Media release from NZ Labour Party
Hekia Parata’s appointment of Catherine Isaac to chair the charter schools authorisation board, despite a clear conflict of interest, shows National still puts political expediency and cronyism ahead of Kiwi kids’ education, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
“The former Act Party President will be responsible for deciding who gets to set up charter schools, yet this afternoon was still featured on the Ministry of Education’s website as the head of the working group tasked with how the schools should operate.
“This is a clear case of someone trying to be poacher and gamekeeper at the same time.
“Hekia Parata apparently recognised that, but failed to follow through and ensure the conflict was appropriately managed.
“Ms Parata clearly doesn’t understand the ramifications of anything she signs off.
“The Minister’s inability to follow up even her own recommendations to rectify this situation shows she is not across her portfolio, nor is she paying attention to the fine print of her charter schools deal with the Act Party.
“Putting Ms Isaac’s affiliations with the Act Party and the cronyism of her appointment aside, charter schools remain a dangerous experiment and are not supported by New Zealanders.
“Hekia Parata’s disinterest in the double-appointment adds impetus to the argument that to National, charter schools are little more than a rat to swallow to keep Act on side.
“Education policy should not be dictated by dodgy coalition bargaining,” Chris Hipkins said.