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Nats to cut 500 teachers

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, May 17th, 2012 - 156 comments
Categories: budget2012, education, schools - Tags:

If there was any doubt that National has an anti-teacher, anti-education agenda, it’s gone. Increasing class sizes will ‘save’ $43m a year by reducing the number of teachers that would otherwise be required by 500. National standards will be used for performance pay. It’s a cut to the frontline, a cut to our kids’ learning. And Parata’s comments suggest more to come.

It’s pretty simple, really. The ‘saving’ from larger class sizes is all in wages. $43m is just over 1% of education’s wage bill. There are 50,000 teachers. If you got your education under Labour, you can see that’s a cut of 500 teachers against the status quo.

Parata pretended she couldn’t see that, of course. She gave a performance unworthy of her ministerial warrant on Checkpoint as she transparently attempted to evade the issue. But she gave away the game when she said the number of teachers would be static for the next four years. Pupil numbers increase about 1% a year, and so would teacher numbers normally. That implies a 500 fewer jobs each year – 2000 fewer over four years.

Parata has done an awful job trying to sell this (she has just admitted on Morning Report that the entire purpose of national standards is performance pay).

Parents won’t be happy that there will be hundreds or thousands fewer teachers for their children, or that their kids will be tested specifically to determine their teachers’ pay.

156 comments on “Nats to cut 500 teachers”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    The effect of teacher numbers cuts will be very obvious in small town schools which dont have any population growth.

    Sure the numbers may be static in growth corridors or suburbs with intensification, but in the rest of the country a lot of national party seats, it will be a cut to numbers and empty classrooms.

    I can see some schools which have zoning restrictions because there is no more space, they will increase the numbers of pupils to fill the empty classrooms. The effect of this will be to accentuate the decline in teacher numbers in other schools

  2. I’d prefer a slightly bigger class with a better teacher than a smaller class and a crap teacher – and anyone who’s been through school knows there is a wide variety in quality of teaching.

    • Stop trying to derail the post Pete.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        Don’t be a nonce. Quality of teachers versus quantity/class sizes is the key issue – unless you mean straying off the intended narrow message of the day here.

        • higherstandard 2.1.1.1

          Quality of teachers is very important but so is the number of children they have to teach at any one time.

          The best one could hope for is quality teachers teaching small groups, unfortunately that is pie in the sky.

          • Pete George 2.1.1.1.1

            I’ve just heard an interbnnational education researcher on national radio – he said that lower class numbers are a no brainer – except that most countries find that better bang for buck come from investing in better teacher quality.

            Key question – should the priority in education be teachers retaining their jobs, or giving the best possible education to as many kids as possible?

            [false dichotomy. Teacher quality can be improved without cutting treacher numbers. Performance pay doesn't improve education, it erodes it by giving teachers narrow, perverse incentives. Better quality comes from attracting better teachers with higher qualifications, through higher pay. We would have money for both if we weren't borrowing two billion for tax cuts. JH]

            • Tigger 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Totally fed up with this threadjackoff. Pete, please stop this.

              • Chris

                How is it derailing the post to discuss the issues in the post. Or are the only replies to this post meant to discuss how crap Parata and National are rather than the underlying issue?

                • Because it is an inane substanceless comment.
                   
                  Of course there are varying qualities of teachers.  The more pressure you put on the profession and the worse you pay teachers the worse it will get.  This is not a measure to address teaching standards, it is a measure to save money and whack the union at the same time.
                   
                  Petey’s suggestion that it is not is a threadjack.

                • OneTrack

                  Chris – yes

              • Dv

                Ironic that pg is arguing for quality over quanity!

            • Pete 2.1.1.1.1.2

              New Zealand is ranked fourth in the OECD for education outcomes, behind South Korea, Finland and Canada. Our teachers are superb, not sub-par. Really the “key question” is why mess with success?

              Edit: and why would we want to follow models from the US which is way down at 14th.

              The only justification for a reduction in teaching numbers is demographic change – a baby bust.

            • Pete George 2.1.1.1.1.3

              As the NatRad interview explained, there always has to be a tradeoff between class size, teacher pay and teacher training and support. I don’t think anyone advocates for class sizes of one.

              Therefore any budget has to try and get the optimum balance between costs and outcomes.

              And something else in this mix of considerations – for the bulk of kids an extra person or two in class size will make little difference, especially in some subjects.

              The bottom 20%(ish) who are failing need smaller class sizes and more teacher support. Not all kids.

              • Jackal

                Ridiculous! Many people pay a considerable amount for private tutelage because it provides the best results. It’s a very simple equation, the more students you have the less time each student gets from the teacher. National’s policy would be OK if all students were the same. However students are not automatons and increasing class numbers will reduce the time spent on specific learning requirements. The result will be more struggling students trying to get the teachers attention.

                • Fortran

                  Jackal

                  Is ther any relationship in private education not only having smaller classes and the quality of teachers it attracts accordingly ?

                  • Jackal

                    I was talking about one on one teaching not private schools, sorry for the confusion. I have no idea about the quality of private school vs public school teachers. However you would expect that remuneration would play a part in attracting higher qualified teachers.

                    Apparently New Zealand teachers have one of the lowest starting salaries in the developed world.

                    Personally I think a sliding scale should be used where there are less young students per classroom and more older students per classroom. Being that we’re already seeing some students fail, reducing the amount of students per teacher overal would be advisable.

                  • insider

                    When you are talking about prestigious private schools, they tend to pay more than state schools. (Note there are a number of small Xtian private schools and I understand they don’t pay more – some may even pay less as it’s often the faithful who teach there.)

                    That said they expect quite a lot in terms of reporting and attendance/support for extracurricular activities. One of the biggest attractions is the ability to teach motivated and supported pupils without the classroom hassles you get in some state schools. Some also teach in them becasue they offer cheap and priority access for their children.

              • The Government is not looking for “optimum balance”.  It is trying to save money. 
                 
