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Labour addressing digital divide

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, July 5th, 2014 - 135 comments
Categories: education, labour, schools - Tags:

25cSince 1976, I’ve been living on one side of the digital divide. That was the year that by biology teacher, Graham Bean at Mt Albert let me play on his HP25C with its 49 programming steps and a moon-lander program. It was an instant addiction, and I started learning to program by adjusting that damn game.

DEC11 70A few years later I was at the University of Waikato doing a BSc in Earth Sciences. They had a DEC1170 with about 50 dumb terminals scattered across campus. When I wasn’t involved with the immediate needs of passing the courses and paying the bill, I was hacking my way into the system to play multiuser star trek (and having my first experience of digital communication) and learning to program in a number of languages. I had this habit of turning up and sitting in so many compsci lectures that many thought that was my major. But eventually I went into management.

ibmpcatEventually I went into programming after discovering a IBM PC Lab while doing the University of Otago MBA in 1985-6 and getting addicted to a computer I could actually afford to own, and so could every business in the country. A few years later I did and so did they.

Hayes_300_Baud_Smartmodem_02My first computer immediately got hooked to BIX so I could find out things that I couldn’t get books or magazines for. In my opinion, the internet kicked off big time because the magazines and books were so slow. Programmers really needed to be able to access current information.

Now nearly 30 years later that is still where I work, play, learn and frequently socialise. I have friends with whom I am in contact world wide. I have the general knowledge base of humanity at my fingertips and I use it all of the time.

I was extremely fortunate to have those opportunities when I was a kid. At the grand age of 55, I’ve been near to the bleeding edge of technology since I was a kid. And that is the key.

If you start kids easily accessing information to follow their interests early enough then they keep doing it. It needs to be something different to the phones, which in my experience with kids, mainly get used for socialising. You need the larger screen format to get deep into wikipedia pages, the pages written by the obsessed experts worldwide, or even the media pages.

It really doesn’t matter if kids are writing their essays based on a searches or if they digging out the secrets about how to win at their favourite game. The trick is to get them used to finding information out themselves. Once they learn that trick, then they will keep doing it.

That is where Labour’s policy “Education for the 21st century” comes in. There are several things of note in the policy. But what stands out for me is the deliberate intent to make sure that all kids wind up with a personal network capable device both at school and home, and access to the net. At present we don’t. Much of the “voluntary” donations in schools is for computer equipment that kids need to learn from, but is not paid for by the state funding of schools.

I still learn from my computers connecting to everything worldwide. I work on businesses where most of the value is in the knowledge we push into the code. We export them worldwide, as much over the net as we do by shipping hardware. My partner runs a side-business selling the documentary that she produced in 2011 to educational institutions worldwide. I have farmer friends who come home after a days work and research their new practices in the evening on their pads.

We live in a age of information. It is time to start to educate them to access it a lot earlier. That is how we develop the productive adaptable adults who I need to help pay for my retirement

 

135 comments on “Labour addressing digital divide”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    Gosh I remember Graham Bean from my teaching days…….. wonderful man RIP.

    • lprent 1.1

      He sure was. A nutter on cricket, but despite that he taught a lot of kids how to learn and think.

      You could tell from the massive turnout when he died.

  2. Ant 2

    I think for actual learning in the classroom the utility of tablets (and all that) can be often overstated, but as a way to make sure all kids have access to technology, and more importantly the flow of information that technology allows you to access, as a normal feature of their everyday lives is great.

    They need internet access though…

    • lprent 2.1

      One part of the policy is to make sure that they have net access at home.

      • Ant 2.1.1

        Yeah, but to me that bit of the policy sounded a bit more fluffy/pie in the sky than the tablet aspects of it.

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Isn’t net access a bit less under the realms of public policy than provisions in state schools? Because it involves private, corporate entities that control the ISPs and international cables that enable net access?

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            There are growing movements to declare internet access a human right. Also I think the Internet Mana Party would have something to say on the concept of publicly-provided internet access.

            • just saying 2.1.1.1.1.1

              In order to cross the divide there needs to be access and hardware in every home – including in households that don’t have children.

              • Lanthanide

                Realistically with the price of an entry-level tablet these days ($99 at The Warehouse, and believe I’ve seen some for ~$70 on 1-day, some for $65 on TradeMe), a device is accessible for any house without kids that particularly wants one. Sure, it might take 20 weeks to save $5/week to get one, but the thing is they’re accessible.

                The problem is the internet connection. Cheapest broadband I can find is $55/month. $10.50/month for dialup with 30 hours or $15/month for unlimited, but dial-up barely counts as internet these days IMO, and a dial-up modem is highly unlikely to also do wifi so you’d need another device on top, and then the knowledge to hook them up and configure them etc.

                • lprent

                  partner with schools, local government and communities to put in place infrastructure that will allow students, particularly those from low-decile schools, who do not currently have internet connections to use their portable devices to access the internet at home.

                  That is in the policy one level down. There are details about the costing in the full policy. Most of the cost after the first year goes in running costs – mostly for net access.

            • karol 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes. And there are growing public wifi provisions.

              Now when I am out and about, I go with my cheap little tablet to a library – especially the central Auckland Library when I am in the CBD, just to use the free wifi.

              But, of course, there’s loads of pressures on Auckland Council spending for such public provisions.

            • Steve 2.1.1.1.1.3

              You need to adjust the tinfoil hat :-) the internet is not a right!

