"The Minister is talking in platitudes but saying nothing new!" according to Leanne Otene, Principal of Manaia View
School in Whangarei and executive member of Te Tai Tokerau Principals’ Association.
"I was very disappointed that on the TVNZ Sunday Programme, all my Minister could do when confronted with the reality of
teaching, was to mouth the same old clichés and platitudes," she said.
"Watching the Sunday Programme brought tears to my eyes," said Ms Otene.
"It was so real, so poignant. What you saw is exactly what it’s like. It’s what happens every day in every school in
Northland. Teachers are crashing and burning and feel like they are being taken for granted by their Minister!" she
Ms Otene said her staff felt the same way. She said, the support voiced by many parents since the Sunday show aired on
television, shows that they understand teachers do care, do work hard, and get poorly paid for their efforts. Yet the
one person who should understand seems more interesting in finding excuses than answers, she said.
"Successive governments have relied upon the aroha and goodwill teachers’ for too long and we have had enough," she
Ms Otene said, "Before being elected to Government, I remember the current Minister sitting in meetings asking what was
needed for education to move forward. We told him and he said he understood. We believed him. Now he needs to actually
do it instead of just promising."