Parata isn’t the most corrupt minister Key has but she’s definitely the most incompetent. Now, the Secretary of Education has been paid out to take the fall for Hekia’s incompetence and that of her sister, Apryll, Deputy Secretary Performance and Change. Parata has maintained her reputation for nepotism (Hekia appointed Apryll to her job in April, just ahead of the Budget) and being an appalling people manager. But she won’t go, and Key won’t make her.
For Parata, resignation is impossible. Her ego is too big and her imagination too small. In her world, she can do no wrong. I suspect the mental gymnastics we witness at question time are just a sample of the internal self-rationalisation that goes on behind that smug, falsely grinning face. She believes she is right and she’s done nothing wrong. Plus, where else is she going to get a quarter of a million dollar a year job? It’s not like she can go back to the public service.
Key’s much the same. His ego is too big to sack a minister because doing so would be an admission that he made a mistake in appointing them. think about it – how many ministers has Key sacked? 1. Worth. The others were all resignations [Update: Worth resigned but Key said he would have sacked him]. English, Tolley, Wong, Smith, Banks, Hide, Turia, Parata, nd Collins were all caught out in situations where they ought to have been sacked. Key stood behind them all. And I don’t think its for mere political expedience. If Key had sacked some of these ministers, his reputation would have grown. After Banks, in particular, Key’s reputation has gone into decline because he’s shown not to have the muscle when it counts.
And don’t forget that Parata is Key’s golden child. He gave her all the power on the back of no experience. He gave her free-rein to take on the unions and slam through privatisation of the school system. He wanted her to succeed him (although even he must know that’s not going to happen now). Short of taking a dump in front of a group of school children – a literal one, not the one she dropped in Christchurch – I can’t see anything getting Key to fire Parata.