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Local Bodies: NZ Charter Schools Defined

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, August 2nd, 2012 - 62 comments
Categories: Privatisation, schools - Tags: ,

Reprinted with permission from bsprout at Local Bodies


NZ Charter Schools Defined

Despite the fact that education is one of the few sectors in New Zealand that is performing well in international terms this National led Government have spent a good amount of time, money and angst to force through comprehensive systemic change. Rather than have a high quality public system that has been built on a culture of collaboration and research, they want to introduce a more competitive culture where schools will be compared and ranked by targeted criteria. The fact that there has been no support for this approach in research and that no high performing eduction system uses this model has been deliberately ignored.

Martin Thrupp’s research into how National Standards have had an impact on the learning culture of schools has already come up with clear indications that concerning changes have occurred. Our narrow focus on literacy and numeracy has seen other learning areas suffer and a decline in science achievement and engagement has already been noted.

Even though the Prime Minister has admitted that their National Standards system has produced ropey data and Hekia Parata’s attempt at increasing class sizes was comprehensively rejected, National are determined to push through with their ideological agenda. Today we had an announcement regarding the final details of their version of Charter Schools, that they have named “Partnership Schools”. These are essentially private schools supported by public money that do not have to follow the same criteria and regulations as public schools and have had mixed successelsewhere.

National has always supported the private model over comprehensive public education and their $35 million increase in funding to private schooling when they first took power was an indication of their priorities. Their new Partnership Schools will not only have the security of government funding but they can also receive sponsorship from outside organisations and Brian Tamaki has indicate an interest in opening a school. While these schools will need to provide National Standards data they do not have to follow our National Curriculum and they are also not required to employ registered teachers.

The strengths of a strong public education system is that whatever the socio economic background of a child, there is an expectation that they can attend a local school that is funded appropriately to the needs of the community; be taught by registered teachers (who are required to meet prescribed professional standards); and have their learning occur within in a national curriculum so that there is consistency between all schools (especially helpful for our many transient children).

National do not value professionalism, which was clear when they lowered the 100% qualified teacher target for early childhood education to 80% to save money on teacher salaries. Since being in government, National have been determined to shut out professional involvement when establishing National Standards and any collaboration that has occurred it has been under the understanding that policy can’t be questioned. What they don’t appear to understand is that it is the quality of the teacher in the classroom that determines the quality of the teaching and learning and raising the status and improving the professional support for teachers would make the most positive difference. Allowing the likes of Brian Tamaki to receive government support to establish his own school, using his own curriculum and employing teachers who will only have to pass police vetting rings alarm bells for me.

I guess it is ironic that the Minister leading the introduction of Partnership Schools and extolling their quality and accountability is one John Banks.

62 comments on “Local Bodies: NZ Charter Schools Defined”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    Ironic all right! Tamaki, Banks, and Key – what a trio! That is “partnership” for sure!! And God help the rest of us.

  2. lprent 2

    You can usually see a screwup coming with this government. It will have a Act party minister involved. In this case John Banks is extolling the value of charter schools, where the government for reasons of ideological stupidity give public tax money to private organisations to produce an education without any standards.

    Yep – that sounds like a Act party rort to me. Just like the supershitty, 3 strikes, etc etc…. I’m sure that there will be a lot of consultation and advice being offered by Actoids to those wanting to sup at the trough.

  3. Dv 3

    What could go possibly go wrong?

    I heard? Parata say that the charter schools would be closed if they failed.
    Leaving aside what is mean’t by failure who is going to pick up and sort out the pupils from the closed schools.

    They also don’t know about buildings yet.

    • tracey 3.1

      a prison only met 50% of its kpi but the company still has the contract. Accordingly what amounts to failure needs to be very clear. We have a world class system and we should not be experimenting on our children.

  4. Dv 4

    And if the school does not meet targets set by the Government?

    “They will be closed,” Ms Parata said.

    She said it was important there were consequences for schools that do not meet the standards set in their contract.

    SCHOOLs wil face consequences.

    WHAT about effects on the children?

    • bad12 4.1

      Children do not figure in charter schools, education is also only a means to an end in the charter schools scheme of things,

      Think the socialization of the losses of Capitalism and charter schools just being the means to front foot the large ugly snout of capitalist profit taking into an area of the economy from which they have largely been unable to fatten themselves at the public purse of such a large taxpayer cache as the education budget,

      They, charter schools are nothing except get rich quick schemes of,for,and, by a capitalist system that itself can and has scored a comprehensive F for itself, as in f**ked and failed…

      • Carol 4.1.1

        And a wedge between public and private education, with education of the elite gaining at the expense of education of the masses.

