Hekia Parata

When is a subsidiary not a subsidiary, but an independent and untouchable private fortress? When it's being investigated by the keystone cops at Parata & Sharples Detective Agency

Hekia Parata was triumphant this week that public money was safe on her watch; finally releasing the long-awaited and delayed Ernst Young report into allegations of misspending on the kohanga reo movement she happily declared that an organisation no-one had accused of misspending had not misspent a cent.

It was a killer line about karma from Hekia Parata. Not only did it reveal her true feelings, it encapsulated what the government can expect in 2013 as it heads into its fifth year

Isn't it funny how a single word, a moment of levity, can be so revealing? When Hekia Parata joked that a technical hitch which saw Education Ministry staff missing out on their pay was "karma", it was a simple reference to the Novopay mess and the missed pay so many teachers have suffered in recent months. But it's a pretty good word to set the scene for the government's prospects in 2013.

Two leading politicians are staying put. Risky stuff. And what I'm doing next...

Look at the time, is it 2013 already? I've hardly given thought to anything since Christmas except what needs to be done to keep the kids happy and what jobs need to be done around the house (when we weren't in Onemana or Gisborne). But here are two brief thingamies to kick off the year...

Latest incident of young girl left kneeling in corner during Bible class reinforces need for urgent law change

This morning’s Herald photo of a young girl kneeling by a rubbish bin during a ‘Christian’ class at Red Beach School has shocked me to the core.

In which I work my way through the minister's explanations of national standards and award myself a gold star for effort

I'm not sure I'd pass any national standards, because I'm still confused. Education Minister Hekia Parata has finally released the comprehensive, yet unmoderated, national standards data, but I'm not any clearer what she wants us all to do with it.