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.
She 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?!
“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.
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.
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? *
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.
Sources & References:
* Thanks, Lena, for the fabulous term ‘ratbaggery’ – I am forever indebted to you.