web analytics

What price an apology?

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, June 12th, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: education, john key, Media - Tags: , ,

Parents and teachers are calling for Key to apologise over the stress and anxiety that his government has caused them over the last 2 weeks. Want to guess how Key handled it?

The Prime Minister is refusing to apologise to parents and teachers over the Government’s botched education reforms. John Key admits it made a mistake, but that’s as far he’ll go.

Two weeks after the Government lined up education for funding cuts, it reneged. But it was two weeks of stress and anxiety for teachers and parents. “I think that they caused the teachers and the head teachers a lot of stress that was unnecessary,” says parent Kirsty Stewart. For that, parents and teachers are calling for an apology. …

The Ministry of Education and its minister spearheaded the reforms, but all of Cabinet approved them.

“Cabinet needs to take responsibility,” says John Key.

Usually when someone makes a mistake, especially one which causes such a stir, it’s followed by “I’m sorry”.

So will John Key say it? “No,” says the Prime Minister. “But I think parents would see very closely that the Government has listened.” …

I could speculate about the various charitable (and uncharitable) interpretations of Key’s refusal here, but cutting to the chase, I think he is dead wrong to withhold an apology. Most of the media isn’t playing suck-up any more, so this becomes a very bad look indeed…

(3 News screen shot – ouch!)

23 comments on “What price an apology?”

  1. Bunji 1

    Got to it before I did!
    Interesting read in The Herald as well.

    Basically, we were right, the public is wrong, but we played it wrong, so we couldn’t get our way.

    He said he would describe the idea of teacher “quality over quantity” as the right one. “But the execution of the idea was poorly handled and we all need to take some responsibility for that, including myself.”

    I’m not sure why the false dichotomy between quality and quantity, or why he thinks quantity has no influence on quality but…

    Also astounding in the same article:

    Asked if the Cabinet had been told about what the potential level of job losses would be on schools and technology centres he said: “No, not to that level of detail, no.”

    They’re proposing cutting back on teachers – frontline staff, as promised not to – and they’ve not gone into the ‘detail’ of how many jobs will be lost?

    Seriously?

    None of the 20 in National’s cabinet thought that was worth raising? JK, Bill, Paula, Tony, Steven, Kate Wilko, Amy Adams, Craig Foss, Crusher, etc etc… NONE of you thought that was worth asking?

    Seriously?

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    To me the main issue is the ‘teacher quality’ which should be pursued regardless.
    Has class sizes become the ‘third rail’ of education politics ?

    Reminds me of Victoria in Australia, when they wanted to cut under performing teachers, they just looked at the amount of sick leave taken and used that as the measure of ‘quality’ and those affected were made redundant without replacement.

  3. shorts 3

    a politician… of any type apologise… as if that’ll happen

    politics is more important than anything to these people and most of the commentators – here as well as other places

    if policy & the details mattered they’d not have bungled this as they most certainly have

    viva the revolution

    • Zorr 4.1

      The stance is essentially the same but De Niro wears it comfortably where his character is confident in the power that he wields whereas Key comes across as a naked emperor the day after… “What? Who, me?”

  4. Dr Terry 5

    The government has backed down because it has been forced to “listen”, with much reluctance (note Parata), and only under such large pressure. The usual stance is, of course, to remain stubbornly obdurate (eg asset sales, retirement age etc). Now, so suddenly, they have discovered the word “listen”. I am not sure where they got it from. Possibly from Lewis Carroll (though doubt they are that educated!):

    “”Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
    Be off, or I’ll kick you downstairs!”

    • Fortran 5.1

      Give serious thanks to the media, without whom the Teachers unions and the mothers would not have succeeded in changing the Nats minds.

      Now the media are leading the Superannuation charge as the next project.

  5. Ross 6

    The government won’t apologise because it feels it doesn’t need to. National still intend to make cuts to education and this faux pas will be a temporary reprieve for the sector.