                And this Government raves on all the time about the bottom 20%.  So are you conceding Petey that the Government is deliberately making things worse for the bottom 20% by these cuts?

              • Rodel

                PG Your comments are so thick.Love to see you coping in a classroom…in spite of what your cherry picked interbnnational (sic) researcher says. Get back to retard radio talkbacks and let this website get on with reasoned discussions..

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1.1.4

              Pete George: you may have noticed in the post they’re planning to cap teacher numbers, not to identify poorly-performing teachers and dismiss them. All they’re going to to do is keep teacher numbers the same for a while to save some money, ie these “crap” teachers you mention will retain their jobs under this policy, just like they would without this policy. In short, they’re quacking on about “improving teacher performance” without having any mechanism for improving it, and some dim bulbs, not mentioning any names of course, seem to be sucked in by it.

              • Someone as bright as you should be able to suggest the best course of action then. How do think they would best:
                – improve the quality of the bottom teachers?
                – improve the education of the bottom end students?
                – not escalate costs?

                Change nothing?

                • Being smart doesn’t make you an expert on education systems, something that National MPs would do well to learn. That is, I’m as unqualified as Hekia Parata to identify the best course of action.

                  As to your questions:

                  1. How best to improve the quality of the bottom teachers?
                  This makes a big assumption that there actually is a teacher quality problem, which is so far an evidence-free opinion expressed by a few right-wingers. Obviously there is a bottom end of teacher quality and we do want to improve it, but that’s what professional development programmes are for and I’ve seen no evidence the current ones are ineffective.

                  2. How best to improve the education of the bottom end students?
                  Given that factors external to the education system are overwhelmingly more influential on that than anything within the education system, I’d suggest leaving the education system alone for a bit and looking at the external factors.

                  3. Not escalate costs?
                  Improving things significantly without spending anything is only possible if your existing setup is crap. Our existing setup isn’t crap.

                  4. Change nothing?
                  Wouldn’t say that. Obviously something needs to be done about those external factors, but that would cost a lot more than beating up on the teachers’ union so isn’t likely to get a lot of traction.

                  • ianmac

                    From what I have seen very few “bad” teachers stay as it can be very tough unless you are successful. There is a very high drop-out rate of starting teachers who find it far to tough. It may have nothing to do with the money, just job satisfaction. Some say that the Government constantly undermining teachers is very destabilising and this leads to loss of confidence in parents and children.

            • mike e 2.1.1.1.1.5

              puerile git you were obviously in a very large class
              once again Australia is going to benefit from Nationals short sighted policies

    • Kevin Welsh 2.2

      So who makes the judgement on who is a good or bad teacher?

      Oh, thats right, with National Standards and ‘teaching-for-the-test’, that is all the information they will need.

      I never had single crap teacher from my first day at school til my last. At times I was a prick to deal with at school but that is my fault not the teachers.

      They have a thankless job dealing with the inadequacies of parents these days, from the ones who don’t give a shit about education, to the ones who molly-coddle their kids and blame everyone else when their kids don’t live up to expectations.

      I was in classes of 30 or more when at primary school and we were a bloody handful for even the most patient of teachers.

      And now, the government you condone, wants payback from a profession they have contempt for (except for the private schools, of course). They hate the fact that they are organised, have strong unions and most of all, that they now earn decent money after years of fighting for it.

      If I was a teacher I would be advocating for work-to-rule. No extras. Fuck ‘em.

      • Pete George 2.2.1

        I never had single crap teacher from my first day at school til my last.

        You were lucky then. Most kids aren’t, especially those at the bottom of the education/teacher heap.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          For them, the beat up of ACT’s charter schools.

        • fabregas4 2.2.1.2

          I’ve been a teacher and now principal for eleven years. There is a range of quality in teachers – of course there is. Are there many incompetent ones – not really. Are there lazy ones – I have yet to see one. Are they simply turning up for their pay – yet to see one. Are principals sitting there not working with and to improve teaching – haven’t seen it.

          Ask parents who actually get involved in schools and they will tell you what work teachers do. How difficult it is. How much teachers do, not just academically, but in every way to develop children. Especially in schools surrounded by social problems – these people deserve a medal not this rubbish. In my school teachers bring food, clothes, cover sores and treat sickness. I spend much of my time on social work caused by policies that cause poverty.

          I love this job, and I am bloody good at it. I am getting tired though of just how much is expected of my staff and I. But mostly I am getting tired of ill-informed bullshit flung at these people who every day work there butts off negating the affects of these policies and doing their darnedest to make a difference for kids that our leaders have largely abandoned.

          • Tiger Mountain 2.2.1.2.1

            Well said F4, my partner was a BOT member and later professional mentor for years (which does not guarantee any particular wisdom, but she is a unionist with lots of experience) and I learnt a bit about the education system on the way through by association and your comments match what I observed in the Far North cluster in my area.

            A lot of effort had gone into developing a new curriculum during the Clark years and then it was basically dumped by the nats. The last couple of years all sorts of talented people have left the MOE unable to eat the National Standards s**t sandwich.

          • higherstandard 2.2.1.2.2

            I can only speak from the perspective of being on the BOT’s of three schools over the years and can only agree with you 100% in relation to the vast majority of teachers I’ve come into contact with.

        • dan1 2.2.1.3

          Some of the best teachers in NZ are in the “difficult” schools. Teachers in the higher decile schools have a cruisy number.

          • fabregas4 2.2.1.3.1

            I am a good teacher, very good. You can check if you like. But I chose to come North to do my bit to help these kids many of whom are quite frankly behind the eight ball. Will I get them all to where I want them to be? – maybe not but my staff and I are working hard and cleverly to do the best we can and we are getting good results. Why isn’t this good enough? And whose responsibility is this holy grail of achievement for all? Why is just the teachers who are being subject to performance appraisal? Why not the Ministry of Education? Why not Anne Tolley and now Parata? Why not Paula Bennett whose policies affect my children so much? Why not Phil Heatley who as Minister of Housing allows some of my kids to live in 3rd world homes? Why not Tony Ryall whose health policies see many of my children subject to 3rd world diseases?

