web analytics
The Standard

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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    18 hours ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    19 hours ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    19 hours ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    19 hours ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    22 hours ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    2 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    4 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    5 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    5 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    5 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    6 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    6 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    6 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere