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Patrick Gower: Parata's apology 'gobbledygook'

Tuesday 19 Feb 2013 10:59 a.m.

By 3 News online staff

Education Minister Hekia Parata is defending her decision to close or merge 19 Christchurch schools, and talking to Firstline this morning was loathe to say "sorry" for the upheaval and stress it's causing.

Under questioning from anchor Rachel Smalley, Ms Parata said she understood that "some communities are very disappointed", and that her ministry had learned lessons following last year's bungled announcement.

But 3 News political editor Patrick Gower, also appearing on Firstline, said her attempt at an apology was "bureaucratic gobbledygook".

"If the guy who's the head of Novopay can say sorry to Campbell Live, what's the big deal Hekia? Come on."

Her performance this time around, however he deemed "perfectly adequate".

"Closing schools is an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially in Christchurch, but this aspect – after the u-turn of course – yesterday's work, this morning and all the other media I've watched, she's handled it as well as many other ministers could.

"The problem for Hekia Parata is her performance last year has made her such a big target that people can't actually see that, and it's going to take her months and months and months of not putting a foot wrong to maybe get back into the public's good books – if at all."

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