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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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    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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