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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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    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
    As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some...
    Skeptical Science | 18-10
  • Dunno what to say about this, really
    Donald Trump and Russell Brand are having a spat on twitter.  It puts me in mind of Oscar Wilde's quip about fox hunting - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."  Though in this case, more a matter of the...
    Left hand palm | 18-10
  • We must join the fight against Islamic State
    We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?...
    Imperator Fish | 18-10
  • The Splits: Epsom / Ohariu Split Vote
    Epsom voteAct 2011 Party-Vote 3% (939 votes),   Candidate-Vote 44% (15,835)       2014 Party-Vote 3% (1,023),         Candidate-Vote 43% (15,966)Nat 2011 Party-Vote 65% (23,725),     Candidate-Vote 38% (13,574)       2014 Party-Vote 64% (23,904),      Candidate-Vote 32% (11,716)Lab 2011 Party-Vote 16% (5,716),      ...
    Sub zero politics | 17-10
  • Blinding Flash of the Obvious re composing encrypted emails – Avoid auto-...
    I recently reviewed Edward Snowden’s instructions for setting up and using PGP/encrypted email available on Vimeo: GPG for Journalists – Windows edition | Encryption for Journalists | Anonymous 2013. It’s a good tutorial. One of the points it makes about...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • An Auckland Urban Redevelopment Agency?
    Details are starting to emerge from the Council’s review of its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to see if any changes need to be made to them. The CCOs were set up in 2010 by the government as part of the super city...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • What A Real Labour Party Member Sounds Like.
     HARRY SMITH, 92 years old, describes the world in which he was raised. A world of poverty in which the ravages of ill health simply could not be resisted by ordinary working-class families. Harry lost his sister to tuberculosis and...
    Bowalley Road | 17-10
  • Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
    This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean....
    Skeptical Science | 17-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #45: What if Renters….
    #45: What if Renters had the choice to have Rights and Responsibilities like Commercial Tenants? Home ownership is of course a daily debate in this city of Auckland. In the absence of anything else, the New Zealand Herald will always...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Enjoying the unexpected – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa is looking forward to bringing her wide-ranging experience, including in education and public healthcare, to her new role as an MP. That’s coupled with her determination to achieve better outcomes for the people of Manukau East....
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Walking in the footsteps of the greats
    Introducing Peeni Henare Peeni Henare, new MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up surrounded by inspirational leaders. From his grandfather, soldier and kōhanga reo pioneer Sir James Henare, to David Lange, who was “like a quirky uncle who popped by every...
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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