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Poutasi appointment a step backwards

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

9 January 2006

Poutasi appointment a step backwards

National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, says newly appointed NZQA boss Karen Poutasi is bound to fail unless she becomes an advocate for students and not a stooge for the Minister.

“The appointment of a new CEO should have meant a fresh start for the troubled national qualification but Ms Poutasi comes from the health sector where pleasing the Minister is top priority.

“The Health Ministry spends its time implementing policy it knows won’t deliver to please the Government.

“Ms Poutasi will have to choose whether to please the Minister and the education establishment, or fix the NCEA.

“Too much time, effort and taxpayers’ money has been spent trying to defend the indefensible. We cannot afford another year of confusion and chaos surrounding the national qualification.

“Students, parents and teachers need a fearless advocate who will cut to the heart of the problems with NCEA. NZQA’s leadership must have the courage to take on an educational establishment hell-bent on defending the botched system, rather than fixing it.

“Ms Poutasi will have to show she is independent early on or she will be sucked into the NCEA quagmire like the last half dozen chief executives of NZQA,” says Mr English.


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