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Action: Stop Charter Schools

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, January 21st, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: democratic participation, schools - Tags:

The chance to submit your opposition to Charter Schools closes this Thursday 24 January.

Our country’s teaching professionals are pretty much united in opposition to Charter Schools – where they have been tried overseas they are seeing (as with National Standards) a decline in relative educational outcomes.  That is: systems that were behind us are falling further back.

So the PPTA and the NZEI are urging you to make your opposition known.  An easy submission form has been set up, or you can follow how to make your own more detailed submission.

If you want to read a good article on the subject, on the Wall Street Journal Diane Ravitch – formerly a strong proponent of national testing as well as charter schools – explains why those policies are failing the USA.

Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?  Do you want public schools to become ghettos between publicly-funded but essentially private charter schools who can pick and choose their students?  If not, submit now!

90 comments on “Action: Stop Charter Schools”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?

    Because it is a little known central plank of the policy that random people will be compelled to send their kids to Charter Schools against their will.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.1

      I’m sure there will be enough wingnut dupes for one or two, and Brian Tamaki will surely require his victims’ offspring to attend, but Catherine Isaacs openly admitted that she intends to enable about thirty of these attacks on children to commence.

      In South Auckland and East Christchurch, do you honestly believe there are enough dupes and other victims to create thirty of these crime scenes?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        So, one way of answering Ben’s question:

        Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?

        Would be:

        Then don’t send your kids to a Charter School (or home school them).

        • Bunji 1.1.1.1

          It seems unlikely anyone will want an unqualified teacher – so why are we spending our scarce resources on these schools?
          Does this not just seem like ideologically-driven government waste to you?

          In reality, it seems likely that no school will go with unqualified teachers (and fail) – so why give them the option?
          And we’re still left with “publicly-funded but essentially private charter schools who can pick and choose their students”… They’ll get extra cash from Destiny or similar to teach creationism or similar, and thus have better resources – before you know it you end up with a warped system like the US. Under-resourced public schools taking the difficult children, and charter schools teaching more-able children weird things. Sound great to you?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.1

            No.

            I was addressing the somewhat narrower point that the post contends that people would be forced to send have their children taught by unqualified teachers.

            Which is not true.

            That is all.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “Which is not true.”

              Nope, you don’t have any basis for that conclusion: that shill Isaacs said thirty stolen schools would be opened. How are they going to find enough willing fuckwits in East Christchurch (or South Auckland) without a form of compulsion?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                You know that it is pretty uncontroversial that the person making the assertion (Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?) is the one that must prove it.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.2

            No.

            I was addressing the somewhat narrower point that the post contends that people would be forced to have their children taught by unqualified teachers.

            Which is not true.

            That is all.

            • fatty 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I was addressing the somewhat narrower point that the post contends that people would be forced to have their children taught by unqualified teachers.
              Which is not true.

              wrong…it would be true in some circumstances if charter schools were using unqualified teachers within poor areas. For many parents, the closest school is the only option, therefore they would be forced into accepting unqualified teachers.
              Freedom of choice depends on having the opportunity to use other options…not just other options existing. Most of the 200,000+ Kiwi kids in poverty do not have the opportunity of a second option regarding where they get their schooling.

  2. BM 2

    Who makes a better teacher, guess it depends what the subject getting taught is.

    Just say one of the subjects was IT, who’s more qualified Lprent or some wet nosed thing straight out of teachers college?
    According to what I read here lprent wouldn’t make the grade, not qualified unfortunately.
    Bit of a shame really because I’m sure he’s got a bit more knowledge than the “qualified teacher”.

    • geoff 2.1

      What’s the provision in a charter schools system for minimum acceptable teaching standards?

      • BM 2.1.1

        I’d say, demonstrable experience in the subject they’re teaching.

        • fatty 2.1.1.1

          I’d say, at a high school level, its the ability to stimulate learning, rather than just knowledge.

          • The Urban Maori 2.1.1.1.1

            Having demonstrable experience and being able to impart said knowledge are two completely different things.
            To use a sports analogy, great players don’t necessarily make great coaches.

