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Labour will end the farce of “voluntary” school donations

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 188 comments
Categories: education, election 2014, labour, schools - Tags:

When I was little, I went to a very well-to-do decile 10 public primary school. The kind of place situated in a neighbourhood full of private schools and a little bit insecure about it. So we did our best to fit it, with assemblies every Friday at which the national anthem was sung in both English and te reo Māori, archaic uniforms (no pants for the girls!) and “fees”.

Hang on. I did say “public” primary school, didn’t I?

Yes, my public, state-funded primary school must have been one of the first to start referring to voluntary donations as “fees”. In the school newsletter, in letters home to my parents, and in conversations where teachers would pull aside nine-year-old children like myself and deliver a lecture about how we “hadn’t paid our fees”.

I felt terrible. I wasn’t paying my way! I was going to be expelled! You had to pay your fees! But my mother sat me down and explained that it wasn’t a fee. It was a donation. The fine print on the forms they sent me home with spelled it out … barely. They had no right to demand payment – and no right to bully a child with

Back then I was baffled (now I get outraged). It wasn’t a fee. So why was it called a fee? Why was my teacher checking names off a list and hectoring children to pay? Why to this day are schools engaging in bullying, stigmatising tactics like attaching tags to children’s bags to show who’s paid and who hasn’t?

Education is a basic human right, and every child deserves to receive the same basic level of it. It is criminal that schools put this kind of pressure on kids and their families – and more criminal that some of them probably have to due to chronic underfunding.

So imagine my righteous joy this morning to discover that the Labour Party agrees with me.

Labour will provide an annual grant of $100 per student to schools that stop asking parents for “voluntary” donations to help fund their day-to-day spending, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

Like I said on Twitter, education needs to be meaningfully free. That means proper funding for our schools and an end to the farce of “voluntary donations”.

188 comments on “Labour will end the farce of “voluntary” school donations”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Unfortunately, this isnt going to end the donations asked by most schools.

    Amounts up to $700 are not unusual for high decile schools, and a lot are over $200 pa

    • thecard 1.1

      I’d be surprised if there was a high decile intermediate or secondary school in Auckland that was below $300 per annum and most would be creeping up to $500.

      For many of those schools who are asking for the donation so they can provide the kids with a good level of education this kind of policy will not be able to be taken up by the BoT as it’ll haven’t a significant negative effect on what the school can offer.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Unfortunately, this isnt going to end the donations asked by most schools.

      Yep, that’s what I was thinking. Labour need to ban donations and fees and go to a full funding model that includes activity fees.

      • Macro 1.2.1

        my thoughts exactly – many schools will just not even take the option.

        • fisiani 1.2.1.1

          Why would a school that gets $100 a term take Labour’s $100 a year. They would lose $300 per student per year. This is another unworkable off the hoof desperate ploy. AND it does not cover Activity Fees. This is another PR disaster from the ABC’s

      • AmaKiwi 1.2.2

        I want NZ teachers to strike for a 40 hour work week. 40 hours to include all the time presently taken up correcting exams, lesson preparation (at home), after school coaching, school camps, and all the other things my daughter has to do after school and on weekends and school holidays.

        As a high school teacher she works 60 hours a week and also pays these phoney “donation” fees for her kids at their schools.

        Our schools are disgracefully underfunded.

  2. shorts 2

    If Labour get in and become the government can they not just state that all state schools cannot seek donations or other “fees” from parents of children?

    Include higher decile schools – cause not all their students families can afford the fees they charge now and will charge if they opt out

    The govt should also stop giving assistance to private schools

    • Enough is Enough 2.1

      Exactly.

      It should not be an opt in scheme though. It should be compulsory across the board. Unless they legislate to say all public and integrated schools are prohibited from requesting donations or “fees”, we will still end up with the situation that Stephanie has demonstrated above.

      • Tinfoilhat 2.1.1

        Unless there is an increase in funding to go along with this prohibition on donations (which is unlikely to be legal or enforceable) it will effectively cripple many schools in the higher decile range throughout Auckland.

        • Which is exactly what this policy offers: extra funding in exchange for not having “donations”.

          It honestly angers me how this conversation (especially in Question Time at the moment) gets centered on arguments about schools not being able to provide day-to-day education without “donations”. The problem is a lack of funding and support, especially from a government which would rather pay megabucks to travelling “executive” principals than fix the underlying social inequality which harms kids’ ability to succeed.

          • Tinfoilhat 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes Stephanie I understand that i’m just pointing out to the comenter (enough is enough) that in many of the higher decile schools in Auckland this will be a significant decrease in funding if donations were to be prohibited which is obviously why Labour have allowed schools to opt out – I expect it would be the same or similar for a number of schools in the other main centres.

            • shorts 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I appreciate that it would mean a reduction in some schools income as what labour offers won’t replace the higher end of fees – cry me a river, I’m sure those schools can cope – possibly ask a lower decile school what they do

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Low decile schools get higher funding, thats what the decile is all about. So they dont generally do with less
                In deed one school in Otara sent 6 or so teachers to San Diego for professional development course for a week

                • tinfoilhat

                  “In deed one school in Otara sent 6 or so teachers to San Diego for professional development course for a week”

                  I hope you are joking GWW as one with a very significant interest in the education sector this kind of thing doesn’t do my blood pressure any good.

              • Lexie

                Decile 1 schools get as additional $888 per pupil on top of operational funding, decile 2 schools get $28 per pupil on top of operational funding, decile 10 schools get $0.00. These schools would find it very hard to cope without donations, even with donations the decile 1 school has more funding than decile 9 school.

          • Lexie 2.1.1.1.2

            Low decile schools get loads of funding, it is the mid to high decile schools that need to charge higher donations to cover the cost of education. Reduce the disparity in decile funding and less school will need to charge donations.

        • Ant 2.1.1.2

          The government could quite easily enforce it for state schools, they are the government. But the perceived lack of universality weakens this policy which could have been a circuit breaker. Labour should have upped the amount and actually had the nuts to make free education totally free. Just be a bloody left wing party, Like health and jobs, education is one key area where they can begin shift the centre back towards the left without criticism!!!!!

          This is another great idea toned down and made insipid by conservatism. It’s worrying that this is becoming a pattern…

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.2.1

            Wake up and smell the coffee.
            Its long been a part of NZ Schools. Any way labour has been a centre left party. Hone is your party if you want hard left. That is unless you arent a concern troll

            • Ant 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Free education isn’t hard left. Also, shifting the political centre is how you win and stay winning.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Read the policy:

                “A 100% free, high quality education system is the best investment a country can make in its own future. Not only is education not free..
                mana.net.nz/policy

    • Lexie 2.2

      If all kids at private schools went to public schools the government would have to fund them so private schools save governments money, so giving a small contribution to private schools seems logical.

      Schools are not allowed to call donations fees now so all parents know it is not compulsory but encouraged to help run the school.

      • lprent 2.2.1

        Last time I looked, the subsidies that the state gives to most private schools per pupil are pretty much the same or in some cases higher than that given to state schools.

        I think that your argument lacks merit because you simply don’t understand how private schools are funded.

        • Lexie 2.2.1.1

          The government contribution to private schools per pupil are:
          $1600 for year 9 and 10
          $2400 for year 11 and up
          I am sure this is less than it costs to school an equivalent aged pupil at a public school. The government don’t have to pay for private school buildings, maintenance, staffing etc. Obviously different for state integrated schools.

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            Most private schools also get state funding for buildings, maintenance, staffing etc which you aren’t including in those per diem funding.

            For a starter the majority of students the private schools are the catholic and other religious schools which have long since become state schools in all but name.

            Then there are the rather notorious examples like

            Private school Wanganui Collegiate, for instance, has boasted low class sizes in paid advertisements. These have come off the backs of the New Zealand taxpayer, who has subsidised the school by almost $3m in the past three years, which is a premium on top of Collegiate’s fees. The school will receive $1.52m for 2012/13, as it moves towards being an integrated school. To put this in perspective, Wanganui City College, its public school neighbour, operates on a budget of $1m.

            But you also have to look at the way that charter schools are being funded. I’d class them as being private schools as well.

            The Mangere Principals Association, is concerned that funding per student for the new “Rise Up” charter school is $9668 compared with an average for students in public primary schools of $5,881, while the Labour Party Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins is estimating charter school funding to be as high as $40,000 per student.

            Perhaps you’d care to clarify what you consider to be a “typical” private school?

            Personally I’d just drop funding from all private schools entirely. Less than 2% of the primary/secondary students in the country go to private schools.

            I think that their parents want to have small class sizes, better resourcing, and special education standards for their kids than state schools then they should damn well pay for it themselves.

            • Liam Hehir 2.2.1.1.1.1

              What do you mean by “per diem” funding? I understand that term to refer to a daily allowance, literally, “for each day” – I’m not sure how it would apply to an annual subsidy.

              Also, I’m not sure you are right about integrated schools. Have you ever been involved in one? Rather than being “state schools in all but name” they are explicitly part of the state school system. To preserve separation between church and state, however, the state does not generally fund their capital expenditure and the rules around this are pretty strict.

              • lprent

                Good point. I meant per annum (tired and working on something else where per diem came up).

                To preserve separation between church and state, however, the state does not generally fund their capital expenditure and the rules around this are pretty strict.

                Yes, but there have been a number of occasions when the choice came between the school getting unsafe and the government choosing to prop it up.

                Ok, I see what you mean. “state-integrated”.

                State-integrated schools are former private schools which are now “integrated” into the state system under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975 “on a basis which will preserve and safeguard the special character of the education provided by them”. According to the Ministry of Education, in July 2012, 84.8% of all school-aged children attend state schools, 11.4% attend state integrated schools and 3.8% attend private schools.[15] In addition, parents may home school their own children if they can prove that their child will be “taught at least as regularly and as well as in a registered school”,[16] and are given an annual grant[16] to help with costs, including services from The Correspondence School. The percentage of children home schooled is well under 2% even in the Nelson region, the area where it is most popular,[17] but there are many local and national support groups.

                Anyway, mod sweep done. Back to this awful code. Maybe food first.

                • Liam Hehir

                  I’m also quite tired, so I’m not going to be bothered looking it up, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that the definition of “state school” specifically includes “state integrated schools”.

                  In addition to having to (at least typically) having to self-fund capital expenditure, they often struggle with the fact that they don’t legally get the benefit of a lot of the Crown exemptions that other state schools get (for example, Council fees).

                  Your bog standard Catholic college isn’t typically the preserve of rich kids. Quite the opposite, actually. They are simply an accommodation allowed to a large and historically poor cultural minority whose conscience dictates that their children be educated in accordance with their ancient faith.

                  For what it’s worth, integration came into effect under a Labour government, under an atheist Norman Kirk. Jonathan Hunt also played an important role, I believe. Credit where it is due for an admirable display of pluralism.

                  Do you think that the legislation would pass today? That’s an honest question, by the way.

                  • lprent

                    I’d have to look it up. But I think they are still separate. I think it’d probably pass. I’m just not sure that it should.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Certainly in some towns they are the bastions of white flight with parents swallowing a dead frog to lie about raising their child a Catholic.

                    They need to do this cause the school already has their 5% of non-Catholics.

                    The point of the schools is to give Catholics a Catholic education.

                    Swap that for Anglican, etc.

                    It’s well past time some of them closed.

                  • Pete

                    When it comes to state-integrated schools, there’s a difference between donations, activity fees and attendance dues. State-integrated schools can charge attendance dues for the upkeep of school grounds and buildings. These don’t function as a donation and parents can’t claim a rebate on them on their tax returns.

      • ianmac 2.2.2

        Terribly kind of those private school goers to go out of their way and at great sacrifice just to make State schools more affordable. Sigh.

    • fisiani 2.3

      Why punish children at private schools? Class warfare mentality?

      • dimebag russell 2.3.1

        @fishyanis
        why send your children to private schools?
        class warfare from the people who think they are better than all the rest.
        anyway the tories have had six years to do something about this and what have they done?
        nothing.
        goodbye national.

  3. Dramaticus 3

    OF course this situation with the fees/donation is another example of a style of governance of this nation by what is accepted as the norm in providing funding outside the basics delivered by govt policy
    If the govt depts were compelled by an ethical political party we might have a tax system that delivers the money to the right places
    Instead we have the tipping system that is immoral and corrupt in many facets of our society which these fees/ donations are

  4. Mr Nobody 4

    Until the Government allocates a set amount of funding per child, allow parents to sent their children to what ever school they like and require schools to accept any child then the education is going to continue to be provide unequal outcomes to children.

  5. geoff 5

    Fucking good policy from Labour, I like the way it will most strongly reward the lowest decile schools which are least likely to ask for much in the way of donations because they know the parents wont be able to afford it.

    • thecard 5.1

      Fucking dense policy Labour not thought through at all.

      • geoff 5.1.1

        That’s the best you’ve got?

        Try again.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          still waiting for bulletpoints from the research unit…

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            Start:
            Has Labour released new policy?
            No > goto start
            yes >
            Has the Research Unit released new bullet points?
            No > Random Choice of one line of:
            {
            Fucking dense policy Labour not thought through at all.
            Fucken tax and spend Labour.
            Where’s the money.
            }
            Yes > Random choice on line of:
            {
            New bullet points here
            }
            goto start

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.2

        It’s hard to escape Geoff and McFlock’s conclusion: that your objections are partisan rather than practical.

        Here’s how I “think it through”: $100 per child will make it a lot easier for headteachers and boards to establish budgets. They will save on costs, not least the costs of processing multiple payments, maintaining accounts for each family, etc.

        From a parent’s point of view of course it will mean a few more dollars in my back pocket too.

        Win win.

        Yes, it’s government spending, and yes, education is a priority, especially considering the vandalism inflicted over the last six years.