              • Colonial Viper

                A few years ago I would have agreed. And they used to say the same thing about footpaths, water and power, before it was understood that they should be provided as non-profit public utilities.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It will be shortly as everyone needs access to the internet today so that they can utilise everything that our society has to offer.

              • North

                Steve – unless your comment is tongue-in-cheek and the smiley therein is a poke at Mr TinFoilHat whom we see from time to time here, why should out-of-school internet access NOT be fashioned as an as-of-right function in every kids’ education ?

                Reasons please beyond the conceited value judgment of some master of the universe who applauds denial of a foundational tool in kids’ education as a reflection of God’s Order. The master of the universe who sees the frustration and waste of talent and the inequality flowing therefrom as character building or some fucking thing.

                SSlands FizzyAnus Gosman need not apply.

                CV is onto it.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Most people already have access to a phone line. Turning that into an ADSL line wouldn’t be difficult – it would be easier and cheaper if we still owned the telecommunications network though. In fact, I figure that if we did still own it it would only cost ~$40 per month to connect rather than the $65+ that it actually does. The added price is due to the premium for competition.

          Anyway, it’s not fluffy pie in the sky stuff – just a political decision.

          • Ant 2.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, but installing wireless repeaters everywhere and providing a passable service is a bit fluffy. I’d rather see your idea which seems much more feasible in a shorter timeframe because as you say, the current infrastructure is nearly ubiquitous, say a wireless router/adsl connection and a 5gig allowance to start.

            Make it a condition of a new Kiwishare.

  3. Ron 3

    Good to see you have a Nexus 7 in your collection. By the way why are you not here in Wellington?? In fact there is a dearth of media people

    • lprent 3.1

      I am in wellington. Look for the cold person in black with a blue media ticket and VFL badge….

      • Ron 3.1.1

        Good to see you have a Nexus 7 in your collection. By the way why are you need here in WEllington?? In fact there is a dearth of media people

    • Once was Tim 3.2

      You’d be bloody glad you don’t live in my house then. The attic (until recently) was so full of examples of past technology – including old IBM 3330 & 3350 disk drives; System 360 and 370 front panels and shit that didn’t quite make it to Vic Uni as building decorations (some of which I used to operate and later programme), that bloody great cracks began to appear in the ceiling plaster. Comes a time for a purge (including in my case, a total brain purge) and a bloody great skip, especially when the ceiling is over 100 years old.

      This package from Labour is the sort of thing that might tempt me towards a return to the fold.

      Except (and a bloody great EXCEPT) a commitment to the reinstatement of Public Service broadcasting (including new media), and fixing the public service in general (i.e. its de- corporatisation in toto). If they don’t then all they’ll be achieving is wild swings to the left and to the right based on short termism and fadism, AND a publica that’s all about I I I me me me.

      They might also need to get rid of one or two insipid little fcukwits at one end of the underminers, bovver boys at the other, and one or two others as well.
      (Maybe next time – if they’re still around)

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I had my first computer at age 5.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Actually I think this is great because it means Mum & Dad at home will be wired in too – if they can prise it out of junior’s hands and get a few non condescending lessons from the smaller ones. I see early bedtimes in many young ones futures because playing with their gear and games is what you do after hours.

    • lprent 5.1

      Have you ever tried to get the devices away from kids? They sleep with them… My 3year old great nephew has a my old iPad one with a cracked screen. He won’t let me touch it in case I want it back….

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        Old age and cunning Lprent. You require them to place it carefully beside the bed and then after they are asleeep ……. and when you tell him when he is 20 something he’ll take your beer away..

  6. just saying 6

    You see the digital divide in public libraries in South Auckland.

    At the library nearest my Mum’s place there is a queue to use the computers from the time the library opens until it closes it’s doors. This despite the librarians regularly biffing off anyone playing games for more than ten minutes.
    You can book a spot a few days in advance, but still wait for people to hastily finish off what they are doing, things often that they need to do. The computers are crammed so close that there is absolutely no privacy – poeple write emails that can be read by their neighbours, conduct business and internet date, search for medical information etc. all without a shred of the dignity of personal privacy.

    Big communities of people whose lives never seem to be represented by the media other than in policing-porn tv shows.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “Big communities of people whose lives never seem to be represented by the media other than in policing-porn tv shows.”

      Yeah, I started making a comment about this once before on The Standard but couldn’t formulate it in an appropriate way so abandoned it.

      The people we typically see on TV probably only represent 20% of the population, if that. You just have to watch TV 1 News “Good sorts” on Sundays, and also those “finding lost family member” shows to get glimpses of people and communities that otherwise never show up on TV in anything resembling a good light.

    • karol 6.2

      Yes. And Auckland libraries are going more to providing free wifi to cater for the demand for net access. That means more people needing to provide their own hardware. If you go into Auckland central Library there’s people using the limited number of library computers available, and loads of others around the place on their laptops and tablets.

      West Auckland also gets queues of people waiting to use the library computers – and with very little privacy.

      • Lanthanide 6.2.1

        When I went to the Wellington Central library last year during my holiday visit, at 2pm on a weekday the place was crammed full with dozens of people using tablets and laptops using the wifi. I couldn’t get a stable signal on my phone and the speed kept dropping below 1 MBps, so I couldn’t connect to it at all.

    • greywarbler 6.3

      Why can’t some of the empty shops around towns be rented on a month to month basis and the computers that are a bit slow and being dumped be set up and used there. Bring your own folding stool, trestles provided. People could go there and have some time, half an hour, some space, more than an arm’s length, some privacy, people in line with numbers for fairness, sit at the side not behind others. Council’s could oversee this, with some government funding also, making arrangements with real estate agents for suitable premises, repair and replacements, supervision etc.

