Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not a conflict

Labour is accusing Education Minister Hekia Parata of a conflict of interest over a new Christchurch character school. why? Because it will be run by her second cousin:

The school, Te Pa O Rakaihautu, was endorsed by the ministry just weeks before work began on the overhaul of the city's education in October last year.

It is understood the final application is lodged and awaiting approval. Te Pa is chaired by Parata's second cousin, Rangimarie Parata Takurua, sparking accusations from Labour of a conflict of interest.

I oppose nepotism and corruption, but this is ridiculous. Most people don't even know who their second cousins are. Its a relationship so tenuous that it matters only to genealogists; the idea that it could constitute a conflict of interest in and of itself is simply absurd.

There may be good reasons to oppose this school's application, but this is simply not one of them. Labour needs to find better ammunition than this.