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Education, evidence, and a tale of two leaders

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, September 10th, 2012 - 86 comments
Categories: david shearer, education, john key, schools - Tags: , ,

In case you missed it in the weekend, on Sunday David Shearer gave an excellent speech on education, which has been (as far as I can tell) universally positively received.

The headline items are free food in low decile schools, and extending the reading recovery programme, all well covered in the pieces linked above. In this post I want to look quickly at the simmering background issue of national standards, and the difference that this illustrates between the two leaders.

In responding to Shearer’s speech, here’s what Key had to say about standards:

‘My basic view of education has been that unless you measure, monitor and report on something, you’re unlikely to get good outcomes,” Key said.

Note that this “basic” (got that right) “view of education” is at complete odds with all of the Nats’ supposed beliefs – small government, minimise red-tape, cut bureaucracy, down with the nanny state, except for education which must be measured monitored and reported! (Gosh it’s almost like they have a separate agenda just for teachers, but I digress).

Note also that this “basic view of education” is stone cold wrong. It is wrong everywhere that national standards have been tried (see UK, see USA). The Nats have been warned by their own education advisor that it is wrong for New Zealand. But Key has a “basic view of education” so too bad for the kids.

[Update: Labour will leave each school board free to decide whether or not to participate in national standards.] Here’s Shearer’s take:

National is systematically undermining the very values that make our education system great . They are peddling tired ideas that don’t work, copied from countries that rank far below us. …

We need to take Fraser’s vision for education and match it with the best research and listen to the ideas of our talented professionals.

If you need any more convincing on the futility of national standards – Finland has you covered:

Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West’s reigning education superpower, Finland. …

From his [Finnish expert Pasi Sahlberg] point of view, Americans are consistently obsessed with certain questions: How can you keep track of students’ performance if you don’t test them constantly? How can you improve teaching if you have no accountability for bad teachers or merit pay for good teachers? How do you foster competition and engage the private sector? How do you provide school choice? The answers Finland provides seem to run counter to just about everything America’s school reformers are trying to do.

For starters, Finland has no standardized tests. … Instead, the public school system’s teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.

As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master’s degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal’s responsibility to notice and deal with it.

Oh and also note:

In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.

Labour has started heading in the right direction. Labour is looking for the evidence – for “the best research” and “the ideas of our talented professionals” – I very much hope that they look to Finland for a model of what actually works. Or, of course, we could stick with the Nats, Key’s “basic view of education”, and the provably failed model of national standards. What does it matter after all. They’re only kids.

86 comments on “Education, evidence, and a tale of two leaders”

  1. Carol 1

    I’m pleased Shearer is dumping US-style education intitatives, and hope he looks more to Finland as well as Fraser.

    But what is Bomber referring to here:

    https://twitter.com/CitizenBomber/status/244877598251966465

    David Shearer just endorsed National Standards on Breakfast TV?
    7:19 AM – 10 Sep 12 ·

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      All I see and hear from Shearer is vacillation, now that applies to National Standards. National must be so glad to have such a Leader of the Opposition.

  2. MostlyHuman 2

    Correction: “What does it matter after all. They’re only kids.”

    Should read: What does it matter after all. They’re only X people’s kids.”

    Where X is: other, poor, etc…

  3. Anton 3

    Unfortunately Bomber has been a bit trigger happy recently in his criticism of Shearer. I mean, he’s great, and I’d be the first to see him back on natrad – he’s a damn sight more entertaining than the other boomer crusties they have wheeled into the studio – but there have been a few non-stories from him in the recent past.

    Shearer isn’t as slick as Key. This is a bad thing?

    • Carol 3.1

      It sounds like Shearer gave an inadequate answer on breakfast TV, and let himself be drawn into seeming to endorse National Standards.

      I do find Shearer’s poor speech delivery, political inexperience and waffley interviews to be a negative for him being a party leader.

