Ach, just when you think you have heard it all, Hekia manages to open her mouth and spew forth another gem.
Despite Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem deeming the Christchurch schools closures and mergers consultation process to be questionable enough to warrant an investigation, Hekia is yet again flying in the fact of the facts.
An Ombudsman’s probe last year found the ministry “acted wrongly” in how it handled official information requests on proposals affecting Christchurch schools.
But there’s nothing at all wrong and nothing to worry about at all, apparently.
No, Hekia says it’s all good: “Ms Parata says she did everything she could.”
In fact she goes one further and says that the process was ” a pretty good job”. Source
Run that by me again.
” a pretty good job”
Tell that to the schools, parents and others who tried to get information through the OIA and were fobbed off.
The teachers’ union, NZEI, put out a statement yesterday saying “We also hope the Minister of Education is prepared to listen seriously to the Chief Ombudsman’s findings and engage with Christchurch school communities in a way that is more respectful and credible than in the past.”
It’s not looking promising, is it, NZEI, let’s be honest.
And it’s not just Christchurch schools that have been rail-roaded by Hekia and the Ministry – Salisbury School for special needs girls has been treated despicably, too, and now – having won a court case to halt its closure – is finding the Ministry is employing underhand tactics that will see it close eventually anyway. Truly, these actions are not just despicable they are quite possibly illegal, too.
Christchurch schools have to have their submissions in tomorrow. The inquiry is to be done the second half of the year. Many commentators have pointed out that the Ombudsman’s investigation could well lead to legal challenges once decisions are announced regarding those schools.
This is no way for a democracy to run.
This is no way to treat our communities, our children, our education staff or our parents.
If there is a true and rigorous reason for a school to close, so be it. If that is the case then there should be no need for hiding facts, refusing to share information, obfuscation and downright lies.
So why, Hekia? Why are you treating schools this way?
And who is next?
Anyone who has information relevant to the investigation should contact the Ombudsman:
– Telephone on 0800 802 602,
– File an online complaint at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
– Email info@ombudsman. parliament.nz