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The Standard

Class sizes don’t matter?

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, June 2nd, 2012 - 44 comments
Categories: class war, education, john key - Tags:

44 comments on “Class sizes don’t matter?”

  1. Carol 1

    Gone viral!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10810207

    The Prime Minister told the Listener he sent his children to private schools for educational reasons, including smaller classes and better resources.

    It was not a direct quote, but a picture of Mr Key with the comment alongside was posted on Facebook yesterday and by last night had appeared on numerous blogs and been shared by more than 6000 people.

    Comments about it included labelling Mr Key a hypocrite for arguing now that increasing class sizes in the state sector would not affect standards of education.

  2. seeker 2

    Almost a direct quote

    “Mostly, he says, that decision was for educational reasons. Their schools have smaller classes and are better resourced than most state schools. ”

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/show-a-bit-of-class/

  3. Bill English’s budget has caused a lot of upset in the education world. Intermediate schools; their teachers and the parents of the students who go to them, were dismayed to find that huge cuts were to be made to teaching staff and to the practical subjects offered. What reason could there be for such severe cuts to Intermediate schools? National has for a long time now, pushed the idea that bigger classes are better, that crowding children into a classroom will help their learning. Children at State schools that is. Not those going to private schools, where many of the politicians own children go. At the private schools, parents are promised small class sizes and the benefits that come from the extra attention their child will receive as a result. What I find difficult to understand, is how the Government can say two different things and expect us to believe them. Small is good for their children, but big is good for ours. I don’t believe them.

    Robert Guyton

    http://robertguyton.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/i-wrote-letter-to-editor.html

    • Bill 3.1

      “Small is good for their children, but big is good for ours.”

      :-) Privatisation is good for all people who want to make a buck. Our children, their children, all children…fair game. Now, whatyamean you’re a wee bit poor and can’t afford to send you’re child to one of the ‘more efficient by outcomes’ schools? You been making ‘bad life choices’ there? Oh well, them’s the breaks. Can’t have your bad choices and tall poppy syndrome ruining it* for the rest of us**, can we***?

      [* our opportunity to make dosh]
      [**mythical and all inclusive ‘us’ with the exception of you know who]
      [***the real ‘us’…us with the dosh and the itchy palms]

    • seeker 3.2

      I think Gabriel Makhlouf opined a great deal about class size,’master teachers’ and tradeoffs in March 2012.http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/economicleadership
      He should have stuck to what he had some knowledge of rather than fraudently trying to enter and pontificate upon the specialised world of Education by (ab)using his position of CEO of the national piggybank. We all know how the government listens to the treasury! The blind leading the blind.

      • DH 3.2.1

        It’s like being a fly on the wall at the mad hatters tea party. They bring in an import from a country in a worse financial state than we’re in and he has the gall to preach to us about education!

        They can’t even do their maths properly at Treasury. Anyone who has spent even five minutes talking to NZ teachers would know that an increased class size leads directly to an increase in their workload. That’s more marking, more assessment, more preparation, more parents to coddle etc etc.

        Teachers are going to demand compensation for the extra time, it may only translate into a few percent but that will negate any savings made from reducing teacher numbers. The next few rounds of teacher pay talks will almost certainly include demands for extra pay to cover the increased workload.

        Once again ideology trumps common sense.

    • Andy 3.3

      Read your Orwell. It’s called doublethink. Ignorance is strength.

  4. DS 4

    Don’t forget that private schools don’t have to jump through the unnecessary hoops involved with National Standards. The parents and presumably employers are quite content with the label of “private school”.
    Or that “smaller classes” can be part of the special character of private schools when they ask to be integrated.

  5. Brian 5

    I’m with you on this one John – sending your kids to school for “educational reasons” is definitely the best course of action.

  6. Nick K 6

    Mostly, he says, that decision was for educational reasons. Their schools have smaller classes and are better resourced than most state schools.

    The first sentence is a quote from Key. But the second isn’t.

    • North 6.1

      Nick K……..seems Key HAS NOT DENIED that he identified smaller class sizes and/or better resources as “educational reasons” why his kids were at private schools ?

      If he does not then we have on the table a direct reporting of his “……reasons”.

      So, until he does deny (in which case Listener writer Joanne Black’s interview notes/recollections would need to be consulted) I can only see your assertion above as a nervous spray of bullshit occasioned by the searing embarrassment you are feeling.

      Your idol has clay feet and the perpetual dribble spin which trickles down is washing them away ?