            • BM 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A lot of teachers suck at teaching, problem is it’s impossible to get rid of them, year after year after year they suck the enthusiasm and interest to learn out of school children.
              I don’t see this as being such an issue within a charter school.

              • One Tāne Huna

                BM, having already demonstrated you know less than nothing about teaching, you go on to deliver another brainless howler.

                Tell me, Einstein, if NZ teachers are so crap, how come their pupils do so well in independent tests?

                Your whole argument is complete shit.

                My question is, are you making it up, or are you just simply parroting lies you’ve been told like a pathetic dupe?

                It must be one or the other: either you’ve made this bullshit up yourself, or you’re regurgitating lines. Which is it?

              • fatty

                A lot of teachers suck at teaching, problem is it’s impossible to get rid of them, year after year after year they suck the enthusiasm and interest to learn out of school children.

                OTH is right…where did you get this idea from? Please provide a reference for this.
                Its just been one ignorant statement after another from you BM.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2

          Really, would you. So if they’re teaching Maths, say, they have to have been employed as a Mathematician. Uh huh. And what about pedagogy? Where does the ability to teach figure in your delusions?

          Do you even think about the garbage you spout, or will you just parrot any old bullshit?

          • BM 2.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, because they’re going to hire motor mechanics to teach maths.
            Do you even think about the garbage you spout, or will you just parrot any old bullshit?

            Unqualified teachers = not in the union, that’s the real issue isn’t it.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m thinking more church elders to teach biology.

              • BM

                America != NZ.
                Anyway, if some people want to set up a Christian || Muslim || Buddhist school, I don’t see an issue.
                School covers only a fraction of the stuff you’ll learn during your life.

                • McFlock

                  In case you haven’t noticed, we have some literalists in NZ, too.

                  And I love the idea that it’s okay to have any old nutbar teach any old thing in school, because school’s suddenly unimportant.

                  In that case, truancy wouldn’t be a problem.

                  • BM

                    I didn’t say school is unimportant.
                    Reading, writing and maths is very important.
                    Everything else is just a taster to see which way you want to go in your career, that’s where I think “unqualified” teachers have a role.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, because everything beyond the three Rs is strictly about finding a job.

                      What a load of shit.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2.1.2

              BM, I note your miserable abject failure to answer the question: what will your mythical wizards know about pedagogy? You do know what that is, don’t you?

              I’d hate to think that you just started running your mouth without having the first clue about the subject to hand.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2.1.3

              Unqualified teachers = not in the union, that’s the real issue isn’t it.

              Yes, I think that is your only reality-based objection.

              What a piece of dogshit you are, attacking children’s education because the teachers want to freely associate with one another.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.2.1.4

              “Unqualified teachers = not in the union, that’s the real issue isn’t it.”

              Treasury reckons it’s a stupid idea too. Well known pinkos and union boosters the lot of ’em.

    • Scintilla 2.2

      BM, schools are obliged to adhere to the NZ Curriculum (2007). Secondary schools doing NCEA are obliged to tailor their teaching to the NCEA standards, approx. 6 standards per subject. In some subjects there is more room to move in terms of what contexts can be used to teach concepts as required by the curriculum. But you still have to make sure that what you’re teaching will enable students to pass the standards. So, a great subject specialist who is also a superb communicator, not to mention an awesome classroom manager, will find themselves up against ‘the system’ that requires them to increase pass rates as the criteria for success.
      The computing standards are pretty basic – we’re not talking learning to programme here, more like creating powerpoints, making videos, creating documents in word and excel etc. There are often teachers (not necessarily the ICT teacher) who have a specialist interest, eg robotics, who will run groups/clubs (in their own time) to extend learning.

      As I understand it, charter schools won’t have to follow the curriculum or employ qualified teachers. Will they do NCEA? Or International Baccalaureate? Maybe they’ll make up their own qualifications – maybe a Destiny Diploma will become the new benchmark of school leaver success?!

