Parata’s wish list gets some ticks
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.