      But, at least Shearer’s more considered policy statement is focused on letting parents decide on National Standards. But if only some schools choose the standards, then they aren’t really “national” ones, and just become another measure amongst several:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7642852/Let-parents-choose-assessments-says-Shearer

      The problem is that I imagine parents in wealthy areas will choose Nat Stds as away to show their kids are doing better than others, and would carry a status value that would count against poorer schools that ditch them.

      I say ditch the National Standards altogether.

      • David H 3.1.1

        No roughly what he said was that he would leave the Nat standards in place for those that want it .BUT he would take some of the money that was to go to NS for his reading program, and if a school wants to use something else other than NS then that was now UP TO the school now.

        That was my take on it. But yes Carol you are right he was too waffley and hard to understand, and he did let him self get sucked into the NS question. Maybe Cunliffe as leader and Shearer as Minister for Children???

        • gobsmacked 3.1.1.1

          “he was too waffley and hard to understand, and he did let him self get sucked into the NS question. Maybe Cunliffe as leader and Shearer as Minister for Children???”

          Agree 100%. It would be a shame to lose Shearer’s obvious passion for the subject. It should be put to good use in a role more appropriate to his talents.

          • David H 3.1.1.1.1

            You see the other thing is where do you put the Greens if they win the next election ? It would make for an interesting cabinet. Cunliffe Leader and he takes Finance as well, Deputy leader Russel Norman? Julie Anne Genter for Transport. Shearer Minister for Children. Gareth Hughes Environment, Parker Ass Finance Robertson gets Cunliffes old Job As for the rest Goff is good at his job. Mallard is not, he goes to back bench. As for the rest I am not sure of who’s good at what or maybe you think I got it wrong.

            Oh yes and imagine them up against the Nats Smart knowledgeable in their portfolios and willing to do the right thing. Up against the Natsc where you have Key his sheen is well and truely worn Bennett spiteful Brownlee Deaf and completely ill informed and of course Capt Ahab (Joyce) proud minister of MOBIE (Dick) Oh joy what a choice.

            • gobsmacked 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Not much time for chat today, but I would agree that several Greens have looked impressive, and if the new (Labour?) PM wanted a Cabinet chosen on merit, then they would pick Greens over some of their Labour colleagues.

              At least 10 current Labour MPs should leave Parliament before or at the next election. If Shearer really is in charge, he’ll tell them.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.2

      Its not about being slick its about communicating clearly what direction you are heading. Sadly Shearer gives mixed messages. So on one hand he wants to take education in the direction of Finlands approach (feeding children say), but National standards he kinda agrees with ( at least thats what it looked like) and teachers should give reports in plan English ( both National Part meme’s). Secondly he is not convincing giving the message in his delivery and you have to be convincing to get people out to vote.You have to be quick with retorts timing is everything especially on live TV campaigning and Shearer just does not have that he never looks comfortable. Davids a nice guy with the best of intentions but as he currently presents he is not going to get people going yeah I wanna vote Labour and Shearer.
      Sadly we dont have time to let him develop we lost that time giving Phil a go.If National get another term its all over( asset Sales).

  4. Tracey 4

    You’ve hit the nail on the head in your title to this thread;

    The evidence is irrelevant, the facts don’t matter. That’s why Bennett’s relentless haranguing of a very slender minority of beneficiaries is working, because the evidence and facts to the contrary don’t matter.

    National’s main constituency in the middle, middle-upper class are so self righteously smug that they know how best to teach children, the evidence and the facts don’t matter. Apparently giving birth and having been to school 40 years ago is all the evidence and facts some folks need.

    National has made an art of playing to the opinion is fact brigade.

    As an aside I am a little surprised at how little Shearer’s delivery has improved since becoming LOO>

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Sometimes its essential to exaggerate and propound a view to death, for it actually to, well, die.

      Bennett, no doubt is unaware, but her efforts are stunningly counter productive, as many kiwis
      in OZ have found, and their families and friends still in NZ, that the view that your a citizen
      pays taxes and cannot then access services those taxes pay for (care of John Howard) has\and
      is leading so many kiwi’s into strife in Australia, and drawing down on the good wealth of their
      families and friends back home (who put them up, or send them cash to tied them over, etc).

