web analytics
The Standard

Charter Schools: A failed idea

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, January 17th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: act, equality, greens, john banks, national, Privatisation, treasury - Tags:

I was just looking at today’s edition of the (Auckland) Western Leader and came across a full page notice by the PPTA saying that Charter Schools are a failed idea.  It says that submissions for the Education Amendment Bill (2012) close on the 24 January, timed to happen while most people are still on holiday.

The same notice is on the PPTA website, with links for making submissions.

Back in October, Anthony Robins cited evidence that shows why Charter schools are a bad idea.  In the conclusion to his post, Anthony said:

Charter schools do worse more often than the do better, are bad for education in general. Our public education system is already very successful and very cost effective. If we want even better results, the solution is to strengthen public education, not to throw ourselves under the ideological bandwagon of charter schools.

As Green MP, Catherine Delahunty stated last month,

Treasury documents on the creation of charter schools are in agreement with criticism from the Ministry of Education, showing the planned schools forced upon New Zealand children by the National / ACT coalition agreement should be dumped, the Green Party said today.

“The Green Party agrees with Treasury and the Ministry of Education that New Zealand kids need registered teachers, not unqualified adults pushing private agendas,” said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty….

“Treasury warns of ‘performance risks for nearby state schools’ in areas where charter schools are formed, which could lead to ‘significant risks for the cohorts of students’ in these areas.

The Treasury document on Charter Schools (AKA Partnership Schools) are here.  Idiot/Savant posted on their significance, with a link to and quote from an RNZ article:

Treasury took the opportunity of the Friday before the holidays to dump a pile of documents – including advice showing that they think the government’s charter schools are a bad idea:

I/S quoted this from the RNZ link:

However [the documents] also show Treasury is not convinced the benefits of introducing the schools will outweigh the costs and risks.

The papers express scepticism that increasing competition between schools will improve the education system.

The documents show both the Treasury and Ministry of Education opposed the Government’s plan to allow partnership schools to hire unregistered teachers.

Treasury told the Government that teacher registration is an indication of a minimum level of quality.

Charter Schools are a failed idea, led by a failing politician.

JB+JK-I-dont-recalll

As indicated at the PPTA link above, there is still time to make a submission.  We have a high quality education system that will only be undermined by Charter Schools. There is room for improvement, but this also requires reducing the inequality gap in NZ.  Charter Schools will do nothing to reduce inequalities.

36 comments on “Charter Schools: A failed idea”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Charter Schools aren’t about producing better results, they’re about getting more government/public money into the hands of the capitalists.

  2. tc 2

    Reminds me of the scene in Blackadder II where the sea captain states he doesn’t have crew and there’s 2 schools of thought about that being a bad idea, his and everyone else’s.

    Banks will not front any debates, he’ll stick to the slogans and play the old man memory card.

  3. Rodel 3

    Charter schools may be next in the Asset ‘sales’…read ‘theft’…. beginning with OUR power companies.

    a quote from ‘ How We Happened to Sell Off Our Electricity’ by James Meek
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n17/james-meek/how-we-happened-to-sell-off-our-

    ”Are you an enemy of liberal principles if you question the fact that, when local electrical engineers dig up the roads in London, they’re working for East Asia’s richest man, the Hong Kong-based Li Ka-shing? In north-east England, they work for Warren Buffett;….” .and so on.

    It’s happening here mums and dads.
    Could this be the next quote from an article “ How we happened to sell off our Schools” by Banks, Key and Parata et al.?

    ”Are you an enemy of liberal principles if you question the fact that, when untrained teachers work in Auckland schools, they’re working for East Asia’s richest man, the Hong Kong-based Li Ka-shing? In Welington they work for Warren Buffett;….” .and so on.

    It’s happening!

    • joe90 3.1

      I’d imagine the arrival of the Gulen movement and schools would end the charter malarkey.

      • karol 3.1.1

        It’s not Islamisation of our schools that we have to fear, but the generally undermining of quality education for all. Our state schools are able to provide more quality education than Charter Schools. They just need adequate financial support and sensible government policies (i.e. not time wasting National Standards).

        And by “quality” I mean an education that prepares all young people to take an active part in a democratic society that provides for all: an education that enables them to critically examine policies and diverse aspects of society, and to develop skills that will benefit them and society.

        • Rodel 3.1.1.1

          Not specifically Islamist, but ‘charterisation ‘ ( my word) will change education from ‘free and secular’ to ‘paid and sectarian’ something that leading New Zealand educationalists were keen to prevent in I think, 1888 an issue that intellectually, Banks/ky are probably not aware of.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1.3

        looking at the link re Gulen movement is disturbing overall as well as its interest in education. It mentions among much info, the Rand Corporation. I didn’t know if this related to Ayn Rand (still don’t know but found other things to cogitate about). If we wonder where our policy ideas come from it appears that they may be being dreamed up by right wing well-funded think tanks, not our own eminent people with specialist knowledge of beneficial ones for our whole population.

