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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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    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    4 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    4 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    6 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago

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