Hekia Parata

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.


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.


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

Two bad polls for Labour, Cunliffe has zero traction


One News and 3 News both had polls tonight. Both polls show that David Cunliffe is failing as Labour leader and is now plumbing the depths that Bill English charted when he was leader of National.

English debuted as leader around 14% and slowly slid into insignificance. David Cunliffe is the same. He must now be under real pressure both from his caucus and his members. It is telling that like his caucus, just one third of Labour voters prefer him as PM. In the OneNews/Colmar Brunton he is on 8% and in the 3News/Reid Research he is on 9%, well below the worst results David Shearer ever produced.

Labour’s smear campaign against Judith Collins and Hekia Parata have failed demonstrably along with their stupid crony capitalism campaign.They should give it up, it hasn’t worked at all.

As for their vaunted forestry policy, that has gone down with voters like a cup of cold sick. Instead of launching a policy for a few elite forest owners they should have been talking policy idea that resonate with middle NZ but they haven’t, instead talking over their heads.

All the game changers they’ve announced have indeed changed the game…in favour of John Key and the National party.¬† Read more »

Teachers Union claims excessive inequity the problem

Seriously?  Their whole award system to ensure everyone is paid the same.  How can this possibly be excessive inequity?

The country’s largest teachers’ union will march on Parliament today protesting against growing inequity in schools at the same time as the education minister is hosting an international summit.

NZEI has organised rallies in Wellington and Auckland timed to coincide with the hosting of OECD education ministers and union leaders, who are discussing best practices for lifting student achievement.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said she was disappointed with the protest timing, especially given NZEI’s involvement in the organisation of the summit and being part of previous delegations to New York and Amsterdam.

She would continue to have a relationship with the union, which was one of the objectives of the cross-sector forum that was set up following the first summit.

“We will continue to try to work together but it does take two.”

Nga Kura-a-Iwi, a federation representing Maori schools, has also spoken out against the NZEI and the “disrespect” it has shown the summit.

Co-chairwoman Arihia Stirling said it was an “inappropriate time to be airing dirty linen”.

Heh.  Running foul of protocol with their Maori brethren.

“It’s wrong to do this now, we don’t have people dying in the street, we don’t have people bleeding at the hands of the education sector . . . it’s poor judgment of the leadership of the union to do this at this time.

“Why would you air your dirty linen in front of the world when it’s imperative we get the rest of the world down here to learn and strengthen our education system?”

The NZEI was welcoming summit guests with one hand and slapping them in the face with the other, she said.

NZEI vice-president Frances Guy said she was surprised by iwi reaction, given they had consulted with the Maori arm of the union before organising the rallies.

“We believe this conference is all about equity and inclusion and making sure the best education is available for our tamariki.

“I’d be surprised if anyone at this conference could not see that as important,” she said.

“Our rally is about that and how inequities we have in New Zealand need to be addressed.”

Seems to me the NZEI isn’t in control of its own people. ¬†On the one hand they are helping with the summit to constructively work on some ideas, and the other part of the NZEI turns up to protest the summit. ¬†FAIL.


Another secret diary…this time it is Hekia’s turn

Fairfax has another Secret Diary of…

Normally these are the work of Steve Braunias but today there is no byline.

Still it is pretty funny, especially considering the answers Parata gives in parliament to questions.


I think what we need to do is arrive at a point, and I think we have arrived at that point, and the point is that there are very clear indicators – and I want to make it transparent that I have considered a whole range of factors, and taken them into account – the message I’m wanting to relay is that I think what you are left with at the end of the day is a very strong indication and a very strong suggestion that I am, in all possibility, totally insane.

Quite possibly totally insane am I, but there are several mitigating factors which have to be factored into account, and I want to make it quite plain now that the last person at fault – if there is a fault, and I make no admission of fault – the message I’m wanting to communicate is that I’m blameless.

Mental illness affects many in our community, including Parliament. You can catch it off a tap. But you can’t turn it off like a tap. It’s like a tap that just keeps dribbling, frothing at the mouth, the water babbling like a brook. A babbling brook am I, caused by bad thoughts creeping into the brain’s water supply. ¬† Read more »