web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Christchurch kids as political pawns

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, February 19th, 2013 - 38 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, national, schools - Tags: , , ,

As an anonymous Herald scribe puts it this morning:

Of all the decisions fumbled by Education Minister Hekia Parata last year, the post-earthquake plan for Christchurch was perhaps the worst.

And the Nats are just determined to keep making matters worse for those affected. It didn’t get much attention nationally, but The Press has this story:

Parata’s ‘lie-telling’ infuriates principals

City schools still fighting closure or mergers were dealt a double blow in Education Minister Hekia Parata’s education announcement. Not only would the original plans proceed for 19 schools, but some now had less than a year to go ahead with the proposals.

This was despite Parata previously giving written guarantees that changes for some schools would not happen for at least three years.

So a written guarantee from Parata is worth nothing, and chaos for schools and kids will ensue:

Parata said the reason for the new deadlines was to provide parents and children with “certainty”. But some principals have reacted with anger at being told “lies” over the deadlines. Many had enrolled new pupils on Parata’s earlier guarantees, only to have to renege on promises to parents.

“Certainty” my arse, the agreed date would have been certain if the Nats hadn’t reneged on Parata’s promises. I think Parata has been shafted by Key here (“cannon fodder” indeed). Armstrong’s theory is plausible:

Partial backdown shows National has eye on election

National’s nervousness about the closures triggering a much wider political backlash in the city against the governing party was plain in yesterday’s partial backdown from the initial proposals announced in such messy fashion last September. The number of school closures and “mergers” has been reduced from 31 to 19 – which is about the annual average across New Zealand in recent years. …

But the strongest pointer to how National has been feeling the heat is the decision that the majority of the region’s schools still earmarked for closure will shut their doors at the end of the final term this year rather than in 2015 or later as had initially been mooted.

Ministers are clearly punting that if affected pupils are in their new school at the beginning of 2014 then they (or more importantly vote-wise their parents) will have adjusted by the time the election rolls around later in the year.

So, Parata’s promises broken, schools lied to, kids messed about, and all with an eye to electoral gain. I’d like to think that the voters of Christchurch would choose electoral punishment instead, for the Nats using their kids as political pawns.

38 comments on “Christchurch kids as political pawns”

  1. shorts 1

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Nationals polling is suggesting many kiwis are just “over it”, (unfortunately a theme I keep coming across for less informed/caring people), with regards to Chch thus can do almost as they please, within limits of course, messing with kids is dynamite with the electorate

    Watching all of this unfold from afar is heart breaking – I can only imagine how devastating it is for those effected

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      Yep I agree with you. An ignorant colleague of mine commented yesterday that Christchurch has received too much so it is a good thing that some schools are closing. I think he missed the point that it is the process here that is the major cock up.

      But my point is that there are people outside of Christchurch (almost definitley National supporters) who are ‘over it’ and don’t care about the hardships in Christchurch which continue under this government.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 1.1.1

        Many of the Government Ministers do come from the area surrounding Christchurch don’t they? But of course Key doesn’t and getting the casino signed up and the rolling out of Roads of National Importance is more important to him than Christchurch schools, a decent road to Lyttelton port for much-needed commerce, and further out in space, help for regions like Gisborne needing a working rail system for its commerce. That ‘s so unglamorous though, and even the spin doctors can’t make it exciting to the punters.

        Time for another trip overseas and some fast talk over some beverages with movie moguls and movers and shakers of the fantasy world where Key belongs. Might set up a new direction now the fun has gone from the financial derivatives biz.

    • Anne 1.2

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Nationals polling is suggesting many kiwis are just “over it”,

      You’ve got it shorts.

      Contrary to the heavily biased towards National TV media polls, I’ve been told that National’s internal polling is telling a very different story. They are walking on broken egg shells and they know it.

      The Nat Party dirty tricks brigade will be dusting off their arsenal as we speak. Watch out for a lively two years of lies, lies and more dammed lies.

  2. Tom Gould 2

    How many of the schools saved from closure are in National electorates? And how many facing the axe are in Labour electorates? Just asking.

