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Lack of answers from Parata shows contempt for schools

Education Spokesperson

15 October 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Lack of answers from Parata shows contempt for schools
Hekia Parata's refusal to answer basic questions about the closure and merger of schools in Christchurch shows her utter contempt for the communities she is tearing apart, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Hekia Parata is legally required to consult on school closure and merger decisions. Yet today in Parliament she refused to answer even the most simple questions about what information the Christchurch schools were given to enable them to participate in that process.

“When the whole school review process in Christchurch went pear-shaped, Hekia Parata shut up shop and refused to give out any information about the basis for her decision making. Now the Courts have quite rightly found her consultation wasn’t genuine.

“In Hekia Parata’s world, consultation means telling people what you’re going to do, asking them what they think, ignoring their feedback and doing what she wanted to do in the first place. Hekia Parata is arrogant, out of touch and just plain wrong.

“The Government should be cringing with embarrassment. If every school in Christchurch facing closure or merger had the energy and resources to fight Hekia Parata’s decisions, they would be in even more hot water. The same concerns that led to the Phillipstown/Woolston decision being overturned apply in most other cases.

"After all the school communities in Christchurch have been through over the past few years, it’s disgusting they’re still being trampled over by an incompetent Minister. John Key should step in now and puts a competent minister in charge of this process,” Chris Hipkins says.


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