Hekia Parata

Shows how seriously the Greens take Education

The lowest ranking given to any MPs who did not quit at the election was the 2 out of 10 to Green MP Catherine Delahunty, despite her being said to have had a “brighter year”,

The lowest ranking given to any MPs who did not quit at the election was the 2 out of 10 to Green MP Catherine Delahunty, despite her being said to have had a “brighter year”, and NZ First’s Richard Prosser, though it was noted he had “kept his head down” since his “Wogistan” comments.

She still has not fronted to her outrageous lie about visiting charter schools when she hasn’t done any such thing.

If Hekia Parata claimed to have visited a school but hadn’t what would the Greens be demanding? ¬†¬† Read more »

Labour needs to lose dead wood, but how?

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Dave Armstrong at Fairfax writes about Labour needing to chop out some dead wood.

Boom boom! Last week began with pure farce as New Zealand’s largest centre-Left party performed the latest episode of Labour Behaving Badly.

Like a naughty fourth former who had just received bad end-of-year reports, Labour’s caucus rounded on leader David Cunliffe, who had bravely led them down the garden path to their worst result in almost a century.

Cunliffe could rightly argue that winning was always going to be a big ask and that he did his best. But he should know that it’s only in big multinational companies where CEOs are heaped with praise and massive bonuses after a disastrous result.

Cunliffe did well in the debates and drove himself to exhaustion in the final fortnight but it was too little, too late.

Yes, Dirty Politics and the Moment of Truth denied him oxygen but it was the first six months of his leadership where the real damage was done.

Various distractions, often thanks to leaks from both sides of the House, and too many gaffes never allowed him to focus on issues. Even during the campaign he made the mistake, as he later admitted, of not working more strategically with the Greens.

Read more »

Do we really still need the Maori seats?

The Maori seats are becoming a bit of a joke.

They have the lowest voter turnout, were supposed to be temporary and now after the last election seemingly irrelevant when 19 Maori were elected in general seats.

About the only use I can find for Maori seats is that it parks a whole bunch of Labour votes that might make the difference in general seats like Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and East Cape and sequesters them in irrelevance.

Parliament now has more Maori MPs than ever before, prompting one commentator to question whether Maori seats were still needed.

Nineteen Maori MPs have been elected in general electorates and on party lists. Once the seven Maori seats are included, the total number of MPs who identify as Maori is 26 – up from 21 in 2011.

This means one in five MPs in the new Parliament were Maori, compared to one in seven in the general population.

The National Party’s caucus is 15 per cent Maori, including two MPs likely to be given high-ranking portfolios – Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata.

The growing proportion of Maori in Parliament was met with mixed responses from Maori leaders.¬† Read more »

The Devil wears the Number One Shoe Warehouse

 

Rachel Glucina¬†has run an unflattering piece about¬†Nikki¬†Kaye, in her 10 Questions part of her column (they don’t mention her but it is all about her as the only other MP with a revolving door for staff is Hekia Parata).

Nikki Kaye has become the enfant terrible of the National party.

2¬†Which diva MP has lost five members of staff in less than a year? Disgruntled former staffers describe her as “The Devil wears Number One Shoe Warehouse”.

The substance of the story is that¬†Nikki¬†has lost almost as many staff as Hekia because they can’t deal with an exceedingly unpleasant woman who believes bullying is a good way to get her own way.¬† Read more »

ACT education policy may suit National as Parata wants more charter schools

Sophia Duckor-Jones at ZB reported

Education minister Hekia Parata says the government’s considering a second round of charter schools.

The comment comes after an announcement from the ACT Party which wants state schools to be able to elect to become a charter school.

Ms Parata says the government has commissioned an evaluation of the model before they can make any further decisions.

ACT’s policy won’t be popular with the PPTA – as it¬†is opt-in bulk funding by another name

ACT made the establishment of partnership schools a condition of its confidence and supply agreement with the National-led government, and it now wants to extend the policy.

Leader Jamie Whyte unveiled the party’s education policy in a speech today, saying all school boards should be able to opt out of control by the Ministry of Education and be bulk funded according to the number of students they attract.

“This policy entails no additional government spending,” he said.

Five partnership schools were opened this year and another five are expected to open in 2015.

“These few schools come under constant attack for being additional to the current stock of state schools and therefore reducing the funds available to them.

“The answer is to give all state schools the option of becoming partnership schools,” he said.

The policy will give teachers freedom to adapt their methods to their students and schools the freedom to innovate.

I wonder what ACT will take into any coalition talks as their number one policy.  It will probably be this one.

- NZN

Waikato Times editorial slaps Hipkins too

Hipkins! ...eyes front and pay attention!

Hipkins! …cut the jibber jabber, eyes front and pay attention!

Chris Hipkins has tried to bag National Investing in Education Success (IES) plans as he goes about his ban-a-thon.

The Waikato Times have also acknowledged that he doesn’t know what he is talking about it and has failed to even notice the PPTA support.

Hipkins’ report card on Parata’s handling of the policy said a Labour Government would “almost certainly” dump it. Labour’s own model (to be announced within the next two weeks) would draw on teacher expertise to improve educational outcomes. But, according to the PPTA, that’s what Parata has done – and it welcomes the results.