    • Penny Bright 6.2

      Browsing: Home / Commentary / Show a bit of class
      Show a bit of class
      By JOANNE BLACK | Published on May 28, 2005 | Issue 3394

      ” ……………..
      It might be sick, but it also might be why Key’s children – Stephanie, 12, and Max, 10 – go to private schools. Mostly, he says, that decision was for educational reasons. Their schools have smaller classes and are better resourced than most state schools. But he acknowledges that the connections children make are also important”

      THAT is the quote from the Listener article.

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

      http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

      • Puddleglum 6.2.1

        Thanks Penny.

        That seems to clear up the issue of whether or not the second sentence summarised his stated reasons. The third sentence reveals that, discursively, he was trying to avoid the accusation that he was sending his children to private schools so that they would make connections with the sons and daughters of the elite.

        By emphasising their ‘educational’ advantages, he was avoiding what he (then) saw as the more damaging, elitist implication of his decision to send his children to private schools. That is, trying to emphasise the ‘what you know’ NOT ‘Who you know’ advantages of private schooling.

        After all, he enjoys his reputation of being an ‘ordinary New Zealander’ and preserving that public view of him would have been paramount at the time.

    • redman 6.3

      Then let Key come out and say he would be happy for his kids to be in a class with 30+ kids in it, no teacher aid and one teacher.

      Lets see that statement from the PM.

  7. millsy 7

    Private schools exist only because parents dont want their precious little darlings to mix with dirty poor or brown kids. Nothing else. Unless those dirty poor/brown kids are good front-rowers for the first XV mind you..those Korean calculus whizzes make the test scores look good, but wouldnt know a scrum from a ruck.

    The increasing tendency for parents to send their children to wealthier private schools across town contributes to an ever incresing social stratification in this country.

    Back when I was a child, enjoying the blissful innocence of childhood oblivious to the unfolding chaos that was Rogernomics, my parents, sent me to a primary school and kindergarten that bordered a huge Housing Corp estate, known for its gang violence, etc, as did a lot of parents from that area, though my auntie and uncle, who lived just down the road, sent my cousin to a school in a more respectable area. Back then, even in the mid to late 1980’s parents didnt break their necks to send their kids to private school like they do now. And that primary school wasant a really bad school, it had some awesome teachers, and a principal who would personally visit the sick bay if a child was there to see if they were OK.

    Now I have at least 2 people from my work who live near that school who send their children to posh Catholic schools across town. No dirty poor kids for those darlings.

    As for class sizes, I really dont get why people think class sizes dont matter. I found that it was way easier to learn in a class size of 10-15, rather than a class size of 30-35, and that is right up to when I finished my degree.

    • Murray Olsen 7.1

      Spot on. It’s all about creating and demarcating an upper class in our “classless” Erewhon. The rulers who know all the right (wing) people and the ruled who get enough education to attend compulsory WINZ interviews where they’re probed, harassed and threatened. If they’re really lucky and not too brown, some of them might even get enough training to be waiters at the new Sky City Convention Centre on the odd occasion that someone has a convention there.

      • Puddleglum 7.1.1

        Hi Murray,

        Just wanted to say that is a very well-crafted comment. There are more insightful points – and implied points – in those few sentences than in many a long thread.

        Much appreciated! 

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        some of them might even get enough training to be waiters at the new Sky City Convention Centre on the odd occasion that someone has a convention there.

        I’m sure John Key has promised to hold lots of tax payer funded events there.

  8. Wyndham 8

    The hypocrisy is further compounded by the fact that Key and Co. voted $35 million from the taxpayer to support private schools. No “user pays” dogma there.

    How do they get away with this stuff?

  9. ianmac 9

    Remember that it is not just Intermediates that will be hurt. Fabregas4 wrote a piece a few days ago showing how his 4/5 teacher contributing school will be seriously affected. At least 20? more kids than previously would be needed to get his 5th teacher. Can’t find his post. The Technology Centres are just a very public part of a very serious threat to younger kids.

  10. Dv 10

    Ianmac
    Here are a couple of examples I have found of the effects of class size.
    Thw key is the need for class sizes of 40 in some classes.
    I am absolutely positive the reseach did NOT model classes of this magnitude.
    It is these numbers that need to be kept to the fore.
    We need more example.

    Both are from teachers/principals

    BOTH have classes of over 40 in the new model.