  6. felix 7

    Heh, the media are starting to publish pictures that actually look like him now. Good.

    But this: “I think parents would see very closely… ” WTF does that mean?

    How come a chimp can learn basic sign language but a PM can’t learn English?

  7. Ross 8

    Over at Stuff:

    Comment From Kristen
    “Thanks for backing down on the class-size thing, but I’d like to know what you’re going to cut in education to make up the savings you would have got from cutting class sizes.”

    John Key:
    “We are working on that, but worst case scenario we will have to take it out of next year’s new Budget spending provision.”

    So under the worst case scenario, no school will lose any teachers and class sizes won’t get any bigger?

  8. Ross 9

    And in another Stuff comment:

    Comment From Year 12 Sos Hghs class
    “How would you feel about class sizes going up in your son’s school? ”

    John Key:
    “Totally fine, if they were of the magnitude being previously proposed. I care much more about the quality of the teacher standing before my son.”

    This simply confirms what I said earlier. Key has no intention of apologising because he supports the policy of teacher cuts and larger classes.

    • tracey 9.1

      does key understand that the teacher in front of his son is probably there because of

      Low class size
      Quality of resourcing
      Salary

      Make them stand in front of 30 with few resources and a lower salary and his son is in a state school. He should be asked how he measures the quality of his son,s teacher, is it by his sons grades?

  9. irascible 10

    An apology would be an admission that KeY and his cronies are inept, inadequate and incompetent as, like Mugabe, they only understand the word inpower there will be no apology or admission of failure.

  10. Georgy 11

    None of what the govt has done around class size should surprise anyone – no proper analysis of the effect of the policy and no questions asked. Thought it would be a breeze increasing classes by a couple of kids. Who could really oppose that if it is going to lead to some sort of magical improvement in the quality of teaching.

    A government with no plan.

    A government with no heart.

    Every national MP should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

  11. Georgy 12

    Given the recent reports on NZ ‘s educational achievements being in the top few internationally, what is the goal around teacher quality? What the hec is it if it isn’t already there?

    The real goal should be identifying where the need to improve outcomes for children is. Develop a strategy around that. Schools that are already doing well will continue to do well and improve under their own steam as they have been for years.

    More resources for teaching, and maybe teaching quality, should go into the areas where pupil achievement needs to be addressed.

    Instead of fixing things that aren’t broke, target the money to the area of need.

  12. tracey 13

    Frankly parents cld have avoided the angst if they listened to the teachers and principals, not just on class size but all education issues. Being a parent qualifies you for an opinion but doesnt make you an expert on teaching. Victims of crime dont determine policy policy, largely the police do, why tge difference in education?

  13. tracey 14

    It has never been about quality its been about cutting costs, the opposite of what is happening in govt funding of private schools. Does it count as welfare that we taxpayers subsidise mr key,s son,s education when he is perfectly able to afford unsubsidised fees? I wonder how much the pms trust have donated to his children,s schools over the years

  14. Roy 15

    Cabinet nees to take responsibility? Damn, I thought the Prime Minister was supposed to be part of Cabinet? Quite an important part, in fact?

