As widely reported, Chirstchurch schools find out their fate today. Parata is due to speak at noon, but some decisions are known already with stuff announcing that at least four schools will be merged.
This is going to be a difficult and traumatic process for the schools and their communities – my heart goes out to them. I also have some sympathy for the government in this position. Clearly some restructuring was necessary in the wake of population shifts after the quakes.
But the Nats have bungled the process at all stages, made it much worse than it needs to be. Hekia Parata is so damaged that she can’t credibly front the process – in a recent poll 59% believe that Key was wrong to keep her on in the portfolio. (This has lead some to suggest, and Key to deny, that she has been kept on simply as “cannon fodder” so that no other minister gets damaged in this process.)
I will update this with further news and reaction in the afternoon.
Update: Seven schools to close, twelve to merge. The Herald has details.