    • Dv-Closing schools that do not meet the “standards” is hardly reassuring when this can happen: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/lesley-longstone-management-style.html
      When National and their English import, Longstone, have no idea what makes a good new Zealand school I can imagine schools being hit for all sorts of random stuff. We have well and truly lost the wonderful potential that exists in the New Zealand Curriculum http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-documents/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum
      and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa http://tmoa.tki.org.nz/

    • mike e 5.1

      Brain Tamaki religious pyramid schemer.Natural partner to Shonkey financial pyramid schemer

  5. captain hook 6

    NZ is rapidly becoming the country that lost its head.
    key and banks and parata are dysfunctional personalities seeking to impose their will on a populace mesmerised by the facile, febrile glitter of lunatics.

  6. Gosman 7

    Closing failing Charter Schools is vital to ensure their success

    http://www.economist.com/node/21558265

    • Macro 7.1

      “Closing failing Charter Schools is vital to ensure their success”

      How can a failing school be successful? and how does closing it, ensure it’s success?

      • Carol 7.1.1

        This shows the failure of the business model for public services. A company producing low quality baked beans ay go out of business, with some wastage of beans. Better food businesses may subsequently be developed. But children are not expendable cans of beans.

    • mike e 7.2

      so thats why the US is 16th ranked.
      Other evidence shows charter schools are largely a failure.
      Dodgy figures leaving out under performing kids

    • In which case 83% of them should have been closed by now, Gosman. That’s how many have either not performed better, or have performed worse, than mainstream schools in the US.

      Source (not that you’ll bother to read this): http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/MULTIPLE_CHOICE_CREDO.pdf

      Unfortunately, it is children who will end up paying for your ACT Party’s little experiment.

      Another example of ordinary people paying dearly for nutty experiments.

  7. Anne 8

    But… but… but… John Banks said these charter schools will be of the very highest standard even though half of the teachers in them will have no teaching qualifications…

    Can someone please explain to this dunderhead how that actually works?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      It’s not supposed to, it’s supposed to make education worse and make a profit for the ticket clippers.

    • Just imagine a curriculum written by Bishop Tamaki and taught by a bunch of enthusiastic bible in schools teachers, one very real scenario.

  8. bad12 9

    Now you have seen the ‘blue-print’ for charter schools i bet you all will be hanging out for the next snout’n’trough act from the Slippery National Government,

    Charter hospitals where the Doctors and Nurses won’t need to have qualifications,(but will undergo rigorous checks to ensure they have consistently voted National),

    Hell i am a dab hand with a skill-saw, surgery anyone…

  9. Just heard John Banks on Radio NZ statimng that Charter Schhools are a “success” in the United states.

    The lying little bastard.

    The only study in the US, conducted by Stanford University, concluded that only 17% of charter schools do better than mainstream schools. The rest either fail, or achieve no better, than mainstream schools.

    Banks seems to be unable to tell the truth.

    • Dv 10.1

      When asked of an example, he quoted hisq son who was failing at school who went through apre army school on the North Shore.
      I have always wondered where the idea came from and i think that is it. the failure of his child was the stresor.

      I was also facinated by his harping on accountiblity. ACCOUNTIBILITY that is word Banks does not know the meaning of.

      • Dv 10.1.1

        And off course the army school was set up and run under current rules, so why do we need this new system.

        • Carol 10.1.1.1

          Well, I guess what Banks was talking about was this kind of vocationally-oriented school, for 16 yr+ people
          http://www.advancetraining.co.nz/

          The S.M.A.R.T. Course.

          Is this the course for me?

          Students should have a keen intererst in joining the Army, Air Force, Navy, Fire Service or Police

          Be prepared for some hard work both physically and academically.

          Gain NCEA Level 1 & Level 2.

          http://www.advancetraining.co.nz/index.php?p=1_5_SMART-Course

          Really? This is Banks’ model? [sigh]

          I have taught in vocationally-oriented courses for 16+ students in further education colleges in the UK, and TAFE in NSW, Aussie. These are state funded institutions, and regarded as a “second chance” education for students who have failed in the school system.

          I see no reason why some of the best aspects of these can’t be incorporated within the present state education system, including for students younger than 16 yrs. I have often thought this would be beneficial.

          The reason why such institutions don’t necessarily require teaching qualifications, is partly because they are in a “cinderella” sector, which is under-funded by the relevant governments. It doesn’t mean that teaching qualifications for all teachers are not the best option. Also, when the course is offering vocational or pre-vocational training, someone with knowledge and experience in that work area can be suitable.

          But is this what would be best for all students who have failed in the current school system, whatever their age? Really…. Banks shows his total lack of knowledge about education.

          • KJT 10.1.1.1.1

            This can be done within the present system. Such as the “trades academies” that some high schools already offer.

            The problem is lack of funding for the extra teachers and resources required.

            Of course if the extra funding is applied to the current schools they will have as good, or better outcomes than charter schools.

    • Carol 10.2

      And his 20% of students fail in the present system? And still he hasn’t answered why, if initiatives such as the pre-military school are so good, why can they be incorporated within the present state system. Why set up something totally different to improve things?

    • Gosman 10.3

      You obviously did’t read that Economist article Frank. You should really do so if you want to spout statistics.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1

        Why would he be reading an Economist article when he can read peer reviewed research?

        • Frank Macskasy 10.3.1.1

          Draco, Gosman was so eager to voice his muddled thinking that didn’t read the Economist article correctly. The piece actually supported the CREDO study (which, as you correctly state was peer-reviewed research) conducted by Stanford University.

          Once again,. Gosman ends up with one foot in his mouth, and shooting himself in the other.

          One the plus side, that Economist article may be useful. But not as Gosman intended.

      • Gosman, you’re a greater fool than I first thought

        That Economist article stated,

        … Much political capital has been made of a 2009 study of 16 states that found that only 17% of charter schools were better than public schools, 37% were worse and the rest were about the same. The work was done by the Centre for Research on Education Outcomes (Credo) at Stanford University.

        The Credo study has been criticised for not comparing the results of children who have won charter-school lotteries with those who have not—a natural experiment in which the only difference between winners and losers should be the schooling they receive. Such studies suggest that charters are better. For example, a lottery study in New York City found that by eighth grade (around 13), charter-school pupils were 30 points ahead in maths.

        However, recent work by Mathematica, an independent policy group, suggests that the Credo study is sound. The bigger problem is that its findings have been misinterpreted….

        If you’re going to quote articles, do it context you uneducated ass.

        • Gosman 10.3.2.1

          Ummmm…. I think you are selectively quoting Frank. The article goes on to state the the Credo study was in fact suggestive that Charter schools work at improving performance for the kids who are failed by the current public school system.. Try and learn a little comprehension.

          • Frank Macskasy 10.3.2.1.1

            I’ve quoted you the relevant part.

            It’s not my fault you don’t read your own source material properly. What part of “However, recent work by Mathematica, an independent policy group, suggests that the Credo study is sound. The bigger problem is that its findings have been misinterpreted” do you not comprehend?

            So if anyone needs to “learn a little comprehension”, it’s you. You’re making a total fool of yourself.

            • Macro 10.3.2.1.1.1

              Frank – Gosman has long since finished “making himself a total fool” he has been a complete total fool for quite some time now.

            • Gosman 10.3.2.1.1.2

              Did you stop at that point in the article Frank? Did you not read on about what it goes to state about the benefits to the most vulnerable kids that Charter Schools provide which the Credo study seems to support?

    • tracey 10.4

      didnt the main voice piece for charter schools in the usa change her mind about them? Is banks saying that charter schools will only enrol the under performing 1 in 5?????

    • muzza 10.5

      “Banks seems to be unable to tell the truth.”

      –Once an individual has been corrupted or lied just once, unless they admit to that lie or corrupt action, then every utterence and or action from that time forth, becomes a lie or corrupt activity, each linked to the original.

      People like Banks have not one truthful factor about them other than that they are pure evil!

      Paying for their working life and their retirement, is the fault of people who sit back and allow this to continue!

  10. Carol 11

    Maybe we should get registered teachers, doctors, nurses etc to run some of the big businesses, private entities in PPPs banks, investment services, etc.? After all, many of those businesses have failed being run by experienced business people.

  11. Herodotus 12

    What a great idea this is
    Allow private enterprise to have lower staff standards that than state and to make profit. Perhaps that is how they will achieve this profit, save on the wage bill. And does not National wish to have all teachers posses a post grad qualification.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10810713
    And JK is willing to send his kiddies to such a school. But doesn’t he live in the AGS & EGGS zones and still send his children to Kings ? Somehow by his actions I doubt that he believes in state education :-(

    • tracey 12.1

      he can say that because he never has to front, with one finished and the other finishing. Hes never said he would send them to a decile one school

    • Good point, Herodotus… in fact, if you don’t mind, I’ll ‘borrow’ your comments for a blog piece I’m working on…

  12. Rodel 13

    I await the response of Labour politicians. I’d love to hear Shearer announce that these ridiculous, idiotic Banks inspired so called schools with unqualified ‘ teachers’ sponsored by corporates and fundamentalists will be closed the day Labour becomes the government, without recompense. Has anyone in Labour or the Greens got any leadership grit?

  13. BEFORE THE 2011 ELECTION – ACT DO NOT MENTION CHARTER SCHOOLS IN THEIR EDUCATION POLICY.

    http://www.act.org.nz/policies/education

    While education for many children is among the best in the world, we have a well-known “long-tail” of underachievers, who become the next generation of under skilled, unemployed, disengaged citizens. After 70 years of state controlled and mandated education, we have a situation where around 20% of our children left school last year unable to read or write sufficiently to fill out a job application.

    ACT believes that if we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will continue to get the same results that we’ve always had. The education system must do better for these New Zealanders. What we have done for too long is run education as a centrally planned, Wellington-dictated bureaucracy that gives little autonomy to schools and little choice to parents.

    Meanwhile, education policy in Australia, Sweden, parts of Canada and the United States, and Great Britain is showing the benefits of making education more market-like and entrepreneurial. Such policies lead to a wider range of education opportunities being available. ACT supports decentralisation in education, giving more autonomy to principals and teachers and more choice to students and parents.

    In the last parliamentary term, with ACT’s pressure and support, the government:

    • Introduced Aspire Scholarships, allowing disadvantaged children to access any school of their choice, public or private;

    • Undertake a review of education in New Zealand, leading to the ACT Party’s minority report Free to Learn, a comprehensive roadmap for reforming education towards a more market-like and entrepreneurial service;
    • Increase the subsidy for private schools, to reduce the extent to which those who send their children pay twice (once in taxes and once in school fees);
    • Value the special education sector more, with a special education review resulting in new directions described in the report Success for All: Every school, every child.

    ACT will keep working for a more vibrant and dynamic education system. A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to:

    • Continue awarding Aspire scholarships to underprivileged children;
    • Increase the autonomy that local principals and staff have in running their school. Boards and principals should be able, for example, to set teacher remuneration at their discretion like any other employer, rather than having a rigid, seniority based pay scale;
    • Further increase the subsidy for independent schools so that parents who choose independent schools for their children do not lose so much of their child’s share of education funding;
    • Encourage choice in assessment systems, whether they be NCEA, Cambridge International Examination, International Baccalaureate, or other qualifications.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    AFTER THE 2011 ELECTION CHARTER SCHOOLS (CONVENIENTLY) BECOME PART OF THE NATIONAL/ACT CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY AGREEMENT:

    http://www.act.org.nz/national-act-confidence-and-supply-agreement

    5. Education

    National and ACT acknowledge that many New Zealand children are not achieving their potential in education and are leaving school ill-equipped to enter the workforce and with limited choices for their future. Underachievement in education often compounds the disadvantages already faced by children in vulnerable, at-risk communities, and can contribute to intergenerational disadvantage, poor health, poverty, joblessness, welfare dependence, criminal offending and social dysfunction. It is one of the reasons for New Zealand’s very high rate of youth unemployment.

    Both parties agree that to break this cycle a range of mutually-supporting reforms is required in the areas of welfare, primary health, education, youth transition and employment law.

    With respect to education, the parties have, in particular, agreed to implement a system, enabled under either sections 155 (Kura Kaupapa Maori) or 156 (Designated character schools), or another section if appropriate, of the Education Act, whereby school charters can be allocated in areas where educational underachievement is most entrenched. A series of charters would initially be allocated in areas such as South Auckland and Christchurch. Iwi, private and community (including Pacific Island) groups and existing educational providers would compete to operate a local school or start up a new one. Schools would be externally accountable and have a clearly-defined, ambitious mission. Public funding would continue to be on a per-child basis. (Details are included in the attached Annex).

