What follows is a transcript of a press conference given by Education Minister Hekia Parata when announcing the closure of the Whangaruru partnership school earlier this week.
HEKIA: Hello everyone. I’ve called you here today to announce the closure of the Whangaruru partnership school in sunny Northland. Despite our best efforts, this school has failed to live up to the high standards we set for education in this country. The board will have time to consider its options and I expect them to make their submission to me early next year before making the final decision. Thank you. Are there any questions?
TRACEY – NZ HERALD: Do you see this as a failure for your partnership schools policy?
HEKIA: Absolutely not. This decision from the government shows the strength of this ACT Party policy. Currently we have 4 out of 5 partnership schools remaining open next year. That’s an 80% success rate. Frankly I would have been stoked with 80% in School C.
ANDREA – TVNZ: Is it true that concerns were raised even before the school opened?
HEKIA: Yes. It’s true there were a few teething issues in the run up to the school opening and the whole time the school was opened. This is to be expected from the exciting world of unqualified and inexperienced educators.
BARRY – NEWSTALK ZB: Isn’t this policy just a joke? Aren’t you a joke? You’re a joke, aren’t you? You joke.
HEKIA: I’m not sure that’s a question Barry, but I’ll answer it anyway. This policy is not a joke. No. I’m not a joke. In fact, I have never been more…
BARRY – NEWSTALK ZB: Stupid joke!
HEKIA: …serious in my entire life. I intend to…..
BARRY – NEWSTALK ZB: baaahaaaahahahahaaaaa. What a great joke!!
HEKIA: Be quiet you toady little man or I will tell on you to the Prime Minister. He knows heaps of people. YOU’LL NEVER WORK IN THIS TOWN AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you all for coming. Good afternoon.
BARRY – NEWSTALK ZB: Total joke.