      • OneTrack 2.2.2

        I think many teachers already do

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I take it you missed this link the other day when I posted it?

      The advice given by the Treasury was apparently based on John Hattie’s book Visible Learnings. But Professor O’Neill points out that Hattie himself notes that increasing class size is poor policy.

      Either that or you’re just here to defend NACTs atrocious policies with your ignorance – again.

    • aerobubble 2.4

      Go back to school. Everyone with an education knows you want quantities of quality.

      Government wants quality teachers to fail from over work because having more quantity of competent teachers is bad by some abusive metrics they can’t cite.

      Surely a quality competent government wants both quality teachers providing a quantity of teaching experiences.

      A simple analysis would show that experienced mostly competent, but some high quality teachers, will be sacked and replaced with better educated yet cheaper teachers who spend less time engage with children. The education budget won’t keep up with inflation and less teachers teach more children.

    • Georgecom 2.5

      Whereas the middle ground will be competent teachers in class sizes left the way they currently are. Thats what is being cut here Pete, competent teachers in current class sizes. If the government wants to spend more money on quality (ie not National Standards type fiasco training) professional development to upgrade teacehrs skills and understanding, good and fine. Cutting class sizes to develop a form of pay system that relies on things outside the teachers control is plain and simple dumb, or ideological.

      rob

  3. Parata on Radio New Zealand was particularly appalling. She kept saying that there would be schools with less teachers and schools with more teachers with the obvious spin that the changes were minimal.  Robinson did not nail her on it.  The obvious question was if the changes are so small then how come $42 million is being saved.

    And there should have been a follow up question, why is the funding for private schools being ring fenced?  Why is the state system being dumbed down in the name of “efficiency” but the private sector is spared?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      If this ‘larger class size ‘ idea makes any sense , why does Kings College or any of the elite private schools tout it as an advantage to have small class sizes.

      Of course John Key sent his kids to private school where the class sizes are even less than the state system. One of the benefits ?

      Class sizes are limited and our policy of a low pupil-to-teacher ratio ensures students are given greater individual attention in the classroom. We prepare students for their best possible achievement in external national examinations
      http://www.kingscollege.school.nz/option,com_content/view,category/id,37/Itemid,299/

      • Fortran 3.1.1

        Ghost

        Is it not only John Key whose son goes to Kings – doesn’t David Cunliffe’s son go there also ?

      • Ben 3.1.2

        ghostwhowalksnz:

        That’s advertising, and it works because parents like the idea of smaller class sizes. It’s not proof that they’re better.

        Someone else – Pete George of all people – mentioned the interview with an OECD education researcher on RNZ this morning. His point of view was that if a decision needs to be made about where every dollar is spent, that dollar is better spent putting teachers through extra training than hiring extra teachers. A great teacher in front of 30 students is better than an average teacher in front of 25.

        That was his view point, rather than mine. I don’t have a view on this issue, really, though I agree Parata’s interview on RNZ with Mary Wilson was completely shocking. They’re hiding something.

      • insider 3.1.3

        Why does Buger King claim it just tastes better, or Coca Cola claim it is the real thing? – it;s marketing and they are a business. They are telling the customer what they want to hear to reinforce their prejudices and make them feel good about handing over money.

    • insider 3.2

      It’s appalling she can’t use less and fewer appropriately.

    • Dv 3.3

      Micky
      43 million saving on 500 teachers is about 86k per teacher

      It is obvious then that the nacts are going to increase teachers pay by about 30K

      OR are the nats numbers dodgy? (again)

    • The Baron 3.4

      How is what you’re doing here not threadjacking, but Pete bringing up a similarly related angle is?

      Oh, its cos you don’t like what he’s saying. Glad we cleared that up.

      If you wanna have a conversation in an echo chamber with your other moronic loyalists, then why aren’t you doing this behind a membership wall? Blogs involve diversity of opinion – and Pete’s allowed one too. In the mean time, I’m still trying to work out if you’re a bully or an idiot, Greggles – I think the answer may be both.

      • higherstandard 3.4.1

        “If you wanna have a conversation in an echo chamber with your other moronic loyalists”

        Have you been to his blog ? It is an echo chamber of one.

        • mickysavage 3.4.1.1

          12k pageviews last month.
           
          And some weirdo who keeps posting comments that I keep blocking.
           
          It isn’t you is it HS?

          • higherstandard 3.4.1.1.1

            Not me Greg, although I did click through today to see if it was still cak and i see you have redecorated the place.

            • The Baron 3.4.1.1.1.1

              Seems to be an even buggier mess than that which Whale Oil achieves… Crash-tastic under IE, Greggles. But you’re right – if you have 12k page views, then I guess every active member of the Labour party visits a dozen times a month.

              But vanity hour is over now, Presland, and still response as to why it isn’t threadjacking when you do it. I guess idiot fanboi bully was about right.

  4. BM 4

    I hope they reintroduce streaming.
    I can’t for the life of me see why they got rid of it, hell of a lot easier to teach a bunch of kids if they are all roughly at the same level,talk about making life hard for yourself.

    • insider 4.1

      It still exists. It’s a school decision.

      • BM 4.1.1

        Ok, that’s good to know, I was under the impression that it had being done away with completely.

    • higherstandard 4.2

      Many secondary schools still stream.

    • Hilary 4.3

      BM – So you want to reintroduce ‘cabbage classes’ as well? Nothing like a bit of stigmatising to motivate kids to be engaged in learning.

      Lots of evidence actually shows that having teachers who are good at teaching across abilities and a diversity of kids in the classroom actually benefits both the high achievers and those who find academic learning a bit harder.

      • BM 4.3.1

        Cabbage classes?, having kids of the same academic level within the same classroom makes perfect sense.
        I’m sure a child of limited ability enjoys being in a classroom were everyone is miles ahead them, talk about making you feel like a total dumbarse.