      In libraries they could give locals first go on computers at libraries at certain times of the day, say after school. There are a lot of foreign visitors using our library services, good for them, but for a two-tier country like NZ there can be a large demand from poor locals. The Middle Europe of the South Pacific!

      • Lanthanide 6.3.1

        “Why can’t some of the empty shops around towns be rented on a month to month basis and the computers that are a bit slow and being dumped be set up and used there.”

        No one’s stopping you from setting up such an initiative.

        Generally the private sector only do things that result in profit. The venture you have outlined does not sound profitable.

        • greywarbler 6.3.1.1

          @Lanthanide
          I’m just putting it up as an idea that authorities could start. I haven’t the ability or time to do this – I’m not a funded trust FGS. If you know so much why don’t you do it.

          • Lanthanide 6.3.1.1.1

            “I’m just putting it up as an idea that authorities could start. I haven’t the ability or time to do this – I’m not a funded trust FGS. If you know so much why don’t you do it.”

            Why are you thinking I can do it? I simply pointed out there’s nothing stopping you from doing it, if you really felt it was necessary.

            The reason the “authorities” don’t do it is because they don’t see the reward as being worth the expense. Libraries only have limited numbers of computers because their budgets are only so big, and they aren’t primarily computer providers.

  7. Jenny 7

    This is what we need. This will not only be a boon to science and the economy, it will be a boon to democracy.

    As the bible says: “Man (woman) does not live by bread alone….”

    Closing the digital divide, is an issue which will become as vital as housing and income.

    Give me liberty or give me death, was the rallying cry of The Enlightenment.

    The human impulse for freedom and democracy, to have a say in the running of our world and not be kept in ignorance and isolation from each, and at the mercy of remote central and uncaring authority. At times in history this desire for freedom and democracy has even overriden people’s desire for food and shelter.

    Give me liberty or give me death, was the rallying cry of The Enlightenment.

    Closing the digital divide will empower the next generation. Just as the printing press and universal literacy gave birth to modern democracy, this empowerment will further weaken centralised power which removed one or two steps from the people, always gets monopolised by the powerful and vested interest.

    The sooner this universal empowerment happens the better, because we are in a race against the destruction of civilisation that sustains such technology from the needs of vested interest which unconstrained will destroy civilisation undoing the the work of eons of human progress.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    This is the winning policy – game over for the right

    • North 8.1

      Observe the sense of satisfaction expressed on the face of a young one who assists an older one (me) to navigate/restore lost settings on my computer/smartphone. A young one immediately acquitted as a ‘contributor’ in a real world. And a plea to run through it again but not so quickly this time…….to educate me…….even more pronounced.

      Bugger…….we must watch this. Absence of an underclass…….NOOOOO !

  9. Jrobin 9

    Great interview with Paddy Gower by Cunliffe on the Nation too. This education policy may make the difference the left parties need. The digital divide is a huge barrier, keeping inequality in place, so well done Labour. What a relief to hear Cunliffe rubbishing National Standards, league tables and Charter schools. It reminds you that there is an outside of the Teamkey “reality” and ……What a nightmare this govt. has been! You do get desensitised to their short term stupidity and selfishness, but this is a pleasanter reminder of what Government can achieve if well motivated.

  10. dv 10

    I have a endearing memory of my 6 year old granddaughter searching on google for information on the planets (i think) for a school project.

  11. hellonearthis 11

    Well said and I managed to share this post on Google+

  12. DH 12

    IMO what’s needed most for schools is something along the lines of what Rod Drury was saying about the country needing a tech kingpin, only they need a bunch of people covering all the disciplines.

    Schools are spending enormous sums on IT, few of them really know what they’re doing with it. They all know they need to teach ‘computers’, they’ve all got different ideas on what that means.

    Govt needs to step in and establish some uniformity & standardisation across all schools. Perhaps also bring software development and systems & networks into the curriculum, establish more focussed courses on certain applications for those who will be using computers rather than taking up a career in them. There’s a lot of work needing done.

    There’s a huge amount of waste in the present system, I’d estimate many schools blow a good half of what they spend on ill-considered fruitless exercises.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Nah, in general, Drury’s idea for a Chief Technology Officer for the country is more of the failed top-down corporatisation of government.

      If you want NZ to become a technology leader, you open source and decentralise everything, including platforms and funding. Build the influence of grassroots developers and start up entrepreneurs. Not a top down “tsar” who is inevitably going to centralise both decision making and budgets, and end up listening to Microsoft and big hedge fund managers more than the little guy.

      • hellonearthis 12.1.1

        Hopefully it would be a professional appointed to the job of Chief Technology Office and not some croney appointment. Having someone skilled in geek might have overrated the NoVapay problems and other such IT disasters. It think it would be a good idea and who says it would not support of open source over proprietary software purchases from the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.

  13. ropata 13

    Still plenty of people who don’t email, don’t have a CV, don’t know how to use Word and Excel. I remember how it felt to learn a new program, it would be bewildering and challenging for a non tech person

    • lprent 13.1

      Tell me about it. I have trained them in courses, trained them in my family including my parents, and just help people over those first hurdles. But it is hard for adults.

      Whereas kids are frightening in how fast they go from giving them a hand, to when they start helping me out. Always makes me feel old.