    • shorts 2.1

      some really (rough) maps with that and other info of note here: http://rebuildingchristchurch.wordpress.com/

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Thanks Shorts. Some strange coincidences? Perhaps not so strange.
        I wonder if the 10 or so that are no longer listed for change, are in more affluent areas? Surely not.

        • Tom Gould 2.1.1.1

          Looks like 70% of the schools to close are in Labour seats, 80% of the schools to merge are in Labour seats, and 100% of the new schools are in National seats. Will they release the vote analysis under the OIA or is it ‘commercially sensitive’?

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 2.1.2

        I was trying to get a picture of the areas and schools in my mind. I’ve been visiting Christchurch a lot for a time. This is how the closures look from short’s map to me identifying them roughly by memory. Pretty rough and I didn’t even get the right count.
        Closure
        1 Prebbleton area
        2,3 Sydenham, Beckenham area
        4 Bryndwr area
        5 Shirley area
        6 Avonside area
        7 Linwood area

        Reprieve
        1 and 2 Out Yaldhurst Rd way
        3 Up near Burnside
        4 Belfast east area
        5,6,7,8 Burwood area going south in a line to Linwood-Bromley area
        9 and 10 at foot of Cashmere and Woolston
        Total 10 Reprieve I counted

        Merge
        1,2,3 up Brighton coast
        4,5,6 inland from New Brighton towards north
        7,8 North of Ferrymead area
        9,10 in Lyttelton
        Total of 10 I counted in east and south area

        New
        1 Up near Rangiora
        2,3,4 out Sockburn
        area
        5 South – Lansdowne area

  3. Craig Glen viper 3

    I believe their is another agenda here and that is the removal of intermediates from our School System. On the surface because they only have year 11 and 12 students they appear to be costly but this ignores the huge benefits they are able to deliver to kids at this time in their life. So the Nats are on a purge without making the voters aware and that is to remove intermediates from our state school system.

    • Craig Glen viper 3.1

      Sorry got the years wrong I meant the old form 1 and 2 which is year 7/8 Intermediate age 11/12 years, my mistake.

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        I to thought that intermediates were being culled. My intermediate years were the best years of my schooling.

        • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.1

          the Viper will carry out “research” and remind you who your teachers were (and, maybe, “crushes” if you ask nicely)

          • Treetop 3.1.1.1.1

            I remember most of my teachers. Rodger Hall the playwright was one of them.

            One of my crushes from intermediate actually asked me out when I was 15. A bit of a regret, as I declined.

  4. Chris 4

    With all the mergers,are the schools affected likely to end up with bigger classes?More pupils to less teachers.

    • fabregas4 4.1

      No, this is calculated by number of children at each school – so shouldn’t really be affected past little adjustments here and there.

      • fabregas4 4.1.1

        Teacher numbers should also be largely unchanged – most Principals will be jobless maybe some DP’s and/or APs in non teaching roles too.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    The main purpose of schools is to provide pupils with enough skills for them to useful to the empire whilst denying them access to information that would make them dangerous to the empire.

    Teach them to be dumbed-down and compliant, stifle self-expression and individuality, and keep them believing the corporatized, industrialised slave camp has a future, even as it collapses.

    • Enough is Enough 5.1

      What the fuck does that rant have to with school megers/closures?

      • fatty 5.1.1

        That ‘rant’ has everything to do with the school closures. Afewknowthetruth’s last sentence sums up the real reasoning behind this attack on the schools.

        Teach them to be dumbed-down and compliant, stifle self-expression and individuality, and keep them believing the corporatized, industrialised slave camp has a future, even as it collapses.

        dumbed-down and compliant …that was the so called ‘consultation process’. The process was dumbed-down by ignoring the vast amount of research that shows the importance of schools in the social and mental development of our children.

        stifle self-expression and individuality …that occurred when the authoritarian fist from the Government stifled the opinion of the children, teachers and parents.

        keep them believing the corporatized, industrialised slave camp has a future, even as it collapses …the neoliberal ideology that underpins the school closures is just another example of TINA. Just as we have austerity to ‘solve’ our failing economy, we apply the same failed economic beliefs to our schooling system – free market, larger scale is cheaper and therefore better, etc.

