Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Tuesday 19 Feb 2013 5:40 p.m.

Sorry is one word politicians really seem to struggle with, but after Campbell Live forced a sincere apology from the chief executive responsible for Novopay last night, 3 News wanted to hear it from the other people involved too.

Three ministers signed off the botched payroll system responsible for 110,000 people, and though all have now apologised, some took more encouragement than others.

Now it is up to the so-called "minister of everything", Steven Joyce, to mop up the damage.

“I remain sorry,” says Mr Joyce.

Craig Foss and Bill English also apologised, but they get no bonus points from the boss, who says getting results is what counts.

Education Minister Hekia Parata spent a minute-and-a-half on Firstline being apologetic about Christchurch school closures without actually saying the 'S' word, and on Novopay she was just as cagey – seven times 3 News asked her, and seven times she dodged the question.

But by 2pm, and some strategising up in the Beehive, she did it – twice. School staff have been waiting a long time to hear that from Ms Parata.

The apologies by all three ministers were carefully worded, and with the exception of Mr Foss, all stopped short of actually accepting responsibility for the Novopay mess.

3 News

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