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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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    The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, click here. The as-yet unfinished exhibit area which forms part...
    Skeptical Science
  • Ruins of our present future
    A friend of mine used to own a house in an abandoned village. It was a symbolic kind of ownership: he paid no rates nor taxes, because there were no services and the place had no value. He just had...
    Bat bean beam
  • The Gwyn Report
    This is the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security’s inquiry into how Cameron Slater obtained classified SIS documents that embarrassed then-Labour leader Phil Goff. It gets released tomorrow but some media have been briefed on some of the contents, presumably by Goff. So the...
    DimPost
  • Hard News: Prague
    There are always candles at the memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajic, who immolated themselves in protest at the forcible ending of the Prague Spring in 1968, but there were more there than usual last Thursday when I walked to...
    Public Address
  • Carbon News 24/11/14: penny-pinching on climate funding
    Govt slammed for weak climate fund contribution The Government is under fire for the size of its contribution to a global fund to help developing countries to combat climate change. New Zealand last week agreed to donate $3 million to...
    Hot Topic
  • Are New Zealand Economists Going in the Right Direction?
    In a speech to economics teachers  earlier this month, the Secretary of the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, argued for a different approach to economics from the one which dominates the profession in New Zealand....
    Pundit
  • Stuart’s 100 #58: Four Seasons in One Year
    58: Four Seasons in One Year What if we made more of seasonal change in Auckland? Auckland does not, despite what many of us say, have a tropical, or sub-tropical climate, but a temperate maritime one. All the palm trees...
    Transport Blog
  • More rubbish stupid Tories
    Back in 2010, George Osborne made some rather stupid promises:The formal mandate we set is that the structural current deficit should be in balance in the final year of the five-year forecast period, which is 2015-16 in this budget.And:In order...
    Left hand palm
  • Tories admit they are stupid liars
    From the Guardian:Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, May said: “It is of course unlikely that we are going to reach the tens of thousands by the end of the parliament. Why is that? It is because we...
    Left hand palm
  • Labour the winner on the day…
    After The Nation's Labour leadership debate in Hamilton a few weeks back, I said to some of my colleagues, 'if Little doesn't win this, he should be given the strategy job of making Labour relevant again, that's what he seems...
    Pundit
  • How to get rid of the State Services Commissioner
    Over the wekeend, Andrew Little effectively called for State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to resign over his mishandling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment claim. I'm inclined to agree. But as DPF points out, the SSC can't just be sacked,...
    No Right Turn
  • How British
    How corrupt is the British establishment? This corrupt:The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed. Two...
    No Right Turn
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    frogblog
  • Labour’s front bench: Demographics
    When he became Labour leader last week, Andrew Little promised a front bench that was representative of New Zealanders' background aspirations, and also promised a front bench that represented New Zealand's future aspirations. Here's how he did: The average age...
    Polity
  • Was Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations...
    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revelled by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Proposal Would Ensure Mental Health Transparency: SST
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is once again calling for reform of the insanity defence following revelations over the weekend that mass murderer Stephen Anderson is tutoring at a Wellington art school. Anderson was acquitted of six murders in 1997 by...
    Scoop politics
  • The Warehouse Group praised for removing Grand Theft Auto V
    The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation....
    Scoop politics
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
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  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
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  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
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