        I would add one more point to Afewknowthetruth’s ‘rant’: Although self-expression and individuality has been suppressed, paradoxically, the children would have learned from this process that education is not the responsibility of the Government and society, instead, education is the responsibility of the individual and unfairness towards economic victims is natural.

  6. Anne 6

    I believe their is another agenda here and that is the removal of intermediates from our School System.

    Of course Craig Glen viper, who cares about the kids of ordinary working people – owp don’t vote for them.

    The intermediate school system is a safe way to help kids make the transition from childhood to teenage/young adults without undue pressure placed on them. But it’s of no consequence to the Nat govt. because their ‘children’ go to private schools who have the resources etc. to adequately cover that period in a kid’s life.

    That’s why we saw $35 million of our money given to the privates schools and that posh school, Wanganui Collegiate was also saved by a huge injection of our money. Their Nat Party donor mates demanded it as payback for their ongoing support?

  7. Craig, I would much rather we had middle schools (year 7-10) as Clarence Beeby first envisaged them, it was politics that made them for only two years. There has been enough evidence to show that the 7-10 years are often poorly catered for in both primary and secondary schools and having their own school makes a lot of sense. However this Government will never consider anything that may cost a little more money but better meets student’s needs.

  8. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 8

    After listening to the radio interviews on Radionz the whole consultation thing seems to have been a cynical exercise – just pointless and punitive actually, as some of the schools most involved in it have had previous times for adjustment brought forward to very stringent levels. Quite Kafkaesque really. It’s not what intelligent well governed people expect. But I remember feeling dismay at Trevor Mallard’s efforts also – don’t know whether the decisions and process were as bad as this damn NACTiban government (the Taliban don’t like education either).

  9. aerobubble 9

    no, unions are dead. no effect for the good of society. why do teachers hate us!

    Of course families in ChCh should suffer more, even before their homes have
    been rebuilt they should be forced to move their kids to new schools, pay
    more for new uniforms, etc. Kids are so resilient aren’t try.

    Irony off. Sorry, National party disgraceful distracting talking points off.

    So much for the free market, the private insurance companies haven’t paid
    out yet and the government public sector is already moving their kids on!!!
    Who says the education department isn’t efficient! Well in this ONE AREA!

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9.1

      aerobubble
      Just off the thread but insurance mention reminded me. I heard a resident affected by the Cyclone Sandy off New York saying that some insurance companies had paid out to some clients – and then demanded the money back because they had made a mistake. Had a ‘better’ legal opinion I suppose. So we live in interesting times.

  10. infused 10

    Yawn. Talk back was a good listen this morning. Teachers were the ones using kids as pawns on TV last night. What a fucking joke.

  11. tracey 11

    The pm has announced 27 sas soldiers will remain in afganistan doing arborist work. He said they would do ” prepatree” work.

  12. tracey 12

    Yea those bastard teachers putting kids at the centre of the discussion instead of money and failed experiments

  13. Treetop 13

    Are the Nats being influenced by big insurance payouts on some schools that are to be closed?

    Will the new schools actually be built by the government using the insurance money?

  14. JK 14

    What I know about insurance companies and institutions such as Ministrys and local authoritities is very limited BUT one of the first things they tell you (as an elected person) is Do NOT APOLOGISE because that indicates liability, and therefore the insurance is null and void. This happens with local authorities caught up in flooding/landslips/other “natural” disasters. I would think its possible it has also happened with the Christchruch situation hence only limited apology from govt ministers on certain matters.

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    @EiE

    1. Schools as presently constitutes and operated are part of the problem, so we could celebrate their closure.

    2. Schools, as presently constituted and operated have no long term future. All will close far sooner than most people imagine possible because they require huge inputs of energy and resources for little return (other than a cheapish babysitting service).

    Good students learn in spite of the school system, not because of it.