Labour’s education spokesman, Chris Hipkins, has given Education Minister Hekia Parata a low mark for trying to introduce the expert teachers policy, “Investing in Educational Success”.

Because of the lack of input from school leaders, he said, she “has failed spectacularly” and “clearly needs to go back to school to learn what consultation actually means”. But perhaps Hipkins has failed to assess all the relevant material. Earlier this month, Parata released a report on the shaping of the $359 million policy to create a new career structure for teachers after consulting with the education sector.¬† Read more »

Sledge of the Day

Paula Bennett and Duncan Garner get in some good sledges on Trevor Mallard in our sledge of the day.

Read more »

‘You’re joking’ – Prime Minister

As if we needed any proof that blood is thicker than water, turns out that National Party stalwart¬†Sir Wira Gardiner, husband of National Party Cabinet minister Hekia Parata, funded Labour MP Shane Jones’ bid for the party leadership with what he hoped to be a $1000 secret donation.

Claire Trevett, who’s been working hard over Easter, reports

Labour MP Shane Jones’ party leadership bid was part-funded by a cash donation from Sir Wira Gardiner, husband of National Party Cabinet minister Hekia Parata.

Mr Jones revealed to the Herald that Sir Wira gave $1000 and NZ Oil and Gas board member Rodger Finlay also donated money to help the MP to pay for his campaign to win the Labour leadership last September.

Ms Parata did not learn about the donation until last night.

Sir Wira told the¬†Herald¬†he was still a “paid-up Tory”, but wanted to encourage Maori leadership.

Sir Wira would like to see a fellow bro do well, over and above his National Party leanings. ¬†But it has hit John Key in the forehead with virtual four by two ¬† Read more »

Marlborough Express on the Teachers Council

The Marlborough Express editorial about the woeful inadequacy of the former Teachers Council is particularly relevant, especially the bit about carping teacher unions.

Little wonder teachers are protective of the Teachers Council. It’s probably only polite since it has been so very protective of them.

Unhappily, this has been at the expense of accountability to parents and the public.

The new body is going to have strengthened abilities to exert disciplinary process on errant teachers; and it will have a much more independent look to it rather than the status quo of teachers sitting in judgment on themselves – which they’ve been doing in exquisite privacy.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says new legislation improves teacher registration, enhances reporting requirements and provides a greater range of options when dealing with disciplinary matters. That last bit is particularly important.

The PPTA believes the new body has too much policing power, such as naming teachers facing disciplinary inquiries, which raises the protest that it could jeopardise “natural justice”.

Let’s remind ourselves how well natural justice has been getting along under the Teachers Council.¬† Read more »

Cavalier attitude to NCEA stuff up results in coverup

Jo Moir reports

Hundreds of NCEA students who asked to see their exam booklets have been sent other people’s by mistake.

The revelation that 455 students were sent other people’s booklets this year was news to principals, who were not notified about the blunder, although Education Minister Hekia Parata was.

Only 260 students, ranging across all NCEA levels, contacted the Qualifications Authority to say they had the wrong booklets. Of those, 169 were then sent the correct booklets; the other 91 cases remain unresolved.

A subcontractor’s computer glitch has been blamed for the error, which NZQA discovered in January.

Subcontractor’s computer glitch. ¬†Really.

This is the new way to shift blame: ¬†the unnamed sub contractor did it. ¬† The same “reason” was used to limit the damage of the Peter Dunne / Andrea Vance email investigation. ¬†When they realised they stuffed it up, it was all the fault of some nameless, faceless subcontractor.

Tawa College principal Murray Lucas said he was made aware of the error by a student, and was “disappointed” NZQA had not contacted him directly.

“It’s a difficult situation for students to deal with, and I’m disappointed to have to hear these things from the students.”

Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins said NZQA should have been upfront about the botch-up.

“When a breach like this occurs, people should be told about it, and to sweep it under the rug is unacceptable.”

He said it was disgraceful that Parata knew about the issues and did not make a public statement or insist schools be notified.

However much it pains me to agree with Hipkins, he’s damn right and he’s not even going over the top.

When problems like these are discovered, you notify all the stakeholders.   Mistakes happen.  We can get past those.  But what we have here is a clear attempt to contain the damage by trying to cover it all up.

And now, neither the NZQA nor Parata are taking any responsibility because it was just a little data corruption on some unknown third party’s PC.

Bollocks.

NZQA had addressed Parliament’s education and science select committee since it became aware of the error, but did not reveal it. “It’s pretty outrageous they haven’t given full disclosure about this,” Hipkins said.

Parata said she was told about the problems in January, and updated again in February by NZQA.

“While it is a regrettable mistake, I have been assured by NZQA that further quality checks have been put in place to ensure this type of error does not take place in future.”

NZQA deputy chief executive of assessment Richard Thornton said the error was not a privacy breach because the exam booklets did not contain any information that could identify a person.

He said the next step would be to contact schools directly.

Parata will regret trying to keep this quiet in an attempt to let the NZQA hide the problem from the public.  It is much better to admit to a problem than to have to defend the cover up.

Parata is an awful education minister. ¬† How do I know? ¬†Well, this is election year, and the NZEI and PPTA are as quiet as a mouse… it appears they would like to keep her in the job for another 3 years rather than face the uncertainty of having to cope with the likes of Ryall or Joyce.

 

– Stuff