New Zealand First celebrates Education Minister Hekia Parata's departure
Thursday 20 Oct 2016 5:00 a.m.
New Zealand First MPs are celebrating the resignation of Education Minister Hekia Parata.
The 10th-ranked National Party list MP surprisingly revealed she'll stand down at next year's election.
Most MPs have commended Ms Parata's five years in the education portfolio - apart from New Zealand First education spokesperson Tracy Martin.
"To be frank, I'm relieved. Relieved for the sector. Hekia is passionate about education - I just think she's gone about it the completely wrong direction. So from my perspective, I'm relieved."
Ms Martin says she has concerns about who'll replace her, and hopes the position isn't filled by a white male businessman.
"I saw some names being bandied around were Todd Muller, Chris Bishop - that would be a disaster," she says.
"Those gentlemen are from a business background, not an education background. This is not a portfolio you can just shove people into."
She says Nikki Kaye would be a perfect replacement if she returns from her battle with breast cancer.