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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.

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