  3. DavidW 3

    So in the world of Standard definitions, qualified = registered, have I got that right? I’m sure that definition doesn’t really apply to all those registered teachers who have been convicted as paedophiles, fraudsters, statutory rapists and random other criminals in recent times.

    The blind would appear to be leading the visually impaired.

    • McFlock 3.1

      I would expect that those things would be grounds for deregistration.

      It’s pretty simply: “registration”, for anything, requires demonstrating that they meet certain criteria that are required to qualify for the job.

      Much better than leaving it up to, say, a CentrePoint charter school to decide who’s “qualified”.

    • One Tāne Huna 3.2

      DavidW are you intellectually challenged? Those de-registered individuals you refer to will find it a lot easier to get jobs where they don’t have to be registered. Duh!

      Way to bring up another reason why the stolen schools would be better described as crime scenes. and why I keep saying we need better wingnuts.

      What a fucking moron.

    • Daveosaurus 3.3

      The difference is that if a teacher does that, they get sacked, deregistered and publicly hauled over the coals. If a priest does it, it gets hushed up and he gets moved on to somewhere else to start all over again. I know that, if I was in the liability insurance business, there is no way I’d ever insure one of those “charter schools” against that sort of liability.

    • georgecom 3.4

      No, qualified means having a qualification to be a teacher. Registration requires having a qualification but a number of other facets as well. It is also an ongoing matter whereas a qualification is a done once event.

  4. Rodel 4

    The term ‘charter schools’ is smart semantic trickery, a term probably invented by the odious republican spin boy, Frank Luntz to disguise the fact that they are actually private schools funded by gullible taxpayers.Surely the word, ‘charter’ is not something anyone could object to?

    I remember a glowing report from a prestigious ‘private’ school about a child who had in the past exhibited behavioural difficulties. The expensive looking report card was embossed in red and gold colours, went on at length about the wonderful improvements he had made and the great academic strides achieved in his one year at the school as a result of the competence and dedication of the teaching staff……etc………etc..
    At the end was the comment..however that they considered that his needs would be best met by inclusion in a state school near to his home where he could interact with age appropriate members of his local community…and receive extra assistance provided by the state education system.
    In other words we don’t want him… send him back to the state system.

    It’s been happening for years folks and will increase exponentially with John Bank’s public funded private schools.I wonder how ‘Destiny’ schools would cope with unbelievers?

    • Rodel 5.1

      Joe90
      Thanks for interesting articles..Interesting to see the billionaire DeVos family involvement in the USA…
      ..Does that mean Amway Charter schools are next? God forbid!

  5. georgecom 6

    The link to the Ravitch article was interesting. What the US needs, Ravitch argues, is not an education market place but a coherent curriculum. NZ has a coherent curriculum. We launched a revised curriculum 2-3 yeras back. A widely consulted and respected curriculum. Problem is, schools were not permitted to concentrate on beding in the curriculum. Instead they had to implement a dodgy National Standards package, the sort of things Ravitch says has made no difference in the US. National Standards, ‘accountability’ and Charter Schools are all a distraction from the sort of things that will raise education achievement, stuff like a new curriculum.

  6. Cayte Shepherd 7

    Unqualified teachers are in fact, not teachers.

    These are unqualified people pretending to be teachers.

    That is the equivlent to an unqualified person pretending to be a doctor or an unqualified person pretending to be a physiotherapist or radiographer!

    This is very very scary stuff.

    Not in favour of Charter school nonsense.

  7. Glg 8

    I can see the paedophiles lining up now to apply to teach in Charter Schools. No teaching qualification necessary, no pesky information act queries.

  8. burt 9

    What’s best for the kids, the teachers and the parents ??? Who cares – it’s all about PPTA membership numbers now….

    • One Tāne Huna 9.1

      Pathetic. Your hatred of freedom of association and expression (for other people) is showing.

      Since you are crying your crocodile tears for “the kids, the teachers and the parents”, perhaps you can come up with an evidence-based case for Charter Schools and why you think they have anything to do with “what’s best”.

