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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”.

      :roll:

      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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     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    21 hours ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    2 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    2 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    5 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    6 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    6 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    7 days ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    7 days ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago
  • Independent investigation needed into claims scientists gagged
    Steven Joyce must launch an independent investigation into claims that scientists are being gagged, says Labour’s Science and Innovation spokesperson David Cunliffe. “When 40 percent of scientists say they are being gagged and can’t speak out on issues of public… ...
    1 week ago
  • Swamp kauri mining and exports should stop
    Seeing swamp kauri mining for the first time this week was a shock. Dark peaty soil had been stripped of its plant cover and giant excavators were digging into wet, swampy soil to unearth logs that had been buried for… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD going down wasteful spending track
    The Ministry of Social Development is paying big salaries and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars on management courses while at the same time looking to hand some services over to a multinational outsourcing company with an appalling track… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • South Auckland housing meeting highlights stark realities
    The stark realities of life for South Aucklanders in substandard Housing New Zealand and private rental homes were fully exposed at a South Auckland housing meeting today, Labour’s MP for Manukau East Jenny Salesa says. “Local people generously shared their… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Pope, the scientists, and the diplomats: getting there on the climate ...
    The Pope’s Encyclical on the climate: ‘On Care for Our Common Home’, has finally been released. Evoking St Francis before him, the Pope reminds us that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life, and… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party supports Gifted Kids Awareness Week 2015
    Providing high quality teaching that caters to the specific needs of every child is an enormous challenge, but there is no investment more rewarding for society. Gifted Awareness Week gives us a chance to think about how diverse the needs… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Truck sellers still getting away with rip-offs
    The Government has admitted its brand new lending rules are already inadequate, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesman David Shearer. “Gaping holes in the Responsible Lending Code – which came into effect this month -- mean the vulnerable will not be… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government Screws the Lid Down On Raw Milk Access
    The Government’s raw milk policy announced yesterday will make it more difficult for many consumers to access the quality product of their choice, and may even be setting up the raw milk sector to fail. The Government, in its paranoia… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago

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