    Example One
    Now
    Year 1 18 children (recommended 15) 18
    Year 2 22 24
    Year 3 22 (Beginning Teacher)
    Year 4/5 26
    Year 6 28

    We still have new entrants to come which will lift us to around 123 children by the end of the year. We are funded for 5 teachers after child 101, the 6th at 126.

    New
    After changes we will be funded for teacher 4 at 97.5 – the 5th at 125 – the 6th at 153.5.’

    So if we hit 123 children at years end we still would not qualify to be fully funded for teacher 5 meaning classes like this
    Year 1 18
    Year 2 24 (can’t in all conscience go higher for 6 year olds)
    Year 3 40
    Year 4/5 41

    Example 2
    1 teacher at my school is 20% of teachers! At each years end I have around 120 children. If I place 15 children in Year 1, then the balance of 105 children must be fitted within three classrooms. Quite frankly 27.5 children is too many in a Year 2 class – especially a rural, decile 1, 88% Maori school. So if I place say 24 in this room I have two classes of 40 left!

    • burt 10.1

      DV

      It would seem that in your example ‘bulk funding’ would probably produce better outcomes. How ironic is that.

      • ianmac 10.1.1

        I have a sneaking suspicion Burt that Bulk Funding will be on the Agenda and might well be behind the current pressure on Teaching. “Twist and screw them teechers so that a dose of Bulk Funding will be accepted.”
        Of course the money has to come from somewhere. Save money by increasing class sizes so that the money via BFunding can be spent by Schools to reduce class sizes. Brilliant!

    • North 10.2

      That’s why the liars are now casting the debate in terms of “maximum staff loss = 2 teachers”.

      It conceals in Ianmac’s example that in 40% of his school’s classes the pupil numbers will rise from 24 to 40 – a massive increase of 66%, just to hold ground in the other classes. Forget about your at first blush, seemingly innocuous “2”.

      It’s rank dishonesty anyway to bandy about any figure in a vaccum as they do with this “2” business.

      Be ready to be defamed and abused as incompetents when you can’t do the impossible teachers.

      Key and that Flash Potato Parata (Maori when it suits her but kupapa otherwise) are certainly King Canute when the prescriptions they invent fall to be met by others.

      They are disgusting, dishonest people (as confirmed by Key’s “educational reasons……”) who richly deserve from the public the exact same measure of contempt they offer to the public.

    • ianmac 10.3

      Thanks for that Dv. Have bookmarked this page because it should be a major issue and numbers are facts. Will publish in our local paper.

      • Dv 10.3.1

        Ian mac, the projected class sizes should be collected AND published across the country.

        burt, you are right. This could a trojan horse for bulk funding, but that has been clear fpr a while.

      • ianmac 10.3.2

        Have posted my letter to Editor using both sets of figures thanks DV and Fabregas4.

  11. burt 11

    I’m not actually surprised that this is posted with an author of ‘the standard’. I once questioned Mallard face to face on why his children didn’t go to their in zone school. His answer was quick and decisive – Don’t you dare bring my own family into a political discussion.

    Who put this post up, who’s going to put their name to it ? If it’s nobody then how about we also discuss why when Mallard supported school zoning as a policy for others his own kids were transported out of zone for schooling.

    All that aside. I think that as long as we have a state one size fits all school system for the masses that MPs should use it for their children. If they say it’s good enough for everyone else then they should eat it too. The same goes for the state health system – how many MP (from any party) have private medical insurance? How many of their kids wait 2-3 years for tonsillectomy etc.

    They need to eat their own dog food!

    • Dv 11.1

      Burt, I agree with the basic tennant of your comment, that MPs should have to live in the society they create.

    • millsy 11.2

      “The same goes for the state health system – how many MP (from any party) have private medical insurance? How many of their kids wait 2-3 years for tonsillectomy etc.”

      Probably why I wasant too keen on Cunliffe becoming Labour Leader. He said in a 2008 interview he had private health insurance.

      • Vicky32 11.2.1

        How many of their kids wait 2-3 years for tonsillectomy etc.”

        Burt, do you even understand why kids wait that long? In the early 1990s, my son had frequent bouts of ear infection and tonsillitis, and it was explained to me, that in contrast to my own youth, doctors now prefer to avoid tonsillectomies if at all possible. I was told that L., could have a tonsillectomy if and only if he had three bouts of infection within one calendar year – and he never did.
        Tonsils are now known to be an essential part of the immune system, and should never be removed until it’s absolutely necessary.

    • North 11.3

      Oh, the old diversionary chestnut from Burt……..”don’t bring my family into it.”

