After my Weekus Horribilus I thought I would spend some time both clarifying what I had said compared to what was reported I had actually said.
Indeed, when you consider the disproportionate way in which what I never said was reported as what I actually said remained unreported and then compare with what I thought I wanted to say, then I believe a much clearer picture emerges of both what I said and what I was meant to have said.
Firstly, let me make a few observations about the Herald on Sunday. Their article quoted me as saying I was in favour of funding schools based on the achievement of their students. This was neither true nor correct. What I actually said was that the decile funding system left much to be desired and although many people thought it archaic and surplus to requirement a replacement of this system would only take place after a series of intense consultations with both the teaching fraternity, their unions, the union sub-committees, the union’s national committee and any other person or body who wished to make their views known on the subject. After this careful level of consultation we would go ahead and implement our original policy – funding schools based on the progress of their students as measured by a vast array of assessments, most of which were used by teachers to assess their students against the national standards.
Secondly, there is nothing going on at the Kohanga Reo. Absolutely nothing. We sent in some of the finest chartered accountants money can buy. We flew them in on a specially chartered private jet to assess both the performance of the trust and whether there was any improprieties. After exhaustive interviews lasting several minutes they left assured that there was absolutely nothing going on at the trust. In fact several members of the trust were very helpful in pointing our accountants in the right direction and they were made cups of tea and given access to some of the finest biscuits available through the Countdown Home Brand brand.
So you can see everything is absolutely fine. We are not bringing in performance-based funding for schools and there is nothing untoward happening at the Kohanga Reo national trust.
I would also like to announce we have called in the Serious Fraud Office to look into whether the committee members at the Kohanga Reo national trust actually bought Home Brand biscuits for our accounting team but claimed the GST back at the Signature Range rate. This could possibly leave taxpayers out of pocket to the tune of 78 cents and draw the ire of all manner of taxpayers, including the Taxpayers Union, which is neither a union nor payers of tax.
Finally, you’ll all be pleased to know that I’ve been sent on gardening leave by the National Party re-election committee.
And my magnolias are flourishing. Or are they?
Hekia Parata, Education Minister.