        There is a connection between charter schools and powerful lobby groups with agendas I think most of us would not agree with if we saw clearly their beliefs and methods.

        Rand corporation and charter schools – there is much information on google.
        Achievement and Attainment in Chicago Charter Schools | RAND
        http://www.rand.org › Reports and Bookstore › Technical Reports
        by K Booker – 2009 – Cited by 9 – Related articles
        Over the past decade, charter schools have been among the fastest-growing … as a collaborative effort by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation; …

        Some things that came up while looking up think tanks on google –
        Think tanks – SourceWatch
        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Think_tanks
        Oct 1, 2012 – There are twice as many conservative think tanks as liberal ones, and the … These FFRDCs include the RAND Corporation, the MITRE

        Interesting statement – twice as many!
        and
        Think tank – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_tank
        The Iona Institute is a conservative, Catholic think tank. …. set up the RAND Corporation in 1946 to develop weapons technology and strategic defense analysis.

        Sounds dark and devious to me.

    • millsy 3.2

      I note that it wasant till Thatcher had one stilletto out the door of number 10 before she sold off the British power companies (as well as the water)….

  4. Dr Terry 4

    The idea of not a “failing politician” but a “failed politician”. Charter Schools were Key’s vote of thanks to Banks for his “cup-of-tea loyalty”. Rather than talking about “competition in education we need to think upon “cooperation”.

    • karol 4.1

      Dr Terry, I initially wrote “failed” for Banks, then changed it to failing. I think he still has a little further to fall to a state of total failure.

    • tc 4.2

      The nat’s were going to do it anyway if they got back in, more public money into mates hands is what they’re about. Banks does as told, ACT is a subsidary of National.

      One of ACT’s objectives is to isolate the damage from National/Key’s brand, just like a company isolates liability from family trusts where all the wealth is.

      • Rodel 4.2.1

        tc..you are correct .’ACT is a subsidary of National.’ Actually ACT is national.
        It’s simple. They just put up two national candidates in Epsom, one of them high enough up the list to ensure safe inclusion and you have two for the price of one. (the Johns’ price was actually a pot of tea and our world class education system).
        Could this be a gerrymander type precedent for all electorates and all parties?

  5. PlanetOrphan 5

    John Banks reminds me of a 5 year old with a “Brilliant” idea, stomping aroung petulantly until everyone tells him what a “Brilliant” boy he is 👿

    We’ve all met 50+- year old children I’m sure, letting them into parliament to “Shut them up” is a serious mistake that we should never make twice !!

  6. millsy 6

    The whole idea behind charter schools in this country seems to be to break the teachers unions, and privatise education. 95% of what charter schools do in the USA our state schools do here, but our schools are run by parent-elected BOT’s and not corporate charities and church groups.

  7. chris73 7

    “It says that submissions for the Education Amendment Bill (2012) close on the 24 January, timed to happen while most people are still on holiday.”

    If you’re a teacher on 12 weeks annual leave maybe…

    • framu 7.1

      where in their contract does it state they have 12 weeks annual leave?

      or are you going by school holidays? If you are youve just shown that you have NFI what youre talking about

      • One Tāne Huna 7.1.1

        We need better wingnuts.

        @ Chris73: where did you get the notion that teachers have 12 weeks annual leave? Did you make it up or are you just repeating someone else’s lies, like a cross between a sponge and a parrot?

  8. Mike Steinberg 8

    Looking at the US experience it seems that the main benefit for children attending charter schools is that the schools have greater scope to keep out trouble makers. However, the idea that significantly lift achievement appears to be a pipedream. Obviously it’s not great for other schools either who then end up with the students with discipline issues. As this US teacher blogger notes:

    “Parents don’t care much about teacher quality. They care a lot about peer group quality.

    They are right to worry. Before I became a teacher, I’d read other teachers talk about how just a few kids can really disrupt a classroom, moving management from a no-brainer to the primary focus of the day. Now I am one of those teachers. I’ve worked in several schools in which the overwhelming presence of low income students who didn’t care about their grades has utterly removed the “stigma of an F” from the entire population, causing panic in the upper middle income white parents who can’t quite afford private school yet live in a district that worries about lawsuits if they track by ability. Their kids, particularly the boy kids, start to adopt this opinion, and white failure rates start rising.

