Below is almost as funny as a developed country having someone without even an undergrad degree (Tracey Martin) as board chair of its Qualifications Authority
For anyone who wonders why the Ministry of Education needs 3,400+ officials – it has been solved. When one person – Jo Martin (no relation to Tracey) – sent a letter to the Minister about her donations to a school to help with teacher aides it took many Ministry officials to deal with it. Beginning by withdrawing services from an 8-year-old with autism and ADHD through to a major butt covering exercise. A timeline is below. But first – the answer to the second most important question re Life, the Universe and Everything – how many tax-paid bureaucrats does it take to deal with one complaint from a parent? …. 32 plus a Minister. Amazing what you can discover through OIA’s (although almost never within 20 days).
True story! It took all of these people: Helen Hurst, Vincent Fallon, Philippa Pidd, Deidre Alderson (the hit-woman), Isabel Evans, Nicky Hampsire, Peter Wood, Tom Dibbly, Emma Drysdale, Sam Bowkett-Howe, Steph Ng, Jo Davies, Chris Owen, Natasha Dingle, Peteli Proasa, Sohini Smith, Lorraine Monahan, Olga Berezovsky, Sally Scott, Puspa Nana, David Wales, Jess Brenton, Sue Wilson, Blythe Wood, Carolyn Grace, Doug Ferry, Jann Marshall, Tania Black, Danielle Ryan, Vanessa Harold, Olivia Funaki, Usha Jeram plus Minister Hipkins (he eventually read it 10 days after receiving it and after doing press on it and drafting replies).
July 6: Villa Education Trust (VET) and associated families in receipt of the Designated Character School application rejection letter from Minister Hipkins that contained the, now infamous, statement: “there are available supports for all learners in existing State schools”.
July 6: 7pm Jo Martin directly emails Hipkins (CC Holsted/Evans) the information about paying $2,700 per term as a donation to her 8-year-old’s school to provide teacher aiding for her son with autism and ADHD – because there “isn’t available supports for him”.
July 7: 9:03am Deidre Alderson contacts the school of Jo’s 8 years old and, among other statements (bringing in auditors, don’t contact the families yourself – leave it to the SENOS, etc), demands that they refuse the donations and effectively withdraws the service from the child. Deidre Alderson’s official title is Deputy Director if Learning Support. You could not create more irony unless you wrote a book called The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump.
July 7: 5:05 pm. A Ministry of Education representative contacted the Minister’s office regarding the email of 6 July. The Minister throws the official under the bus by noting: “The Ministry of Education does proactively contact my office when I and the Ministry receive the same correspondence as standard practice. [i.e. they should have and they didn’t]. Hipkins has also noted: “the Ministry has acknowledged, and I have passed on to the parent, that it would have been more helpful and would have cleared up some of the confusion around this matter, had they contacted her directly.” And has had to publicly admit that some children do need assistance than the State provides and that donations to assist are fine.
July 9: Alderson and Vincent Fallon gloat together about the effect her actions had on the Martin family and the bullying of an 8-year-old boy. Alderson even lies in the internal memo by blaming the action on the Minister.
July 9: Deidre Alderson and Vincent Fallon lead the Ministry of Education team in the mediation over the NZHRC carrying forward a complaint about the discrimination against neuro diverse learners. The two parents associated with VET are furious given things said in the meeting … now knowing the record that Deidre has in this situation. She absolutely should not have been the person sent along after her actions against the Martin child.
July 16: Hipkins finally reads the email from the parent himself.