Parata’s wish list gets some ticks

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

It was Budget bliss for Hekia Parata last week.

The Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, who will be cam­paign­ing for the Mana seat later this year, cut a con­tented fig­ure as many items on her ed­u­ca­tion wish list were ticked.

Parata was par­tic­u­larly up­beat about the $155.7 mil­lion boost for early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, which would im­pact on fam­i­lies in Porirua and Tawa.

‘‘From my per­spec­tive, this ex­tra spend­ing [$12.8 bil­lion over­all, up $0.4b] is so good for par­ents and fam­i­lies,’’ she said.

‘‘ It keeps fees af­ford­able and means we will in­crease early child­hood par­tic­i­pa­tion across the board.

‘‘When we put $85m into op­er­a­tional grants for schools and $ 172.5m for new schools and class­rooms, spend­ing more than the rate of in­fla­tion, it’s ex­cit­ing.

‘‘The feed­back has been es­pe­cially good and it makes all the work ev­ery­one is do­ing worth­while.’’

She said per­for­mance pay would not be on the agenda, but spend­ing $359m for lead­er­ship and qual­ity teach­ing was.

‘‘If, as a teacher or prin­ci­pal, you get one of the new lead­er­ship roles that will be­come avail­able, yes, you will get a raise in salary.

‘‘But it is not like the per­for­mance pay people think about.

‘‘ There should be more un­der­stand­ing around this.’’

She said her thoughts had not turned to cam­paign­ing against Kris Faafoi for the Mana seat yet.

Her du­ties lay in ed­u­ca­tion un­til Par­lia­ment rises in July, she said, but that was not to say she was not be­ing seen lo­cally.

‘‘There will be no cam­paign­ing till that time, but I will be giv­ing it all I’ve got from then un­til the elec­tion [on Septem­ber 20].

‘‘I take my min­is­ter’s role very se­ri­ously, but I’ll be out and about in Mana as much as I can.’’

Happy: Hekia Parata said she has re­ceived over­whelm­ingly good feed­back on the ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tives in last week’s Budget.

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