      • ropata 13.1.1

        yup, my Dad gets (even more) grumpy with technology, tends to lose his temper and break it :)
        He hates his android phone, but has been known to write emails and autobiographical essays in Word.

        Interestingly I read a piece about a Linux guy who starts his adult classes off with teaching them to use the command line. The interface could not be simpler, and it is pure linear logic, unlike the randomly triggered events of today’s GUI

        • Lanthanide 13.1.1.1

          “unlike the randomly triggered events of today’s GUI”

          To be successful at learning to use computers, you have to experiment. If you don’t experiment, you won’t learn. Of course the downside is where you “do something bad and can’t work out how to undo it”.

          Strange that you’d find a command line easier to get to grips with than a GUI. Of course GUIs are more complex, but they’re also far far more discoverable (well, except for Windows 8) and allow people to experiment and try things out. In a command line, if you don’t know something exists, it’s pretty laborious trying to discover it and almost all of the time you’d end up with an outside source telling you the answer (man page, internet page, class tutor).

          • ropata 13.1.1.1.1

            Maybe, but I still like the concept, and with Google (and windows 8 Search) we have come back to the trusty old text input method. Much more precise and users feel in control.

            The Command Line – The Best Newbie Interface?

            It was noted by the users that the CLI was less confusing because “not everything is on the screen at once”. The CLI allows the user to concentrate on one task at a time and they were happy not to have interruptions from other tasks. The users reported that with a GUI they were always getting distracted by having to swap between the mouse and keyboard and click carefully less they bring up the wrong window and interrupt what they were doing.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Exactly. For a certain group of hardcore users, the command line remains the interface of choice for certain tasks. And there are lots of little add ons available to increase the power of the CLI even further.

  14. karol 14

    There’s an apparently successful project being run in some South Auckland decile 1 schools, where children are provided with low cost netbooks and 24/7 internet access.

    In Glen Innes, long written off as ghettos of poverty and crime, children are reaching national norms in reading, writing and mathematics. In the decile-1 schools children are rampaging through the national syllabus before the year is out and teachers are coming up with new and innovative ways of teaching.

    It has been done with a charitable trust that, with parents, has come up with a way for every kid to have a computer notebook and eventually 24/7 access to high speed wireless.

    ”It is a big change in the way teaching is done,” says Pat Snedden, chairman of the $4.5 million public, philanthropic and commercially funded Manaiakalani Education Trust.

    ”One of the poorest communities in New Zealand has decided to be one of the biggest investors in their own kids.”

    While middle class families angst over school computer technology, Tamaki has done it for themselves.

    By year’s end 2500 children will have their own laptops and Google Document account.

    It is not free; parents have to pay a deposit of $40 for the laptops, and $15 a month to cover the $580 cost.

    It’s a lot to ask from among the nation’s poorest families – although they save by not having much of a stationary bill, just $8 a year.

    ”We have not had a single turn down by any parent in the area in the process of signing up the netbooks.”

    • lprent 14.1

      The Manaiakalani Education Trust is the model for this program. As you say, it is clear that it works.

    • KiwiDeb 14.2

      ” It has been done with a charitable trust that, with parents, has come up with a way for every kid to have a computer notebook and eventually 24/7 access to high speed wireless.”

      This was done by the schools (ie principals of the schools), in partnership with the parents, who established the Trust. Quite a different ownership of IP and vision…..

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    lprent. You used to be able to tinker in BASIC on a VIC 20 or Commodore 64. Learn about logic, commands, variables, storing them, changing them, processing them, displaying them.

    But an iPad or Android tablet? It’s just an appliance, like a toaster oven. The things are designed so that a 70 year old who has never touched a computer before in their life can get on it and start using them, intuitively with just a bit of guidance. Sorta a like a toaster. Yes you’ll get access to more information and communication etc. But learning what’s under the hood is a totally different matter and is the difference between being able to sort out your ’82 Civic at home in the garage and trying the same thing with a 2014 Civic.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      “But an iPad or Android tablet? It’s just an appliance, like a toaster oven.”

      An appliance that runs apps, like this one:
      https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tynker-learn-programming-visual/id805869467?mt=8

      And true, you can’t create programs on ipads or iphones to run of themselves, but the flipside is you can create far more useful and creative programs these days to run on those devices than you could with a green screen and 80 characters.

    • lprent 15.2

      Yeah, but we aren’t trying to get them to program. Some will, most won’t.

      What we need to train them in is seeking information. So hard if you’re having to do it manually. So easy if you have a tablet and net access.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      You used to be able to tinker in BASIC on a VIC 20 or Commodore 64.

      I remember programming on those things but my first programming was on the schools Apple IIe. My first computer was a PB-100 bought with money from the milk run I did.

      But an iPad or Android tablet? It’s just an appliance, like a toaster oven.

      Don’t kid yourself.

  16. dimebag russell 16

    ok.
    plug them in and turn them on.
    design programmes that engage them.
    hot and hip.

  17. Mark 17

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Off topic. Banned until after the election. Read the about to answer your query about unionists. The policy about why you are banned – basically for stupidity. ]

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      :roll:

      B for effort. Generally well-constructed sentences, usually good spelling and grammar.
      D- for content. Repetitive, undeveloped argument with no new ideas.

    • anker 17.2

      Mark @17 I am a labour Party member and run my own (successful) business, so I am not sure what you are talking about.

      JK might be “popular” but hell so was Muldoon!!! More so than Kirk who at one stage was only polling 6% popularity. IMO one of NZ’s great PM.

