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March 2014 This month was particularly exciting: we celebrated Waitangi Day, some of us made it to the Wellington Sevens

(others such as myself watched it at home) and we’ve made some fantastic improvements in education – my favourite! Buckle in for another edition of my Epanui.

Guess what? . . .
We have just launched a new website aimed at acknowledging the lifelong impact that teachers have on their students’ lives. The ‘Inspired by U’ website invites people to go online and write a virtual postcard to thank a teacher. Around 200 prominent New Zealanders, including Prime Minister John Key, have taken part and written to a former teacher telling them why they inspired them. I think everyone can remember at least one teacher who had a real impact on their time at school. I am very fortunate that I can remember a range of teachers who inspired me throughout all my years of education. I’d like that to be the experience of every young New Zealander, and that’s why we have been investing in a programme of initiatives to raise the quality of teaching and leadership, and keep, grow, and attract the best in the profession.

Hosting the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in March together with Festivals of Education in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, introducing the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, establishing the new professional body EDUCANZ, and the $359 million investment into better career pathways, are all part of acknowledging the profession, raising its status, and recognising the critical contribution that quality education achievement makes to the future prosperity of New Zealand.

My most inspiring teacher encouraged my love of reading in spite of the other kids thinking it was nerdy! So thanks again Mrs Fitzpatrick.

To contribute your story, go online to

For more information about the Festivals of Education visit, and for the Prime Minister’s Awards go to

Mana Electorate Festival of the Elements
I attended the 2014 Festival of the Elements in Porirua on Waitangi Day. It was such a marvelous way to celebrate such an iconic event in New Zealand history. It was a great acknowledgement of where we came from and who we are as a talented and multi-cultural New Zealand today. It was great to chat with folk and listen to their issues in the electorate. When you see me at any of these events please don’t hesitate to stop me for a chat.

Hongoeka Beach Carnival
I had such a fabulous time at the Hongoeka Beach Carnival. So many smiling faces and vendors braving the Wellington wind and having a great time doing it. There were food stalls, rides, and a thoroughly enjoyable kapa haka performance by St Theresa’s – fantastic! I got to chat with our hard-working Mayor Nick Leggett, who is ever present. Such a great way to spend a Saturday morning,

Education More Students Leaving School with NCEA Level 2

I am pleased to report that the number of students leaving school with an NCEA Level 2 qualification has seen a significant increase across the country in 2013. The provisional results for 2013 show that around 77 per cent of students left school with at least NCEA Level 2, compared with around 74 per cent in 2012—that’s more than 1800 kids with better opportunities and choices than before. That’s an increase of around 10 percentage points since 2008! These results are outstanding and reflect the great work being done in our schools to raise student achievement – particularly amongst our Māori and Pasifika students, where there has been a lift of 4 percentage points and 7 percentage points respectively (up to 58%and 72% - so very good progress, but still a way to go). This is a great step in the right direction, educational success for all children. Over the past two years we’ve focused on collecting data from across the whole education system so we can see how it’s performing at every level and where we need to target resources. It has helped us identify which students need what kind of support through effective and successful programmes such as Pasifika Power Up, Youth Guarantee, Achievement 2013-17, and Trade Academies. While these results are great, it is important that we all keep up this momentum so that even more young people can succeed at school.

For more information visit:

Making Changes that Matter!

Out and about

Good times in Hutt Valley with the City Council and Open Polytechnic launching their Primary Science Education Network, and our new website recognising NZ's awesome teachers:

My girls enjoying the Sevens. “Thanks a minion, Wellington Sevens”

At the Hongoeka Beach Carnival.

What can I say, it was Waitangi! Prime Minister gave another outstanding speech followed by an excellent exchange at the Iwi Leaders Forum. We were able to outline a great track record over the last five years.

A very fun, very entertaining visit to the fabulous Onerahi Kindergartenwhere the kids were all only too happy to demonstrate their many talents, including hand-stands, whistling, and how quickly they could get across the monkey bars!! I then called in for a quick word with The Northern Advocate, before making my way to Waitangi to be a part of the delegation that carried our dear friend Parekura Horomia's kawemate on to Te Tii Marae.where the kids were only too happy to demonstrate their many talents, including hand-stands, whistling, and how quickly they could get across the monkey bars!! For more information or pictures of my whereabouts, events and announcements, please visit my Facebook page or my website

Stay in touch
For any messages, suggestions of events or feedback please don’t hesitate to contact my office at Please feel free to visit my website; where you will find my press releases and other key information. It could trigger you to provide comments or ask questions which I encourage you to do. I update my social media pages regularly with photos, press releases, questions and comments. Please follow me or add me as a friend on or Twitter Please feel free to forward my newsletter to others who may be interested.

Ka mutu…..

Hon Hekia Parata National List MP based in the Mana Electorate Funded by the Parliamentary Service and authorised by Hekia Parata MP, Level 1, 20 Parumoana Street, Porirua.

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