Parata acknowledges mistakes made

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 14:09 24/01/2013
PUBLIC FACE OF BLUNDERS: Education Minister Hekia Parata.
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
MOVING FORWARD: Education Minister Hekia Parata.

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Education Minister Hekia Parata is back to work and acknowledging her mistakes last year, just don't ask her what they were.

Parata accompanied Prime Minister John Key and other National MPs on to Ratana Pa today.

She said she made "one or two mistakes that I need to learn from" last year.

"We have got a world-class education system, but that takes attention and so that's what I'm focused on."

She would not say what her mistakes were.

"It's not my role to critique what happened... I've got a couple of lessons that I'm taking forward and I'm facing 2013 excited."

The announcement around Christchurch schools was one of those things Parata was criticised for last year.

She said she had visited schools, had read all the submissions, and would be talking directly to them.

"I think that I had a very successful range of visits to each of the 36 schools... We will talk to them about what we think our intentions going forward are."

Parata said she knew she had Key's confidence going into the Cabinet reshuffle this week.

"I also have clear expectations from him which I intend to meet."

Asked what went wrong with her relationship with outgoing Education Secretary Lesley Longstone, Parata said she acknowledged Longstone's service and wished her well.

"I've also welcomed my acting chief executive Peter Hughes."

Parata said she was pleased Steven Joyce had been brought in to clean up the Novopay debacle.

Key defended Parata's efforts during his speech on Ratana Pa.

He said there was no one who cared more about the success of Maori children.

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