  18. Pete 18

    The One Laptop Per Child project has been going since 2005, so this is not a new idea, just a very good one which is long overdue. There was a great keynote about this kind of issue at Nethui last year – http://www.r2.co.nz/20130709/russell-b.htm

    It’s going to take a lot more than just having these tools, though. Teachers are going too have to learn how best to integrate them into their teaching and the resources both online and the apps and programs at hand will have to be developed. But think about how this could be tailored to individual kids. Analytics could help identify what content they respond to and adjust accordingly. Heck, they’ll be saved the hassle of hauling kilos of textbooks back and forth to school. This is exciting stuff.

  19. karol 19

    Again the South Auckland scheme is already doing that. Take a look at some of the output from students in the Manaiakalani project.

    • KiwiDeb 19.1

      This is NOT a South Auckland scheme. Manaiakalani is nestled between St Heliers, Remuera and Pakuranga in EAST Auckland.

  20. ianmac 20

    Teaching has to adapt and this is hard work. The Question is the answer. If kids are allowed to capitalise on their innate curiosity and have the skills and means to carry out research then classrooms will look very different. Alongside this they have to learn about the credibility of the information retrieved and how to process it and then evaluate.

    Sadly some teachers have been intimidated by a Government policy of accountability and narrow expectations. National Standards for example. Take a risk and modify what has seemed to work for generations? Pretty hard.
    Sadly if someone from a hundred years ago stepped into a present classroom they would recognise exactly what was going on. Different tools perhaps but same process.

    I like the quote that: “Children are not vases waiting to be filled, but fires waiting to be lit.”

    A friend of mine is a tutor for post grad studies. One Principal decided to gather data on how many and what sort of questions (enquiring mind) were going on in her classrooms.
    She was baffled. After 6 X 1 hour observation sessions, not one child-question was asked.

  21. hellonearthis 21

    For $100 +monitor ($100) you could buy a Raspberry Pi computer. They are great for educational needs like programming, web interaction, art, electronic and educational games (like minecraft).

    Tablets are overrated especially the over priced iPads, Android devices can do the same educational tasks for way less money.

    Gone are the days when classroom computers would cost $1000’s of dollars.

  22. red blooded 22

    A great policy. I know our school has spent many thousands on class sets of netbooks and laptops, and we provide access after school too, but we can’t give kids the machines to take home, and that can make quite a difference.

    There are still details to be worked out (Who owns the machine? Who fixes it if it gets broken? What about teens who leave school partway through the year – do they keep or return it?…) but this will go a long way towards creating a more inclusive educational system.

    Side note – kids are becoming less and less comfortable thinking into pens (as opposed to keyboards) and they find it physically uncomfortable to write for an extended period. Handwriting is getting worse and any kids are very slow. So what? Well, with the greater digitisation that’s being endorsed by this policy, surely it’s time to look again at our requirements for kids sitting exams. At present, exams are handwritten. It would be hard to set-up a programme for exams that avoided the cheating opportunities, but surely not impossible? Just a thought.

  23. I don’t want to be a downer because I agree with the concept of giving children access to information via the net. I homeschool and the computer is essential. My son is 6.5 and he knows quite a bit about getting on the computer but he has one advantage at the moment, an advantage that is his greatest protection on the net – he can’t read well and therefore he can’t be accessed by sexual predators. I went to a child protection seminar the other day and one presenter said that there were 8 and 9, even younger kids, with a facebook page??? And the parents weren’t even their friend!!! I haven’t read the policy and I hope this is all covered – the teaching of young people how to create a protective layer around themselves on the net. As protectors of these children it is our job to make sure they know how to protect themselves and as parents and caregivers we must really work with the children to make sure that if and when something happens they can seek help or know what to do. Having a loving trusting relationship with our son is the key idea at this stage, and keeping up to speed with what is going on on the net.

    • hellonearthis 23.1

      To be eligible to sign up for Facebook, you must be at least 13 years old. If a school is letting kids under that age use facebook then they are breaking facebook’s terms and conditions.

      • marty mars 23.1.1

        Yep, sorry, must have got the ages wrong.

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.2

        Given that FaceBook apparently has tens of millions of fake profiles, I don’t think they really enforce their T&Cs that hard. And having more user profiles makes their stock look more valuable.

  24. hellonearthis 24

    I would have like to see Labour come out with Bigger class rooms but with two teachers per classroom. Having two teachers per classroom would greatly improve the quality of teaching and teachers as new Teachers could learn from experienced ones and the news ones could also update the older teachers on new ideas in teaching (modern geek skills).

    A well educated population if the foundation of a profitable society.

  25. dave 25

    rasberry PI

  26. North 26

    So when I read that Labour is gonna facilitate kids having laptops/tablets at school AND at home and then I read Nikki Kaye say broad brush that Labour’s ideas are old hat –

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10236242/Labour-education-ideas-already-in-place-says-National

      – and then I’m told that presently kids DON’T have the laptop/tablet scenario Labour talks about – can I say that Nikki Kaye is a snotty lying little prick who needs to be slapped down for her lies ?

    I’d have used a different last word in the term “lying little prick” but the sky might have fallen in so I’ll just KNOW it. With a capital buzzy bee. Disgusting ugly minded little power freak ! Entitlement from arsehole to breakfast time.

    • Anne 26.1

      … can I say that Nikki Kaye is a snotty lying little prick who needs to be slapped down for her lies ?

      +1000

      When the entitled little so and so (how I would like to have your courage North and call her what I would really like to call her) first arrived on the political scene it was there for anyone with any nous to see.

