Labour attacks a public servant for her sister

Kate Shuttleworth at the HoS reports:

Minister of Education ’s sister has been given one of the ministry’s top jobs. …

Labour spokesperson for education said there was a concern Apryll Parata’s promotion came so quickly after her sister was appointed minister.

“There is a perceived conflict of interest. People will draw all sorts of conclusions given the proximity of the appointment.”

They hounded Madeleine Setchell out of the public service because of her boyfriend’s new job, and now they target Ms Parata because of her sister.

Many top public servants have had siblings in politics. Mark Prebble had roles in DPMC, SSC and Treasury and his brother was Richard Prebble. Should he have not been promoted because of Richard?

Apryll Parata is one of seven Deputy Secretaries and has been a Deputy Secretary since February 2007. Her recent promotion is not of title, but of responsibilities. Parata was also the youngest ever female principal of a state secondary school. One bio states:

Apryll Parata arrived at Ngata Memorial College after the school’s roll had dropped to 72 students. Truancy was rampant, and the professional standards of teaching and management had been neglected for years. In the five years that she was principal, the roll more than trebled, truancy was nonexistent, and academic qualifications were lifted  significantly. The college moved from an academic achievement rating in the bottom five percent of the country’s secondary schools to the top of schools of its type in three years.

Yet Labour attack her having the wrong sister.

Green spokesperson for education said Apryll Parata had been involved in education for a long time.

“It’s not someone who is coming in from the outside with no knowledge. It does become interesting when it’s two sisters running the Ministry of Education because it does sound to the public like it puts power in the hands of one family.”

She said her main concern was about the direction the ministry was taking, not the personnel.

Bravo the Greens. Delahunty resists the cheap shot.

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