      It our duty to show how wrong Bennett is, and our hope see gets even nuttier and nastier, so
      waking more up to the fact that it does not serve our own interests to have a nasty Nationalism.

      • Dr Terry 4.1.1

        The tragedy is that anybody should HAVE TO SHOW how wrong Bennett is! One would hope that it is so patently obvious!

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Or, of course, we could stick with the Nats, Key’s “basic view of education”, and the provably failed model of national standards.

    The comments above are correct. Shearer said on Breakfast this morning that Labour will not be abolishing National Standards. That’s the sound-bite he gave them, so they’ve used it.

    You could, of course, make a “pragmatic” case for this (as always, new gov’ts will inherit a status quo from their predecessors and have to deal with that). BUT there is no case at all for sending mixed messages – so that the OP supports Labour policy, and is then immediately undermined by the Labour leader.

    As I said yesterday, it’s one thing to give a prepared speech, it’s quite another to deal with the media follow-up. Shearer cannot handle going unscripted. So ironically, he is not so different from John Key after all.

    • just saying 5.2

      This “compromise” has been Shearer’s position all along. I remember venting here last time he said it.

      It is interesting watching history repeat so unerringly, with Shearer playing Goff in a reenactment of the Labour leadership 2008 – 2011.

      • just saying 5.2.1

        http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/days-after-pagani-goes-labour-steps-to.html

        And no reencatment would be complete without Bomber becoming wildly optimistic over tiny fish-bones periodically thrown to the left, and the infrequent occasions when the Labour leadership can get through a sound-bite without muffing the line. Bless his cotton socks, Bomber can’t really sustain pessimism about the state of the left.

        One swallow does not a summer make.

        And are we sure it actually was a swallow?

        • Olwyn 5.2.1.1

          I agree, just saying, and the hallelujahs make me even more despondent, since it looks as if Labour have gotten away with changing the window dressing but not the product on sale. I do not care whether Pagani writes their speeches or not, I care about Labour’s overarching position, and the particular policies that are consistent with it. But for what its worth, I think this one was in fact written by the same speech writer who wrote the previous speeches, due to its general structure, sans any roof-painter equivalents that the original outline may have contained.

          Yes, it is a good thing to feed hungry children. Who is going to say otherwise? But both the method of feeding them and the remedial reading idea smacked to me of the Whanau Ora style of provision. Nothing is said of the way in which Labour is going to be “hands on” in these fields. Certainly, the speech was on education, so one should perhaps not expect the causes of poverty to be addressed in this context. Nonetheless, the whole thing smacked to me of BAU with a shift in emphasis. I am far too suspicious to be won over by an appeal tailored to the likes of me. I want to see real honesty, real courage and real substance.

          • muzza 5.2.1.1.1

            Lazy people who are not very evolved, or who are gullible enough to be fooled by rhetoric, have jumped on board Shearers speech, and lap it up!

            Its those types who are allowing NZ to continue on the steady decline, all the while they see hope where there is vaccuous words!

      • Hami Shearlie 5.2.2

        But Goff was streets ahead in front of the camera – and he has years of experience in all kinds of portfolios. Shearer is hopeless in front of the camera and behind the microphone. Media training is not working – he doesn’t have any charisma – end of!!! And unfortunately charisma is needed in a leader – mind you, how people can say Key has charisma I do not know!!

        • lprent 5.2.2.1

          And unfortunately charisma is needed in a leader…

          Ah no. Neither Helen Clark or Jim Bolger had any particular natural charisma in front of a camera. Both served as both the leader of the opposition and as prime minister for longer than anyone since. Helen received quite a lot of media training and that allowed her to move from projecting “scary” to projecting “competent” on camera (the quoted words are from some centre-right wing friends). I’m pretty sure that Bolger received some training as well.