      But you can’t, can you, and that’s why all you’ve got is this grotesque whinging.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        And Burt, be sure to reference the Teasury paper released before Xmas in your response.

  9. Jayson 10

    I am eagerly looking forward to charter schools so that I can work as a teacher rather than as a teacher aide

    I spent a lot of money training to be a primary teacher 5 years ago, aged 42. Along with another guy on my course who was in his 40s, I was deemed to have not “met the requirements” for practicum and therefore couldn’t continue training.

    Now this “meeting the requirements” was more about keeping your head down while being a student teacher – which is pretty hard to do when you’re the only mature man in the school (apart from the Principal), and half of the kids are starved of male role models.

    Many teachers I have spoken with since agree that their profession has become a bastion of “political correctness” rather than of teaching and learning.

    Teaching kids and forming positive relationships with them is very rewarding. But you must be young, preferably female, and absolutely “plain vanilla” to have a chance of being registered. (Note, I don’t think this applies to Maori schools).

    • One Tāne Huna 10.1

      “Mature”.

      🙄

      Edit: can anyone believe this failed cry-baby?

    • Blue 10.2

      hmmm, you almost have to go out of your way to fail a Primary teaching degree. I mean you really have to try hard to do so. Failing a practicum means you are useless in front of a class. Its got fuck all to do with “political correctness”. As far as Charter schools go, if you’re useless, it means you won’t be hired, just like any other job or, if you’re hired, you’ll be fired as quickly. This is of course much different than trying to get rid of a useless “registered” teacher. Took me a year to get rid of one.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.2.1

        you almost have to go out of your way to fail a Primary teaching degree. I mean you really have to try hard to do so…

        What does that say about the quality of the teachers we have now?

        • One Tāne Huna 10.2.1.1

          I don’t know. How do their students get on when compared with those from other countries by independent assessors?

          Perhaps you might be onto something. I seem to remember the organisation concerned is called PISA. Why don’t you find out how New Zealand stacks up and get back to us?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.2.1.1.1

            Line that up with Blue’s experience that any moron can get accredited.

            • One Tāne Huna 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Line what up?

              This?

              New Zealand 15-year-old students’ overall reading performance was substantially higher than the average for the 345 OECD countries.
              • Of the 65 countries or economies participating in PISA 2009, only two OECD countries, and two non-OECD partner economies performed better than New Zealand. Four countries were similar and the other 56 countries performed at a significantly lower level.
              • Close to one in six of New Zealand students were top-performing readers.

              Shit, no wonder you didn’t want to find out the details: that totally destroys your argument, and what’s more, exposes the fact that the Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister, has been lying to parliament.

              Quelle surprise.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                I wil just accept that you want me to find a report which says our teachers are brilliant-y brilliant. Let’s skip that step and pretend I found it.

                Now, Blue seems to be telling us that any fuckwit can get qualified. You calling him or her a liar?

                I accept that he or she might be, it would just be good to know.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Is that what Blue said? Citation please.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    you almost have to go out of your way to fail a Primary teaching degree. I mean you really have to try hard to do so.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      How much weight do you give this anecdote, then?

                      Because the PISA scores (based on 4,643 students from 161 schools) tell a rather different story. Or rather, they demonstrate the excellence of New Zealand schools, as opposed to a right-wing nitwit clutching at any convenient straw.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      No weight now I know Blue’s a liar.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Nice straw. Make sure to hold on tight.

                    • fatty

                      I read Blue’s comment as any person can pass a primary teaching degree so long as they are not a complete idiot…not sure that this then translates as people who have passed their degree are still idiots.

                      I would say that the average idiot can become a qualified car mechanic after doing an apprenticeship…but that doesn’t mean once the qualification is gained that the person is still an idiot, or incompetent regarding how to fix a car. I see it as meaning the opposite, that once the qualification is passed, then any idiot then has the skills.
                      There are few degrees around that the average person cannot pass after a few years study.

