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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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    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    3 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    3 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    3 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    3 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    4 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    4 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    5 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    5 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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