          Both wound up as being pretty commanding as prime ministers and in rather trying circumstances. It is a lot easier to run a whipped party in government than it is to deal with a fractured coalition – as both had to. But in neither case could either have been described as charismatic on camera. They were perceived as being highly competent even by their strong opponents and their supporters.

          Neither Key nor Shearer could be described that way by anyone who knows much about politics. So they have to fall back on charismatic because competence doesn’t get a look in. The journo’s prefer this as well, as it makes for nice shallow storyline that their extremely limited skills allow them to waffle about.

          Of course the crucial difference is that Shearer nor Key have a fraction of the political apprenticeship that Bolger or Clark had as party activists, backbenchers, and ministers. Neither Key nor Shearer have any realistic control on their caucuses. Neither are in command of most of the topics that they talk on because they have never had to dig into the nasty compromises between multiple bad alternatives that ministers have to do routinely. So we tend to get blithe ill-considered fare that looks good for short-term headlines and leaves the public curiously unsatisfied with the meal.

          IMO: Both are political amateurs trying to look the part. Needless to say I’m unhappy with having to rely on such weak reeds to run the country.

          But despite that. Effective media training has worked on Key, and would work on Shearer. Even the stuff he is getting now has caused some marked improvements in practised situations. However neither are going to be that good when it comes to unstaged situations. They simply lack the experience of being immersed in politics for decades.

          When Phil Goff started taking media training seriously, he improved hellishly fast and visibly on camera – simply because he had the experience to back it up.

          • tracey 5.2.2.1.1

            Phil improved also becuase he got exposure from an election campaign. Opposition leaders ive off scraps and so generate shallow sound bites.

            We are ill-served by sound bite leadership and we go down the path our leaders tred.

    • Tracey 5.3

      yup and that’s what is being reported, not the changes he is suggesting… he’s so busy trying to pander to the voters he thinks are nationa l nd will come back if he says the same crap as national he’s pushing more and more real people toward the Greens.

  6. Blue 6

    Big mistake from Shearer saying he won’t abolish National Standards. ‘Letting schools choose’ is a weak, half-assed position.

    National Standards is the sort of policy you either scrap or keep in its entirety. Piss weak leadership again.

    Just when I thought he might finally be onto something.

    We know that many school boards loudly protested introducing National Standards, and that when given the option, many if not most schools will ditch them.

    • BM 6.1

      A LOT of voters like the idea of National standards.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 6.1.1

        Exactly – they like “the idea”. So why isn’t Shearer hammering the facts of National’s Standards? They hurt childrens’ learning – is that what the Labour Party stands for – it’s ok to damage education if it’s popular? Are there words to express the depths of my contempt?

      • just saying 6.1.2

        Yeah and Labour has extensively focus-groupped the issue. They are therefore advocating chucking millions for National Standards to those schools where the middle-class clientele consider it a nice-to-have. Despite being clear in themselves that the Standards programme does no good and actively harms the education of many.

        White, comfortable, middle-class parents are People-Who-Matter to Labour. People who, by coincidence are, in fact very much like the Labour parliamentarians themselves, their friends, collegues, the lobbyists and public servants they mix with every day……..

        • Anton 6.1.2.1

          Who is best to communicate the failings of national standards? Politicians or teachers? This is a smart move on the part of the Labour party to move the onus of explaination to those who the parents will trust the most. “Leaving it to the schools” is clever way to defuse the whole issue.

      • fisiani 6.1.3

        Correct . That’s why is was so encouraging to hear Shearer clearly say, without any ums and ahhs that Labour would keep National Standards.

      • Dr Terry 6.1.4

        A LOT of voters are not very bright.

      • Tracey 6.1.5

        so if alot of people like something you just cave into all the facts and evidence that it will fail and set us back a decade and tell the people the emperor has beautiful clothes? It’s a wonder women ever got the vote… or Maori…

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.6

        So?

        National Standards are a really stupid policy that will make our education system worse thus not something we should keep just because a few people like them.