      Does anyone remember the televised debate she had with Jacinda Ardern in the 2008 campaign – I think it was 2008? She behaved like a Crosby/Textor trained shrew… shouted over the top of Jacinda and was vindictive and bullying. In contrast, Jacinda was calm, mature and dignified. It was so obvious who was the superior personality and I thought Jacinda would romp home after that performance but no… the voters in their selfishness and apathy went for the nasty bully.

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        Although it seems according to reports that Kaye does a heck of a lot of ground work in her electorate…

        • Anne 26.1.1.1

          Oh sure CV, she does the hard yards but its all for her personal advancement. The moment she stops being the member for Auckland Central she won’t care a rat’s a—e about any of them. She’s learnt her politics well at her lord and master, John Key’s knees.

    • Pete 26.2

      Given the focus on violence against women over the past couple of days, “slapped down” is an unfortunate choice of words. Can I suggest “censured”, “rebuked” or even “called out on her bullshit” instead?

      • Anne 26.2.1

        Pete, I didn’t take it that way. And I’m sure North didn’t mean it that way.

  27. dave 27

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/15000-raspberry-pis-for-uk-schools-thanks-google/

    its not hard to do a raspberry pi costs $40

    lets hope they give Microsoft the boot as well open source the program all the way let them loose on Linux without copyright restrictions

    • hellonearthis 27.1

      It’s closer to $200 once you add a monitor, power supply, sd card, mouse, keyboard, case and wifi.

      I really like the Pi (I have 2) but Tables are cheaper. $60nz delivered can get you a 7.0″ Dual-core Android 4.2 Tablet PC w/ 512MB RAM, 4GB ROM, Wi-Fi

      The cost of that and the savings in ebooks would pay for these devices.

  28. finbar 28

    OFF course Labours progressive education,gee the wains a computer in the class room,is more compassion than the other fence,of afford or ignorance.Labour are starting to grasp the the bastard thistle of human care unlike the platitudes of social care.

  29. Rodel 29

    Funny how the slick Tories have no intelligent or even smart-arse comments on the topic of this post..Too hard for them to grasp..dumb?

    • BM 29.1

      What’s there to grasp?
      Computers are great but they’re not the be all and end all.

      • hellonearthis 29.1.1

        Ture, but there is nothing that is the be all and end all.
        Having tablet computers would be access to ebook that schools can’t normally afford or access.
        The cost of some text books alone are more than the cost of a cheap tablet let alone the cost of half a dozen text books and journals.
        This will be a great chunk of the be all and end all of school books and journals.

        • BM 29.1.1.1

          Why tablets?, personally I think tablets are just an e- reader with a few more bells and whistles.

          If you were going to go down this path, note books/lap tops offer so much more than a tablet.

          Also was labour using the word ipad in a generic sense or are they actually serious about giving all school kids ipads,.

          • Draco T Bastard 29.1.1.1.1

            personally I think tablets are just an e- reader with a few more bells and whistles.

            That’s possibly because you’re totally unimaginative:

            http://www.slashgear.com/flykly-smart-bicycle-wheel-made-for-fixies-works-with-ios-android-and-pebble-16301669/
            https://preyproject.com/blog/2012/09/amazing-ingenuity-using-prey-to-track-your-bicycle

            If you were going to go down this path, note books/lap tops offer so much more than a tablet.

            To be honest, I don’t think that’s true any more and pads are more portable.

            Also was labour using the word ipad in a generic sense or are they actually serious about giving all school kids ipads,.

            I sometimes wonder that too. There’s no way that the government should be using anything from Apple as it locks them in to using the proprietary format that ends up costing more. Same with Windows.

            • Colonial Viper 29.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s no way that the government should be using anything from Apple as it locks them in to using the proprietary format that ends up costing more. Same with Windows.

              Especially with all the taxes Apple pays in NZ, eh /sarc

            • BM 29.1.1.1.1.2

              I agree, Apple are complete arseholes, the way they run their company it’s like they’re stuck in the 1980’s.
              This my way or the high way approach to business is total bullshit, even microsoft has learnt from this and moved on from that sort of wankiness.

              IT and government, why is it always such a fuck up?

              Also I’m a very imaginative individual, but I’ve learnt to temper my ideas with practicality.

              • Colonial Viper

                Also I’m a very imaginative individual, but I’ve learnt to temper my ideas with practicality.

                Thanks for clearing that up, I was wondering what was causing your moral and intellectual constipation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I agree, Apple are complete arseholes, the way they run their company it’s like they’re stuck in the 1980′s.

                Probably closer to the 1880s.

                Also I’m a very imaginative individual, but I’ve learnt to temper my ideas with practicality.

                And yet you can’t think of anything useful to do with a smart phone/pad other than use it as an e-book reader?

                IT and government, why is it always such a fuck up?

                From what I can make out it’s because they don’t have a dedicated IT department to supply all their needs and thus run off to the private sector with less than adequate knowledge about IT and the private sector over sells what they can do. End result is a fuck-up.

          • lprent 29.1.1.1.2

            I have a $30 bluetooth keyboard for my nexus 7. Nice thing about it is that when connected i have a whole screen.

            But I usually do most of my work on this site from my nexus.

            But I suspect that they are mainly thinking about netbooks.

  30. fisiani 30

    Tricky Tricky Davy Cunliffe lies again re free ipads . Always check the small print. We’ve learned to do this time and time again.