        • Herodotus 5.1.2.1

          this is not an end to voluntary donations, as the $100 that is being spoken about is below what many schools seek. If we really had a free state education then all schools would be funded adequately &accordingly, but with decile ratings this is not the case, as the ratings take into consideration the ability of the parents to partially fund the local school.
          What happens if a school opts in and this source of funding is less than required as from my reading schools will not then be able to also seek Donations from families as a topup. They are allowed to charge an “activity fee” will such a fee still be able to be claimed for a tax rebate ? if not then parents will be paying more !!! So for a donation of $500 there is a tax refund of $167., so the net amount to a family is $335.If the govt increase the support to a school by $100 then the school is still short by $400. Costing the same family now $400. Is this giving a little but taking more ?
          Why not reverse the $50m increase of state funding to private schools that was introduced in 08 ?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.1

            Why not reverse the $50m increase of state funding to private schools that was introduced in 08

            Exactly. And you can guess why. It’s equivalent to 500,000 $100 school places just by itself.

    • Ant 5.2

      It seems very timid to me geoff, and as something that could have been a marque policy for Labour, the lack of universality makes it harder to communicate so subsequently harder to explain and to sell.

      A brilliant idea executed in an average manner.

      • geoff 5.2.1

        ‘A brilliant idea executed in an average manner’??

        What does that even mean?

        • Ant 5.2.1.1

          It means the idea of removing donations is good political policy, Labour’s execution of this idea is shit.

          • geoff 5.2.1.1.1

            Have you got the costings for your policy?

            This my problem with those on the left calling for Labour to just be ‘properly left’.
            You can’t implement huge changes without big changes in the tax system. If Labour makes big changes in the tax system they will get utterly slammed for it.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              And so the best that Labour can do without being revolutionary in thinking, and within an environment totally constrained by a corporate media which decides for us what is acceptable and what is not, central banking norms kowtowing to international capital etc is to fix things up around the edges and make small incremental changes to detail.

              • geoff

                Yeah pretty much, so what would you rather have?
                National government or a left government?

                • Colonial Viper

                  So this is the question about having your leg cut off, with or without the anaesthetic?

                  • quartz

                    Yeah because this is the only policy they’ve announced. Grow up.

                    I live in an high-population area where the highest decile school is decile three. This will be a massive funding boost to all of them and it’ll take another pressure off parents.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      my reply was to Geoff’s either-or question on who would you prefer to have in Government. A Labour government is preferable of course (i.e. option with anaesthetic), I implied.

                      And yes, an extra $100 funding per student is helpful – for many principals even of small schools it may mean an additional teacher aid on board for instance.

                      But I’m not viewing this from the standpoint of the school, I’m viewing it from the standpoint of the parents. And also the claim that Labour “will end the farce of voluntary school donations.” I haven’t put children through primary school recently. But people on this thread seem to be saying that “donations” requested are often at the level of several hundred dollars. With suggestion that donation requests put to parents at the $200-$600 level are common.

                      My view therefore is that $100 doesn’t go far at all and certainly any claim of ‘ending donations’ in any way shape or form is pure campaigning hyperbole.

                      Yeah because this is the only policy they’ve announced. Grow up.

                      At a guess, a family of four living on one minimum wage job plus some associated benefit faces a fiscal deficit of roughly $150pw to get out of poverty into a minimum livable income situation. With the cost of living increasing month by month, house rentals at well over $300pw in the cities, and wages and benefits stagnant, this gap is increasing all the time.

                      You talk about other announced policy. OK. Perhaps I missed it but please tell me what other Labour policies you’ve heard of which will cover this typical struggling family’s shortfall and how much of it.

                      I’ll give you a head start – Labour’s policy of increasing the minimum wage to $15/hr (and assuming that Labour successfully balances out the increased contribution to Kiwisaver that they are demanding), will put around $26 pw extra into this family’s budget. The $100 donation thing will add a further $2 pw to the family’s budget.

                      What else do you have which covers the remaining $122pw of the $150 pw poverty gap. Go on, bring me up to speed here, I’m asking you.

                    • geoff

                      My view therefore is that $100 doesn’t go far at all

                      CV, have you actually read the press release from Labour?

                      https://www.labour.org.nz/schooldonations

                      Lower decile schools will benefit significantly from this policy. Decile 1-3 schools receive an average of $60 per student in donations. Taking the $100 per student payment instead of asking for donations will increase their funding by nearly $7m a year.

                      So your claim that ‘$100 doesn’t go far at all’ is bullshit.

                      Just another case of Labour being damned if they do, damned if they don’t, eh?

                      But you keep feeding that anti-Labour narrative and doing the work of the corporate media.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re still talking about it from the point of the school.

                      As I said, it’s fairly good for the schools (although you just pointed out that decile 1-3 schools are only going to benefit from Labour’s policy by a net $40 per student, and that on average families sending their children to decile 1-3 schools are only going to benefit by $60 as many don’t/can’t pay the ‘donation’ to begin with).

                      But I’m talking about it from the point of view of the parents. Weekly income shortfall of say $150pw, but what is being done about it: my hypothetical family of 4 with a low household income, this policy will give them on average $60 extra total per child they have at school which is something, but doesn’t begin to touch their weekly budgetary deficit as it works out to just $2.50pw on a $150pw income shortfall.

                      Yes their kids’ school will have $40 more budget per child on average, which is of course a good thing but still quite marginal in terms of change.

            • Ant 5.2.1.1.1.2

              National somehow managed to find the money for their free doctors visits which is a clear vote winner.

              The difference between Labour and National is that at the moment National realises that keeping it simple and universal wins votes, gets media cut through, and neutralises potential lines of attack. On the other hand Labour seems to overcomplicate their policy with a bunch of little conditions so the policy makes a crap headline and those conditions also make it easy for journalists and the Nats to undermine. It’s like they are still shitting themselves 3 years after “show me the money” and this has limited their ability to do anything bold.

              This policy as it stands is going to be simple for National to drive a wedge into.

              • geoff

                Yeah but it’s not just this single policy though is it, Ant?

                It’s every single one that Labour releases that you’ll have a problem with for not being big enough. And you’ll completely ignore the collective economic cost of all of them.

                Of course National can have free doctors visits because they’re doing fuck all else!

                • Ant

                  Expecting a commenter on a blog to come up with policy costings is completely absurd. But as other people have pointed out across a number of different issues there are a myriad of places where such a policy could be funded from.

                  Also, I don’t expect all policies to be big, but you want the good ones during an election campaign to be incredibly well thought out and sharply executed. This one clearly isn’t.

                  Regardless of the inclinations of the media, the fact that it has almost zero cut through speaks for itself.

                  • geoff

                    Of course I don’t expect you to have policy costings, that was a rhetorical question to drive home how myopic your argument is.

                    You can’t do lots of big government projects from a position of small government, which is what we have now, thanks to decades of privatisation.

                    How do you know that Labour could afford to implement something like you’ve suggested? Keeping in mind all the other policies they’ve released, remember.
                    Can they still do Kiwibuild? Can they still do Best Start?

