Parata changes answer to Parliament

By Kate Shuttleworth

Hekia Parata.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Hekia Parata. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Education Minister Hekia Parata has corrected an answer to Parliament about the resignation of Education Secretary Lesley Longstone.

Ms Parata told Parliament on Tuesday during question time she had not been consulted by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie before he accepted Mrs Longstone's resignation.

Yesterday during question time it was revealed by Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins that Ms Parata corrected her answer in Hansard at 9:55pm on Tuesday.

She corrected it to saying while she was not consulted at the final stage of the commissioner's decision to accept the resignation, she had been involved in earlier discussions.

Mr Hipkins asked Prime Minister John Key yesterday if he had confidence in Ms Parata, given she repeatedly denied having been consulted on Lesley Longstone's resignation and $425,000 payout during question time yesterday.

Mr Key replied: "I think the minister, on reflection, decided that she did need to at least clarify her answers, so she came in to correct them.

That was the first available occasion that the House could allow her to do that, and it is actually normal for people to have to correct answers. I have had to do it, other ministers have had to do it, and the leader of the Opposition has had to do it.''

Ms Longstone resigned from the post last year and tensions between her and the minister were cited by Mr Rennie as reasons for her departure.


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