    For those schools that opt in, the policy would require parents to pay about $3.50 a week to pay off the cost of the device, estimated at about $600 each – and the Government would put in a $100 kickstart payments. The device would belong to the child after it was paid off.

    Why can Cunliffe never be straight up? Why gild the lilly?
    Who is writing his speeches? Are the ABC saboteurs hard at work.

    • Draco T Bastard 30.1

      He didn’t say that they were free you schmuck.

    • North 30.2

      You know FizzyAnus even the National Party thinks you’re an embarrassing fuck. Overheard at the National Party Godference –

      “Wind it up and let it go……OMG…….look at the OTT with the ‘tricky’ number. OK it’s all part of the script but you know…….intimations of Kool Aid……not good.”

      “Yes, I’d be careful with that one…….it’s a bit, well let’s say……. ‘exuberant’. Fukn idiot !”

      Facepalm everywhere.

  31. Rodel 31

    Why can Key never be straight up? Why gild the lilly?
    Who is writing his speeches? Are the English saboteurs hard at work.

  32. fisiani 32

    In short Labour will save you $100 off donations BUT you can still be stung for activity fees of $400 and a compulsory computer levy of $600 . Tricky Tricky Davy.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      You think that Labour should cover the activity fees as well? Me too.

    • McFlock 32.2

      I you’d read the speech, you’d see it was based on a current programme that charges $3.50 a week:

      Labour anticipates a lower weekly cost because of savings made through bulk purchasing. We will also provide a $100 kick-start to reduce the costs of these vital learning tools. A $5 million hardship fund will be created to help the worst-off families who cannot afford the payments or fall into arrears.

      In other words, it’s you who’s being tricky.
      You lying fuck.

  33. hellonearthis 33

    If Labour are planning on uses Apple iPad then this is a clear example of where a Chief technology office would have been of use. Even an Amazon fire would be a better device and their library of books would be an excellent add on to the tech.

    Better still would be getting a deal with some $60 android system, that would mean when the kids break them, it wont cost a fortune to replace and fix, Using an Android system would also allow access to cloud services, so if the Table dies then the work is still safe.

    For a laptop system then there are chrome books, Google has got some great educational deals/packages. They cost around $230-400 nz and you can get a 3 year warranty for like $100
    And that’s from manufacturers like Acer, Samsung, HP that could provide the service levels needed to support the educational market.

    Google Apps for education is free. http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/education/devices/

    • Lanthanide 33.1

      Yip. Apple iPad is a bad choice all around. I hope this is just for the policy announcement, and when it’s actually implemented they’ll listen to feedback such as yours and buy something more appropriate.

    • Colonial Viper 33.2

      If Labour are planning on uses Apple iPad then this is a clear example of where a Chief technology office would have been of use.

      Plz explain why a $500K dick trying to centralise everything in Wellington is required to decide that going Apple is a bad move. We just did it for free, ffs.

  34. finbar 34

    Techrocrat wet dream.The knowing of our intelegence without doubt is technology.Labour have stole the greeds beleif and tossed it back at them.

    Labour,has these lip service compassion on the ropes of their untruths.Know that.

  35. karol 35

    Well Labour’s policy is leading the debate. This article on Stuff makes a good point about it being important how the technology is used. It over-does the criticism of people jumping on each new technology as if it alone will solve all the problems of human society.

    It completely misses the issue of lessening the digital divide.

  36. Appleboy 36

    Noted Patrick Gower introduced this story last night by saying it was labour’s election bribe. I have put in a broadcasting authority complaint for unfairness in using opinion as fact and that it was politically biased reporting. To contract, I referenced his story on June 29 covering National’s $212 roading policy – where he did not introduce this as a bribe. Quite why Labour’s policy at $27 million is a bribe and National’s $212 million is not I’d like them to explain.

    Typical crap news but time they were forced to deal with it.

    • BM 36.1

      Maybe because labour is pitching it’s policies at people on a individual level.
      It does look like to me, vote for us and we’ll give you some cheap ipads.

      While Nationals roading policies are pitched at everyone not the selected few.

      • Tautoko Viper 36.1.1

        National RONS roading policies do not benefit everyone and in fact are taking money away from public transport projects which would be more beneficial to many more people, (particularly those who do not have firm cars and designated parking spaces incorporated in their salaries.)

        • BM 36.1.1.1

          A hell of a lot more people will get use out of better roading networks then the selected few with their cheap ipads.

          You can’t tell me this policy isn’t pitched at the non voter, “here vote for labour and we’ll give you a gift”.

          I really hate that type of politics.

          • felix 36.1.1.1.1

            Don’t worry your petty little brain over it. John Key says all the non-voters support National.

          • Draco T Bastard 36.1.1.1.2

            A hell of a lot more people will get use out of better roading networks then the selected few with their cheap ipads.

            Really? You think that there’s more truckies than there is children in need?

            You can’t tell me this policy isn’t pitched at the non voter, “here vote for labour and we’ll give you a gift”.

            I really hate that type of politics.

            And yet he’s praising National’s focus on roads. Many of the roads announced in National’s policy would actually have been built years ago – if National hadn’t defunded them. National announcing the funding of them now is a bribe to those electorates.

          • North 36.1.1.1.3

            Sounds like you’re a bit spooked there BM-Tarmac-Whore. This, part of the comment in answer to Steve @ 2.1.1.1.1.3 above

            “…….why should out-of-school internet access NOT be fashioned as an as-of-right function in every kids’ education ? Reasons please beyond the conceited value judgment of some master of the universe who applauds denial of a foundational tool in kids’ education as a reflection of God’s Order. The master of the universe who sees the frustration and waste of talent and the inequality flowing therefrom as character building or some fucking thing.”