                    For the same reasons that you can’t cost your own policy suggestions you also can’t rubbish this policy of Labour because you don’t have a fucking clue whether they could afford something more.

                    And then there is all the other policies that Labour willl probably be releasing in the weeks leading up to the election which they will have to show they can budget for.

                    Your argument is shit.

                    • Ant

                      LOL, you’re the relying on requests for absurd costings from a blog commenter to make your point and you call my argument shit! hahaha

                      Balancing the books because of Labour’s current commitment to National party framing of fiscal responsibility isn’t my problem. Good work letting National define the rules for the debate…

                      How about you prove Labour can’t afford it while we are throwing out absurd requests?

                      You don’t have a fucking clue whether Labour can afford what I’m suggesting either.

                      Also I don’t care what’s down the track, I can only judge Labour’s current tilt for government from what policy they have produced so far, and from what I see it’s pretty underwhelming. Polling trendlines would suggest a lot of other people agree.

                    • geoff

                      LOL, you’re the relying on requests for absurd costings from a blog commenter to make your point and you call my argument shit! hahaha

                      Nope, you’ve completely misrepresented my problem with your argument.

                      You originally argued Labour’s policy was insipid because they should have gone for universality yet you have no idea whether universality is affordable when considered in the context of the cost of the rest of their policies.

                      Balancing the books because of Labour’s current commitment to National party framing of fiscal responsibility isn’t my problem. Good work letting National define the rules for the debate

                      What do you mean by this? That Labour shouldn’t bother showing whether they can afford their own policies?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      geoff, your statements are starting to grate.

                      Instead of helping find a way past the deadlock of narrow framing and synthetic constraints set up by the neolibs, something you readily admit is highly limiting, you actually continually justify acting within them as being the only way forward.

                      It’s a total nonsense and I’ll be making sure that more and more people consider better alternatives than the ones being presented today.

                    • geoff

                      CV, I don’t agree with all of Labour’s policies but this one aint that bad and using it as an excuse to bag on the entirety of the Labour party, like Ant has done is tiresome bullshit that I’m sick of hearing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You nailed it above yourself geoff IMO, with this remark

                      You can’t do lots of big government projects from a position of small government, which is what we have now, thanks to decades of privatisation.

                      Ignoring that Labour itself put us into this supine compromised position in the 1980s, this is precisely what I am bitching about. I have heard nada ZERO to reverse what you also recognise here, as being a root cause problem. So people are turning to other parties. And Labour is left in the political centre as roadkill getting squeezed down to 30% or less in an economy which is decimating median and minimum income earners and of course beneficiaries too. 6%+ unemployment 15% + under employment 25% and higher youth unemployment: this is the kind of economy which Labour should be absolutely rocketing ahead in.

                      As for ‘bagging the entirety of the Labour Party’, nah mate not at all, mostly certain parts of the Parliamentary caucus, those members who should have left for ACT years ago (including any member or delegate over 55 who fucking had the self serving audacity to vote to increase the retirement age on those younger than them), and also others who think that the core constituency of the Labour Party is the Press Gallery.

                • fisiani

                  Every policy seems to brought out by the ABC’s . The fuckups are NOT accidental.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.2

        Pretty sure school boards have considerable flexibility in this matter, not sure the government can just order them to stop…

    • Saarbo 5.3

      +1 Geoff.

      Will add $65 per child for my kids school which is hanging out for funding.

      I would also like to see less (nil) funding for private schools…they are factories that produce wankers, that is certainly the conclusion in our community. If parents want to outsource their parental responsibilities then they should pay 100% of the costs, they have the free choice to send their kids to public schools.

      • geoff 5.3.1

        I agree about private schools. They are the breeding grounds of the old boy networks that run the country.

        • Lexie 5.3.1.1

          Why do you say private schools are outsourcing parental responsibility?

          There are many private girls schools too!

          Would be interesting for someone to do a fact check on what schools current politicians and major CEOs went to to see if ‘old boys networks run the country’.

          Helen Clarke went to a public secondary school.

          • geoff 5.3.1.1.1

            I guess we have very different views on the distribution and manifestations of power in NZ, Lexie.

            Good luck with your fact checking mission.

            I don’t know what Saarbo mean’t about outsourcing parental responsibility, that wasn’t the part I was agreeing with.

    • Lexie 5.4

      Great another $100 on top of the $888 they already get for being decile 1, money won’t fix everything. Low decile schools are well funded it is the mid to high decile schools that are struggling to provide resources for their students.

  6. red blooded 6

    Schools don’t ask for money from parents cos they want to – they do it to pay for basics that government funds don’t cover. The school described in the post was obviously insensitive and inflexible – most schools make exceptions for kids whose parents are experiencing tough times and many seek funding from sponsors to help kids whose families can’t come up with money for extras like camps, uniforms, sports, art materials or technical subjects.

    I don’t see anything in this policy that would help with the more complex issues like subject-specific fees (usually linked to the need to buy ingredients or extra materials).

    On the whole it’s the schools in the mid deciles who struggle the most – lower decile schools are funded better and higher deciles tend to have active fundraising committees and wealthy communities to call on.

    I think it’s a great idea to try to make education truly free. It’s more complicated than it looks, though. I think one of the problems with this policy is that the families of kids who go to different schools will get different deals, and it doesn’t empower them, it empowers the school. Let’s remember, too, that not all kids have easy access to a choice of schools.

    Not Yet Achieved.

    • No, red blooded, this isn’t just about one primary school I attended twenty years ago being extra-ordinarily awful. Nor about just the one school which decided ID tagging donation-payers was a good idea. There are regularly stories published about schools being utterly bullying to parents.

      This is a first step. Obviously for us on the left the ideal would be completely funded education, but there’s a long way to go before Labour or even the Greens could float such an idea without the immediate narrative being about fiscally incompetent academics who’ve never run a business where will the money come from huh see they can’t govern.

      • anker 6.1.1

        On another personal note, even when schools are sympathetic to pupils and parents who can’t pay fees, kids still feel it. Before the DPB my mum was managing on her own working in a shop, bringing up her two secondary school aged kids. I remember how embarrassed I felt taking the letter to school asking to be exempt from paying fees. The school were totally accepting of this and never queried it or bullied me as in Stephanies experience. But I really felt it. I felt embarrassed and ashamed and like somehow I was less than the other kids.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        or even the Greens could float such an idea without the immediate narrative being about fiscally incompetent academics who’ve never run a business where will the money come from huh see they can’t govern.

        someone should remember that the MSM is not the constituency, the citizens of the country are. The more that Labour tries to please the MSM the more its support will flounder at or below the 30% level.

        • Ant 6.1.2.1

          I agree. There are actual areas that when done well can completely transcend MSM and National Party framing. Done properly these types of policy can not only beneficial to people but become politically hard to counter.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1

            Thank Grod someone can see it.

            This is what Labour almost pulled off with KiwiPower – Key and English were on the defensive for weeks. There should really have been a few more KiwiPower scale announcements since then, and definitely another one this month, and next month.