      Remember that in this issue Key is “bringing into it…….” every family in New Zealand with a child who will end up in an increased numbers classroom. What’s more he is engaging what amount to falsehoods to get the job done.

      If that in itself is not good enough to justify comment about Key being free to avail optimum educational circumstances for his family then his hypocrisy and his “Let them eat cake…” pose on class size, as evidenced by the picture and accompanying text above, certainly is.

      Strange though Burt that after blowing a valve about dissemination of the picture and text above you do for all money denounce Let Them Eat Cake Key’s going private by saying he shouldn’t be free engage that choice in the first place.

      I guess you’re terribly conflicted – a primal urge to engage apologism – fighting a searing embarrassment – fighting what might well be a vague shred of socialist principle.

      Have a cuppa and a lie down bro’.

    • Puddleglum 11.4

      Hi burt,

      I agree that MPs should take the consequences of the general policy decisions they make.

      As for ‘bringing his children into it’, I really don’t see it as a point about his children. I thought the point of raising this quotation was to show that Key’s stated beliefs about the educational value of small class sizes undercuts the claim that increasing class sizes (as a matter of explicit policy) will not effect the quality of children’s education.

      Whether in fact it does or doesn’t is not the point. It’s clear that, at least in 2005, Key believed that class size matters. Has he changed his view? If so, would he now caution people against paying money to have their children attend private schools on the ‘false’ belief that smaller classes were educationally helpful?

  12. Penny Bright 12

    Looks like John Key is going to be forced to do a big fat ‘U turn’ on increasing class sizes?

    Nearly 9000 Facebook ‘shares’ (as at 11.30am Saturday 2 June 2012)

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151003966976477&set=a.207470516476.164174.568131476&type=1&theater

    HYPOCRITE! SHONKY JOHN KEY! http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10810207

    Kiwi DIY ingenuity! An innovative way of coping with increasing class sizes…..

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/building-renovation/fixtures-fittings/handles-levers/auction-480723906.htm

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  13. weka 13

    Would someone from TS mind clarifying whose image that is in the post? With The Listener header it looks like it’s something from The Listener. I’m assuming it’s not, but it’s a bit confusing at first, and even second glance. If it’s something someone at TS made, can you please credit it as such? (I mean credit it to TS, not necessarily an individual).
     
    It’s a good image. I just think this is another case of TS not being clear enough about who is the author of what. If people want to use that image elsewhere, it would be good if they knew who to credit it to.

    • Penny Bright 13.1

      Here you go Weka!

      “Would someone from TS mind clarifying whose image that is in the post? With The Listener header it looks like it’s something from The Listener. I’m assuming it’s not, but it’s a bit confusing at first, and even second glance. If it’s something someone at TS made, can you please credit it as such? (I mean credit it to TS, not necessarily an individual).

      It’s a good image. I just think this is another case of TS not being clear enough about who is the author of what. If people want to use that image elsewhere, it would be good if they knew who to credit it to.”

      TO WHOM TO GIVE CREDIT:

      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151003966976477&set=a.207470516476.164174.568131476&type=1&theater

      Chris Glen

      So Mr Key, bigger classes are OK for kids from average NZ families who can’t afford private schools?

      Please SHARE on your Wall, your friends Walls and in your Groups.
      We all know about the ‘real John Key’, lets make sure others do too.

      This graphic was produced for Action for Good by me and not by the NZ Listener. Their logo is used as John Key’s remarks appeared in an interview published in the magazine in May 2005.

      John Key’s remarks sourced from: NZ Listener, May 28, 2005.
      http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/show-a-bit-of-class/

      Photo Source: http://www.kingscollege.school.nz/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=26649

      ____________________________________________________________________________

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
      http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  14. redman 14

    How typical of Key and his 2 faced scummy party. One rule for the plebs and another rule for him and his buddies.

    I see Whale Oil is saying the left are lying, making the quote up out of what Key actually said. Well here’s a question for Key then, would he be happy to keep his kids at their private schools, AND increase the numbers in those private classes to 30+ kids?

    Lets see a quote from Key to that question.

    • North 14.1

      Of course Key’s not here is he………fortuitously off to be Her Majesty’s most simpering and loyal servant at the Court of St James.

      Potato Parata must be ropeable. She’s conquered “Slap the Lippy”, got a handsome pass in “Hire the Limo”, here she is halfway through the “Smile and Wave” section of John Key 101, and blow me down the guy buggers off to mince and tap his way across the Buck House stage.

      Looks like a fail for Potato and a much flasher photo gallery on the prime ministerial Iphone.