            SSlands FizzyAnus Gosman……..need not apply.”

            Anyway BM, who the fuck but you said anything about “then (sic) the selected few with their cheap ipads”. If you’re gonna ‘master of the universe’ all over this site you might have transparently expressed your true point – “squalid, rag-arsed urchins, snotty noses and all…….with their cheap ipads”.

            Sorry I didn’t include you with your mates above. Might have saved you the trouble.

          • KJT 36.1.1.1.4

            Explain, then, why National has been removing funding for local roading networks?

            Over a billion dollars. Then they gave a 5th of that back and all the idiots with short memories start cheering.

            • KJT 36.1.1.1.4.1

              “National cut funding for regional roads by a billion, since they were elected, to pay for their RON’s.

              Now, after our regional roads are stuffed by their trucking industry mates, who pay a fraction of the true costs, they are giving a 5th of that back.

              My, some people have short attention spans”

              • Draco T Bastard

                If the RWNJs had an attention span then they’d realise that National and Act are lying to them.

          • Appleboy 36.1.1.1.5

            Oh my God BM ‘the selected few” you refer to is all kiwi kids! Now I see why the right wing mind is so fucked.

  37. North 37

    Sorry, just a bit more BM but I warn you, stay seated. What if IMP comes up with something seen as pretty much complementary in the ‘cheap ipads’ stakes ?

  38. burt 38

    lprent

    This is getting really silly now, apparently it’s not a free “iPad” at all, the government is wanting to be a finance company.

    David (I’m sorry) Cunnliffe on the nation.

    PG: Let’s turn now and talk policy, education, a policy out today you want every student from intermediate upward to have a tablet, to have an iPod?

    DC: Absolutely, from year 5 to 13 under a Labour led government, every student will have their own personal digital device, it will be subsidised for parents to get into and there’ll be a very low cost payment plan with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldn’t afford it.

    Yeah, let’s force more parents into borrowing so we can pretend socialism works. Let me guess, just like last time under Labour taxes will be hiked and the nations debt will be reduced while personal debt goes to new record levels – and they will call this prudent all the way into recession like last time.

    This guys a complete tard lprent – you guys have got to sack the twit now.

    • lprent 38.1

      apparently it’s not a free “iPad” at all

      Who apart from a moran like yourself said that it was? Perhaps you need some more education – like learning how to read.

      • burt 38.1.1

        Yeah, that’s right lprent – I need to learn to read because it’s only reading the fine print that tells the story because your muppet leader makes shit up as he goes because in his little socialist brain he thinks that’s what people want to hear.

        • Draco T Bastard 38.1.1.1

          No burt, it’s you making shit up.

        • lprent 38.1.1.2

          You could have fooled me about your ability to read. Where did I say iPad.

          Don’t read the fine print. Just read my post. You know – the post that you just commented on!

          Could you act any more like a illiterate fuckwit? Or much the same thing, a rabid reader of Mr Defamation Cameron Slater.

          • You_Fool 38.1.1.2.1

            Also, from what I can see, a reference to Cunliffe saying that the “iPads” would be free is needed. The quote clearly shows Cunliffe saying that parents will pay for them, I am not sure how that makes it “tricky”. As far as I understand it, and I may be wrong, but it is the media who are using the “free iPads” wording

    • Draco T Bastard 38.2

      Perhaps you should read Piketty where he points out that, through out the last 200+ years, it has been socialism through the mid 20th century that produced the better outcomes. All the rest of the time we saw continual economic collapses and massive poverty.

      • burt 38.2.1

        List all sustainable socialist economies Draco. You could use twitter – plenty of message space in a single tweet to name them all.

        • KJT 38.2.1.1

          New Zealand from 1938. The USA after the new deal, and Sweden, until they all got caught up in the Neo-liberal religion. Then there is Norway, Dane mark and Belgium.

          It must really stick in your craw, BM, that the New Zealand economy is doing so well because of the “hard left” “communists” buying milk powder from a Farmers collective which has, and continues to be, heavily supported by the State and tax payer dollars. Plus “State” and collectivised (Insurance) money going into the rebuild of Christchurch.
          Not to mention the “socialist” tax payer bailouts for private enterprise necessary after the GFC.

          And the most “successful” economies are all successful, with very high levels of State control, regulation and ownership. Singapore, South Korea. China.

        • Draco T Bastard 38.2.1.2

          All of them burt. The economies that aren’t sustainable are capitalist ones as they require continual exponential growth as they reward the rich for being rich.

      • burt 38.2.2

        Draco

        Let’s talk about coal, as a fuel it’s made the most difference to the world in the last 200+ years. It powered our railways, our ships and heating. Without it the progress that’s been made in the last few hundred years would have probably been impossible. Along with other fossil fuels like petrol and diesel coal’s use has increased our quality of life.

        Do we need to keep the use of coal like it was in the good old days or have we moved on and noticed the costs actually outweigh the benefits and we need to find alternatives and reduce our reliance on old ways ?

        • Draco T Bastard 38.2.2.1

          I agree, we need to move on and get rid of unsustainable capitalism.

  39. dimebag russell 39

    you are supposed to have pity for dumb morans!

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    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
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  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
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  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
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  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
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  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
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  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
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  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
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  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
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  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
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  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
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  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
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  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
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  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
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  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
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  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
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  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
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  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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