    National and ACT agree to establish an implementation group comprising a private sector chair, and private sector, business, iwi and community representatives along with government officials to develop the proposal. They also agree to ensure it is implemented within this Parliamentary term. The terms of reference and composition of the group would be agreed by National and ACT and be supported by the Ministry of Education and external resources. (Details are included in the attached Annex.)

    National and ACT also agree to set up a task force to produce a comprehensive report on governance issues relating to policy towards state, integrated and independent schools.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  14. Georgecom 15

    Banks speech on Radio NZ after 5.30 pm tonight was essentially a series of sound bites and catch phrases.

    He talked about 20% of students failing NCEA level 2 and how something had to be done about this. If Banks bothered to look at the data NCEA rates have been rising over the past decade, without Charter Schools.

    The best way to lift achievement levels is trained teachers and quality professional development. Charter Schools can employ untrained people as teachers and the government has cancelled most quality professional development. Most PD available to teachers has to do with its dodgy National Standards programme.

    The leader of the school does not need to be a trained teacher either. Professional leadership could be seriously lacking.

    He complained about 25% of “our youth” being on the dole. Not sure how Charter Schools will address that. Maybe some jobs could help but we needent look to him or his Government to contribute much in that area eh.

    If Banks wants to encourage alternative education he could properly fund existing alternative education programmes and given them some certainty. No need for Charter Schools, just start to give some certainty to existing programmes and make their existence more secure.

    If he wants to make a dent in the ‘20% who education isn’t working for’, why does he import failed policies from countries with longer tails than NZ. That is, in countries with greater underachievement than ours charter schools haven’t worked, so why should they be any different here. Failure simply replicates failure.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Neither Banks nor National give a shit about education. All they’re interested in is government guaranteed profit for their rich mates and it’s that profit chasing which brings about charter schools.

    • Carol 15.2

      That was a despicable performance by Dishonest John. A sad day when someone like him is in government, let alone a minister with responsibility for subverting our education system.

      And still he avoided explaining why any good measures being carried out in private establishments couldn’t be incorporated into the system we have now.

      • Dv 15.2.1

        He said his own kid went through a school like a charter school under the CURRENT system.

        The real problem is he does not have any idea about how the current system works.

        AND i guess they will troll the malls of south auckland and Poriria for students, just like HULLICH did touting the dodgy kiwisaver scheme. WHO signed that off? Oh yes Banks.

  15. The fact that 50% of our children experience poverty at some stage in their childhood doesn’t seem to figure in this government’s thinking. Children living in substandard housing and coming to school in Winter without shoes and breakfast must have some bearing on learning achievement. I guess this means raising minimum wages and cutting profits for their mates. Better to blame the teachers, raise class sizes, introduce league tables, sack advisors…that should fix it!

  16. Logie97 17

    Banks made a big play on the 20 per cent who are failing.
    “And the charter schools are going to go to all existing schools with failing pupils and
    offer them positions in the charter schools so that they can get a better chance in life…?”
    Nah, those “failing” pupils will stay in the public system while a “wacky” rag bag of others will go to the charter schools (probably achievers academically) and the public schools will be left with higher ratios of failing pupils and won’t the figures look good then.

    • rosy 17.1

      Some of the failing will go to the Charter Schools – the education that’s failing them won’t be measured though.

      • tracey 17.1.1

        a prominent private school in auckland doesnt publish its results. Last year an alarming number of year 13 failed cambridge and without ncea are doing six month courses at unis to get to degree courses. Ive suggested they sue the school under the fta for misleading and deceptive conduct, promising quality education but hiding failures… Ask for fees back. ;)

        • Gosman 17.1.1.1

          That will be up to the parents of the kids to decide. If they decide to pay for an education for their children which is failing them then more fool them. However I suspect this isn’t really the case and you are either mistaken or making this up.

  17. tracey 18

    It is real and my suggestion to sue was tongue in cheek.

    • Gosman 18.1

      Name the School and also specify their failing rate then.

      • tracey 18.1.1

        The school is in a auckland. I wont name it as i was using it to make a tongue in cheek comment. I dont understand how we partially fund them but cant get their annual figures. Can you show me the national and act pre election statements which give them a mandate for charter schools? I

  18. BillODrees 19

    In a poll now on xtra  http://Nz.yahoo.com. 60% see charter schools as a dangerous experiment and 20% see it as an improvement. 

     

  19. Fortran 20

    Currently 2% of Primary School Teachers have no qualification, and 6% of Secondary, according to the Education Department.

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    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    4 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    4 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    1 week ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    1 week ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    2 weeks ago

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