    So charters become a way for parents to sculpt their school environments. White parents stuck in majority/minority districts start progressive charters that brag about their minority population but are really a way to keep the brown kids limited to the well-behaved ones. Low income black and Hispanic parents want safe schools. Many of them apply for charter school lotteries because they know charters can kick out the “bad kids” without fear of lawsuits. But they still blame the “bad kids”, not the teachers, which is why they might send their kids to charter schools while still ejecting Adrian Fenty for Michelle Rhee’s sins.

    As I’ve mentioned before, education reformers are now pushing suburban charters with strong academic focus, which are nothing more than tracking for parents who can’t get their public schools to do it for them.

    I really can’t stress this point enough: charters have succeeded because of their ability to control students, not teachers. Comprehensive schools are bound by legal requirements and the constant threat of disparate impact lawsuits. It’s really that simple.”

    http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/on-the-ctu-strike/

    • karol 8.1

      I think part of the answer is to provide some hope for a reasonable life among the students who feel that education would be a route to nowhere for them.

      I think Charter schools are a way to avoid doing anything about social and income inequalities. There are ways to engage the failing students more, but it requires an intensive effort, smaller classes, and strong commuity connections.

      • Mike Steinberg 8.1.1

        Unfortunately, I don’t have much faith that would have a major impact on educational outcomes as even with equal environments you’ll still have major discrepancies due to genes.

        http://martynemko.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/behavioral-genetics-most-important.html

        • NickS 8.1.1.1

          The Mismeasure of Man* strikes again.

          In other words, one doth thinks thou art ignorant about developmental biology (in terms of neurology), narrow sense heritability, statistical population thinking and plain old human variation.

          Oh, and that Chinese study? Funny thing, whenever we do something similar with other populations, the variation within the groups is usually similar or higher between groups. So frankly, I’d say that study is full of shit.

          Basic take home message from years of research always comes back to this: environment matters more than genes for the majority of the population in determining academic success.

          Do some people carry alleles which statistically significantly reduce their academic abilities (controlling for environment)? Of course, humans do not escape standard population genetics funtimes, but frankly it’s far easier to change environments and provide tools to help them and treat them as human.

          As for gene therapy, lol-fucking-wat? This isn’t just replacing a malformed protein, messing around with neurological development has the potential to cause a lot more issues, more so given we can’t control where a gene is inserted and whether or not it will be expressed at the correct time and place within the cells gene regulation network system and wider organ(s). And even then the genes you’re trying to change need to have been shown to be strongly statistically significant predictors of academic success…

          /sigh

          You’d think a person with a PhD would at least realise they had a knowledge gap and so hit the literature instead of forging ahead ignorantly.

          _______________________________________
          *Note – this robot does not take Gould as completely right in this book, but the general thrust of the book is fully on target.

          • M Steinberg 8.1.1.1.1

            Look, the Mismeasure of Man is a popular book but academically much of what Gould says doesn’t stand up. In fact, much of it didn’t stack up at the time but subsequent behavioural genetics studies and neuroscience has made the book obsolete in many ways. Ironically, a couple of years ago the New York Times ran an article on a new study showing that Gould had in fact significantly misrepresented one of the studies by one of the anthropologists he accused of doctoring data. In a way proving his own point about bias – but in this case his own :)

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/science/14skull.html?_r=0

            ***Funny thing, whenever we do something similar with other populations, the variation within the groups is usually similar or higher between groups.***

            You are referring to s ‘The Lewontin Fallacy’. In other words, individual genes vary more within groups but that overlooks the correlations. When you look at a significant number of gene alleles (say over 1000) you get group clusters because they occur in different prevalence across groups – hence average group differences.

            The other thing to remember is that most phenotypes (examples: height or various complex traits, which are fairly heritable, except in cases of extreme environmental deprivation), there is significant overlap between different population distributions. However, if you have an average population difference then you’ll see a significant difference the proportion of one group at the upper end. That is, Swedes might be taller than Vietnamese on average, but the range of heights within each group is larger than the difference in the averages. However, at the tails of the distribution one would find very large discrepancies: for example the percentage of the Swedish population that is over 2 meters tall (6″7) might be 5 or 10 times as large as the percentage of the Vietnamese population.

        • karol 8.1.1.2

          Mike, I taught for several years in special education (in NZ and London), and later in further education (in the UK and Aussie). The latter was on courses where a lot of the students had failed to get qualifications in school, and were having a second go or were doing vocational courses. Most of my teaching was in lower economic areas, especially in London.

          Reducing income and social inequalities, doesn’t mean every body will achieve the same things. It’s curious that the so-called “bad” or anti-social behaviour happens more in lower economic areas, with students largely from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Yes, some students will exhibit anti-social beahaviour, whatever their background, but relatively few from well-off families end in special education because of it. Most cope OK in mainstream classrooms. Although John banks will not agree as he had a son who only succeed once he was sent to a school with a special curriculum (military training as I recall.)

          There are ways of helping most young people with learning, physical, intellectual or behavioural disabilities so that they can live independent and/or fulfilling lives. It just takes the right kind of resources, knowledge and time, and a society that is based more on cooperation than competition.

          • Mike Steinberg 8.1.1.2.1

            ***It’s curious that the so-called “bad” or anti-social behaviour happens more in lower economic areas, with students largely from lower socio-economic backgrounds.***

            It is, although the causation is multidirectional. Parents with those behavioural issues are probably going to find it more difficult to get ahead economically. You then get the children inheriting traits from their parents + being amplified by environmental factors such as negative peer influences, unstable home environment etc. There’s a pretty good review of the literature on the various causes of juvenile delinquency here.

            http://tinyurl.com/autnd55

            ***There are ways of helping most young people with learning, physical, intellectual or behavioural disabilities so that they can live independent and/or fulfilling lives. It just takes the right kind of resources, knowledge and time, and a society that is based more on cooperation than competition.***

            I think it’s pretty awesome that you are able to make that kind of a difference for kids.

            • karol 8.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s a while since I worked in the area, and I’m not up in the most recent research. But I have yet to see an reports that contradict a basic understanding I formed a couple of decades ago:

              * that teasing out environmental and genetic factors is extremely difficult. Environment starts impacting on a child’s capabilities in the womb.
              * I also saw too many times that the children in most need of help had disabilities they were born with that were compounded by environmental factors.
              * The majority of children in special schools and classes had multiple problems, and of those factors, the majority were from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds.
              * Children with the same inborn disabilities, but no environmental factors, plus a family on a reasonable income, were able to cope in mainstream education.

              I also understand that poor health and nutrition in childhood can impact on the physical constitution and health of the next couple of generations at least.

              It was the impact of (largely income) inequalities that caused me to move from special education towards sociology and to focus on social causes and social change. Education and/or therapy for those with disabilities tends to work on an individualistic, philosophy of pathology, while the underlying social and economic conditions contributing to the situation are ignored.

              Thanks for the link. The document is too long to read and digest right now as I already have a long reading list on some other topics.

    • millsy 8.2

      I read somewhere that a charter school head in the US kicked out a whole lot of students because of academic underacheivement.

  9. Mike Steinberg 9

    I should add that in terms of impacts on student achievement, in the US these are inversely related to students’ income levels. However, these benefits are unlikely to scale because you’re shfiting the worst students elsewhere.

    “However, impacts were insignificant or positive for more disadvantaged students and negative for more advantaged students, and this same pattern persisted across groups defined by baseline test scores. There was also considerable variation in impacts across schools. Those in urban areas or serving more disadvantaged populations had more positive (or less negative) impacts than those in non-urban areas or serving more advantaged populations. These results provide rigorous evidence for the patterns suggested by previous studies, which have estimated negative or insignificant impacts for geographically diverse samples of charter schools, but positive impacts for charter schools in urban areas.”

    http://mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/education/charterschools_WP.pdf

    • karol 9.1

      And, of course, the US is not a clear comparison with NZ as the NZ state school system is generally more successful (as measured by international statistics) than that of the US.

  10. tracey 10

    We cant even get private schools to publish student results so we can se how well they are doing…

  11. dan1 11

    Diane Ravitch changed from being a vocal supporter of charter schools in the US to an articulate advocate against.
    I include one of the many interviews with Ravitch:
    http://prospect.org/article/diane-ravitch-effort-destroy-public-ed

    We must remember too that NZ has had the local input into schools for 25 years or so. All public schools in NZ already have charters.

    I would agree with Millsy that the NACT party’s main motivation is not educational but anti-union. Such was the case in Washington DC when Michelle Rhee pushed her reforms.

  12. Megan Pledger 12

    The thing that worries me the most about this legislation for charter schools is if it is used in combination with the tran-pacific partnership agreement. Both of these together will mean that American (including the Gulen) charter school chains will be able to open up here without any oversight from New Zealand Authorities. They’ll be able to teach whatever American creationist crap/the supremacy of Turkish Islam and the taxpayer will have to pay for it and have no means of controlling it.

    If these schools are abject failures noone will ever know because they don’t have to report to the Min of Ed about how their students are performing.

    If worse comes to worse, we could lose sovereignty over our children’s schooling to American corporations and hedge fund managers.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    4 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    5 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    6 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    6 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    6 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    6 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    7 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    7 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere