New Zealand Labour Party

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

An apology from Hekia Parata to the people of Christchurch is long overdue, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

"As if the earthquakes weren't traumatic enough, Hekia Parata and the Ministry of Education then attacked the one thing that had provided stability and consistency - the local schools. 

"The school review process in Christchurch has been horrific. The government subjected already traumatized communities to even more stress and strain.

"Hekia Parata herded school leaders into a hall only for them to discover halfway through the meeting that the colour of the name badges they'd been given indicated whether their school would stay open, merge or close. She couldn't have inflicted more trauma if she'd tried.

"Following the earthquakes there was an enormous amount of goodwill towards local schools and the need to look again at how the network of schooling might need to change. Hekia Parata shattered that good will with her ham-fisted approach. 

“As Minister the buck stops with her. It’s time to say sorry, Hekia.”