  7. mike e 7

    Bloody Minded not in the US where 40 out of 50 states have dumped it including Texas.
    Nor New Zealand the majority of voters are against it.
    Only those who send their kids to private school where National standards are not used its just another right wing foil to break the free education system which is amongst the worlds best .
    Spreading Cynicism.

  8. captain hook 8

    the problem is that the National party is made up of children heading towards schizophrenia in later life.
    They are posessed of infantile magical thinking that if they talk about anything then hey presto its done.
    Yeah right.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    It’s not just about what Labour want the policy to be. It’s about what Labour want the headline to be.

    It’s Politics 101. The voters don’t read the speech. They watch the news. And today’s TV One lunchtime story was – Shearer on National Standards. Along with a clip from his interview. It wasn’t Reading Recovery, or any other Labour messages.

    Why? Because the Labour leader allowed himself to accept the line of the interviewer. He always does this. If you ask him “Do you support the Wallabies or the Springboks?” he would say “Ooh, interesting question, um, I guess the Wall – no, maybe the Spring …”

    The answer – of course – is “the All Blacks”. That is simple political instinct. You know what you want to say, and you say it. It’s no good saying “Media training will sort this out”. You must have certain basic skills. Otherwise you are a time-bomb.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    *SIGH*

    Let schools choose?

    A) How can a National Standards framework only involve a few schools in some parts of the country? How is it that either ‘national’ in reach, or ‘standardised’? Its as smart a framing as Working for Families for not-working families.

    B) With National Standards left in place albeit quiescent, the Tories will simply pick it up again and run with it full tilt as compulsory for all schools in 2017.

    • Tom Gould 10.1

      *SIGH*

      You don’t want National. You don’t want Labour. But you want to get rid of NS. What will you do?

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        When its a choice between the Banksters Party and the Other Banksters Party, no one is spoilt for choice.

  11. Herodotus 11

    Not a mention about assisting those 10% of pupils that are affected by dyslexia 7 dyspraxia. Labour as the then govt belatedly recognized the issue yet that was all by not supporting this issue financially.
    http://www.dyslexia-add.org
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyslexia
    http://www.dyslexiafoundation.org.nz/election_08.html
    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/992327
    But assisting such children held back is difficult. Better to just give a national like policy with some depth.
    Sure lets fund 1-3 decile schools with breakfast, pity Labour will let go those attending 4+ decile schools and with the similar family incomes battle on. Obviously to me it is the parents faults their kiddies are going hungry, as if it was inadequate incomes then Labour would address this issue, but they are not.
    p.s. Labour should have taken a leave out of National…. Nat Stds should be gone lunchtime following the 2014 election

  12. Carol 12

    I’m not keen on all the Shearer statement’s on education (some ‘neoliberal’ 3rd way stuff in there), or his rather inept handling of it. But one thing it does seem to have done, is led the agenda, and put Key and NAct on the back foot:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7646833/Key-in-poverty-la-la-land

    Organisations working with the poor and opposition parties say Prime Minister John Key is in ”la la land” if he thinks fruit is enough to get a hungry child through a school day.

    Labour yesterday unveiled a $10 million policy to provide free food to 650 of the country’s lowest decile primary and intermediate schools.


    Child Poverty Action Group said a national programme was needed because charities couldn’t meet all the need.

    Spokeswoman Susan St John said it would be a cost effective way to begin to address child poverty.

    ”It is what happens in Scandinavian countries and Britain. It is a sensible way forward.”

    The Greens say Key is against every ”good idea” to end child poverty.

    Co-leader Metiria Turei said Kidscan reported one in 11 children in the four lowest deciles were demonstrably hungry at school and a Health Ministry survey found 20 per cent of households with school-age children didn’t have enough food for a healthy lifestyle.

    “National is in la la land when it comes to poverty. Their policies are increasing hardship. National’s track record on child poverty is a disgrace.”

    Child poverty cost taxpayers between $6 and $8 billion a year, she said.

    Mana leader Hone Harawira said kids with ”a full puku” learnt better.