                      Edit: Jayson appears to be a special kind of idiot that is unable to pass a 3/4 year qualification…another good example of why we should not have charter schools

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      I read Blue’s comment as being directed at the bitter and incompetent cry-baby, Jayson, rather than being a considered assessment.

        • McFlock 10.2.1.2

          Well, it might say that it’s absurdly easy for a well-rounded individual to become a teacher, but we’re really good at filtering out drop-kicks who can’t teach and can’t stick to the curriculum.

          Just saying – some things are easy for most people, yet insurmountable for others. A bit like economic management is easy for left (and left-ish) wing governments, but National and lab4 always seem to end up with deficits and massive unemployment.

  10. Jayson 11

    I feel sorry for you, OTH

    • One Tāne Huna 11.1

      Be more specific.

      You have my sympathies too: you failed to make the grade, your reasons for wanting to be a teacher are all about you, and you obviously have a huge chip on your shoulder about “political correctness” (which I doubt you can define) and “Maori schools”.

      What’s more, you are self-absorbed to the point that you think your little sob-story provides support for the Charter School model. As a parent, I am glad the system appears to be working to keep people like you away from the chalk-face.

      When the Charter school that is stupid enough to employ you closes (or is otherwise brought up to standard), I hope it will be in time to prevent you from doing too much damage.

  11. Fortran 12

    Isn’t an Maori Teacher best to teach Maori, whether academically qualified or not ?
    I understand many are not fully qualified, and have done well in Kohanga Reo schools.
    How does this differ from the possibility of the two Charter Schools doing similar for specilaise subjects ?.

    • McFlock 12.1

      No.

      A qualified teacher who is fluent in Maori is best to teach Maori.
      Similarly, while knowledge of physics is essential to teach physics, a physicist who can’t teach might be as useless as a teacher who is science-illiterate.

    • One Tāne Huna 12.2

      “Isn’t an Maori Teacher best to teach Maori, whether academically qualified or not ?”

      I don’t know. can you find a single citation that would support your unsubstantiated opinion that ethnicity is more important than expertise? If not, I think we should be very wary of making education policy on the basis of what random wingnuts “understand”.

      I hadn’t realised the total clusterfuck plan was to do something similar to this for “specialised” subjects. Who told you that? Is pedagogy irrelevant for “specialised” subjects, by the way? If so, how would you know, or is this another one of your “understandings”?

      One other thing: is being clueless essential to the development of right-wing education policy?

      • BM 12.2.1

        People that home school must be enemy number one in your eyes.
        Also the people training apprentices who the fuck do they think they are !!!!!
        Demonstrate Pedagogy or GTFO.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.1

          No, in fact you would be better off trying to read tea-leaves than continuing with the facile conceit that you have the first clue what I would think about home-schooling or adult education.

          But I do note that you have failed miserably to answer the question: what will your mythical wizards know about pedagogy?

          Are you really that much of a quitter?

          • BM 12.2.1.1.1

            Stop being so narrow minded.
            Teachers aren’t the only ones who can pass on knowledge.
            And yes, pedagogy – the science of teaching.

            • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Stop molesting Mr. Strawman.

              • BM

                Let agree to disagree, I see merit in charter schools, you don’t.

                Luckily for me the blue team is currently batting so charter schools are going ahead.
                Even Dave, the current labour leader has said he hasn’t got too much of an issue with them, seems to be only a few extremists on this site that have a problem with charter schools.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “seems to be only a few extremists on this site that have a problem with charter schools.”

                  And Treasury.

                • fatty

                  nah…you can’t regurgitate baseless statements like this, and then pull out the let’s agree to disagree

                • One Tāne Huna

                  “I see merit” – but are unable to articulate it, or provide any evidence of it, or even any reality-based justification.

                  As for what “Dave” has said, are you going to provide evidence for that or is it simply yet another vacuous and empty assertion?

                  PS: Yep, you’re lying. “Bigger classes, unqualified teachers, charter schools and performance pay will achieve nothing.” David Shearer.