      • OneTrack 4.3.2

        I strongly doubt your evidence. Common sense will tell anybody that it is going to be more productive educationally if the teacher can focus their teaching at one level, instead of having half the time focused on the strugglers and the other half on the top kids, with the majority in the middle missing out. But I guess it helps someone to feel better that we are all mucking in together and not having people at different levels. That just wouldn’t be proper? But much of the class time these days is really spent on other subjects much more important than maths, reading and writing, such as kapa haka and “inquiry” (in other words, doing random searches on the interweb thingy), so you are probably right that that doesn’t matter so much. Carry on, nothing to see here.

  5. Vam 5

    Teaching is a vocation. You never really clock out at the end of the day, cos you’re always thinking about your job and your students, and you often take paperwork home with you. Most teachers give a hell of a lot to their job. More students = more paperwork, and the teacher’s workload is already beyond reasonable. The whole system depends on teachers’ goodwill, but that’s not a given, it’s already a diminishing commodity.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Its an education alright. When business leaders need good will so much, to see it abused by their own Talley, etc, and in their fail schools, they might wake up to themselves and start supporting a more balanced approach to community. And dump the take no prisoners neo-liberal simplicities.

    • OneTrack 5.2

      Sounds good but the reality is that many teachers do clock out at 3pm in the afternoon.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Parata is living evidence of a person (Minister) who, whilst intelligent, knows little about educational issues and policies. Never did I think we would get again someone at least as bad as Tolley! Did Hekia (Lady Gardiner) herself attend a private school? I shall try to find out. Obviously, she is “upper class” Maori. With all that grace and charm she is about to ruin our educational system, if she can.

    • Frida 6.1

      DrT, I’m in no way defending her by the point I’m about to make, I think what is proposed is APPALLING and I’m horrified by what this means for our children’s future, especially when the Govt is propping up private schools like Wanganui Collegiate and proposing to pour money into charter schools etc. BUT, just to answer your specific query, while I don’t know what school Hekia herself went to I was quite impressed recently to read her daughter attended Wellington High.

      • Chris 6.1.1

        She grew up in Ruatoria and went to Gisborne Girls – just read it in her profile. Not that ‘upper class’

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          So she’s a class climber and class traitor?

          • Anne 6.1.1.1.1

            I have watched Parata quite closely these past few years. She is vain, full of pretences and is a snob.

            • insider 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I love it when lefties turn on those who they believe have got above their station…

              • Draco T Bastard

                She hasn’t got above her station – she’s acting as if she has. There’s a difference.

                • insider

                  exactly what is her station so we know how she should be acting? Has she progressed beyond cloth cap and forelock tapping in your egalitarian world?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The last two words in your second question answer for you. But, just to clarify, people do not have a station and shouldn’t hold themselves above others.

                  • OneTrack

                    No she should have stayed home and had many children.

          • insider 6.1.1.1.2

            Does she drive a porsche?

            • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Well she has got above the station of Georgina Te Heu Heu under Don Brash one could observe. Hekia reeks of condecension and whats more is not as smart as she thinks she is if the offshore drilling debate is any measure.

          • OneTrack 6.1.1.1.3

            Class traitor :-). Mustn’t try to improve on where you started from.

        • ianmac 6.1.1.2

          You beat me to it Chris. She went to Manutahi Maori Primary School which never had class sizes above 25 as country schools were staffed at a much lower rate than town schools. Not that it makes much different to her policies.

    • ianmac 6.2

      Parata claimed to be in classes of 42 kids. If that was true ??? goodness knows what school she went to. A Private School? Wonder how we find out?

      • mike e 6.2.1

        By the look of it she’s probably right as she appears not to have learned much except being the teachers pet transferring those skills to being a greasy slimy spin machine.

    • Dr Terry 6.3

      Parata is, as one would expect, from a privileged background. Research uncovers that her first education was from her parents. There was some early-childhood schooling prior to her attending the Manutahi Maori Primary School in Ruatoria. After this, Hekia attended the Ngata Memorial College in Ruatoria (currently a small school with 8 teachers). From there, she enrolled at the Gisborne Girls High School, presumably at Senior level (rather than Junior).
      Consequently, it would appear that over vitally important earlier years in education, the Minister received a considerable amount of personal attention from parents and in small schools. In my assessment, good fortune indeed!!

      • OneTrack 6.3.1

        You mean having parents that support you is not usual where she grew up? Hmm.

      • Hateatea 6.3.2

        I am not a fan of Hekia Parata, her politics, her performance as a civil servant or politician but I do think the remarks about her ‘class’ background and whether or not her family is monied is inappropriate. All children would benefit from the upbringing that Ms Parata and her whanau experienced. What she has chosen to do with those benefits is a different matter.
        I think the Education agenda of this NAct government is appalling and her going along with it reflects her ambition as much as anything else. The sadness for me is that it is MY mokopuna will pay the price, not because we as a whanau are not united and committed to the best for them but that there will not be the quality of choice available to us and them.
        The cost to this country will be paid over and over in the years to come but the rich won’t notice or care. It will be the flaxroots that bear the burden, as they always do

  7. prism 7

    Oh it’s the right thing to play around with class sizes, the OECD spokesman says so. This fits with the frequent legislation we get that is based on what unanalysed, unreviewed for outcomes of policies from any overseas locality that has cut costs. It’s not all about quality, it’s about quantity (of money). What locality will be our next role model?

    • ianmac 7.1

      To mass produce results then class sizes do not really matter. 35 kids would work.
      But to assist the very bright and the underachiever, (who can be very bright) individual programs achieve better results. A teacher at the St Margaret’s Prep School, tells me that class sizes never have more than 20 kids, and every child has an individual learning program which involves precise feedback and analysis.
      Wonder why an elite school like St Margarets would bother to take such steps when Parata and Treasury say that larger classes will help get good results?
      Come to that the larger classes and the teacher improvements will take years to implement. By that time Parata will be gone leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.

      • prism 7.1.1

        Tolley, Parata – the dominoes will go down. But they are big enough objects to be stumbling blocks. And we don’t want to just think about bright kids not getting encouragement, ordinary kids having trouble settling or adjusting to school or coping with bullies or home or being hungry or having undiagnosed conditions such as bad hearing or… deserve to get as good an education as will set them up to look life in the eye and do okay for themselves.

        The ordinary life may not be headline stuff, but well-balanced, educated individuals who understand they live in a society who contribute legitimately for what they need and also give back to it, make a society of people good to live amongst.

  8. National standards will be used for performance pay.

    Surely that can’t be right. National standards are un-moderated, so using them for performance pay would offer a financial incentive to fake the results. I can’t believe even National MPs are that stupid.

  9. Bill 9

    I think the post is missing the point. To privatise institutioins you must first of all develop an ‘efficiency framework’. National Standards are a part of that. Teacher/class size ratios are also a part of that.

    It’s all about keeping an eye on the ball. And the ball is an ability to generate profit.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Wonder which ball you are eying Bill? What on earth are you saying?

      • Bill 9.1.1

        Take an institution….welfare, education, prison service or any number of public services. Reduce…maybe ‘reduce’ is the wrong word…reconfigure their functions to accommodate formulae that are ‘business friendly’. (Y’know, formulas that lend themselves to being viewed in terms of simplistic ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ so that costs and potential profits can be discerned.) Then privatise.

    • just saying 9.2

      I wish the opposition parties would do a better job of joining the dots.
      Every aspect of our lives, every part of our community, is being sized-up and prepared for private ownership and control, for the benefit of owners.
      The issue is far more about private ownership creeping into every nook and cranny, and less about overseas ownership, in the wider “owning our futures” picture, a point made in the latest post of the excellent, Bat,Bean, Beam, blog.
      http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/

    • prism 9.3

      I think I know your thinking Bill – you’re being sarcastic and showing us the value of education as a cold-blooded, calculating NACT sees it. Everything in government is a starter business for some entity to buy up once established and squeeze for profit and that includes schools, medicines, water – the things we have to have to live. What a safe, blue chip opportunity.

    • Bill 9.4

      Here’s a link to something I found by accident that’s slightly revealing. Notice the peppering of terms/phrases relating to ‘economics’, ‘percentages’ and ‘numbers’. “John Langley: Business tools can help education”…

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10794586

      • prism 9.4.1

        Business-like take on provision of education. Class sizes shouldn’t burgeon but the optimum size is not spelled out and anyway its the quality of teachers that counts. Downgrades and fudges teachers’ legitimate concerns. Implies they are cry babies and police, medical etc. embrace criticism and not over-sensitive like teachers.

        Langley seems to me to be one of those consultants, fellow travellers who carve a niche for themselves exploiting and explaining the unexplainable and indefensible (from a human viewpoint) to all those who wish to remain in their jobs, and to their managers, how to get more juice from their lemons. And indeed this is how many principals regard their teachers, no appreciation, implied or spoken criticism, no support, just factory managers. And possibly no better than Talleys even. I’m not sure whether principals have to have had a good term of teaching practice.

        Perhaps someone could advise on what is sought when employing principals – which I suppose is done by the school board, usually accountants and aspirational middle class with little interest in the lower economic. (That’s obvious in the expensive school uniforms they adopt.)

  10. Blue 10

    What stood out to me in the announcement was that education is getting $511.9 million in this years budget.

    They spent $1 billion bailing out South Canterbury Finance.

    Priorities.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Doubt that Educations is ‘getting $500 mill ( extra). The full education budget , primary secondary tertiary is $10 bill plus. And budget announcements are usually stretched over 4 years ( and re announced every year) Could be as little as $50 mill for each or primary and secondary per year

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    The torys hate the teacher unions with a vengance and right or wrong they are going to try and deal to them as per student associations. Kevin at 2.2 is coming from the right direction–work to rule-But hold on–the Natz proposed changes to the ERA will enable lockouts for such behaviour.

    Pushing back hectoring Hekia (Lady Gardener indeed) requires parent and community support like with National Standards. The MOE, ministry of magic, has been deserted by many decent educationalists with tory toadies remaining in the senior jobs. I mean check out the secretary for education –Hogwarts reject Lesley Longstone.

    The end result of this bs is that a two tier education system will result, but only if we let it happen.

  12. Logie97 12

    Schools being judged by academic performance.

    When the funding formula is based on performance, rather than numbers of pupils enrolled, schools will jump for joy. At the moment they just welcome anyone coming through the gates.

    They will have boards of trustees and principals who will be able to tell the parents to take their poorly focussed and disruptive, aggressive, under performing children to seek their education elsewhere. Those children will become a ministry issue rather than a school’s. Teachers will be able to focus on the core business. The community will be queuing up to send their children to the school. Goodness, they could even develop pre-entry exams.

    Now let’s see what the government’s own edicts say..
    Vision statement “What we want for our young people … Read the rest here
    http://nz curriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-documents/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum/Vision

    Meanwhile, on recruitment of these bushy tailed ‘eager to make a difference’ graduates,
    “Oh did we tell you that you will be going into bigger classes when you get out there in the big wide world…”

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Interesting debate.

    Firstly, there is not just the savings in teacher salaries. There would also be considerable savings in infrastructure costs.

    Secondly, what if the 500 jobs that are lost are the worst performing teachers? This would mean that the children from those classes would then be in front of higher quality teachers, which will be a positive for their education.

    • Secondly, what if the 500 jobs that are lost are the worst performing teachers?

      How would that happen? What mechanism would be used? At the moment, all we have is that teacher numbers will be capped.

      • insider 13.1.1

        Teacher numbers are already capped by the funding formula. The Funding formula is already an average. Principals can decide the teacher mix – how many above and below the formula average – but they can’t employ without funding, unless the school community pays extra.