      Joking aside – with heavy darts positively flying at home and remaining integrity and honour seminally at risk, Key should have been able, from London, to deny the “educational reasons…….” attributed to him. Were they deniable.

      He hasn’t. Bets on another case of Springbok Tour can’t remember durrrhh………? Or is the underlying hubris now so ingrained that he really don’t give a stuff ?

      I’ll be very hoha if Her Majesty gets a little too tipsy over the weekend and starts wavin’ that sword around. Nek minnit an impromptu job lot of unplanned knighthoods. Can’t you just see it ?; Key shoulder-charging people out of the way to fall under that sword.

  15. NattyM 15

    If class sizes don’t matter and the government really needs to cut costs, the next logical step is to cut public funding to private schools so that they too increase class sizes.

    • Dv 15.1

      WHY are private schools being penalised from getting the bests result for their pupils by having small classes?

      THIS is disgraceful and must not be tolerated.

      • mike e 15.1.1

        dv ant yes your understanding as those of your elitist cohorts will mean we will slip further down the economic ladder as a nation.So you are saying that large class sizes shouldn’t be tolerated at all even in public schools.

        • Vicky32 15.1.1.1

          dv ant yes your understanding as those of your elitist cohorts will mean we will slip further down the economic ladder as a nation.So you are saying that large class sizes shouldn’t be tolerated at all even in public schools.

          I fear Mik.e that you missed his sardonic point!

  16. Penny Bright 16

    Gosh – appears my reporting the FACTS have got a few bites?

    All good!

    ‘You don’t cop the flak unless you’re over the target’

    Keep going – you’re making my evening ………… :)

    Oh dear – seems I have kicked over a hornets’ nest on Cameron Slater’s blog?

    Funny the reaction some people have to the FACTS?

    Oh well – see what the response is to this next KICK………….. ? :)

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2012/06/the-lies-the-left-tells/

    You have all checked out http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com ?

    Any considered opinions on when ‘shonky’ John Key is going to have to stop protecting ‘dodgy’ John Banks?

    Having held seven protests to date in the streets of the Epsom electorate, I can tell you that there are a growing number of voters who are concerned with John Key’s continued defence of the indefensible.

    Mind you – given John Key’s blinding hypocrisy and proven track record over Tranz Rail – it’s unlikely that he’s going to be able to ‘lead from the front’ when it comes to ‘honorable’ and ethical behaviour?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz

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  • More thoughts on Light Rail details
    On the closed session agenda for tomorrow’s Auckland Transport board meeting is an item asking for a decision about Light Rail. Hopefully this will see the project move forward and the public provided with more information. With that in mind… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Questions and Answers – April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP (National) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand?Questions to Ministers Inflation—Reports 1. CHRIS BISHOP (National) to the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    21 hours ago
  • The “I” factor in political practice
    When is a Prime Minister a political person and when the voice of the nation? Opening the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington on April 18, John Key said: “I feel proud of the decision to make Pukeahu… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    23 hours ago
  • A Programme of Phased Cuts in Company Tax
    Column – ACT New Zealand Over-taxing mobile capital is not a good idea not if you want jobs and higher wages anyway. Last week the ACT Leader announced a plan for a programme of phased reductions in the company… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Trade Minister Cheers Big Corporation Over Ordinary People
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Trade Minister Tim Grosers cheerleader role for the United States to speed up the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is worrying, says New Zealand First Trade Spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.Trade Minister Cheers Big Corporation Over… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • My other grandfather
    I have been stuck at home for several days, and so the build-up to Anzac day has been reduced for me to a series of media impressions. Fragmentary ones at that, as I actively tried to avoid the coverage. The… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • US: the state’s systematic violence kills another young black man
    Freddie Gray: brutally murdered by Baltimore cops by The Spark A young man is dead in Baltimore, killed by six murdering cops. In the same week, a murdering cop goes free in Chicago when a prosecutor and a judge tie… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Questions For Oral Answer April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hobbling Democracy: TPPA and The Covenant of Secrecy
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • The Decline and Fall of the United States | David Swanson
    Opinion – David Swanson After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Fearing the loss of Hegemony: The Concept of US Retreat
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Nothing upsets those drunk on imperialist virtue than the fact it might end. Such romances with power do have a use-by-date, going off like old fruit. Eventually, the crippling contradictions will win through in the end.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Strong Support for Clarification of GMO Council Jurisdiction
    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    5 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    6 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    7 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    7 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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