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Harawira wants to see Parata sacked

SIMON DAY
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2013

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Queen of controversy Titewhai Harawira has called for Hekia Parata to lose her role as education minister in her final shot of the Waitangi holiday.

"I think she should be sacked. What good has she done for education?" she said. "You have got the students who are suffering and the parents who are unhappy. Why shouldn't she have her portfolio removed from her?"

In April last year, Ms Parata sacked the board of trustees at Moerewa School in Northland after they ignored orders to close the year 11 to 13 classes. The school and its pupils defied the order to close but eventually the senior school was shut.

"When she first got that portfolio, her first action was to close down the senior school at Moerewa where those senior students were doing really, really well," Mrs Harawira said. "And without any full consultation with the teachers or the parents that school was shut down."

When those students were shut out of the school they had their futures taken away from them, she said. "Where are they today? A lot of them got pushed into a school that had disastrous results for Maori students. The rest are just lagging around, no jobs.

"She started there. And now she is moving to close the schools in Christchurch."

There was a lack of communication in the Education Ministry that stemmed from Ms Parata, Mrs Harawira said. "And Maori pride ourselves on the ability to sit and discuss our problems. She hasn't done that."

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- The Dominion Post

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