      • OneTrack 13.1.2

        Well we could always implement a professional appraisal system, say like those poor suckers, I mean employees, in the private sector. You know, the ones who pay the taxes that pay teachers salaries.

    • Dv 13.2

      Ts
      Saving in infrastructure?
      How?

      What about the cost of increasing classroom sizes to cope?
      How about having to get more desks and chairs to cope with the larger classes?

      .

      • s y d 13.2.1

        well, when you think about there are massive savings to be had…consider
        500 less biscuits and cups of tea every day (1000 counting afternoon tea)
        500 less chairs in staffrooms, should fetch a pretty packet on trade me
        500 carparks now available for leasing
        500 less union rep’s  – as let’s face it, they are the worst performing teachers
        by my rough calculation thats at least ohh, maybe several billion dollars over the long term
         
         
         

      • tsmithfield 13.2.2

        The ratio is currently between 23 and 29 students per class. The proposed level is 27 students per class, still within the range above. So, we are not talking about doubling class sizes or anything. Rather, several extra pupils per class. I imagine this will be accomodated within existing buildings without too much problem. However, it will probably reduce the need for more new buildings.

    • Ross 13.3

      What do you think will happen to those 500 teachers? They are not going to disappear into the ether. Some may go on the dole, which of course will mean the savings are not what are claimed.

    • And what if the 500 jobs lost were the best performing teachers with the best chance of a career change?  Sheesh …

  14. hellonearthis 14

    National building a bigger underclass so that the average grade is changed making the people at the top seem smarter because there are more uneducated. NZ brighter future.

    I think bigger classes would be ok, if there was a skilled teacher and a second less skilled teacher.
    That would allow the skills to be taught to the new teachers, making them better skilled.
    Also it would be much easier to manage such a large number of student better.

  15. Every Tiny Straw has a post that will interest commentators here:

    http://everytinystraw.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/laughing-now.html

    It’s author, Armchair Critic is contemptuous of the latest announcements and has this to say:

    “Here on National’s website is the announcement today from Hekia Parata. In this announcement she says:
    A post-graduate qualification will be introduced as a minimum for all trainee teachers, and schools leadership will be improved through the introduction of a new pre-principalship qualification.
    Part of National’s rationale is to improve the quality of teaching. So this sounds like a good step.

    But hang on a second, wasn’t there an announcement that affects tertiary study, just a few days ago? Steven Joyce said something about student allowances. Here it is, reported by Stuff.
    – Allowances for any study over four years cancelled.
    My partner did a DipTeach/B.Ed. It took four years. Requiring a post-graduate qualification would require a student loan. Teaching is not a profession that people choose if they are motivated mostly by money, and adding an extra financial burden, as National have just done, is ludicrous. Now I’m past the swearing stage, I’m laughing. In contempt.”

  16. ianmac 16

    I wonder if the current announcements are part of a Cunning Plan to force schools to accept Bulk Funding!
    If you want to employ more teachers, have control over your funding.

    • Dv 16.1

      AND the emplyment legislation that allows the employer can walk away from negotiation with a collective.

      • Bill 16.1.1

        In the case of teachers they’d have to fuck with the State Sectors Act too. And that would get very, very messy.

  17. millsy 17

    Lots of people around ranting and raving about how its perfectly acceptable to have overcrowded classrooms.

    If smaller class numbers are good enough for the private schools, why not the public schools?

    Ideally class sizes should be capped at 20.

    • insider 17.1

      where does the magic number of 20 come from?

    • Bill 17.2

      Increasing the class sizes is a primer for privatisation. Once privatised, some schools would be in a financial position to decrease class sizes again. (Note, that it’s an economic decision and not an educational one.)

      Those that failed to achieve a financial position that would allow them to cut class sizes would , in conjunction with other contributory factors coming into play, find themselves constituting the second tier of a two tier eductation system.

      Of course, there is every reason to believe that those schools who would fail to achieve a high enough economic performance would be spotted by would be private concerns, avoided and remain as state schools. deliberately underfunded and second rate in a (data collected, numbers crunched and scores allocated) comparison to private ones.

      • ianmac 17.2.1

        Now I get you Bill. :) It might help if we put upwards of 50 kids per room/hall. Combine say 5-6 Primary Schools together with a limit of say 2,500 kids and pay armed guards to keep control. Test papers would be handed out to children every day and repeat the same papers over and over until the average success rate exceeds 80%. The huge amount of money saved would enable Performance pay for the “Teacher” at the rate of $5,000 per child over the 50% threshold.
        There we have it. If bigger classes help improve performance and save money then we are all for it. Ha!

  18. Goober Grape 18

    Hopefully this will eventually become ‘user pays’, and we can break the monopoly the government has.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Only if we want things to cost far more. Working cooperatively is far cheaper and more efficient than acting alone.

      • Goober Grape 18.1.1

        Working cooperatively? Explain?

        • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1

          “The government” is us working together to lower costs through reduction of duplication, research (That’s really what the ministries are for) and implementation of best practice (the government ministry really does know more about education than parents and ministers).

          Now, if we did it your way what actually happens is that each parent would have to go out and pay individually for everything and that means more bureaucracy (I’m sure NACT love that as it means more high paying jobs for their mates), more advertising (which is not needed for government schools), and fragmented standards. And, due to all those extra costs, a lot of children actually missing out on schooling as their parents (forced into poverty by the free-market delusion) wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for them to go. Those children would probably end up working as they did in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

          • Goober Grape 18.1.1.1.1

            “the government is us working together…”? Sorry, you have lost me there.

            • Goober Grape 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Does this Draco guy/guyette post often?

              • Te Reo Putake

                Yep and unlike you, he has credibility round here. DtB has laid his out thinking clearly. Try explaining your position, GG. Lets see if it stacks up as well.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1.1.2

              That wouldn’t surprise me, you’re obviously an idiot.

  19. dd 19

    I did the one year course to become a media studies teacher last year.

    I have industry experience in TV, graphic design, and in IT.