            Labour can do it when it sets its mind to it.

        • I’m not suggesting anyone “tries to please the MSM”. But guess where a heck of a lot of New Zealanders get their information about politics from? Sadly, it is not The Standard.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.2.1

            Letting the MSM determine the boundaries of what is acceptable in political economic discussion is a long term losing proposition for the Left. We have seen this for decades now.

            And doing so doesn’t even help Labour’s polling nor make the MSM any fairer to Labour, as we saw in the Liu case.

  7. Lexie 7

    Inequality in NZ primary schools caused by decile rating funding.

    New Zealand schools are allocated operational money per student to contribute to the schools running costs. In addition to this money, schools are given additional funding based on their decile rating from 1 to 10. This decile rating is roughly based on the average income per household in the area the school draws its students from, decile 1 being lower income and decile 10 being a high income area.

    The Government expects high decile schools, to receive funding from parents in the form of donations/fees, compared with decile 1 schools where the government expect very little in donations from parents. What this means in dollar terms for a decile 9 Primary School is $28 per student per year, compared with $888.00 per student for a decile 1 school. So, for schools of 200 students, a decile 1 school would get a total of $177,600 compared with a decile 9 school receiving $5,600
    and a decile 10 school getting nothing.

    See these sites for more information on decile rating.
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEd

    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEd

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Decile rating funding in schools is required because of inequality in NZ

      Fixed it for ya

      • Lexie 7.1.1

        Agreed but the difference in decile funding rates is exponentially more than the inequality in NZ and plenty of families in mid to high deciles are low income families and therefore miss out on government high decile funding for their school.

  8. feijoa 8

    My daughter goes to a decile 10 state college. “Donations” are $645, and all the other things are on top of that such as sports fees, workbooks, art materials, museum visits, etc
    I guess $100 is a start, as I’m sure the fees seem to keep increasing

  9. Disraeli Gladstone 9

    It’s a great policy but I doubt it will be effective.

    Most of the schools around me are at about $250-$300 donation. If the school has 1,000 students then under Labour plans, they’d get $100,000. For that to be a break even, the paid donation rate would have to be less than 40%. Possibly as low as 33%. I suspect a lot of them get donations from at least half their student body.

    Which means they’re not going to take up Labour’s offer.

    Really need to just ban donations or have oversight that they are literally donations that aren’t revealed or discussed.

    • You’re assuming – much as Steven Joyce was in Question Time today – that every parent at every school pays the donations. If this is true, it’s simply proof that our schools are chronically underfunded.

      You’re also forgetting the potential costs involved in gathering those “donations” – administration time checking who has or hasn’t paid, accounting time and having to make multiple payments as the donations come in over the term, teachers having to chase up kids who haven’t paid (because obviously teachers have nothing better to do with their time). Or, they can get a guaranteed sum from the government.

      It’s really not as black-and-white a situation as you think.

      • Herodotus 9.1.1

        You’re assuming – much as Steven Joyce was in Question Time today – that every parent at every school pays the donations. If this is true, it’s simply proof that our schools are chronically underfunded.
        And this$100/pupil is going to solve the issue of under funding or put a halt on donations ? Please.
        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_New_Zealand
        So from this link the policy will have a potential cost $76m. Do you really believe that this is all that is required to move from chronically to adequately funded?
        And where do you think those schools that request donations above the $100 go ? Activity fees
        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_fees_in_New_Zealand
        Schools can ask for, but not insist on, payment of fees for activities that fall outside the curriculum or have a “take home component”, at the beginning of the year. Schools can not make payment in advance a condition of enrolment and must ensure that learning is not impacted through non-payment for any reason, as Section 3 of the Education Act guarantees free enrolment.
        But the link continues that these can be a pay as you go. So there will still be the potential for all this admin time to still be required- as you said teachers have nothing better to do this after the 50+ hours a week they already spend !!!

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Yep, the $100 is a drop in the bucket, a kind of signal of awareness and sincere gesture. But its not much more than that.

          And as long as Labour continues to buy into tinkering with the edges of monetary, banking and taxation arrangements, little more than that can be achieved.

          $2B pa to get rid of child poverty. Who would have thought that would be so difficult in a $200B economy.

        • Herodotus, I would appreciate you not putting words in my mouth. Nobody, including the Labour Party, has said that this policy “is all that’s required” to fix education funding.

          • Herodotus 9.1.1.2.1

            My intentions were not to place words into your mouth, frustration gets the better of me as I see a 1/2 arsed solution. This does not end the farce of voluntary school donations, it helps in a disguised manner of more money to some schools, whilst others miss out.
            As this is targeted to lower decile schools the gap of govt funding for our “Free” education widens between different deciles, now are we to assume that there are to be wide variations as to how much a free education costs?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2.1.1

              If you think that problem can be solved with education policy I have some Pickett & Wilkinson who’ll give you a counterview.

              • thecard

                … but but but the decile system is designed to take the inequality out of the schooling system……. and it has in general failed ……so we should just throw more money at the poorly performing schools in lower deciles or should we look at those schools in lower deciles that are performing and see what we can replicate ?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  If you think that problem can be solved with education policy I have some Pickett & Wilkinson who’ll give you a counterview.

                • Lexie

                  Hit the nail on the head, rather than throw more money at the problem look at schools that are succeeding for low decile schools to achieve good academic results. This is the core function of a school. This may even work for all decile schools, if you get the right combination of leadership and teachers all schools could achieve great academic results.

          • Disraeli Gladstone 9.1.1.2.2

            Ironic considering you put words in my mouth.

            Heck, you made it sound like I agreed with Steven Joyce. Is there no harsher crime!?

      • Disraeli Gladstone 9.1.2

        “You’re assuming – much as Steven Joyce was in Question Time today – that every parent at every school pays the donations.”

        Umm. No. No, I didn’t. From my post:

        “For that to be a break even, the paid donation rate would have to be less than 40%. Possibly as low as 33%. I suspect a lot of them get donations from at least half their student body.”

        I explicitly talked about not every parent paying the donation. And that even if 60% didn’t, it would still be touch and go.

        It was right there in my post. It’s like you didn’t even read what I wrote and just threw a talking point at me.

  10. dimebag russell 10

    all john keys could do in the house was call David Cunliffe names.
    what a crummy way to debate the affairs of this nation like skoolkidz.

    • lebleaux 10.1

      Key, the mans name is Key. You may not like the guy, you may disagree with what he says and what he stands for but he is the Prime Minister of New Zealand and you could at least have the good manners to get his name right. Not doing so simply makes you come across as petulant and childish.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1

        The Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister, Commander-in-Chief, Amnesiac, Mendacious Wretch, Banker. Keeper of the Four Five Eyes, Friedman’s Willing Dupe, Golfer.

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    Decile ratings are based on the income of the parents who send their kids to that school – not the area they are from.

    There’s just a very strong correlation with children going to school in their own neighborhood.

    Every kid should be able to go to their closest school.

