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Hekia Parata is the Minister of Education.

Hekia grew in Ruatoria and is of Ngati Porou, Ngai Tahu, and Pakeha descent.

She attended Manutahi Primary School, Ngata Memorial College and Gisborne Girls’ High School before completing a MA at Waikato University, where she was also President of the Waikato Students’ Union.

Hekia has lived and worked in Wellington for most of the past 30 years during which time she has worked in both the public and private sector, holding senior policy and management positions and running a successful consultancy company with her husband Sir Wira Gardiner, advising clients in New Zealand and internationally.

Hekia came to Parliament after the General Election in November 2008. “I believe that the role of the Government is to create an environment of opportunity and choice, enterprise and growth; to provide high quality education and health services and law and order; to invest in and reward self-reliance, personal accountability, and an attitude of reciprocal obligation; to support families and communities to be self-determining and self-directed; and to limit the size and intrusion of the state so that people can be powerful actors in their own lives.”

She has served as the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Minister for Ethnic Affairs, the Minister of Energy and Resources, and Associate Minister for ACC and for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

Hekia and Sir Wira have two daughters. Outside of her family and work she enjoys reading, movies, and netball. She has competed in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge and completed both a triathlon and a half marathon. She is both astonished and proud.

Latest news by Hon Hekia Parata

Minister celebrates Te Matatini

Education Minister Hekia Parata wishes those involved in Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival in Hastings this week all the very best.“Te Matatini is the pinnacle event for Māori performing...

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New NZSL achievement standards and resources

Education Minister Hekia Parata today welcomed the release of NCEA Level 3 achievement standards and assessment resources for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “These new achievement standards and assessment resources...

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Increasing confidence in assessments

An innovative tool designed to improve the consistency of teacher judgements about student progress is being made more widely available. Education Minister Hekia Parata, today launched a new site that demonstrates...

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Contact Hon Hekia Parata


1 Molesworth St
Wellington, Wellington 6011
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(04) 817 6829