                  Why bother telling such transparent lies? Are you trying to look dishonest as well as stupid?

                  • BM

                    Did he say he’d get rid of them though?

                    All the other stuff was just waffle to appease the diehards.
                    Dave’s a fairly pragmatic guy, I believe he sees value in charter schools but because the unions won’t let it happen, he’d never getting the opportunity to implement them, if labour ever got back into power.
                    Luckily for us, national doesn’t have that sort of hand brake holding them back.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Labour’s policy response (note: Shearer doesn’t make policy on his own) is to be outlined in a minority report accompanying the enabling legislation, which is before the select committee.

                      Why did you deceitfully misrepresent the facts? Is is mendacity, or stupidity, or both?

                      PS: “holding them back”? Back from what, the international recognition of the excellence of the NZ education system, that you’ve been desperately lying about until all your left with is lies about David Shearer?
                      Had you forgotten that every single comment you’ve made on this thread has been exposed as fantasy? Are you really that much of a dullard?

                    • McFlock

                      “Bloody Mendapidity”.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Luckily for me the blue team is currently batting so charter schools are going ahead.

                  Slavish devotion to the party line suits you, especially since it’s all you’ve got.

        • McFlock 12.2.1.2

          lol
          from a home-schooling site:

          To get an exemption from enrollment at a registered school, you must satisfy the Secretary of Education that your child will be taught “as regularly and as well as in a registered school”.

          And apprenticeships don’t teach all the skills necessary – hence pre-apprenticeship courses. Some skills, however, are best picked up in an supervised workplace. But then most of these skills are not applicable to primary school-level education, are they.

          • BM 12.2.1.2.1

            But the parent isn’t a qualified teacher.
            Isn’t that the issue?

            • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.2.1.1

              No. The parent has fewer pupils. Penny starting to drop? Slow monotonous right-wing brain function overloading?

              PS: in describing your thoughts as “monotonous”, I am of course referring to the fact that this point has been covered before on this very forum. Asked and answered. Are all you wingnuts this dense, or are you a special needs case?

            • McFlock 12.2.1.2.1.2

              They still have to go through a process to demonstrate that they can teach their kids “as well as in a registered school”. Schools need registered teachers. Therefore they need to meet the requirements, if not actually have the bit of paper.

              You’re pushing shit uphill, there. Unless you can demonstrate that the sec’y for Education isn’t doing their job of ensuring the required criteria are met?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Also, it’s their own kids and the state isn’t paying for it.

                • McFlock

                  well, the state does give them an allowance.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Oh well. It’s still just their kids.

                    • McFlock

                      well, you could say the same thing about people wanting to send their kids to a Density Crutch flat earth charter school.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Nope. Because the school isn’t teaching their own kids.

                      Think of a charter school as being like home school, but a home school that teaches other people’s kids. Why should the state pay for that? If you want to home school your kids, do it. If you want to send them private, do it (though I can’t see why the state should subsidise that either; if it wants the state’s money, then the state should call the tune).

                    • McFlock

                      good point

  12. Huri 13

    Actually, special character charter schools are probably a good idea for some communities. People should be allowed to run one if they want.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      As long as they pay for it themselves. If they’re really so good like you say, parents will be happy to fund them 100%.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        which they already do in private schools.

        So charter schools are a redundant idea (just to follow your point, CV)

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    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    2 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    2 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    3 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    6 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    7 days ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    7 days ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    7 days ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must close loophole in LVR rules
    The Government must urgently close a loophole in loan to value ratio mortgage restrictions which are stopping homeowners from buying new houses before they sell their old one, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank was forced to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bulk funding means bigger classes
    National’s plan to bulk fund schools can only result in bigger class sizes and a reduced range of subject choices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister
    It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Clearly whatever it is National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman puts skids under cheaper GP visits
      Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with high health needs are missing out on cheaper GP fees as the cost of going to the doctor hits $70, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “The number of practices subsidised to ...
    3 weeks ago

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