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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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    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    3 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    3 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    3 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    3 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    4 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    5 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    5 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    6 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    6 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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