Press says Parata listened

May 24th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

editorial:

The proposal that the Minister of Education, , put forward yesterday for changes to five in the eastern suburbs is a compromise and will not please everyone.

It does, however, demonstrate that the minister has been prepared, as she promised, to listen to the submissions made to her from the community and to change her mind in some areas. The consultation process will continue – the schools still have 28 days to respond to this interim proposal before Parata will announce a final decision.

I’d say the Government has been very flexible and accommodating with its decisions around schools. Around 25% of initial decisions have changed.

It is a pity that this level of consultation was not undertaken before rather than after the appallingly mishandled initial announcement for the reorganisation of Christchurch schools was made last year.

Yep. That poisoned the well. The primary fault lay with the Ministry, but the Minister is responsible and should not have just left it to the Ministry to do.

So far as the eastern suburbs were concerned, Parata originally proposed that five schools – Aranui School, Avondale School, Wainoni School, Chisnallwood Intermediate and Aranui High School – be combined at the Aranui High site to create one school that would take pupils from year 1 to year 13.

The idea was to take account of the fact that many of those schools had facilities and grounds that were damaged and had suffered sharp declines in enrolments that were expected to continue, probably for several years.

Parata’s new proposal is to combine four schools, leaving Chisnallwood Intermediate to continue to operate separately. This compromise, if it goes ahead, will please Chisnallwood, which strongly opposed the original proposal, but will disappoint Avondale, which also did not want to join with the other eastern schools.

It should also please Aranui, Wainoni and Aranui High, since it largely reflects their submission to Parata that they have a similar spirit, were a natural fit and should unite at the Aranui High School site.

Leaving Chisnallwood out of the new proposal makes sense. A very large proportion of its enrolment already comes from outside its zone. If it had been combined with the other schools, most of those pupils would almost certainly not have gone to the new site.

Does seem sensible.

Yesterday’s announcement leaves 17 still to hear final decisions on whether they will merge or close by the end of this month.

After the uproar at the beginning, the ending is much less tumultuous. To some degree, that must be because of the intensive discussions that have taken place in the interim.

If Parata deserved blame for the botchup at the beginning, she deserves some credit for being prepared to listen and if necessary change her proposals since then.

A fair editorial.

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12 Responses to “Press says Parata listened”

  1. OneTrack (2,732 comments) says:

    “The primary fault lay with the Ministry, but the Minister is responsible and should not have just left it to the Ministry to do”

    If the minister is responsible, then what do we need a Ministry for?

    It seems that, in New Zealand 2013, it has become necessary for the Minister( generally, not just Education) to literally hold the public servants hands every step of the way. Do they have to help them go to the toilet as well? If the public servants are that incompetent (as Labour and the Greens seem to think based on their comments) , how about we just get rid of them and outsource to the private sector. Apparently they couldn’t do a worse job. Is that what the hard left really means?

    You probably meant the minister is accountable, but the question still remains.

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  2. flipper (3,750 comments) says:

    Education…but on a different matter.
    And, perhaps more important from an educational viewpoint (CHCH is a political , not education issue), and worthy of DPF’s URGRENT attention by way of a separate post, is the NZ Herald’s excellent editorial on independent (from the Ministry and the unions) professional body to speak for all teachers and to maintain professional standards.

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  3. Paulus (2,539 comments) says:

    You can expect that the Unions in Teaching will do everything to slow down/stop any changes to their rorts.

    Under a Greenpeace/Labour government they will continue with their divisive rule, as well as cancelling Charter schools (except Maori ones, which have existed for some years now anyway).

    flipper correctly defines the holy city of Christchurch as political, entirely so in all things, so that Labour can get back the seats they lot at the last elections.

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  4. tvb (4,229 comments) says:

    She still comers across as very haughty and arrogant and she did made some elementary political errors. She will not go any further in politics. Having a regal bearing and looking down on people will not advance her career.

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  5. rouppe (932 comments) says:

    The primary fault lay with the Ministry, but the Minister is responsible and should not have just left it to the Ministry to do.

    Really? Does the Captain steer the ship and plot the course? The CEO of my company decides the goals and direction of the company. The Programme directors turn that into streams of work they want to do to effect those goals. Those streams of work are undertaken by teams of professionals. If we were to do such shit work that a project that we implemented caused chaos and outright revolt among the front line staff we wouldn’t have a job much longer. The CEO certainly wouldn’t the one blamed and censured. The Ministry is absolutely at fault and the appropriate staff at the Ministry ought to have a pretty poor performance review coming up. They do have performance reviews, right?

    Compare this with Phil Heatley and the Ministry of Primary Industries. He has squarely and publicly told the Ministry they did a shit job and even though no heads are likely to roll (this time), I think there will be a few officials looking for a copy of the Yellow Pages to stuff down their trousers before next reporting to that minister.

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  6. flipper (3,750 comments) says:

    Rouppe…
    You mean Nathan Guy.
    Heatley is no longer a Minister. Other than that, an excellent comment that I whole heartedly support. :)

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  7. thedavincimode (6,574 comments) says:

    Having a regal bearing and looking down on people will not advance her career.

    It worked for Klerkula for nine years.

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  8. RJL (145 comments) says:

    Press says Parata listened

    Perhaps it would be a better idea to ask the schools whether or not she listened?

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  9. BeaB (2,072 comments) says:

    What amazes me is that the public service and the bosses demand high salaries because they would be so much in demand in the private sector, according to them of course, yet week after week we hear about their stuff-ups, many of them simple but major like the paperwork for our meat exports to China. Not even to mention the constant leaks and mis-sent emails and privacy breaches.
    Even after all these years of supposed reform our public service is still more akin to Gliding On than a smart, efficient and effective stewards of the public good.
    I pity the Ministers. They can’t possibly be aware or even informed of every single matter yet they have to carry the can. And when someone like Nathan Guy places the blame where it lies the PSA is outraged.
    I think it is time we demanded much higher standards from this over-paid army of jobsworths.

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  10. Viking2 (11,215 comments) says:

    If the public servants are that incompetent (as Labour and the Greens seem to think based on their comments) , how about we just get rid of them and outsource to the private sector.

    Apparently they are and so one draws the conclusion that as these are public servants who almost surely vote Labour or Green than the Labour and Greens would be seen to be calling their own people incompetent.
    Ironic really. :lol: :lol:

    By the way, out sourcing sounds a darn good idea.

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  11. Johnboy (15,382 comments) says:

    If Christchurch schools are just going to educate even more Crusaders supporters they should all be closed. :)

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  12. rouppe (932 comments) says:

    Flipper,

    Whoops. You are correct.

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