Red Alert

Another Parata communication triumph

Posted by on February 8th, 2013

Within the next two weeks Hekia Parata will be charged with announcing the fate of several dozen Canterbury schools. Consultation on merger and closure proposals ended just before Christmas and Parata  supposedly spent her extended summer break reading them.

While all of those schools wait on tenterhooks to hear their fate, Parata decided today to announce the government’s plans to open six brand new schools in Christchurch. Talk about a slap in the face to all of the schools still waiting to hear what the future holds for them.

Nobody doubts that significant change is required. The population has moved around in Christchurch, and as a result some schools have shrunk to the point where they are no longer viable while others are bursting at the seams.

But there is a way to do this. It starts with respect for the school communities affected. Shepherding all the principals and BOTs into a hall and giving them colour-coded name badges to indicate whether they were closing, merging, or remaining wasn’t a great start. Announcing the opening of new schools before telling the existing schools of their fate rubs further salt into the wounds.

Hekia Parata has a difficult job to do, but she seems determined to make it even harder for herself. Her handling of the Christchurch schooling situation has demonstrated arrogance and a total lack of respect. The people of Christchurch deserve better.

11 Responses to “Another Parata communication triumph”

  1. PlanetOrphan says:

    Punch and Judy Hekia Parata the “Child Genius” strikes again.
    I wonder what else they turtured into her, wait and see I guess,the trailers will give us the highlights…
    Her puppet master must be so proud ….

  2. Dave C says:

    The astounding thing is that all these announcements of openings and closings are still going ahead … WITHOUT ANY RELIABLE DATA TO SUPPORT IT. Presumably Ms Parata fails to realise that the NZ Census (5th March) is being undertaken as a special case this year, out of sequence with the usual 5 year data points, specifically because of the quake and its effects on the population distribution. A census is the ONLY reliable way to let Local and Central government get a handle on what the population of Christchurch has done since the quake – who has moved where and who’s not coming back, and so where the resources for schools will REALLY need to be in the next 10 years. So the entire ill advised program of new school announcements and closures is premature, by at least 8 months.

  3. The Stepper says:


  4. Grant Hay says:

    @ PO 10.50. Hey, just asking; I’m not sure whether you meant tortured or tutored?? :)

  5. PlanetOrphan says:

    Tortured with promises of glory M8!

  6. Jack Ramaka says:

    Appears to me the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in the Education Department at present.

  7. bbfloyd says:

    “the entire(ill advised) program of new school announcements and closures is premature, by at least 8 months”.

    Are they prepared to take this kind of hit just to cause a distracion?

    When I consider the depth, and width of the govt’s attack on the education sector, this may well have reached “acceptable collateral damage” status…. It explains, in a way, why johnny sparkles has clung to parata… To absorb as much vitriol as possible before jettisoning her….

    I refuse to believe that cabinet ministers can be so incompetent on such a regular basis….Or that suddenly, senior ministry staff have forfotten how to do their jobs…

    Sowing the seeds of confusion, and anger among ones enemies has been an accepted method of gaining ones own ends for as long as there has been civilisation of any kind…

    It gives people a target to aim at while the real theft goes on.. Drug traffickers use this method a lot.. allowing a reasonably large “bust” to happen, and while everyone is all excited about that, the real shipment slips through..

    The point is that we should be very suspicios of WHY the gun was so obviously jumped… I await developments with baited breath…

  8. Grant Hay says:

    @ Chris. “While all of those schools wait on tender hooks to hear their fate”

    Ah-hem; that would be “tenter hooks”…

  9. Mac1 says:

    Ah-herrumph-hem, ‘tenterhooks” actually………. 😉

  10. I would blame auto-correct, but until I looked it up I frankly didn’t know the difference :-)

  11. Grant Hay says:

    @Mac1. :) Wow! Someone more pedantic than I am myself. True, tenterhooks is a compound, but at least its component parts still make perfect sense in a sentence. Literally meaning “stretching hooks”. (A very clever piece of imagery as it evokes the sense of being held under tension while waiting for something to be completed).

    People who say tender hooks probably also speak of “a hard road to hoe” and compared to hoeing a row, roads are indeed very hard. They probably also “sew doubt” in one’s mind rather than “sow doubt”…