web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

NRT: Unconstitutional and dangerous

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 am, February 15th, 2013 - 8 comments
Categories: education, national, schools - Tags: ,

From I/S at No Right Turn:


Unconstitutional and dangerous

That’s the Ombudsman’s view of National’s plan to exclude its charter schools from the Ombudsman’s and Official Information Acts:

The bill exempts partnership schools from the Ombudsman’s Act and the Official Information Act, but Dame Beverley Wakem told the select committee that is unconstitutional.

Dame Beverley said the acts ensure that state-funded agencies are accountable and people have a fundamental right to the complaints process provided by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The full submission is here [PDF]. It makes the simple point that state-funded agencies with statutory powers are covered by both acts to ensure accountability and transparency. Its good enough for National’s private prisons, and its good enough for schools as well. In addition, they point out that the Ombudsman has had an important role in ensuring schools provide a safe physical environment for their students (particularly around bullying), and in ensuring that they follow the rules around suspension and exclusion. Ousting their jurisdiction would prevent them from fulfilling those roles – allowing such schools to be dangerous and lawless.

Charter schools will be taking public money and exercising statutory powers. They should therefore be subject to the full constitutional safeguards around such activities. We should not permit National to carve out a secret realm beyond the reach of the law in the education system for its cronies.

8 comments on “NRT: Unconstitutional and dangerous”

  1. Craig Glen viper 1

    So firstly children who go to one of these schools have less prptection then on top of that they have the cheek to suggest less accountability when the schools are getting tax payer funding.

    The oppsition need to be all over this!

    • saarbo 1.1

      I suspect that the fact that the opposition is not “all over this” is the reason that National continues to push dodgy policies such as this.

  2. lprent 2

    I find the idea of having my taxes pay for something that is not transparently accountable to my watchdogs unacceptable. I cannot see why these schools are put ino the same unaccountable bucket as something like current defense operations.

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    NZ doesn’t have a Constitution.

    And if it did, our illustrious leaders would say: “It’s just a piece of paper.” (As George Bush said,, as he began the trashing of the Constitution that Obama has put onto hyper-drive)

    • Roflcopter 3.1

      Actually, we do have a constitution, it’s just not a written one.,,, more a collection of a whole load of Acts loosely described as a constitution.

  4. Aww 4

    *slightly off topic*
    I recently complained to the Human Rights Commission regarding a government agency. If I want to obtain compensation for this breach of human rights I need to attempt mediation (according to the Human Rights helpful 0800 line person). Actually I just want it resolved asap.

    The HRC just wrote to me saying that they forwarded my concerns (with my consent) to the head office to see if they will agree to mediation (IF they agree??) – so apparently it is the government agencies choice if I can have my human rights upheld WTF??! Probably I can sort of force them to mediation by filing proceedings and letting the court then shoot down the claim by referring us back to mediation but this is surely a huge waste of money and I can’t afford a lawyer/legal aid for what should be a simple issue to fix.

    Yea, so much for the watchdogs. Woof, bloody woof woof.

    • QoT 4.1

      I don’t know the details of your complaint, obviously, but in general it totally annoys me how “mediation” is the answer to everything. Some basic rights are not topics for let’s-hear-both-sides conversations, they’re basic fucking rights and whoever’s infringing on them should just fucking stop.

    • handle 4.2

      The Ombudsman is more forceful and effective than the HRC, which is why only one of them has spoken up about charter schools being removed from official oversight.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government’s housing failure puts pressure on Reserve Bank
    The Government’s failure to take action on the housing crisis has put pressure on the Reserve Bank Governor who has to deal with a rampaging housing market and low inflation at the same time, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Labour wishes Russel Norman well
    The Labour Party wishes Russel Norman well in the future as he stands down as Green Party co-leader, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “Russel has made a significant contribution to New Zealand politics in his nine years as co-leader… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Russel Norman to stand down as Green Party Co-leader in May
    Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party's Annual General Meeting in May.Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM."After… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    11 hours ago
  • Russel Norman to stand down as Green Party Co-leader in May
    Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party's Annual General Meeting in May.Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM."After… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    11 hours ago
  • UE bar hike denies access to thousands
    A Government rule change denying access to thousands of young Kiwis access to tertiary education is doing nothing to build a smart, fair future, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe said today.  “NZQA rules changed by the Government have reduced… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Progressive Rainbow rights? Yeah, nah….
    Legally, New Zealand is perhaps one of the more progressive countries when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights even though we have further to go on the last two. However, the latest Westpac’s Rainbow Acceptance… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • National’s back to the future on housing sell-off
    National’s newly announced state housing policy is simply a re-run of its failed ideologically-driven 1990s experiment, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “News articles from the mid-1990s uncovered by Labour shows this is just more of the same. ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s back to the future on housing sell-off
    National’s newly announced state housing policy is simply a re-run of its failed ideologically-driven 1990s experiment, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “News articles from the mid-1990s uncovered by Labour shows this is just more of the same. ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s back to the future on housing sell-off
    National’s newly announced state housing policy is simply a re-run of its failed ideologically-driven 1990s experiment, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “News articles from the mid-1990s uncovered by Labour shows this is just more of the same. ...
    1 day ago
  • Waihopai – years on, still the same
    On 24 January, I attended the Waihopai Base protest in my electorate.  It was attended by a great range of people who are all concerned about the direction our country is heading in.  Thank you to all of those who… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 days ago
  • Greens call for ring-fencing of state home proceeds
    The Government must ring-fence the proceeds of any state home sales and spend every dollar raised on more Government-built homes in order to address the housing crisis, the Green Party says.Prime Minister John Key has indicated that his first major… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    3 days ago
  • English breaks his $6000 wages promise
    Just one month into the new year Bill English has already rowed back on his election promise of real wage rises for New Zealanders, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “During the election campaign National promised Kiwis that the average… ...
    1 week ago
  • National fails to produce evidence justifying attack on RMA
    The National Government is misusing evidence provided in the Motu report on planning rules to justify gutting the environmental protections secured by the Resource Management Act (RMA), says the Green Party today. The Motu group's research into the impacts of… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes won’t knock a dollar off the cost of a new home
    The Government’s proposed changes to the RMA won’t increase the number of affordable homes or knock a dollar off the cost of building a new house, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “Tinkering with the RMA will not solve National’s housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • What is the real ‘price of the club’?
    What price is too high to join a club?  According to the current the New Zealand Prime Minister, the lives of young Kiwi men and women are a part of the package. In his latest BBC interview, John Key fails… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • DOC debacle means hundreds may have missed out on fishing licences
    Hundreds of families and recreational fishers may have had their holidays spoiled by missing out on their fishing licences, with Conservation Minister Maggie Barry preferring instead to focus on more high profile portfolio priorities over the summer break, Labour’s Conservation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rheumatic fever rates continue to soar despite millions spent on prevention...
    The Government’s $65 million spend on rheumatic fever prevention has made little impact on the alarmingly high rate of the disease among young New Zealanders, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Latest figures from ESR show there were 235 notified… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Quito, Ecuador
    I was honoured to speak to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, calling for cooperation and action on climate change. You can read my speech below. Greetings from New Zealand in our first language – kia ora nga mihi nui… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Government wipes off $5 billion in tax debt
    Since coming to office, the National Government has written off $5 billion* in tax debt owed by more than a million, Labour MP Stuart Nash says. "There are two sides to the New Zealand economy under the National government: the… ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere