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Polity: The buck stops with Hekia

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, March 26th, 2014 - 28 comments
Categories: Hekia parata - Tags: ,

polity_square_for_lynnJust when you think that Hekia Parata couldn’t make more of a shambolic mess of the Kohanga Reo review, it turns out that she could and did. Rob Salmond at Polity (and Audrey Young of the Herald) has a look at it.

Audrey Young in your New Zealand Herald reports this morning on the shambolic way the Ernst & Young inquiry into Kohanga Reo spending was put together:

Two key players in the $90,000 Ernst & Young review of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust have contradictory views about what the terms of reference allowed the review to do.

The Ministry of Education says the terms of reference were worded with the explicit purpose of looking at the trust’s subsidiary company, Te Pataka Ohanga (TPO) and the money it got from the ministry-funded trust.

But the Ernst & Young partner who conducted the review, Grant Taylor, told the Herald he would have looked at TPO if the terms of reference had made that clear…

The terms of reference were agreed in October last year between Education Minister Hekia Parata, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and Te Kohanga Reo National Trust after claims of misspending were aired on Maori Television’s Native Affairs.

This is quite ridiculous.

If you can’t agree what a report was supposed to do, even after the report has / has not done it, then there has been a massive failure of communication.

The one person who was in the negotiations over the Terms of Reference and was also in possession of the Ministry of Education’s advice was Hekia Parata, the Minister of Education.

Parata also has a hard-won reputation for being terrible at communicating.

It seems pretty clear what happened here:

  1. The Ministry told Parata “make sure money that ultimately went to TPO is included in the review.”
  2. Parata told the Kohanga Reo Trust: “deliverable outcome best practice international benchmark “forensic monetary auTPOsy” consultative iterative discursive framework, OK?”
  3. The Trust said “we agree to excluding money that ended up with TPO.”

The buck for this communication failure stops at the top, with Hekia Parata.

(Cue Parata: “The buck stops [points in random direction] right over there.”)

28 comments on “Polity: The buck stops with Hekia”

  1. Tracey 1

    Given it now appears that due to imprecise briefing it was partly a waste of time and money, perrhaps it could come out of Parata’s salary as a failure to meet her KPI and to be a p[ractical display of NACT’s mantra about “personal responsibility”?

    Has it turned out that Tata Parata is a name-sake and not a relative of Ms Parata? Tata Parata being a Director of the subsidiary company?

    • Papa Tuanuku 1.1

      Is John Key related to John Boscowan? Silly question. Learn your whakapapa

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        are you saying parata is the equivalent of a pakeha christian name not surname?

        why would i know hekia or tata’s whakapapa?

        • Papa Tuanuku 1.1.1.1

          U just made an accusation about her possibly being related to someone with the same surname, and the implication of nepotism, the highest insult to her and his whakapapa. Do some research before casting aspersions on her whakapapa

          • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1

            sorry but i wrote” Has it turned out that Tata Parata is a name-sake and not a relative of Ms Parata

            feel free to post the respective whakapapa.

            maori are not immune to fact checking. i could find the whakapapa of neither online.

  2. miravox 2

    “Parata also has a hard-won reputation for being terrible at communicating.”

    Hard won reputation? I think she nabbed that reputation pretty easily.

    • Richard Christie 2.1

      Heh.

      She’s a tireless and reliable performer for the opposition. Delivering the goods as needed and on cue in election year.
      Appreciation should be directed to Dishonest John who repeatedly endorsed her control of her portfolio.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        and yet Ryall so far is unscathed by press microscope as are others including our PM… I don’t mind that Collins and Parata are in the gun, just intrigued at why their fuck ups and lies and obfuscations are so much more worth of the press microscope than Brownlee, Key, Ryall etc…

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          They’re not as “important” as Key, Brownlee etc and thus can be sacrificed to cover for them.

  3. mickysavage 3

    There was one very interesting fact in the Audrey Young article. She said that a trustee had given a letter on March 17 to the Minister’s office outlining further allegations. This was after the draft report had been discussed with the trust but the day before the Parata meeting with the trust and her ill fated press conference and two days before the SFO were called in because of “new information”.

    Her own press release said:

    The Ernst and Young report released last night found the Trust’s financial controls are effective for an operation of its size and complexity but some improvements are needed around credit card returns and koha payments.

    It also found that the Trust was legitimately buying services for Kōhanga Reo from Te Pātaka Ohanga and there was no misuse of public monies in this regard.

    However, there are still concerns about Te Pataka Ohanga, including new allegations brought to the attention of Ministers. Despite assurances given by the Trust Board that it would respond to all concerns, it has not done so.

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/te-pataka-ohanga-referred-serious-fraud-office

    So did Parata say that the trust had been exonerated and try to shut down the story even though she knew there were new allegations made? And she is very close to misleading the public by suggesting that the new allegations occurred post report release.