    The problem with activity fees is that different activities can have quite a range of costs from minimal to very high.

    Sports fees are most often linked to the cost of grounds and equipment cause apparently everyone has to try and make some money off the grounds and the cost of playing a guitar is quite different from say a saxaphone. Playing cricket is likely dearer than athletics and so on. Lacrosse is likely even dearer.

    I can’t see any way you can not have some payment by parents for some activities.

    Some funding to councils to provide free access to sports fields for schools would be great.

    Having been on a board in a low decile school what was apparent to me was the lack of funding from other sources that say Wanganui Collegiate or NPBHS or Auckland Grammar has – from owning a million dollars worth of property, to owning the NP racecourse, NPGHS and polytech land, to owning rental properties, to lots of largesse from old boys networks and fundraising activities.

    • And Labour has (for the time) left activity fees in place. Even then I think those are often rubbish – it’s not like schools have to buy a new bat and ball for every child who plays on the cricket team.

      • thecard 11.1.1

        “And Labour has (for the time) left activity fees in place. Even then I think those are often rubbish – it’s not like schools have to buy a new bat and ball for every child who plays on the cricket team.”

        Shakes head and is left in no doubt why Labour has no show at this year’s elections

        • Yes, the working class will never turn out for a party which thinks that all kids deserve to be able to play sport at school or go on camp, not just the ones from Epsom.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 11.1.2

        A ball for everyone – more like half a dozen each across a season and practice.

        Bats another half dozen with probably 50% being replaced each season.

        Pads, boxes, thigh pads, helmets…

        Then there’s ground fees.

        It simply costs thousands of dollars to put one team in each year.

        We had kids going to North Island athletics champs in bare feet cause parents couldn’t afford running shoes let alone spikes.

        One of our boys came second in bare feet and by the time he had returned his parents had received 8 offers from higher decile schools to have him attend their school replete with free track gear and spikes and other benefits.

        It was quite evident those higher decile schools and private schools weren’t in any way short of money.

    • Liam Hehir 11.2

      “Decile ratings are based on the income of the parents who send their kids to that school – not the area they are from.”

      That is not quite right.

      Deciles are based on a school’s catchment area, based on census information. Student’s addresses are used to work out the “meshblocks” the schools serve, but these incorporate other households around those addresses. So I agree that it isn’t strictly based on the neighbourhood surrounding the school, but it is based on the neighbourhoods where its children live.

    • lebleaux 11.3

      Nope. They are based on the census figures for the income of the household in the schools zone

  12. ianmac 12

    The Herald online has slipped the Donation in Schools policy right down the page leapfrogging downwards over important things like winter weather, missing hunter, computer cause housefire etc etc.
    Funny how they do not want to highlight Labour policy? Wonder why not?

    • Richard McGrath 12.1

      Perhaps the Herald feels that this policy, like Cunliffe, will be temporary.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        Perhaps you have just unwittingly pointed out their problem: too much opinion on the front page :lol:

  13. Descendant Of Sssmith 13

    Aye but the meshblocks used are based on the kids attending that particular school – so if the kid lives across town that across the town meshblock will be used.

  14. dimebag russell 14

    as David Cunliffe pointed out today in Parliament the National party government decreased the Education Budget by $2.3 million this year.
    I think they need the money for free trips to New York?

  15. Populuxe1 15

    I fail to see why the tax payer should be expected to fund the educations of children whose parents can afford to pay. I fail to see what is good about effectively capping and indeed reducing school budgets. I fail to see how this would achieve anything except maybe provide a patsy excuse to retain bulk funding. I fail to see anything useful in effectively punnishing gifted or hard working children from low income families you get scholarships to top schools. $100 per student LOL

    • dimebag russell 15.1

      +1 Pop
      you nailed it.
      This particular gang of rugged individuals wants everybody to pay for them.
      they see it as a right that the poorer people should subsidise them.
      they are no better than leeches.

      • Richard McGrath 15.1.1

        You are right, Dimebag. No-one should be subsidised at the expense of someone else.

        • DS 15.1.1.1

          In that case, can you kindly reimburse me the costs of the roads you drive and walk on?

          Taxes (and hence subsidisation) are the price we pay for civilisation.

          • Richard McGrath 15.1.1.1.1

            Happy to pay from here on; I’ve probably more than paid until now for any use – two years ago I paid $75k for 12 months alone. I did write to IRD many years ago offering to pay for all “public” services I use in return for ceasing to take my money by way of threats. They couldn’t organise a pissup in a brewery – do you think you could jack it up for me, DS?

            • Richard McGrath 15.1.1.1.1.1

              To clarify, $75k was my total tax paid, excluding GST on discretionary/private spending, not just on roading!

              • Te Reo Putake

                You must be grateful to live in a low income tax country like NZ then. You’d have contributed a hell of a lot more elsewhere.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Yep there’s only 71 jurisdictions worldwide with a lower top marginal tax rate, not many really.

                  • felix

                    and if you really believe that the top marginal income tax rate is the absolute measure of the value of the deal you’re getting, then off you fuck to whichever of them you choose.

              • felix

                How much did you offer to pay for your share of the cost of living in a democratic state, Richard? Cost of parliament? Cost of elections?

                How much did you estimate as your share of the cost of a welfare system that ensures you are still allowed to live safely in your own home?

                How much did you calculate as your share of the cost of educating people that aren’t you who know things you don’t know and without whom you could not exist in this world?

                Not much, I reckon.

                • Richard McGrath

                  I didn’t calculate or estimate anything, Felix. I assumed the state could calculate that then invoice me.

                  • dv

                    Ha that is called the tax system.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Rubbish – tax is based on income, on punishing the wealthy and slightly wealthy for their success, and is unrelated to a person’s utilisation of roads or other state-owned service.

                    • McFlock

                      Tax is proportional to the private good of all the services provided to maintain the society that puts you in the highest tax bracket.

                      That’s not “punishment”, it’s “payment for services rendered”.

                    • dv

                      Can you imagine the bureaucracy required for the govt to EVERY person what they have used!!
                      Then the interminable arguments about no i didn’t use that or not that much of that.
                      And you think the IRD computer could handle that?

  16. Richard McGrath 16

    If schools have a rule about hair length, then surely if they don’t pay for students’ haircuts then that education is not “free”. Likewise, if the school requires students to travel to their location, rather than learning from home, they should provide free transport, or reimburse students for their transport costs, otherwise that education is not “free”.

    • dimebag russell 16.1

      so when John Keys came back to New Zealand with $80,000,000 in his kick and he had never produced anything then someone subsidised him?

      • Richard McGrath 16.1.1

        Russell I think you’ll find his name is ‘Key’, and I thought he had made $50M not 80. How do you know he never produced anything?

        What about second hand dealers and anyone else not in a manufacturing industry – hell, even doctors – what are your thoughts as regards them, as they “never produce anything”?

        • felix 16.1.1.1

          How do you know how much money John Keys took?