  16. Afewknowthetruth 16

    Edit function not working.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Fascinating chart on global income change
    Last year Joseph Stiglitz, Prof James K Galbraith, and Branko Milanovic presented a paper that included the following graph, which set the economics world all a-twitter: It shows the change in income around the world in roughly the first 20...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Nurses celebrate partial victory for new grads
    Nurses celebrated yesterday when they learned their 7000 signature petition had helped pressure the government into funding a further 200 more positions in the nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Development opportunities after CRL: Will Newton become a second Newmarket?
    A couple of weeks ago Auckland Council quietly released a new version of its Capacity for Growth Study. The CFG study is an important and interesting document – it models the potential for future residential and business development under current...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novopay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 30-07
  • Labour’s living wage announcement welcome news for public servants
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Novopay debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house. Glenn Barclay, PSA...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Israel celebrates killing of children
    As the Israeli bombardment and occupation of Gaza intensifies with Unicef estimating that 230 Palestinian children have been killed to date, the international response to numerous Israeli war crimes appears to be floundering. Although an investigation will be conducted, without...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • A video has emerged showing far-right Israeli protesters celebrating the death of children in Gaza in Tel Aviv this weekend.The protesters, who were picketing a much larger anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, can be seen...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • Novopay triumph for government
    Today the National government announced the future plans for the troubled education payroll system Novopay. The system has had a rough ride since it was implemented almost two years ago. At parliament today the Cabinet Minister for Fixing Up Really Bad...
    My Thinks | 30-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #3: Plane Tree Avenues
    Stuart Houghton’s 100 ideas for Auckland continues 3: Plane Tree Avenues Franklin Road, with its historic plane trees, is one of the most loved streets in Auckland. What if plane tree avenues defined all the major city fringe streets? This...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Too Much some recent articles on Inequality
    click here for these...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • From truffle to light crude; oil doesn’t come cheap
    The Governments oil salesman Simon Bridges just can’t catch a break these days. Whether it’s having to admit that he’d never even heard of NZ’s largest forest park (Victoria FP) which he’d just opened up to drillers or getting stick...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-07
  • Submit on the Draft Parking Discussion Document
    Auckland Transport have had their Draft Parking Discussion Document (2mb file) out for consultation over the last couple of months, but this closes at midnight on Thursday. This covers the full range of parking issues around the city, including on-street, off-street and park...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Reaching out to voters
    This is going to be the biggest grassroots campaign we’ve ever run. A couple of weeks ago I shared some of the stats from our voter outreach programme with the media. It’s campaign activity that’s often hidden from view, but...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Scrapped
    Wellington City Council has scrapped its "alternative giving" campaign. Good. As the article notes, the campaign was an expensive failure, with $40,000 spent to raise just $3,500 for the homeless. But despite that, its architects are still trying to pretend...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Following in illustrious footsteps
    Gaylene Nepia is campaign manager for both the national Māori campaign and for her brother Adrian Rurawhe - Labour’s candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. Mr Rurawhe and Mrs Nepia are great grandchildren of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, founder of the...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Seeing life through a Maori lens
    Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, is contesting the seat for the first time at a general election. She entered Parliament through a by-election in June last year, following the death of her predecessor Parekura Horomia....
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Bribery
    So, it turns out that the government blew $240,000 on hosting eleven oil company executives for a four-day junket during the 2011 rugby world cup. In Parliament today Energy Minister Simon Bridges admitted that $22,000 of that spending was on...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • All other things being equal… except they aren’t
    US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts likes to say that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race", a sentiment ACT leader Jamie Whyte would applaud going by...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Celebrating a great talent pool
    I've been an MP since the 1996 election, first for Te Tai Hauauru and then for Tainui, which became Hauraki-Waikato after boundary changes. I'm seeing a real energy around Labour among Māori. The talent pool that Labour is fielding in both...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Labour on wages
    Great to see positive, progressive policy from Labour on wages today. The core points are: Increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first hundred days in government, and increased...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Inequality: Balancing the Extremes from Credit Suisse Research Institute
    click here for this youtube clip...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours Industrial Relations policy package.” CTU President Helen Kelly said...
    CTU | 30-07
  • Inequality and Its Consequences Stiglitz and Feldstein
    click here for this youtube discusioon...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Australia’s corruption cover-up
    Wikileaks strikes again:A sweeping gagging order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • A bottom-up plan for inequality
    Labour released its "work and wages" policy today. The headlines? Abolishing the 90-day law and increasing the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by April 2015. Those are fairly obvious ways of delivering to their core constituency, but...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 30
    Top of the AgendaU.S., EU to Toughen Sanctions on Russia...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Where are Labour’s billboards?
    On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...