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Minister plays the blame game

Minister plays the blame game

The Minister of Education, Hekia Parata must take responsibility for the Te Pataka Ohanga debacle, said Labour’s Māori Education Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.

“In the House the Minister blamed the Te Kohanga Reo Trust saying ‘I have done my job – the Trust hasn’t done its’.

“Hekia Parata has done a complete back flip. She has gone from an arm’s length approach to allegations concerning Te Pātaka Ohanga, to now sending a fresh set of concerns to the Serious Fraud Office.

“This is remarkable behaviour by someone who had the chance to get on top of the issue in October last year.

“Instead she embarked on a review that could not address substantial and serious allegations relating to a 100% owned subsidiary of the National Kōhanga Reo Trust, Te Pataka Ohanga.

“Who knows what the Minister paid for a report that delivered a blank page and the inability to respond to negative public perception around an important institution.

“Hekia Parata has refused to see the importance of responding to serious allegations and her bumbling over the matter is likely to cause further damage to the Kōhanga brand and create unease amongst whānau because they too want answers.

“This is not the first time that the Minister has made a shambles of her portfolio. We have endured u-turns over class sizes and Christchurch schools and controversy over performance pay and performance funding for schools.

“This is a Minister who refuses to see the most obvious concerns and steamrolls ahead with an agenda without listening.

“Did she even listen to officials who advised her on this matter? I doubt it.”

Ends

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