  15. tracey 16

    Pm: the buck stops (points in both directions) over there

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • IRD had foreign trusts review on action plan
    The IRD was so ready to review foreign trusts it had the review on its action plan in November 2014, just before the Revenue Minister met with John Key’s lawyer, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The IRD… ...
    30 mins ago
  • IRD had foreign trusts review on action plan
    The IRD was so ready to review foreign trusts it had the review on its action plan in November 2014, just before the Revenue Minister met with John Key’s lawyer, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The IRD… ...
    30 mins ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Māori
    I wrote this blogpost sitting in Parliament listening to the Attorney General’s first reading speech on the Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress and Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Ranganui Claims Settlement Bill. He has acknowledged the impact of colonisation that made… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 hours ago
  • Rebuilding Christchurch – a lost opportunity?
    In rebuilding Christchurch, the city has a rare chance to build in a sustainable, creative and people-centred way. We can create a city that is so much more than a simple re-construction of buildings and transport links. Christchurch could be… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    23 hours ago
  • Rebuilding Christchurch – a lost opportunity?
    In rebuilding Christchurch, the city has a rare chance to build in a sustainable, creative and people-centred way. We can create a city that is so much more than a simple re-construction of buildings and transport links. Christchurch could be… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    23 hours ago
  • Minister must ensure 111 issue is fixed
    The Police Minister must ensure the 111 fault is fixed as an urgent priority as a 40 minute wait can be the difference between life and death, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. “The Police have said the fault lies… ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing
    The National Government has made New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The latest International Monetary Fund report shows New Zealand had the world’s second fastest growth in house prices at the… ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing
    The National Government has made New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The latest International Monetary Fund report shows New Zealand had the world’s second fastest growth in house prices at the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hospital meals making you sick
    I don’t know about you but I felt a bit sick watching Health Minister Jonathon Coleman eat supposed Dunedin hospital food last week.  Dunedin people have tolerated a crumbling hospital, lower access to services, longer waiting times and gross food… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 day ago
  • Hospital meals making you sick
    I don’t know about you but I felt a bit sick watching Health Minister Jonathon Coleman eat supposed Dunedin hospital food last week.  Dunedin people have tolerated a crumbling hospital, lower access to services, longer waiting times and gross food… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 day ago
  • Key needs to stop shifting and come clean
    John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Yet again information has to be… ...
    1 day ago
  • Key needs to stop shifting and come clean
    John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Yet again information has to be… ...
    1 day ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits Zaatari refugee camp
    Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, Zaatari in Jordan, a day after seeing New Zealand troops at Camp Taji in Iraq. Mr Little spent several hours in the camp, meeting… ...
    3 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    4 days ago
  • OIO must explain Argentine pollution prosecutions
    The Overseas Investment Office (OIO)has questions to answer about how it safeguarded our sensitive land by allowing foreign investors with criminal prosecutions to purchase Onetai Station in Taranaki, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe.   “Rafael and Federico Grozovsky… ...
    4 days ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Murray McCully needs to come clean over Tokelau ferry debacle
    Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to come clean on why a New Zealand aid-funded vessel intended to service the Tokelau Islands is delayed, over budget and failed its sea trials, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The new ship… ...
    4 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits NZ troops in Iraq and refugees in Jordan
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has visited New Zealand troops at Camp Taji, Iraq. Mr Little also met with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled Al-Obedih and senior military officials from the Coalition forces in Iraq. He now heads to Jordan to see… ...
    5 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    5 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister must come clean on implications of landmark settlement
    Gerry Brownlee has urgent and serious questions to answer in the wake of today’s landmark EQC settlement, which potentially has major implications for thousands of Cantabrians, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. ...
    5 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    5 days ago
  • Dam not out of doldrums yet
    Ruataniwha Dam promoters Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) still has hurdles to clear and a lot of work to do before ratepayers and taxpayers will have confidence in the scheme, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.“We need sustainable… ...
    5 days ago
  • New study shows Smith’s insulation fails Kiwi kids
    A new Otago University study shows Nick Smith’s inadequate insulation standards will see hundreds of children unnecessarily hospitalised for housing-related illnesses every year, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    6 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    6 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    6 days ago
  • John Key’s land tax could push up rents
    A land tax proposed by John Key as the answer to the housing crisis could push up rents and risks having no effect on skyrocketing prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Government needs to explain why the thousands… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government should ban foreign speculators
    The Prime Minister’s musings about a land tax on non-resident buyers is just more tinkering, and the Government should just ban foreign speculators as the Australian Government has done, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is classic John Key.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must protect Pharmac as promised
    John Key must tell New Zealanders that he will not bow to pressure from wealthy drug companies or their US negotiators and put Kiwi lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.   “News reports today have the drug… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere