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Local Bodies: Teaching Profession Rejects Parata’s Plans

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, June 11th, 2014 - 78 comments
Categories: education, greens, national, same old national, schools - Tags:

A repost from Local Bodies about Hekia Parata attempting to sneak some fake ‘consultation’ on the changes to the way that schools are run. bsprout is both a teacher and list candidate for the Greens.

Classroom teachers, the New Zealand Educational Institute, the New Zealand Principal’s Federation and education academics have all strongly rejected the Government’s proposed $359 million Investment into Education Success (IES). All believe that this substantial amount of money will not produce the results that the Education Minister claims and would be better spent elsewhere.

At a recent meeting of primary classroom teachers in Invercargill, one teacher was particularly upset. She had shifted to New Zealand to escape the failing English schooling system only to find the same changes are about to be implemented here.

Respected US academic David Berliner happened to be in New Zealand when the Prime Minister first announced the new spending and he strongly rejected the claim that teachers make the biggest difference to child achievement. He claimed that the socio-economic background of the child has the largest influence on education outcomes (according to all research) and he accused our Prime Minister of lying for stating otherwise.

Prof Martin Thrupp has made a number of useful points in a recent article on the IES. He voices concern at the lack of media engagement with these major changes to school management and questions the evidence for them. Few New Zealand academics have been consulted despite the fact we are internationally regarded for our education research and any changes should be based on our own contexts. Prof Thrupp is concerned that the government is using a management centered approach to lifting children’s achievement rather than a child centered one and we are losing the professional culture that made our education system so successful in the past.

NZEI has listed a number of alternatives where the funding would be better used. Rather than removing successful principals and teachers from their schools and classrooms for several days a week NZEI suggests the funding would provide better outcomes if we:

  • Increased funding for our Special Education Service so that 20,000 more kids could get specialist support.
  • Worked towards having 100% of our early childhood teachers being qualified and registered.
  • Reduced class sizes so that all children can benefit from more individualized learning.
  • Provide sustainable funding for teacher aids so that children and teachers can get consistent support.
One would think that primary principals would welcome the opportunity to earn $50,000 more on top of their current salary as one of the new ‘Executive’ Principals, and yet they have solidly rejected the concept. They cannot see how they could do the job of leading their own school well if they are removed from it for several days a week.
Education Minister Hekia Parata has been less than convincing when attempting to justify a corporate styled model of education management. Although she continuously talks about the importance of collaboration in the sector, her understanding of what that would mean is quite different from the profession’s view. She talks about data and achievement outcomes and doesn’t refer once to the real needs of struggling children. It is also interesting that she claims to be working positively with NZEI and the NZPF and yet neither has supported the outcomes.
Parata claimed that they had been working on the changes for a year, but the profession only became aware of them when they were announced in January and any consultation has only occurred over the past few months. In reality the IES has been presented as a fait accompli and full consultation and discussion with the wider profession has been deliberately limited by the tight time frame. National Standards were implemented without a trial and without the support of the profession and after five years they are still problematic, these new comprehensive changes are being introduced in the same flawed way.
The Green Party has taken a different and cheaper route to lifting the achievement of struggling children. Over 80% of our children are actually doing well in the current system and far more could be achieved if we addressed the real barriers to learning for our most disadvantaged children; ill health, poor housing and struggling families. Health and welfare hubs are already working well in some schools and, as a proven model, it makes sense to establish them in all low decile schools. The Green Party believe in targeting funding and support rather than inflicting the entire system with a corporate model that has failed elsewhere.

78 comments on “Local Bodies: Teaching Profession Rejects Parata’s Plans”

  1. Tracey 1

    a friend of mine is in the running for one of the newly created senior expert teacher roles created by perata.

    An extra 5400 per annum but extra workload too. Heres the thing. My friend has experienced a huge increase in workload and paperwork in tge last 5 years.it is a drainging job requiring non stop contact for most of the day, even toilet breaks can only be at morning, lunch and afternoon schedules. Teachers are also exposed to all kinds of health issues.

    After 25 years in the job, working day starts at 730am, and between duties and meetings doesnt finish til 5pm most days and later on others. Half a weekend day is spent on paperwork, clocking up 60 hour weeks.

    The new pay and role is extra money and extra work.

    Kicker. Friend is appkying for non teaching roles in education for less money. Friend is a fantastic teacher, hence is in running for one of these new positions. Not alone, my friend says many colleagues have already left.

    Within the profession there is a strong desire to improve teaching standards BUT under this government we head toward a self fulfilling prophesy. Premised on the basis that most teachers are lazy andcuseless tgeir non teaching workloads have risen driving experienced capabke teachers out of schools redulting in young inexperienced teachers, probably resulting in poor teaching standards.

    I am no mallard fan, but he had the profession, students and schools heading in a quality direction. National have undone this in less than 5 years.

    • In Vino 1.1

      I am semi-retired secondary teacher. Sorry to disappoint, but my view is that Mallard already had us going in that direction, only not so fast. He threw out bulk funding of teachers’ salaries, but left bulk funding in place for operations grants – equally important. He squeezed teachers and schools pretty well as hard as National do. No fond memories.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        he didnt have ns… he was turning illiteracy around and a new curriculum ready to go… well not him but tge ministry.

        so, you havent disappointed me.

        how are you finding nat standard paperwork

        • In Vino 1.1.1.1

          I am secondary – and it was Achievement Standard (NCEA) paperwork that made me decide to bow out. Huge increase in bumph, but no overall gain for students. Some gained, others lost..

          • Naturesong 1.1.1.1.1

            History of NCEA, and it’s development.
            While it was National that passed the legislation, and most of the blame can be attributed to them, they weren’t alone.

            If you are after an example of real damage inflicted upon the New Zealand education system by a Labour government, Tomorrow’s Schools is the example you would use.

            Here’s the NZCER page that shows the timeline with references to appropriate surveys of tomorrows schools and other reforms made during the 90’s

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    After the election will come the news about how they will pay for higher salaries for the few teachers, they will cut the automatic salary steps for everyone else

    • Tracey 2.1

      for the teachers in line to get the higher salary, its for additional work, not an increase in pay per se. So for 10 more hours work a week in an already over worked week a teacher gets 5400 more a year. Thats about 10 bucks an hour. Although they say the teacher will be given less class time to be the mentor for other teachers plus paperwork… It will be more work. But how does this reward the great teachers who want to be in the classroom.

  3. adam 3

    Is it just me – or when John Key lies, our media fawn over him more. This announcement as a good case in point.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Stockholm syndrome. Or cowardice and betrayal.

    • dimebag russell 3.2

      you are correct. the media here when it isn’t in attack mode for the tory masters is a servile, baseless mob of poltroons and sychophants all trying to kiss arse just in case the JOB at parliament comes up!

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    The best responses to these coordinated attacks on children (aka Oravida Party education policies) are criminal charges and asset forfeiture.

    Smash Tory scum. Replace the kid gloves with a mailed fist.

  5. john 5

    What a total stuff up from the position of the Primary Principals Federation.

    On Nat Radio today the head of the PPF said their position would be democratic, and they would have to poll their members BEFORE they took a stance on the issue.

    Then he told us the PPF was strongly against the new plan. It was earlier FOR the plan.

    The bit about being democratic and polling the members was obviously a lie. The decision has been predetermined by someone pulling strings.

    Meanwhile the Secondary Principals are strongly FOR the plan, and are highly frustrated at the primary unions playing petty politics.

  6. Jrobin 6

    Why don’t they just spend the money on smaller classes, more teacher aides and get rid of charter schools and national standards
    We had a great system until the National Party got hold of it.
    Simple.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      I’ll vote for that if it also includes asset confiscation for scab school perpetrators. Education is too important for there to be no punitive action taken. The system must be Tory-proof.

  7. kiwigunner 7

    We have not been consulted about this policy – despite what Parata says. It is important that teachers and principals and Boards are consulted? Well I ask anyone to consider how they would feel about their job should the boss simply change how things work when they know that it is dumb and will affect their clients.

    It’s taken a while but opposition is hard because nothing is shared or discussed. In this case consultation has meant a change in the names of the roles!

    Folk may not know it but Special Education has no money for kids with behavior problems or special learning needs. In the Far North there are no specialist teachers for things like autism, or speech therapists. Teacher aids are on term to term contracts and most on minimum wage.

    What $358m could do for thee things! But instead this government wants a few principals an teachers to get a new car!

    There is an end game – privatization of education and quality education for some and we all know who..

    • millsy 7.1

      “Teacher aids are on term to term contracts and most on minimum wage.”

      Ideally TA’s and the like should be employed by the Ministry of Education and be posted to whichever school requires their services – (perhap even following the student who needs them).

  8. fisiani 8

    bsprout a teacher and Greens candidate says it all. The teacher unions are the bastions of Far Left Labour and have to be reminded that they are public servants and have to do what they are told. Their job is to serve. The vast majority of teachers are reasonable people and pleased with the government reforms. They want educational excellence. They also are pleased with National standards. If the union Mafia bosses don’t like it they can always leave – but they won’t. They will try to defy the government again but will fail again as they did with all the educational reforms of the last six years. They will oppose the next logical step -performance pay. They will insist on one size fits all. The best rugby players get paid more so do the best shearers and so do the best sailors. Bring on a clearout of the union thugs.

    • redfred 8.1

      What a sad fool…. I can’t even be bothered, bring something real and I’ll respond

    • Dan1 8.2

      Fis, if national standards are so good, how come private schools and charter schools do not have to do them?
      The insanity is they are neither national nor standard, and have nothing to do with excellence.
      If you are talking about union mafia bosses you completely show your ignorance of the teaching fraternity. Association membership is completely voluntary, and getting teachers to follow a directive is like herding cats. The term “union thugs” confirms my suspicion you are talking to your typewriter and repeating lines out of Thatcher Britain.
      A number of my staff friends vote blue. The issue that will change their vote this year is the incompetent minister, and the constant putdowns of education by the NACT party.

      • fisiani 8.2.1

        Which part of private and partnership (to use the correct term) do you not understand? The government does not rule these schools. Your staff friends (ie another Lefty teacher) will NOT change their votes. They will continue to choose the Brighter Future.

        • framu 8.2.1.1

          “partnership (to use the correct term)”

          no – charter is the correct term. The govt openly admitted they changed it to partnership because of the negativity associated with the word charter

          if a call a VW a prosche – its still a VW isnt it

      • john 8.2.2

        Teachers at our local school are very happy with National Standards. They’re almost identical to what they were already doing.

        However they’re under no illusion from the union that they never speak publicly out in support of them.

        We had parents and small children forced to leave school at 3pm between two lines of chanting unionists when the standards came in – it was absolutely disgusting and intimidating behavior from the unions.

        • felix 8.2.2.1

          How dare those workers express a view. Disgraceful peasants don’t know their place.

          • john 8.2.2.1.1

            Yeah – intimidating little children in the school yard is so ethical an so brave.

            • felix 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Good thing that didn’t happen then.

              • john

                Yet another making a statement from the point of total and complete ignorance.

                Must be bliss.

                • felix

                  Nope, commenting from reason.

                  You’re asking me to believe that a group of teachers got together and publicly intimidated “little children” to make a political point.

                  My reasoning is that this would not only have been front-page news, but we would never have heard the end of it.

                  ergo it didn’t happen, as the only report is from a long-time blog commenter who recently changed his handle to john.

                  • john

                    And just to prove that you base conclusions on total ignorance, you come up with the theory that if something isn’t on the front page, it can’t have happened.

                    • felix

                      Nope, that wasn’t what I said at all.

                      I said if a group of teachers got together to publicly intimidate little children to make a political point, it’d be front-page.

                      How did you not follow that the first time I typed it?

                    • john

                      It was bad enough for several parents to complain to the school.

                      None of those in union vests were teachers at the school, so I’m not sure who they were, but one was a the local Labour MP.

                      It wasn’t front page, but it did happen, so while you base your assumptions on 100% ignorance, you continue to be 100% wrong.

                    • felix

                      Did that happen before or after Helen Clark drove at “500km/h” ?

                      And now your story has a Labour MP “intimidating little children”, but it’s still not newsworthy.

                      Yeah nah john. :roll:

            • geoff 8.2.2.1.1.2

              Yeah unions are evil eh, john. and pot smokers too.
              pot smoking unionists intimidating Colorado chidlren to smoke dope are the worstest though ay.

              • john

                Unions that support their members are fine.

                But too many put more effort and members funds into pushing issues for political reasons – not for the best interests of the paying members they are supposed to represent.

                • geoff

                  Examples?

                  • john

                    When the CTU stuffed up so badly over the Hobbit that thousands of workers came out and marched AGAINST the union.

                    Where else has that happened anywhere in the world?

                    • geoff

                      Oh you want to start that one up again on the standard again eh.

                      I’ll merely say that I strongly disagree with your characterisation of that particular situation.

                    • framu

                      despite the historical bullshit your spouting – theres a simple logic test here

                      you made a case that ‘some’ unions dont support their members and engage in politics – then used the hobbit case, and especially the march that richard taylor instigated (even when he and weta knew the issue had been resolved) as some sort of proof against the CTU.

                      Now – can you show that any of those who marched were members of the CTU?

                      if you cant – and i know you cant – i expect a retraction and apologuy

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      There are plenty of examples of non-unionised workers being incited to anti-union sentiment, and often violence, by employers lying to them, from all over the world.

                      Either John is a credulous dupe for believing these lies, or is deliberately spreading them for political purposes.

                      We need better wingnuts.

                • framu

                  how the fuck do you know that john – going by your comments here you hate unions – yet seem to have intimate insider knowledge of what was discussed and how the votes went

                  could it be your basing your opinion on the opinions of other people who also dont have a clue what they are on about?

                  you really do know how to dig a deep hole – whats that? – why a load oh shovels! – want one?

        • Tracey 8.2.2.2

          “almost identical” to what they were already doing… so a waste of money and a lie to boot from nact.

          • john 8.2.2.2.1

            You take a school you know nothing about, doing assessments you know nothing about, and say they can’t have been doing that.

            Your view is based on what? Your utter and complete ignorance?????

            • Tracey 8.2.2.2.1.1

              I quoted you john. if you dont like what you said, take it up with….

              you

              you said your local school was already doing ns type stuff before ns…. so they didnt need ns… so nats wasted money making them and lied that they were needed. hope you understand now

            • framu 8.2.2.2.1.2

              john – is it possible for people who are parents, but not education professionals, to get things wrong in regards to education?

              or are you saying that replicating your genes somehow makes you an expert on how your child will learn to the best of it potential?

    • Tautoko Viper 8.3

      Fisi, the only 2 statements that I agree with are “the vast majority of teachers are reasonable people.” and “they want educational excellence”. The rest is unadulterated crap. Since you are so anti union, I would be interested in your views of the Taxpayers’ Union and the union of marriage. On second thoughts, perhaps I have been naïve and have taken what is perhaps a piece of satirical writing seriously. You must be joking!

    • john 8.4

      The Greens policy on charter schools is they will all be closed down regardless.

      Even if the children going there are performing significantly better than they did in public schools, they will still be closed. All of them.

      Just shows they are prepared to sacrifice children’s future in order to follow an ideology that is blind to results.

      • Tracey 8.4.1

        shouldnt you be chairing a cabinet meeting or something

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.2

        Of course these sub-standard scab schools deserve closure.

      • framu 8.4.3

        “a change of Government in the near future, your schools will no longer exist as charter schools.” – metira turei

        key word “no longer exist as”

        your talking bullshit john

        your entire pompous and sanctimonious whinging is based on things your inventing in your head

        just stop it for a change – im getting worried about your blood pressure.

        but i dont expect much – youll just side step this and crop up somewhere else in this thread with more bullshit wont you?

        and then when someone points out why your talking shit – youll rinse and repeat

        you sir, arent the slightest bit interested in debate – you just want to shut down anyone who disagrees or challenges you – what are so afraid of?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.3.1

          Close the scab schools, and ensure that at least 100% losses are incurred by the perpetrators. It’s the only way they’ll leave our kids alone.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.4.4

        Just shows they are prepared to sacrifice children’s future in order to follow an ideology that is blind to results.

        That would be National and Act who implemented charter schools against advice and the worldwide evidence that the children usually did worse at charter schools than state schools.

    • millsy 8.5

      So would you make joining a trade union illegal for teachers? Thanks for letting us know…

      • framu 8.5.1

        i actually think he would.

        Hope the police union, nurses union, fire fighters, doctors yada yaada yada dont get wind of his anti-free association ideas

    • georgecom 8.6

      Fisi. One size fits all = national standards. A one size fits all standard stretched across the entire primary system. One size fits all = simplistic performance based pay. Lets hope the next government moves AWAY from one size fits all, that will mean scrapping the Nat Standards project. Even better, a government that uses evidence to make decisions, the end of charter schools and the money spent on that experiment.

  9. dimebag russell 9

    well the national party are public servants and they should do what they are told too.
    and they should stop bribing the electorate with money that should be given freely.

  10. Rodel 10

    The status of ‘Executive’ and the money will appeal to some of the more selfish teachers. God forbid we may even see ‘principals’ re- framed as school CEO’s.
    Selective bribery has always been a powerful dogma of the Key government.

  11. In Vino 11

    Travesty on National Radio this morning. Kathryn Ryan stated that the Secondary Sector were supportive of Govt.’s policies, but interviewed only the rep of SPANZ. This is an offshoot of the Secondary system – a group of ‘go-ahead’ originally neo-liberal Principals who, in the earlier days were not satisfied with the Principals’ Council (Principals’ sector of the PPTA). It survived, and now many Principals belong to both SPANZ and the Principals’ Council.

    SPANZ have often opposed the policies of the majority of the Secondary Sector, and were notably far more accepting of Bulk Funding.

    SPANZ only exists alongside the Principals’ Council: it is NOT fully representative of the whole Secondary Sector, and it does not surprise me that it probably shows more enthusiasm for current Govt. policies than others. SPANZ has always leaned more to the right.

    Yet today Kathryn Ryan presented the SPANZ man as spokesperson for the Secondary Sector, and gave him an easy interview where he was able to spin madly in favour of Govt., with no serious questioning.

    Then she used this to give Phil Harding (Primary Principals’ spokesman) a nasty, negative grilling.

    I find it hard to believe that Kathryn Ryan is ignorant of the situation of SPANZ in relation to the PPTA and the Principals’ Council. If she is that ignorant, she needs a good boot in the derriere for not doing any background research. I still go into staffrooms, and can assure her that not many PPTA members want to be spoken for by one SPANZ man who is obviously right-leaning.

    More likely, I fear is that Radio New Zealand is no longer independent, and is now yet another media outlet dominated by the marketing industry through leadership at the top…. We got a biased interview.

    • Tracey 11.1

      you have just exploded john’s head.

      thank you

    • john 11.2

      Over 90% of all secondary schools principals across NZ are members of SPANZ, but you say it’s just some minor and rogue “offshoot”.

      What percentage are members of Secondary Principals Council?

      And don’t they exist to get good pay and conditions for principals – with little focus on what’s best for the children?

      • In Vino 11.2.1

        Since you have put the word ‘offshoot’ in quotation marks, please tell me where you got the quote from. I did not use the word.

        I said that SPANZ now exists alongside the Secondary Principals’ Council, and that it is not fully representative of the Secondary sector. I said that many Principals now belong to both. The Principals’ Council existed before SPANZ did.

        Much to your chagrin, I think you will find that the vast majority of teachers (including the majority of high performers) belong to PPTA, and I think you will find the same of Principals.

        The SPANZ man in Kathryn Ryan’s interview gave no indication that he had discussed anything with his fellow-members since the negotiations he was speaking of. It seemed to be his personal views with no back-up from his membership asked for by Ryan. But the NZEI man had just returned from the hui where the dissenting views were made obvious, and he had to defend those views from an aggressive interviewer falsely pitting the entire Secondary sector against him.

        Poor journalism. If PPTA or the Principals’ Council have it brought to their attention very quickly, maybe they will say something. I hope so, but probably it will go beneath the radar.

        • john 11.2.1.1

          In Vino says “Since you have put the word ‘offshoot’ in quotation marks, please tell me where you got the quote from. I did not use the word.”

          Really?

          In Vino says “This is an OFFSHOOT of the Secondary system – a group of ‘go-ahead’ originally neo-liberal Principals who, in the earlier days were not satisfied with the Principals’ Council (Principals’ sector of the PPTA).”

          -You fail to say what proportion of Principals are members of the Principals Council (is it more than 90%?)
          – You try to say SPANZ is not representitive (when it represents over 90% of schools).
          – You try to label SPANZ as some new group (they’ve been around over quarter of a century)
          – You insinuate they have no support from their members (the SPANZ head has been travelling up and down the country talking with Principal groups about IES)

          • In Vino 11.2.1.1.1

            Sorry – I now see that I did use the word “offshoot” Bugger! Full apology.

            Cannot find the proportion of Principals who belong to the Principal’s’ Council, but I would say that most belong to both. They look for advantages from both, and fair enough.

            But then you spin. SPANZ does not represent over 90% of schools – only Principals. There are many schools where the staff are not totally in agreement with the Principal.

            I said that the Principals’ Council has been around longer than SPANZ, and that remains true.

            Your last point is silly. Don’t put words into my mouth. I said that there was no question from Kathryn Ryan to check that the SPANZ man had been in touch with his members since the negotiations (no doubt he had been travelling up and down talking, but when?)
            I did not insinuate – I clearly stated that one Principal’s opinion should not be portrayed as the opinion of the entire Secondary sector.

            PPTA will eventually tell you the opinion of the bulk of the Secondary sector. SPANZ should not be portrayed as doing so. Especially one guy who has the cheek to impute foul motives to the NZEI. when he has nothing to do with NZEI.

      • framu 11.2.2

        you do notice your sticking up for spanz and supporting what they are saying – yet attacking them in the same comment?

        thats just weird

  12. dimebag russell 12

    geee. wow..maybe the kidz will lurn to reed now?

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    If Spanz get any form of government support there is an econmy that we can make.

  14. millsy 14

    One day, a government is going to come to the realisation that the Tomorrow’s School’s reforms in 1989 need to be (at least partly) rolled back. Nothing wrong with giving schools more autonomy, but whipping away their support structure was not too good an idea.

  15. Philj 15

    xox
    Kathryn Ryan was very supportive of the SPANZ spokesman and dismissive of the NZEI representative. There was no teachers voice , the PPTA! This is poor quality, unbalanced ‘journalism’ and reflects badly on RNZ.

    • dimebag russell 15.1

      it is obvious that Radio New Zealand has lost all credibility as an objective news gathering source. Richard Griffin once characterised RNZ as a group of sasd little lefties but now it has become a gang of sad little venomous righties who will bend over backwards to do anything to please their masters. what was once fair is now foul and beginning to smell.

      • felix 15.1.1

        I used to find Mora’s afternoons pretty vacuous and pedestrian.

        Now that Mercep is doing it they’ve become so dire I actually look forward to Mora’s bit.

  16. It is certainly true that ses and other related factors do have an impact on learner achievement. However to say that that is the main factor is dubious. Teachers do in the teaching and school situation along with ancillary and advisory staff, plus curriculum relevancy do have the bigger impact.
    If this is not the case then schools are irrelevant. In the teaching situation teachers and other staff are the only ones paid to do the job. This does not mean that they should succeed with every child, only that they determine the input in the classroom and need empathy particularly with cultural and ses differences. They have input into the teaching and learning factor. There’s nothing they can do about ses status in the wider context. They have a specific job and the only expectation of the Minister of Education should be that they do it to the best of their ability. As far as standards go I have seen those come and go during my own education and job as a teacher.

    • bad12 16.1

      ”That does not mean that they should succeed with every child”, care to offer up a little bit more of an explanation as to what exactly you mean by that statement Atihana,???…

      • Atihana Johns 16.1.1

        Sorry. I meant that every teacher cannot succeed with every child no matter how well intentioned. If a teacher has a 12 year old child in class with a reading age of 6 and after an intense 6 months of teaching that child’s reading age progresses to 7 that’s progress but still another 5 and a 1/2 years to go. And it depends on how long that child has that teacher and that programme.

        • bad12 16.1.1.1

          Aha, and, how long the teacher has that child for works both ways doesn’t it, the ‘churn’ within schools being the cause of separation in a lot of cases,

          Just as a matter of interest Atihana, not having been anywhere near a school for decades, are each child’s records/achievement levels computerized from year one,

          Lolz, i was just thinking of the education question with relation to one of the other Posts i have commented in today,

          In the vein of the discussion turning to ‘power imbalances’ in relationships and the 20% of kids that escape the education system still functionally illiterate,

          Were you reading my mind…

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  • National’s reckless, out of touch approach to economy exposed
    Today’s economic assessment from the Reserve Bank highlights the danger to the New Zealand economy from a National government that is recklessly complacent in the face of a housing crisis and a struggling export sector, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    3 days ago
  • GP’s visits get more expensive
      Visiting the GP is set to become more expensive after the Government ignored warnings that people were not receiving access to affordable  healthcare, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Over 400,000 New Zealanders who should be able to access ...
    5 days ago
  • Farm prices bear brunt of dairy downturn
    The slump in dairy prices that has seen farm prices drop to their lowest level since 2012 and down a third from their peak in 2014 will be of concern to farmers, banks and our overall financial stability, Labour’s Finance ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank “gets on with it”, National carries on in denial
    The proposal by the Reserve Bank to tighten loan to value ratios for investors shows they are prepared to do their bit to crack down on speculators, while National is still stuck in denial mode, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    6 days ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    6 days ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    7 days ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    7 days ago
  • Papers describe litany of incredulity
    Treasury documents which slate the Government’s plans for a national bowel screening programme confirm the proposal was nothing more than a political stunt to cover up underfunding of the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette Kings says.  The papers were ...
    1 week ago
  • Effect of rampant house prices widens
    The latest house price figures from REINZ show the housing crisis expanding throughout the country, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “We are seeing steep increases in median house prices in Central Otago Lakes – up 42.4% in the last ...
    1 week ago
  • Public invited to have say on homelessness
    People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. This inquiry was launched ...
    1 week ago
  • Sorry seems to be the hardest word
    An apology from Hekia Parata to the people of Christchurch is long overdue, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "As if the earthquakes weren't traumatic enough, Hekia Parata and the Ministry of Education then attacked the one thing that had ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis affecting more than 98 per cent of NZ
    Labour’s new housing map shows the housing crisis is now affecting more than 98 per cent of New Zealand, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Housing pressures have seen house prices rise faster than wages in all but four ...
    1 week ago
  • Uber might not be a taxi firm but it must pay tax
    Uber needs to explain how it paid only $9000 in tax when it earned $1m in revenue and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Uber New Zealand appears to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax changes should have been made 3 years ago
    National could have avoided the international stain on our reputation from the Panama Papers if it had let IRD’s planned review of foreign trusts go ahead three years ago, instead of now belatedly acting because of the Shewan recommendations, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must stop state house sell-off
    The Government must immediately pull the plug on its planned sell-off of state houses in order to stop the housing crisis getting any worse, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “While Paula Bennett is putting people into transit camps in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis drives household debt to record levels
    The Finance Minister must be woken from his slumber by Westpac’s report today that says house prices have largely driven household debt to record levels and are rising at a pace faster than other developed economies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English denies dividend decision made – Joyce should delete his account
    National must explain who is right in the Housing NZ dividend debacle, after Bill English said no decision had been made on a payment for the next two years, in direct contrast to Steven Joyce, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pressure forces Govt to make policy on the hoof
    Steven Joyce’s surprise announcement that Housing NZ will no longer be used as a cash cow has forced the Finance Minister to make one of National’s biggest ever U-turns, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “After years of insisting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10-fold more affordable houses under Labour
    New data showing homeownership rates continue to fall and more Kiwis than ever rent, highlights why Labour’s plan to build 10 times more affordable housing in Auckland is so desperately needed, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour’s Affordable Housing ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of excuses, Brownlee resorts to scare tactics
    Gerry Brownlee’s ridiculous suggestion that Labour would nationalise Christchurch’s east frame shows National has resorted to scare tactics to hide its failure to build desperately needed affordable houses in our city, Labour's Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Plans put in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National all at sea in face of Labour’s housing plan
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis has left National Ministers flailing about, contradicting themselves and simply making things up, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Steven Joyce has said in one breath that Labour’s plan represents a minor tweak ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s comprehensive plan to tackle housing crisis
    The next Labour Government has a comprehensive plan to tackle the housing crisis by building affordable houses and cracking down on speculators, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The housing crisis is out of control and National has proven ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ to look after people, not profits
    Labour will change Housing NZ from a corporation to a public service and use the dividends it formerly paid into the Crown coffers to maintain and build more state houses, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Housing NZ should ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government breaks rent subsidies promise
    National has broken a promise to subsidise the rent of 3000 low-income New Zealanders to make up for its state house sell-off, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When John Key announced last year the Government would sell-off 8000 state ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks the latest to voice concerns over housing
    The Reserve Bank has revealed banks are becoming “more and more concerned” about the effects of the housing crisis, adding yet another weighty voice to the calls for action from the Government, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Reserve ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New official figures show DHB’s financial strife
    New figures from the Ministry of Health show 12 out of 20 district health boards have not been fully funded this year to cope with the aging population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.“The Ministry’s own figures to the Health ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank pleas for action from Government
    The Reserve Bank has stopped asking and is now pleading with the Government to take urgent action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Deputy Governor Grant Spencer is clearly deeply concerned about the housing crisis. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to house 5100 more homeless a year
    There would be 1400 new emergency accommodation places – enough to put a roof over the heads of 5100 homeless people a year – under Labour’s emergency housing policy announced today, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Too many of our ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chilcot Report shows Labour was right on Iraq
    The Chilcot Report released today shows John Key was wrong to call New Zealand “MIA” over the 2003 war in Iraq and Labour made the right decision not to send troops, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “At the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bigger class sizes on the way under National
    Hekia Parata’s refusal to rule out bigger class sizes as a result of her new bulk funding regime speaks volumes about the real agenda behind her proposed changes, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Hekia Parata has proposed that schools ...
    3 weeks ago
  • National refuses to put people ahead of politics
    National’s refusal to rise above partisan politics and support a parliamentary inquiry into homelessness is hugely disappointing, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is such an important issue that politics should be put aside and parties should work ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister in denial over Pacific home ownership fall
    As long as the Minister of Pacific Peoples continues to deny that Pacific families have had the greatest home-ownership falls under his Government’s watch, nothing serious will be done to fix the housing crisis, says Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Social Bonds experiment a failure
    The Government’s much vaunted social bonds experiment is a multi-million dollar failure, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “The news that the Wise Group has now withdrawn from the project to develop a pilot for mental health employment services, shows ...
    3 weeks ago
  • John Key must ‘get on with it’, not leave it to Reserve Bank
    John Key can’t just tell the Reserve Bank to ‘get on with’ fixing the housing crisis – he must act to tackle the rampant speculation in the housing market that has taken place under his watch, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    3 weeks ago
  • No gains for Māori while National in power
    The Minister of Māori Development needs to be honest with his people and admit his party’s ongoing support of the National Government has seen increasing inequality and decreasing prosperity for Māori, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Te Ururoa Flavell had ...
    3 weeks ago
  • No gains for Māori while National in power
    The Minister of Māori Development needs to be honest with his people and admit his party’s ongoing support of the National Government has seen increasing inequality and decreasing prosperity for Māori, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Te Ururoa Flavell had ...
    3 weeks ago

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