          • Richard McGrath 16.1.1.1.1

            Felix, the word I used was ‘thought’ not ‘know’. I seem to remember hearing somewhere that John Key was worth around $50M – but I could be wrong and would be happy to be corrected.

        • karol 16.1.1.2

          Doctors spend most of their time (re)producing healthy and able-bodied people, many of whom work in the manufacturing sector.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2.1

            McGrath also played a silly word game – equating ‘productive for society’ with “manufacturing.”

            • Richard McGrath 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Exactly my point – why do people seem to think John Key is/was unproductive?

              • felix

                Because gambling on derivatives creates nothing of value to society.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Your point of view, you’re entitled to it.

                  • felix

                    I suppose, taking a very broad view, what Wall St scumbags like Key did might end up serving as a lesson for future generations in what sort of scumbags not to allow near the finance sector.

                    That’s about the only value I can think of. You?

                    • Richard McGrath

                      He worked for a company, made that company money. Some might call that productive.

                    • McFlock

                      Others would call it speculative theft.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Others would call it speculative theft.”

                      Others, such as the ‘Wall St scumbags’ who might have lost out in a currency exchange with John Key in the 1980s?

                    • McFlock

                      nah, people who actually produce things rather than working the margins of other people’s production.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.3

          What about second hand dealers and anyone else not in a manufacturing industry – hell, even doctors – what are your thoughts as regards them, as they “never produce anything”?

          A doctor and a decent second hand car dealer can do plenty to help a struggling family. A bankster, ticket clipping financial speculator using other peoples money to play Wall St, won’t.

          • Phil 16.1.1.3.1

            A bankster, ticket clipping financial speculator using other peoples money to play Wall St, won’t.

            and a minute later…

            a silly word game – equating ‘productive for society’ with “manufacturing.”

            Mr Pot, meet Ms Kettle.

          • Richard McGrath 16.1.1.3.2

            And that’s because he stores all that money in a vault and lets it gather dust, he doesn’t put it to work in the bank or spend it on consumables, or invest it in start-up industries or donate it to charity.

            • McFlock 16.1.1.3.2.1

              Or pays himself a huge bonus for collapsing the global economy and getting record foreclosures.

            • Richard McGrath 16.1.1.3.2.2

              Further to the above comment, in 2013 the 50 most generous philanthropists in the U.S. donated a total of $7.7B to charities. To even get onto this list required donations in excess of $37.5M. The biggest donor, Mark Zuckerberg, gave just under $1B.

              • felix

                Meanwhile Key donates to the National Party and passes legislation to make it harder for working people to get decent pay and conditions.

                • Richard McGrath

                  There is nothing stopping employers from paying their staff more, what are you on about?

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh fuck off mate, I know the kind of “charities” that the likes of the Koch Bros and the Walton family give to, and it ain’t the Geneva Red Cross.

    • Yes yes yes, nothing’s free because MY TAXPAYER DOLLARS therefore all funding is wrong. It’s a great argument if you just want to say “no” all the time but doesn’t really move the conversation forward.

    • Ed 16.3

      The recent case regarding hair length resulted in the student not having to cut his hair Richard. It was regrettable that it took a court case to settle the matter. There are rough measures to ensure that transport costs are not too unequal – you must be aware of rural school bus routes, but a far lower proportion than in the past are enrolled in correspondence schools due to isolation. I applaud your enthusiasm for seeking to reduce costs of schooling; perhaps with better funding more schools could provide free transport from home to school, but this policy does move some way towards your ideal.

  17. Richard McGrath 17

    Cunliffe sees nothing unjust about taxing a low income worker to pay for the costs of students at decile 10 schools.

    • felix 17.1

      Define “low income” in your hypothetical scenario, please.

      • Richard McGrath 17.1.1

        Are you suggesting that the IRD don’t tax some earners before redistributing some of it back to them while clipping the ticket on the way, and chucking the rest of it at people of all incomes?

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          Answer the question, Richard. What are you defining as “a low income worker”?

          • Richard McGrath 17.1.1.1.1

            Low income would be, for example, a guy earning $30k a year. He pays $4,270 in tax, and if he spends all the remaining net income on GST inclusive consumption would pay another $3,859 in tax, thus in total $8,129 in tax (or about 27% of his gross earnings), plus any extra tax imposed on fuel, cigarettes, alcohol & other products. He may well end up paying 30% of his gross income as tax, which is then redistributed as the government sees fit (because public servants and politicians know better how to spend this portion of the guy’s money then he does himself), including on the education budget which under Mr Cunliffe would include paying the ‘donations’ of kids in decile 10 schools.

            • McFlock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              $64bil / $50mil =1280.
              $8k / 1280 = $6.25.
              Decile 10 = $6.25 / 10 or whatever the D10 share is.
              Less than a buck on the guy’s annual income.

              It’s a fucking outrage /sarc

              • Richard McGrath

                I thought you lot were all against the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor. Unless, of course, it’s Labour policy.

                • McFlock

                  a buck richer.

                  Whereas he gets the benefit of more government resources when the rich get taxed at a higher rate.
                  Rich just a touch less rich, and your poor bloke gets his buck back.

                  Hell, you’ve probably just taken up more than a buck’s worth of my time.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    And, for all this redistribution of a dollar, Inland Revenue, Treasury, Parliament and the Ministries of Education and Social Development are all likely to be involved, clipping the ticket on the way.

                • dimebag russell

                  in general most people dont mind some people being rich and their wealth but when a self appointed class of people that has been allowed to emerge since the computer revolution want to take everything to gratify their desires without putting anything back then those people who arent really all that wealthy anyway have to face the music.
                  you know like the manques and parvenus in the National party.
                  does that answer your question?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      ‘Unjust’.

      Newsflash: justice is not delivered in money.
      To rephrase, what’s unjust about the fact that we’re all in this together?

      Also, please stop whining about having to obey tax law like everyone else – what are you, a gang member or something?

  18. vto 18

    Good policy.

    The school we are subjected to really does push parents to pay this “voluntary donation”. I think they are rude in way they go about it.

    Stephanie, that you were approached directly by teachers as a primary school child is absolutely appalling.

    Good one Labour – the “donation” issue is a festering pus-filled sore

  19. Chooky 19

    Good move on Labour’s part!…and it will provide a lot of relief to many financially struggling parents…education up to PhD level should be free and high quality for all New Zealand youth..it is their birth right…

    This policy will win votes!

  20. Craig Glen Eden 20

    This is a great start by Labour in the Education portfolio, all NZ kids should get as good an education as we can provide from the state. If people want some thing different they should fund it themselves.

    State schools shouldnt have to ask parents for a school donation. If parents want to do more for the school they can by getting involved in many different ways. Personally I think activities should also be state funded each school should get a set amount to enable things like camps, bus trips to Museums etc. Labour needs to get bold with genuine free health and education policies CV is right about Labour becoming Road kill Labour has to get bolder or else other political parties will fill the void.

