Time for Hekia to go

Hekia Parata should follow Lesley Longstone’s lead, and resign as Minister of Education, say Chris Hipkins.

The Secretary of Education has resigned today after just 13 months in the job – about the same period of time that Hekia Parata has been Education Minister.

“Hekia Parata has been a disaster as Education Minister.  Everything she has touched she has stuffed up – from class sizes and school closures to Novopay and charter schools – her tenure as Minister has been a series of blunders, botch-ups and bungles.

‘It is just not tenable for Hekia Parata to continue as Education Minister.  She is not up to the job, her credibility is shot and New Zealand’s children deserve better.

“I’m not surprised the relationship between the Minister and Lesley Longstone was strained – Hekia Parata has tried to blame everyone but herself.  She might want to point the finger Lesley Longstone, the Ministry and her officials, but the buck stops with the Minister.  She is responsible for the litany of failings in education this year.

“So now Hekia Parata has pushed out the Secretary of Education, no doubt leaving the taxpayer to pick-up the tab for her early exit from her five year contract.  But New Zealanders will have little confidence that things will improve as long as the Minister remains in place.

“John Key must be wondering just how long he can continue to leave Hekia Parata in charge of the education of New Zealand children.  The Prime Minister should think long and hard whether she is up to the job,” says Chris Hipkins.