Back to school for Hekia Parata | The Jackal

4 Sept 2014

Back to school for Hekia Parata

It's a pity that National party MPs often spend more time trying to make the numbers fit their flawed ideology so it appears their policies are working than actually doing their jobs properly.

In terms of the numbers concerning crime, unemployment, housing, debt and education, it seems the National party cannot even use a calculator properly. That's the distinct impression one gets after reading this article published by Stuff today:

Parata's higher teacher figures don't add up

Education Minister Hekia Parata has been forced to abandon a claim that National has presided over a 15 per cent increase in teachers - after revelations that Novopay clouded the numbers.

Parata has been quoted for several months saying that, under the present Government, "teacher numbers have gone up by 15 per cent".

But inquiries by The Dominion Post have shown most of the increase stems from a payroll error.

Teacher numbers are recorded in two ways by the ministry - by a head count, and by fulltime teacher equivalents (FTTE).

The head count, which includes fulltime and part-time or relief teachers, increased by 5882 between 2012 and 2013.

The ministry has now revealed this is due to relief teachers not being recorded in a consistent way before the switch to Novopay.

The revised head count shows a 6.5 per cent increase in teachers, from 55,124 in 2008 to 58,707 this year.

The number of FTTEs has risen by 4 per cent over that period - but further inquiries show almost half of those have been funded by individual schools, not by the ministry.

The Education Minister was not only wrong about the numbers, she was trying to take credit for an increase that wasn't being funded by the government. But if that wasn't bad enough,  Hekia Parata failed to come clean about the botched numbers she had been using.

Parata was told by the ministry on Monday morning that her earlier claim did not stack up, and in a radio interview shortly afterwards she made no mention of the 15 per cent increase.

This is standard procedure for National MPs. They make a bunch of incorrect statements, people find out the truth, then they simply go quiet. Unfortunately many of the people who initially heard the incorrect information are left believing what's in effect a bunch of baloney!

Clearly such disinformation ensures that a large amount of Kiwis are making decisions based on incorrect information. In my opinion, that's not a good situation for New Zealand to be in.

National party MPs certainly don't usually make a correcting statement to anywhere near the degree of their initial lies. In fact they hardly ever acknowledge that they were wrong at all. In my opinion such dishonest people shouldn't be in power.