Prime Minister Bill English has today announced the appointment of Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education, replacing Hekia Parata who has announced her resignation from politics.
“As education minister, Ms Parata has changed the conversation in our schools and driven sharp rises in achievement for all our students, particularly Māori and Pasifika," says English.
He described Nikki Kaye as a "very well qualified successor".
In a recent interview with Education Review, Kaye conveyed her hope that the education portfolio would come to her but didn't want to do herself out of a job. As Associate Education Minister, she already has great involvement with the portfolio.
Exiting Minister Hekia Parata told Education Review she expected her successor would be able to just "slipstream" in to the role.
“I feel content about leaving at this time,” she says. “I think a whole lot of stuff will come together very quickly.”
She has set a “very clear programme” for the new Minister to follow on with. There is clear policy in place, funding has been secured for the digital platform to support this, the funding review is in progress, she says.
Parata dismissed the idea of an extended handover with her successor, saying that the new Minister will want to get on with it without her looking over their shoulder.
“I shall be a very compliant back bencher for the next four months,” she says.
After that, Parata intends to spend some quality time with her husband and her two adult daughters.