    • Tracey 3.1

      It seems odd that an experienced chap like Grant Taylor would misinterpret
      “establish what, if any, public funding provided to Kohanga Reo National Trust may have been provided to Te Pataka Ohanga”?

      Did the TOR change after they left MOE and before they arrived at Mr Taylor’s OR was there a covering letter from the Minister or her Associate?

      I am no rocket scientists but if I read that I would be looking at money that went from a public source went to KRNT and then on to TPO.


      Grant Taylor
      Assurance

      Grant is a senior Assurance partner in our Wellington office and the Wellington Managing Partner. He specialises in providing pragmatic financial management and assurance related advice to clients in a variety of sectors including Private Equity, Financial Services, listed corporate and public sector entities.
      Previous experience

      Grant has been providing assurance advice for over 20 years. He specialises in working with businesses in New Zealand across a number of sectors including energy, aged care and public sector. He leads a number of our most complex audit engagements and has extensive experience providing quality assurance services to Audit Committees and senior management teams.
      Credentials

      Grant is a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Grant holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (Victoria University).
      Interests

      Grant enjoys sports including cycling.” from EY website

      “12 April 2006

      Ernst & Young Appoints Head of Government Business

      Grant Taylor


      Ernst & Young New Zealand is pleased to announce the appointment of Wellington based partner Grant Taylor as Head of Government Business.

      Grant has over 14 years experience providing assurance-related services to the public sector. Prior to joining Ernst & Young in 1994 Grant worked in the Audit Office.

      Ernst & Young Chief Executive John Judge says this appointment affirms Ernst & Young’s commitment to the public sector.

      “Grant will help to ensure that as a firm we understand issues in government in more depth and make a positive contribution to debate on those issues,” says Mr Judge.

      Ernst & Young currently provides a range of services to help government manage growth, improve financial performance and mitigate risk.

      Mr Taylor’s experience includes leading and managing the delivery of external audit and other services to major organisations including considerable transaction support work, both in New Zealand and internationally” SCOOP

  4. northshoredoc 4

    On the contrary I always have complete confidence in the minister making an even larger cock up of the situation than expected

  5. Tracey 5

    Whoda thought anyone could make Tolley look competent and warm.

  6. dv 6

    The first that the ministry knew that Ernst & Young had not looked at TPO was on January 28, when it received the draft report.

    HUH
    “Draft report

    Hey guys what about TPO expenditure that we asked for?
    Where is that?

    Bizarre

    Thank heaven we only paid $4.5k per page!!!!

    • Tracey 6.1

      but also note that the practice of delivering a draft is also to enable the “client” to make any additions or deletions before the report is final.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Hek yeah Hekia……………… She’s a star.

  8. ropata 8

    All part of national’s plan to introduce darwinian competition to public schools so that the strong survive and the weak are culled. When the teachers union is broken they can chop their pay and privatise schools a lot easier.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/the-destruction-of-new-zealands-public.html

  9. captain hook 9

    She thought when she entered Parliament that she had a job in the public service (?).
    She really hasn’t got a clue about what she is doing at all.
    all hair and teeth and no brains.

    • Tracey 9.1

      of course she had a career in the public sector before arriving as an mp. one of those career bureaucrat th right usually claim to despise as useless and not of the real world.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        makes her lack of any political nous even more inexcusable. How do you survive as a senior civil servant without understanding the system let alone service?

  10. Papa Tuanuku 10

    I’m loving how the debate has now turned to the crux of PPPs and Charter Schools, i.e. handing over public monies to private groups and beyond scrutiny.

    Btw, why no concern over the $2 million spent by the National Trust on Chen Palmer lawyers, which was announced on Native Affairs Monday. Were Pākeha media not watching?

    • adam 10.1

      Because our MSM is racist, but are scared shitless on being called out being racist. So what better tactic than, pop head in ground, and ignore.

  11. logie97 11

    Report just delivered to Mr Key.
    Hekia and National’s Standards.

    Where she is at in relation to the Standards.
    Wee Hekia is below the expected level for her age and position. She has learnt to smile nicely.

    What are her next steps?
    Hekia will be learning how to give precise instructions to her ministry and manage more than just a few people in the back-office.

    How you can help at home.
    Find a comfortable leather padded back-bench for her to spend some time to learn to focus.

    • Tracey 11.1

      you obviously havent seen a recent report under ns… yours is far too brief.

      • logie97 11.1.1

        … I’m assuming you saw the apostrophe – well there appears to be only one “National standard” you get judged by.
        If you can stay on the right side of Jokyhen, then you have met the standard. Do something that enhances your portfolio in the public view and you have exceeded the standard.

        As for the other National Standards – they appear to be causing talented professionals to change their career paths – edication ain’t wot it used t’be.

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