    At the end of last year finishing with good marks I decided I’d stick with the media industry rather than apply for a teaching job simply because it’s a very time consuming job with little financial incentive. Very rewarding of course but you have to REALLY want to do it. It’s a lifestyle not a job from what I saw. There’s no just doing your hours and going home.

    I was considering doing it next year now there’s no way. Bigger classroom sizes are drain on your energy levels and take away from personally knowing the kids which is one of the reasons you do it. The performance pay thing for a below average amount of money just makes it not worth the effort.

    So effectively National have just put off one person who would have been a good teacher with relevant training. No doubt they will put off many others. I know of at least 5 other’s in my situation all with experience outside of the education sector. These type of people are in my opinion who you want teaching. Kids who have just gone straight from school, through uni, then to teaching can be excellent teachers but they will always lack experience in actually working in the sectors your training kids for.

  20. Fortran 20

    The number 20 children per class came from David Lange’s “Tomorrow’s Schools”.
    A great idea that never fruited.

    • OneTrack 20.1

      A great idea that no one could ever justify and that we couldn’t afford anyway. By the way isn’t he the guy that snuck in all that right-wing stuff? Was Tomorrow’s Schools part of the plan?

  21. infused 21

    “Parents won’t be happy that there will be hundreds or thousands fewer teachers for their children, or that their kids will be tested specifically to determine their teachers’ pay.”

    Not sure if serious…

    FYI, I went to private school where class rooms were 15-20. The only thing that was different is you really got to know the people in the room. I can’t say my learning improved because of it. Although, I was a shocker at school.

    Too busy running my BBS eh lpent.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    Back in the day I had a maths teacher known as “baldy King”. He was the most useless teacher I have ever seen.

    He had absolutely no class control, and would explode if wound up. Hence, in every class pupils had great amusement and entertainment in winding the poor bugger up to the point where he would explode and throw a massive tantrum. I didn’t learn very much that year.

    If losing 500 teachers means losing teachers like that, then the education system will benefit greatly from it.

    • Bill 22.1

      Agree that some teachers are kind of crap. And every single kid at school knows exactly who they are. So, seeing as how kids know who the crap teachers are, why not develop a system whereby crap teachers can be removed by the kids?

      I know that when I was at school I was assigned a particular english teacher whose class I flat stick refused to attend. I had it out with the head of department and she assigned me to her class instead. But there was no formal system in place that gave pupils a modicum of control over the quality of their teaching.

      So, the geography teacher who would belt you as soon as look at you…the PE teachers who confounded discipline with sadism…the other geography teacher who would literally send pupils to sleep and was known to use teaching time to extol the virtues of the KKK (he was a member), how to distil alcohol from shoe polish, … [ actually, he was educational in his own way]…the maths teacher who spent afternoons teaching such wonders as why boys squeezed toothpaste tubes from one end and girls the other…the R.E. teacher who (from memory) had three nervous breakdowns and kept being flung back in front of the class after time off to recover…the physics teacher and the english teacher, both of whom were too busy lechering 15, 16 and 17 year old school girls to focus on teaching…all these teachers and others got to stay in their jobs and probably retired as teachers.

      And everyone knew who they were. And nobody wanted to be taught by them.

      The severe disciplinarians (we’re talking back in the day when the belt was used) who were bloody good teachers? Nobody had a problem with them. We knew not to fuck with them in any way shape or form and in return they didn’t fuck with us; just taught us what they were meant to teach us and did it well.

      Are things so different today that pupils won’t recognise a good teacher from a bad one and so be incapable of using their power with discretion? I don’t think so.

      • tsmithfield 22.1.1

        Yeah. You are probably right.

        I actually felt, and still feel quite sorry for baldy King. It seemed to me he was actually a very bright guy who knew his stuff really well. The problem was he didn’t have a gift in teaching, and was in the wrong profession. Thus, I think the plan that the government has for pre-entrance screening is a good one if it enables good teachers to be selected and the likes of baldy King rejected.

      • Psycho Milt 22.1.2

        If losing 500 teachers means losing teachers like that, then the education system will benefit greatly from it.

        And if I had the winning lottery ticket, then I would benefit greatly from it. Wishful thinking isn’t a helpful tool for assessing education policy.

    • Schlurps McGoo 22.2

      Thanks for your unsubstantiated, generalised, opinion tsmithfield.

      We are gonna file this gem under Irrelevant Gasbagging for future reference.

      We thank you for this useless anecdote and we value any kneejerk uninformed distractions you might want to contribute in future.

      Have a nice day.

      • insider 22.2.1

        And thank you for wasting bandwidth with your self important irrelevances.

      • tsmithfield 22.2.2

        “Thanks for your unsubstantiated, generalised, opinion tsmithfield.”

        You seem to have difficulty with the words “unsubstantiated” and “generalised”.

        It was substantiated because I was a witness to what happened. It was specific, not generalised because it was related to a specific teacher. So, I suggest you learn a bit more about the english language before posting again.

        “We are gonna file this gem under Irrelevant Gasbagging for future reference.”

        By “this” you can surely only be referring to the tripe that was flowing from your keyboard as you typed.

        • Schlurps McGoo 22.2.2.1

          You reason that staff cuts and increased class room sizes are worth it because at some point in the past (however long ago) you had a teacher that you allege wasn’t able to control a classroom, to your standards I might add, thats unsubstantiated as in, not supported by evidence. Just your word.

          You then comment: ‘If losing 500 teachers means losing teachers like that, then the education system will benefit greatly from it.’ If thats not making a generalisation, I don’t know what is.

          The tone of my first comment was hostile, I apologise. I don’t like the idea of 500 layoffs based on ideological advice from Treasury, or arguments based on anecdote and bad experience. Nothing riles me worse than damning a whole group of people based on one hostile, unproven perception, I believe that one is called bigotry in the dictionary

          • tsmithfield 22.2.2.1.1

            “The tone of my first comment was hostile, I apologise.”

            Accepted. And my response was unnecessarily snarky as well, so I apologise as well.

            Can’t agree with the generalisation comment though. I didn’t say the 500 teachers were probably like that, which would have been a generalisation. I said if any are like that, which is not a generalisation.

            • Schlurps McGoo 22.2.2.1.1.1

              If or were, both are assumptions, policy (and by extension endorsing a policy) should be based on fact or evidence.

              But where are the facts about ‘bad’ teachers in all of this, I have encountered nothing but anecdotes. I had a real shit of a teacher once, but I still highly respect the profession, because its a shit of a job.

              See my anecdote is just like yours, as in: its not any kind of a basis for a decision to made about funding Education. Nor is it a justification of any kind for after the fact.

              Lets see how many bad teachers this vaunted performance pay scheme weeds out before we talk about making them redundant.

              OR we can just give them the flick now and claim that they were bad all along.

              That seems to be what the government is intent on.

              • tsmithfield

                The word “if” I used implies the need for research, so it doesn’t contradict your point at all. We can only know if there are 500 teachers like baldy king by doing the research, and if there are 500 or however many like him in the education system, then, it seems fairly obvious that the education system would be better if those teachers were weeded out, and perhaps retrained for a career more suited to them.

                I expect that performance pay, similar to other performance assessment systems, will be behaviourally rather than results based. So, if performance pay is similar to other systems, the evaluation process should identify severely under-performing teachers so the “if” can be qualified.

    • Colonial Viper 22.3

      Do you have nightmares of 500 “baldy Kings” hiding under your bed still?

    • fabregas4 22.4

      You say that in every class pupils had great amusement winding him up as though this is ok and a sign of his being a bad teacher. I’d suggest they were bad students and deserved not to learn to much. Losing 500 painful students would greatly benefit the education system too.

  23. Scintilla 23

    Note that teacher graduates from 2010 and 2011 have experienced great difficulty finding jobs. At least 500 have not found work and of those that did, many have been short term contracts (1 term -1 year) and many others have gone on to day relief teaching, including me. We are the well-qualified new teachers Parata says she wants – degrees, postgrad teaching quals and life experience, but what we’ve got is a student loan debt and any hope for a permanent job now demolished.

    Beware – all that extra professional development means teachers being OUT of their classrooms more often and more use of relievers – casualised labour.

    For those who think it’s lovely to have a huge range of abilities in a classroom and a great teacher can accomodate them effortlessly – dream on. In practice this means that if you are studying a unit on the Treaty, for example, and you have 30 students, some who are very bright and interested, some who couldn’t care less, maybe five who have limited ability at speaking English, a few whose literacy levels are pitiful, another four who play up because they can and do not care if they are sent out of class …. are you getting the picture yet?

    If that classroom size drops back to 15-20, so does the ratio of problems the teacher has to deal with. There is a BIG co-relation between disruptive classroom behaviour and poor literacy levels – they play up for camouflage, they don’t want to be derided or bullied by their peers. The only solution is smaller classes, more intensive teaching and individual attention. Individual learning plans create 3 times the workload for a teacher for each class. Multiply that by the number of classes a teacher has, usually 5 and you can see how much extra work is created.

  24. mike e 24

    along with more bullshit forms to fill out that private schools don’t have to National is busy dumbing down education.In the last term in opposition National complained bitterly over and over that teachers were spending to much time filling out forms for the bureaucracy and not enough time in front of the classroom since they’ve been in power its got worse not better.

  25. DH 25

    I always struggle with these arguments on education. How can you argue with Pete George, for example, he’s living proof that we must have bad teachers. He’s horribly off tune but he must also be right in being so wrong. Unless he went to school in another country, or slept through classes, or wagged, or just wasn’t sharp enough for even the bestest teacher to get through.

    Class numbers and teacher quality have no direct relationship with each other. But the output of all teachers is affected by class numbers. A good teacher will produce a lower output with a bigger class, as will a bad teacher. This govt is simply increasing class sizes, there is no corresponding increase in teacher quality to compensate for it. The output of all teachers must be reduced, including the best ones.

    Pete George says “I’d prefer a slightly bigger class with a better teacher than a smaller class and a crap teacher” No-one is offering him that, the government isn’t offering it either with this class size increase. So why is he annoying us with his inane bullshit.

  26. Karl Sinclair 26

    Sorry for the cut and paste from the 12 April 2012 at 9:55 pm

    National are average…. you see where they get there BS from…. The below just adds to the list educational genocide that is going on in our country… Dull, Dull, Dull…….

    I am truely bored with them…… they can’t even be creatively evil… they need to copy off another nation. JK, you’re average.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/26/poverty_is_the_problem_efforts_to

    As millions of students prepare to go back to school, budget cuts are resulting in teacher layoffs and larger classes across the country. This comes as the drive toward more standardized testing increases despite a string of cheating scandals in New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and other cities. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also recently unveiled a controversial plan to use waivers to rewrite parts of the nation’s signature federal education law, No Child Left Behind. We speak to New York City public school teacher Brian Jones and Diane Ravitch, the former assistant secretary of education and counselor to Education Secretary Lamar Alexander under President George H. W. Bush, who has since this post dramatically changed her position on education policy. She is the author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.” [includes rush transcript]

  27. The Urban Maori 27

    In my experience teaching kids kickboxing (I should say not with any degree of frequency I only fill in) it’s much, much easier to teach a small classes. The idea behind smaller classes is simple enough even for some of the stupider commenters here, you can spend more time with those struggling and show those who doing well the small adjustments they need to make.
    That said performance pay may work as here in Colorado:
    http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues/issues374c.shtml
    Of course problems with this scheme for Nact include the fact that it requires teachers having a strong base salary (Lady Gardiner believes the earn $71,000 on average, make your own Tui reference) and gasp, it was developed by teacher unions.
    That said I believe we would be best not to follow a country dumb enough to elect Bush twice or the state where South Park is situated.

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    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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