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Charter Schools, Education, Government Policy, Parata (Hekia), Privatisation of state schools

Parata’s dance with semantics, pedantry & ratbaggery

Our dear friend, orator par excellence Ms Hekia Parata (or Lady Patricia Gardiner as she was, or Trish) appeared at the education and science committee this morning.

money down drainShe was there to discuss spending, and given she has wasted a cool quarter of a million trying unsuccessfully to close Salisbury School, twenty or thirty or forty million trying to sort out the bodged Novopay system, and god only knows how much in payouts to staff that have jumped ship (or pushed, who knows), you would think she’d be focused on the actual point of the meeting.

But this is Hekia, and when there’s a chance to obfuscate, talk around an issue, be obstreperous, or just plain shirty, welll, she just has to grab that bull by both horns and go for her life, doesn’t she?

What got her panties in a palava?

What was the the very most superbly ever so important thing on her mind today?

“First of all these are partnership schools, that is what the policy speaks of, that is what the estimates refer to and that is what the legislation has enacted into law – they are partnership schools or kura hourua,”

Oh my lordie lordie, don’t tell me someone called them charter schools!  I mean, for real, who calls them that?!

Oh wait…

“The Education Ministry, Ms Parata and Associate Education Minister John Banks originally referred to the schools … as charter schools.”

Jeepers, even The Herald spotted that one.

And didn’t Banksy and WonKey’s Confidence and Supply Agreement also mention charters?

Oh but nothing official would refer to them as charters, would it?  That would be confusing.

Well nothing except the Ministry of Education documents entitled “NZ charter school model”. I opened one of the documents and did a wee CTRL F word search for the word charter.  Over 100 hits.  Yep, nothing to see here – move along.

No(Not) Charter Schools

Let me just see if I’ve got this right.

The Ministry can use the term charter schools.

John Banks can use the term charter schools.

The Prime Minister can call them charter schools, too.

But you riff raffy opposition MPs must call them Partnership Schools.

The Herald, The Listener, The Dom Post, RadioNZ, TVNZ, Scoop, The Truth (RIP) and even dear old Whale Oil call them charter schools.

Parents and teachers call them charter schools.

The Maxim Institute … yep, you guessed it.

But they are not charter schools.

Got that?  Good.

Important Stuff

So, let’s be clear – it’s very super especially important we get it right and call them partnership schools, because no matter how important the meeting is, Lady G is adamant that she “can only answer questions about what I know about, so would you like me to speak about partnership schools?”

Maybe she’s drafting a National Standard for pedantry?  One for semantics?  Ratbaggery? *

big girl pantiesWhatever.

The point is we have to put on our big girl and boy panties and stop this outrageous behaviour.

NO MORE of this charter schools stuff.

Because Hekia says so.


~ Dianne

Sources & References:

Parata criticises the opposition over term charter schools – The NZ Herald

NAct’s Vision for NZ Education (You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours)

The Maxim Institute – Are for-profit charters a good idea?

* Thanks, Lena, for the fabulous term ‘ratbaggery’ – I am forever indebted to you.

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


11 thoughts on “Parata’s dance with semantics, pedantry & ratbaggery

  1. *Patricia, Lady Gardiner – she’s not the one with the title, her husband is.


    Posted by lyne tinkler | June 26, 2013, 10:10 pm
  2. Many ordinary New Zealanders do choose to use the Maori versions of their names. I am totally opposed to charter/partnership schools and have been very vocal about them, but I don’t think that choosing to use the Maori version of your name should be seen as a negative thing.
    I do appreciate the research gone into this article and find it very informative, just don’t want to spoil the points made by having people upset by criticism of the choice of her name


    Posted by Rachel | June 26, 2013, 10:54 pm
  3. Oh Dianne, I love it, thank you for keeping us up to date with the lastest antics of Heikia, and giving us all a good laugh in these trying times.


    Posted by Coll | June 26, 2013, 11:19 pm
  4. It just goes to show how important semantics is to our Dear Leader. Just listening to her tell off the opposition like they were naughty school kids made me grumble and rumble. It also made me think if I wasn’t actually utterly disgusted with what she was doing it would sound pretty hilarious. Like Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes, Prime Minister.


    Posted by boonman | June 27, 2013, 8:36 pm

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