Hekia’s Big Win

Mana List MP Parata Promoted to Education Ministry and Front Bench

By Alan Tristram

Kapiti/Mana’s  well-known list MP Hekia Parata is the big winner in a Cabinet reshuffle by PM John Key.

She’s been promoted to the front bench as Education Minister, ousting unpopular Anne Tolley. She’ll also be Minister for Pacific Island Affairs – important in Mana which has a huge Pacifica population.

She has vaulted from 20th position to 7th in the Government hierarchy.

Promotion too for Nathan Guy

Otaki MP Nathan Guy has moved inside Cabinet after being minister outside Cabinet in the previous term.

Mr Guy becomes Minister of Immigration, Racing and Veterans’ Affairs.

Another politician well-known,or notorious, in the area — Steven Joyce — is moved out of his controversial role as Transport Minister and Expressway proponent (this role will be taken over by heavyweight Minister Gerry Brownlee).

But Joyce has in fact been promoted to the Front Bench and takes on the role of Minister for Economic Development (from Brownlee).

He also picks up the vacant position as Minister of Science and Innovation left free by the retirement of Wayne Mapp.

He will also carry on as Minister for Tertiary Education.

Mr Key praises Hekia

On Ms Parata’s meteoric rise, Mr Key says: “Hekia Parata will build on the good work of Anne Tolley in the Education portfolio, particularly around the implementation of National Standards, one of National’s key policies to boost student achievement.”

Ms Tolley becomes Minister of Corrections and Police, and Deputy Leader of the House..

Judith Collins has been made Justice Minister and takes on the ACC and Ethnic Affairs portfolios, while Tony Ryall keeps his role in charge of Health and State Owned Enterprises.

Paula Bennett keeps the Ministry of Social Development and Youth Affairs despite losing her Waitakere seat in  the general election.

Chris Finlayson remains Attorney General and Minster for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Dr Nick Smith remains Minister for the Environment and Climate Change and picks up responsibility for Local Government.

David Carter receives the Primary Industries portfolio, which combines the Agriculture, Biosecurity, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Forestry portfolios.

Jonathan Coleman picks up Defence, State Services and Associate Finance, while Phil Heatley picks up Energy and Resources while retaining Housing.

Amy Adams, Nathan Guy and Craig Foss all come into Cabinet.

Some of the other ministerial positions were already decided as part of the coalition agreements.

United Future’s Peter Dunne is Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health and Conservation and Act’s John Banks becomes Minister of Regulatory Reform, Minister for Small Business and Associate Minister of Education and of Commerce.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples retains the Maori Affairs portfolio and will be Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Corrections.

Fellow co-leader Tariana Turia will be Minister responsible for Whanau Ora, Minister for Disability Issues, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Housing.

The new Ministers will be sworn in by the Governor General on Wednesday and New Zealand’s new Parliament will sit for the first time next week.

Comfortable majority

The announcement comes a day after National secured a confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party, giving Key’s coalition a 64 seat majority in the 121 seat Parliament.

Key says the confidence and supply agreement signed with the Maori party has created a comfortable majority for National.

 

I am hopeful that Hekia Parata will be more open to engaging with the education sector – there are several significant issues that educationalists have raised that unfortunately Mrs Tooley totally disregarded and would not listen to the chalkface practitioners or pay attention to evidence based reasearch.
* ECE cuts that are forcing low income Kapiti families out of early childhood education.
* National Standards are being forced on schools despite parental and BOT rejection of NS as a failed overseas educational approach that are now being ditched by other countries.
* Quality Public Education vs charter schools.

Really thrilled that Hekia Parata. Must congratulate her and Nathan Guy; they both have a big jopb ahead of them but I am sure they are really capable of doing their job extremely well.