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A Brief History Of Hekia’s Mistakes

Acting Education Spokesperson

25 January 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

A Brief History Of Hekia’s Mistakes

In the spirit of bi-partisanship, Labour’s acting Education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins, has today offered to assist the Education Minister, Hekia Parata, remember some of her mistakes from the last year.

“Hekia Parata is one of John Key’s smoothest communicators, but clearly her memory is not all that it might be. Maybe she suffers the same brain fades as her leader.

“Well, I’m here to help,” says Chris Hipkins. “Here’s just a few of Hekia’s greatest mistakes.”

Class Sizes: “Hekia Parata’s plan to increase class size was doomed from day one. It was always a dumb idea, and no amount of spin about improving teacher quality at the same time was going to convince parents. She only backed down when she was over-ruled by her superiors, and to this day argues she was right.”

Christchurch Schools: “Another epic mistake. From the colour-coded name tags for principals at the announcement of school closures that reflected the fate of their school, to the botched data used to justify the decisions, the Education Minister has ridden rough-shod over the teachers and parents of Christchurch. Her handling of the future of education in Canterbury has been appalling.”

Novopay: “Hekia Parata can try to blame the contractor, she can try to blame Craig Foss – but in the end she signed off on Novopay going live. And she did so without even asking to see the results of systems testing.”

Salisbury School: “She tried to close Salisbury School, but the courts told her she acted unlawfully, plain and simple.”

“That’s just four of Hekia Parata’s biggest stuff-ups from her first year as Education Minister to jog her memory. There are plenty more if she turns her mind to it.

“But as serious as each of those errors was, perhaps her biggest mistake was not to ask John Key to take the Education portfolio off her in the Cabinet reshuffle. Schools, teachers, parents and children will be paying for that mistake right up until the next election,” says Chris Hipkins.



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