6

    she wouldn’t be the first one to have lied. Trade mark of this Gubbamint is that lying – as opposed to Hooten-type spin has been normalised.
    I’ll refrain from getting too personal, but I do find it interesting that colonial uniform type inspiration in her dress sense.
    Born-to-rule attitude – shame it doesn’t come with any degree of mana. (yea yea I can hear a pita pita and a still embittered HRT-inspired-twitch from the Whanganui region – shame there too!!)
    It might be OK if she (the Parata wonder gal) could get away with it. People have got her number though. Like Key, she isn’t actually that bright though
    They used to train used car salesmen, IT consultants and the like with a buzz-word vocabulary and an ideology learned parrot-fashion. They still trying it on with what THEY think is a “toned-down” neo-liberal agenda.
    Thankfully there is an electorate of sleepy Hobbits that are waking up and no amount of little spin-oriented dalliances in the msm – including that “nice man” Jim on RNZ, or even everyone’s favourite gal on nine-to-noon (even IF Jonkey hasn;t the guts to front up there) will convince people.
    Thank Christ!

    • felix 6.1

      that colonial uniform type inspiration in her dress sense

      Funny, I first thought of Adam Ant.

      Which is how she gets when she’s bullshitting. Adamant.

  7. captain hook 7

    did kweewee promise her a bonus if she cut jobs?

  8. Georgecom 8

    So the Minister ‘misled’ the public.

    Does that mean she lied or just withheld some of the truth?

    Doesn’t mark her out as someone that the public can naturally trust does it.

    Perhaps the best thing she can do now is admit that she withheld the truth, give a sincere apology and promise not to withhold the truth in future.

    • seeker 8.1

      @ Georgecom

      “promise not to withhold the truth in future.

      She may ‘promise’ but how can we know if she is telling the truth when she promises not to withhold the truth in the future, because she cannot be relied upon to tell the truth apparently. See the problem?
      Mind you I have had this very problem with john key and his ‘follow-the-leader’ ministers for nearly four years now and have no idea why national voters love being lied to. Crazy.

      • Georgecom 8.1.1

        I toned down some of my language.

        The important thing for her to do is admit that she ‘misled’ the public and say she is sorry.

        Whether she gets another chance is another matter. Depends whether leaving out the truth,/misleading the public/(insert another word) is sufficiently serious for people not to trust her in the future.

  9. felix 9

    Fuck Armstrong.

    Parata has been caught in a straight up pre-meditated deception. It’s devious, it’s deliberate, and it’s dishonest but it certainly ain’t “meaningless”

    Calling it “meaningless blather” is a cop out. He’s excusing her lie by ascribing it to incompetence.

  10. xtasy 10

    What is the meaning of the word “Parata”, if anyone can perhaps assist?

    Whenever I hear her name, I instantly get reminded of the word “parrot”.

    Is that not perhaps fitting her attitude, mentality and position? Is she not just a mere “parrot” aka “Parata” to repeat the ideological talk of English and Key?

    I am sorry, dear Mrs Parrot, I have no time of you and what you come up with. Resign tomorrow, because nobody believes you anymore and has NO respect for you anymore.

    Even a replacement minister of this government will not and never convince now, since all this has been exposed. What a rotten lot they are. Resign and get out, please!

    • felix 10.1


      parata (noun) an imaginary monster living in the ocean.

      Parata (personal name) a taniwha living in mid-ocean which swallows vessels but can be controlled by tohunga.

    • Chris 10.2

      Ditto Parrot Paula.

    • bad12 10.3

      One definition of the word parata = to be rotten,

      this requires the word to be broken down into 2 syllables para and ta…

  11. Phil 11

    To deceive, as in “I parata the public”.
    To back track swiftly when told to, as in “Sure John I can parata”.
    To maintain a position once all credibility is gone, as in, “I may be a liar but I’ll parata this job”.
    To smile disingenuously, as in “Sick as a parata”.

  12. Georgecom 12

    I toned down some of my language.

    The important thing for her to do is admit that she ‘misled’ the public and say she is sorry.

    Whether she gets another chance is another matter. Depends whether leaving out the truth,/misleading the public/(insert another word) is sufficiently serious for people not to trust her in the future.

  13. tracey 13

    I dont accept that cabibet and the pm didnt know about the predicted cuts. For armstrong to sheet it entirely tomparata and not the pm and cabinet is deliberately obtuse. This portfolio is a poisoned chalice and the minister is doomed to xarry the can for misguided and failed policies.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    4 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    4 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    5 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    5 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    6 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    6 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    6 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    7 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere