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

  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago