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Mike's Minute: Jan Tinetti represents shoddy government leadership

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 31 May 2023, 9:34am

Mike's Minute: Jan Tinetti represents shoddy government leadership

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 31 May 2023, 9:34am

If you are a regular to this show, then you will know my interest in the Jan Tinetti scandal.  

There is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind, or I suspect anyone who has followed this, that she misled Parliament.  

It has been going on for several weeks now and her conduct has, at last, caught up with her.

You could argue this is a bit beltway - and it is.

But it's important because it is representative of just how shabby our leadership is.

Tinetti is a minister of the Crown and a woman who is in charge of an education system that is in crisis. An education system whose performance is embarrassing, whether it be in the basics of literacy and numeracy, or the basics of simply turning up on a regular basis.

It's not all Tinetti. Her predecessor, a guy by the name of Chris Hipkins, has a lot to answer.

But what Tinetti did was interfere with the ministry's release of attendance stats. They made her look bad, so she tried to delay them.

And having interfered with their release, she then claimed she didn't.

This little tail of skulduggery has been expertly executed by National's education spokesperson Erica Stanford who, sitting day after sitting day, has needled away and asked question after question.

Now, the trouble with Question Time is a minister can, and often does, BS their way through an answer. So, you have to be clever in your question line - and Stanford has been.

You can also tune in on any given day and be lost in a myriad of detail and wonder what on earth this is all about.

And that is why moments like this are never really covered. The media will argue we don't care and we lack the attention span to deal with it.

But Parliament is important and Question Time is important, if for no other reason than it is the Opposition's best attempt to get to the bottom of matters, away from the spin and press releases of the outside world.

Most importantly, it puts the Government on notice and on record. You simply can't mislead the house, which is what Tinetti appears to have done.

It ultimately goes to who you are, what your morals are, how good are you at your job and how much you hide behind noise and excuses.

It's also a good example of a party that has long ago run out of talent. Hipkins did all the jobs previously because there was no one else and when he became Prime Minister we got Ginny Andersen in police and Tinetti in education.

How's that going for them?

Anyway, the Privileges Committee has extraordinary power. They won't use it because they are spineless and also dominated by Labour MP's, but the embarrassment should be enough.

Very few ever get referred. Tinetti has the shame of being one of those few.

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