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Longstone’s exit payment the cost of Parata’s mismanagement

5 March 2013

Longstone’s exit payment direct cost of Parata’s mismanagement

Hekia Parata’s inability to manage her education portfolio has just cost New Zealanders more than $425,000, says Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie has just announced details of the $425,475 exit payment to former Education Secretary Lesley Longstone who quit late last year.

“Ms Longstone was forced to take the blame for Hekia Parata’s repeated failures in education and that has now cost ordinary people nearly half a million dollars,” Mrs Turei said.

“Rather than let her work out her notice, which the State Services Commissioner said would have been normal, Hekia Parata’s relationship with Ms Longstone was so dysfunctional that she had to be shown the door immediately, making the exit payment much higher than it should have been.

“Parents in Christchurch fighting for their kids’ schools to stay open would be sickened to hear so much money had gone down the drain because the Minister can’t manage basic relationships with her staff.

“When Ms Longstone announced her resignation late last year, State Services Commission head Iain Rennie said that the strained relationship between her and Ms Parata had been an important factor in her decision to resign.

“It is crucial for an education minister to listen to people and engage with them respectfully on a range of levels. Hekia Parata has failed to respect pupils, parents, teachers, and her own staff, proving time and again she is just not up to the job,” Mrs Turei said.

ENDS

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