  21. Lorraine 21

    This move is so necessary for many lower to middle decile schools. With uniforms and books it is hard for parents to pay these donations on one income or a benefit. Some schools make it hard for kids whose parents are slow in paying or don’t pay.
    It is recognition of how hard bringing up a child is when you are poor. What a lot of wealthy people don’t realise is that most poor parents are good parents. They go without to feed, cloth and put the needs of their kids first.
    It is not that poor parents are lazy or neglectful, in the majority of situations they just have more odds working against them. They live with difficulties wealthy people never have to think about.
    Focusing on making it easier for middle to lower income households to do the very best for their children is of upmost importance. Many women stay in abusive relationships just because they are concerned about being able to survive financially with kids.

    • Craig Glen Eden 21.1

      So true Lorraine, well said.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2

      +∞

      It ain’t rocket science, it’s a pragmatic, sensible response.

      Any school that can do better than $100 per pupil will do no more than reflect the innate advantages of higher household income, and hey, that’s the whole point.

  22. Sable 22

    Yes we have just paid our fees which were described as a voluntary donation. I do not blame the schools but I DO BLAME THE KEYS GOVERNMENT. Good to see Labour showing common sense and looking to fund schools appropriately. Now if they would just make more of an effort to get their message out to the mainstream we can see Shonky down the road…

    • Richard McGrath 22.1

      I think you’ll find his name is Key. That’s what I’ve read anyway.

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    A new report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) Jan Wright released today highlights the perilous status of our national institution – the seaside bach or crib. The PCE’s report is a summary of the state of the...
    Gareth’s World
  • Climate change: Rising seas
    One of the primary consequences of climate change is sea-level rise due to thermal expansion and melting ice. What impact will this have on New Zealand? The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is going to tell us:The Parliamentary Commissioner for...
    No Right Turn
  • Guest Post: Dear AT HOP
    This is a guest post by reader Frith Stalker Dear AT Hop I have used Auckland buses for 30 years I am very smart, very pedantic, very polite and very Rule Abiding I am your perfect customer. I always thank...
    Transport Blog
  • Staff deserve right to use te reo Māori
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 41 Student’s at most tertiary institutions have the right to use te reo Māori as provided for and protected in their institution’s policies and practices, but staff do not always have that same right. TEU’s...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
    Imagine you are 10 years old and your crazy aunt is taking you out for a treat. A crazy aunt can be fun. Problem is this aunt is also a creationist and she is taking you to the local natural history museum....
    Open Parachute
  • Government digs deeper into $10m fraud
    The government has uncovered nearly $10 million in misappropriated tertiary funding and is expanding its investigations into other institutions around the country. Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce told the New Zealand Herald the Tertiary Education Commission is planning 12 more...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Unleashing hell
    There's a great scene in the first season of the British political comedy The Thick Of It. The fictional PM's office is, in the parlance of our times, in the shit. And their response is to try and utterly confuse...
    Polity
  • 4 percent cut to per student funding
    Tuition funding per student has fallen $800 or 4 percent since 2008 according to data compiled by the Parliamentary Library. The Green Party’s new tertiary education spokesperson Gareth Hughes requested the information and shared it with TEU. It shows that...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Otago cutbacks mooted to fund building
    Otago University is considering making significant cuts in 2016 to fund its $600 million building programme according to the Otago Daily Times. The university’s chief financial officer Sharon van Turnhout told the paper this could include job cuts. ”As staff...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • EBS Christmas Newsletter
    Welcome to our EBS Christmas newsletter, we hope that the end of the term is starting to wind down now and that you are looking forward to a long summer break! Our union bargaining power enables us to offer you...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • The problems of measuring water quality
    Professor Gary Jones from Canberra how is the keynote speaker at the 2014 NZ River Awards tonight. The following podcast is Gary speaking to Radio NZ’s Kathryn Ryan about the vexing questions of water quality and quantity.  ...
    Gareth’s World
  • Collins cleared; Slater lied
    On the same day as the Cheryl Gwynn report was released, we also got the release Justice Chisholm’s report into Judith Collins and the allegations that she undermined former-SFO head Adam Feeley. The report was ordered after the release of...
    Occasionally erudite
  • Gordon Campbell on government arrogance, Ferguson, and Police pursuits
    As anyone who’s ever encountered him around Parliament will verify, Chris Finlayson’s arrogance is matched only by his sense of self-esteem. On RNZ this morning though, he exceeded himself on both counts. Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Hard News: The twilight state of the Psychoactive Substances Act
    Even as it was making its way to the statutes,
 New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Bill was the talk
 of the drug reform world. It was seen as a bold, visionary bid to deal with the proliferation of new drugs that...
    Public Address
  • John Key implodes over the Gwyn report
    The Cheryl Gwyn report into the release of SIS information relating to whether Phil Goff was or wasn’t briefed about the Israeli spy saga  was released on Tuesday. It makes for compelling reading as it investigates whether Goff lied, whether then-head...
    Occasionally erudite
  • NZSIS: Mandated abuse of power?
    By now you would have heard about the report on the NZSIS and its dealings with the OIA and the PM’s office. This report has been talked to death in the media so I won’t rehash the aspects that are already...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Key’s erasers
    ...
    On the Left
  • AT Beating Patronage Targets
    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 26
    Top of the AgendaIran to Access $700 Million Monthly During Talks Extension...
    Pundit
  • “Cut the crap” – quick analysis
    Here's the video of Andrew Little's question in the House today. Some quick thoughts: I was really interested that National's strategy team has already decided it has to deploy Tim McIndoe to break up the flow of Andrew Little's questioning....
    Polity
  • A statement from John Key
    Apologise? What for? I’m not sorry for anything. I have done nothing wrong. It’s Phil Goff who should be apologising. It’s Phil Goff who should resign....
    Imperator Fish
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • On the uncanny resemblance between John Key and Sergeant Schultz
    In the 30-odd years that Judy and I have been providing media advice and training to prime ministers, prostitutes and pretty well every profession in-between, our teaching mantra has remained the same: “Be straightforward, tell the truth, admit your mistakes”....
    Brian Edwards
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • Ports of Auckland Moving More Freight By Rail
    Ports of Auckland did a press release back in September that didn’t really get picked up on: Working with KiwiRail, Ports of Auckland has doubled the rail services between its Waitematā seaport and Wiri Intermodal Freight Hub. The increased service...
    Transport Blog
  • Momentum Builds for No Deforestation Palm Oil
    By now you know the problem: a rapidly expanding palm oil industry, eating up forests, draining carbon-rich peatlands, and sparking conflict with local people and workers.But if you had to guess at what is turning out to be a key...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • “Real” experts’ on climate change? Really?
    The Heartland Institute has produced a new propaganda poster on climate change. Here it is: And this is what they say about it: This poster presents clear and undeniable evidence that the debate is not over. Looking out from this poster...
    Open Parachute
  • Whiteboard Wednesday – How a flat tax would be fairer than our current sy...
    Geoff is going to talk us through how a UBI and flat tax work together. The end result is less bureaucracy and a fairer, simpler, more productive society....
    Gareth’s World
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
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