    ”People shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that our current Government is doing all they can to feed hungry kids.

    A piece of fruit each day won’t keep child poverty away.”

    And some excellent, succinct and catchy framing from Hone!

  13. Craig Glen Eden 13

    Hone has his faults but he does well at succinct and catchy and also relax, even when he has dropped the N bomb and is being taken to task on it. Some people have it and others dont. Shearer dont in my view.

  14. Tracey 14

    Have been laughing all day when I think of Tau Henare wanting to be speaker… I wonder if he thinks it’s actually a “Party” he hasn’t belonged to yet????

  15. chris73 15

    The fairest option for breakfast and lunch for kids would be to work out how much the meals will cost (for arguments sake lets say $10) and then remove $25 per week per child as a subsidy from each beneficiary ($10 x 5 day div by half) and then roll out the scheme for every child.

  16. Tracey 16

    Chris you make a huge leap to assume the majority of those who can’t afford breakfast are beneficiaries. I think you will find many come from homes with two parents working shifts on minimum wage.

    Have you thought that some cant feed their children, not because they dont want to, but because they haven’t got the money?

    I also know women on the DPH who have gone without meals themselves to ensure their children are not too hungry.

    • chris73 16.1

      I don’t get your point. I’m suggesting all children get breakfast and lunch at school (who knows it may even encourage more kids to go to school) and I’m suggesting that beneficiaries subsidize it paying half what it actually costs (half price meal is pretty good in my book)

      Beneficiaries can still choose to give their kids breakfast or lunch if they choose but they know if they can’t the kids will still be fed at school

      Because I’m suggesting all children should get it (hopefully) no child will miss out.

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        What about the families who are late paying or cannot pay the half-price meals?
           
        Or are you assuming that all families that currently cannot afford to feed their kids two full-price meals will be able to afford to pay for two half-price meals? In which case, doesn’t that mean that they can already afford to give their kids one of the meals that they already miss out on?

      • Tracey 16.1.2

        beneficiaries should subsidise but not non beneficiaries? Or are you saying everyone pays full except beneficiaries who pay half?

        • chris73 16.1.2.1

          Sorry, I apoligise for not being clearer. Basically its saying everyone (workers) pays full (through taxes) except beneficiaries who pay half (automatically taken from the benefit and heavily subsidized)

          • rosy 16.1.2.1.1

            “Basically its saying everyone (workers) pays full (through taxes) except beneficiaries who pay half (automatically taken from the benefit and heavily subsidized)”

            1. Beneficiaries pay tax, just as employed workers do
            2. Beneficiaries with children are in the main previously employed workers who have fallen on hard times, and will probably be workers again (subject to health and government policies). Your artificial divisions make no sense.

            • chris73 16.1.2.1.1.1

              1. Beneficiaries pay tax, just as employed workers do
              -Bollix

              2. Beneficiaries with children are in the main previously employed workers who have fallen on hard times, and will probably be workers again (subject to health and government policies). Your artificial divisions make no sense.
              -And when they are back into work they go off the benefit and start paying again through taxes (real taxes not make believe ones)

              It may not be perfect but it means every kid gets a breakfast and lunch and thats got to be a good thing (at least an improvement on the last 30 years anyway).

              If we really wanted to we could pick holes in Shearers plan until the cows come home but it won’t achieve anything

              • rosy

                And when they are back into work they go off the benefit and start paying again through taxes (real taxes not make believe ones)

                – or get their tax back through working for families. And that’s because wages are too low to feed a family. So are they paying ‘real tax’? (rhetorical question, no need to answer).

                – As for picking holes in Shearer’s plan… that’s not me. Go Shearer, feed those kids! I expect it to be a temporary measure until the plan for citizens to earn a decent wage comes together.

              • felix

                It’s true chris, benefit levels are set to what the govt deems an appropriate entitlement for its citizens (20% less than the cost of living as it happens).

                This money, paid to a citizen of a democratic society as part of the social contract, is every bit as legitimately “theirs” as the money they earn when in work.

                Then tax is taken from it.

                Argue against the merits of the social contract if you like, but you can’t argue against the facts.

                • chris73

                  Twist and turn whatever way you like it still doesn’t mean Benes pay taxes as most people recognize.

                  • felix

                    Sorry, I’m not prepared to tell lies just because it’d make it easier for you or anyone else to understand. Facts is facts, chris. Here’s a couple of inconvenient ones for you.

                    1. The money you get from your job is generated by the whole of society functioning together over many years, just as the money a beneficiary gets is.

                    2. Part of the deal of living in such a society is that when the society fails to provide you with a job of work, you get paid enough to survive (in theory anyway, it’s actually 20% less).

                    Charging those who can least afford something while providing that same thing for free to those who can best afford it can only lead to more inequality, more resentment, a more divided society, and more kids suffering. None of that is any good for any of us.

                    • chris73

                      Its not inconvenient, its how you see the world. I don’t see it that way. I work I pay taxes, someone doesn’t work they live off the taxes I pay.

                    • higherstandard

                      At present even with all the taxes that are paid in NZ the collective we as a society are still living well beyond our means and not one of the 120 turds in parliament or in local government circles has any plans for that to change apart from blind hope that the economy picks up.

                    • rosy

                      someone doesn’t work they live off the taxes I pay

                      – Or they are living off the taxes they have paid themselves, sometimes for many, many years until the jobs or health disappeared.

                      – Or they will get jobs eventually and then refund the taxpayer for the money they have drawn down from the joint tax pool.

                      There’s not that many people who have never paid taxes, never had family members who have paid taxes AND who have always lived through taxpayer funding.

                    • felix

                      Sorry chris but without the rest of us your work is worth exactly nothing. If you don’t believe me then go do your job on your own, without using anything not wrought from the earth by your own bare hands, and without entering into any sort of contract with any other individual or organisation.

                      Let me know how that works out for you.

                      hs yeah I agree that’s a problem. And yes, turds.

                    • felix

                      rosy you mustn’t confuse chris, like most righties he’s incapable of factoring changes over time into any equation.

                      It’s the essence of conservative thinking to view the world as a static system.

                    • felix

                      ps chris you say you disagree with the two statements I made above:

                      1. The money you get from your job is generated by the whole of society functioning together over many years, just as the money a beneficiary gets is.

                      2. Part of the deal of living in such a society is that when the society fails to provide you with a job of work, you get paid enough to survive (in theory anyway, it’s actually 20% less).

                      Perhaps you could point out the precise parts of those statements you disagree with and say why.

                    • tracey

                      “I work I pay taxes, someone doesn’t work they live off the taxes I pay. ”

                      Chris if you lost yur job tomorrow (and I am not wishing that on you), with all the tax you have paid, would you consider, I and others paying tax are now supporting you, or could you consider you were getting the beenfit of having paid tax all those years and this is the safety net toward which the tax contributed?

                      It’s only a slight shift from your position but quite dramatic in some ways.

                  • mike e

                    Well chris how much tax do you pay enough to cover your use of govt services,
                    ie education roads policing regulations etc etc.
                    The experiment where all benefits were cut happened in Argentina 1997-98 were lauded by the Act party as the way to go.
                    Act were using the example in their election campaign right up until the real story came out. about 6 weeks from the election.
                    Suddenly Argentina didn’t exist any more .
                    Unemployment went from 6% to 38% overnight end of Story.
                    Grandparents were scavenging along the sides of motorways for grass roots!
                    The evidence has come through that economies that have a good welfare systems weather economic downturns far better than those who have weak welfare systems also that recovery begins quicker because capicity hasn’t been reduced as much as those with weak welfare systems!
                    Chris 73 your just another callous narcissist!

          • Tracey 16.1.2.1.2

            Ok, thanks. Got it now.

  17. chris73 17

    What about the families who are late paying or cannot pay the half-price meals?
    – Automatically removed from benefit so families don’t pay

    Or are you assuming that all families that currently cannot afford to feed their kids two full-price meals will be able to afford to pay for two half-price meals?
    -Being that the benefit is used to pay for kids then removing a (subsidised) portion of their benefit is a simple and easy solution

    In which case, doesn’t that mean that they can already afford to give their kids one of the meals that they already miss out on?
    -You can’t work a plan out for everyone but this way no child should miss out and if they do then child services should be informed

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Just tax another $4B from the wealthiest in the country and create 100,000 full time jobs.

      Problem solved.

      • chris73 17.1.1

        and that has to do with food in schools how exactly?

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          Does away with the programme.

          • chris73 17.1.1.1.1

            That would be one of your most inane comments ever, well done.

            • felix 17.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s a very straightforward comment actually chris.

              The proposed program is a response to the pitiful amount of money that low-wage workers (a huge chunk of the work force) and workers on benefits (a rapidly growing sector) are paid.

              More jobs in the economy means upward pressure on wages. (That’s why National will never support direct job creation).

              This proposal is really just another subsidy to allow shitty employers to continue paying such pathetic wages. Much like Working for Families, it wouldn’t be required if workers were paid enough in the first place.

      • mike e 17.1.2

        CV tax alcohol,tobacco gambling gst on all imports(under $400 imports don’t pay tax so making local businesses uncompetitive)that would go a long way to funding jobs.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.2.1

          I’d prefer the levying of a luxury car and luxury home tax. I like my duty free Laphroig too much :)

    • McFlock 17.2

      “you can’t work out a plan for everyone” doesn’t cut the mustard, because failure to do so means that kids go hungry.
         
      Automatically docking benefits to pay for the meals ignores the fact that for many people benefits are not enough to pay the bills – kids get lunch, but then do without dinner. Or heating in winter. Or decent-pressure water.

      You miss the point that if a child is missing breakfast and lunch, then docking benefits to provide two meals at half price, still involves paying for one meal at a price the parents cannot afford because half price for two meals equals the current price for one breakfast or lunch.

      • chris73 17.2.1

        So you prefer Shearers plan of providing meals to kids in certain schools who may or may not need them over my plan of providing meals to all kids in all schools making sure no child goes hungry (and probably creating some jobs as well)

        • McFlock 17.2.1.1

          Given that your plan simply ensures that the children who currently go hungry during the day will instead go hungry at night to pay for the meals during the day, yeah, I do support Shearer’s plan over yours.
             
          All I see in your plan are extra administration costs (docking benefits and linking them to lunches) and an excuse for self-absorbed toryboys to delude themselves even further while the status quo of children going hungry remains constant.

        • mike e 17.2.1.2

          Cynical 73

  18. Poission 18

    ‘My basic view of education has been that unless you measure, monitor and report on something, you’re unlikely to get good outcomes,” Key said.

    Command and control KPI’s do not work in developing systems ( where both self organisation and cooperation are necessary) This was a salient point in the fiasco with DHB’s and research institutes.

    Kaizen the Japanese system of incremental improvement in quality,has an inverse hierarchical pyramid for incremental change.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

    Similar systems operate in Germany and Finland,Sweden etc.

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    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ALCP welcomes Prime Minister’s cannabis comments
    Mr Abbott's comments came on the same day as New South Wales and Victoria states announced they would be doing clinical trials of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
    The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • By ACT’s logic, Epsom should vote for Conservative Candidate
    “Polling released late in the campaign shows that ACT is a busted flush and that by ACT’s own logic, centre-right Epsom voters should vote for the Conservative candidate”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New online medical system
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is seeking registrations of interest for a new onshore panel physician network to support an online immigration health processing system....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Party vote ACT for three years of stability.
    Voters who are concerned that on the latest polls we may be heading for three years of instability have it in their hands to deliver a decisive result....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Special Edition : The letter 18 September 2014
    Dr Jamie Whyte has been giving thoughtful speeches largely unreported. So we thought we would put out an edited version on the speech he gave yesterday. The full speech is on the website....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
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