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On decile ratings of schools

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, August 21st, 2012 - 20 comments
Categories: education, national, schools - Tags: ,

Interesting piece on Stuff this morning:

ERO drops decile ratings from reports

The decile rating of schools has been scrapped from Education Review Office reports. ERO chief review officer Dr Graham Stoop made the surprise announcement yesterday in an effort to “correct the stereotype that a school’s decile equals performance”.

Schools are given a decile rating of one to 10, reflecting the proportion of students from low socio-economic communities. About 10 per cent of schools are in decile one and have the highest proportion of pupils from low socio-economic communities. Lower deciles are allocated higher rates of funding by the Education Ministry but deciles are no reflection on the quality of a school.

There have been suggestions that some parents have been treating deciles as a reflection of quality, with a “white flight” recorded of tens of thousands of Pakeha children away from decile one, two and three schools in the last 10 years.

Prime Minister John Key has said some parents assume the decile ranking is “a proxy for the quality of a school” which could be “very unfair”.

Dr Stoop yesterday said taking the decile rating off ERO reports would “help remove this element of confusion and correct this misconception”.

Right, so the government ignored most expert advice, international precedent, and the overwhelming majority of schools and teachers, to bulldoze through national standards. The data from the standards is nonsense, but it is going to be published anyway because the Nats’ claim that the good parents of [insert region here] are desperate to see it. But – they are excising decile ratings because they are confusing, unfair and misleading? White flight – what the hell do they think is going to happen with the national standards data?

These two “policies” are so completely incoherently at odds with each other that it’s hard to believe (typical for Nat “education” policy I’m afraid). A cynic might suggest (and several did in Open mike this morning) that the dropping of decile ratings is really an attempt to obscure the link between poverty and educational underachievement. Mmmmm.

All that said, no one is a big fan of decile ratings. The piece above continues:

Teacher union the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) said clear information about the social and economic context of schools should be published in place of the decile ratings, which were “crude”. It suggested including data on student transience, the number of children with special needs or English as a second language and the number of children attending breakfast clubs.

Decile ratings shouldn’t be dropped, they should be replaced by better data. And if “ropey” national standards data is to be published, these economic measures should be included with it. The only reason that the Nats would argue that parents want some facts but not others is political game-playing.

20 comments on “On decile ratings of schools”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    They had two head masters interviewed on the radio this morning.

    They were saying it was good that decile ratings were being dropped, because it had nothing to do with educational achievement. A question or two later, one of them said that when the National Standard’s results were published, they would in some way mirror what the decile rating showed. This means that, implicitly, decile ratings did actually reflect student achievement, despite the fact that they both said that it didn’t.

    Really the problem is that there’s no easy and clear way to differentiate student achievement from school achievement, and in many regards they are the same thing.

  2. fabregas4 2

    Doesn’t sat that all – it means that decile rating reflect socio economic status of the school community – low socio economic status leads to it being harder to be successful at school.

  3. Lanthanide-Margret Wu is an internationally respected academic who has assisted with the development of the PIRLS assessment used to compare different nations’ education achievement. She often explains that of all the determining factors of a child’s academic success (including family and socioeconomic background) a teacher only contributes around 10%.

    Schools and teachers can and do make a difference but cannot work miracles over the deficits that many children bring with them through the school gate. While school achievement will generally align with the decile rating it cannot be used to ascertain the quality of teaching and learning within a school. It just so happens that you are less likely to have children in a community full of migrants who speak English as a second language and have low incomes who will do well in assessments based on English. Whether they are academically able or struggle with learning there should be little difference in their attainment no matter what decile school they attend. There is also some evidence that the quality of teaching in higher decile schools can be below that of low decile because it is much easier to teach in such schools. Able, motivated students from supportive, academic families often succeed regardless of the teaching they receive. When you say “…there’s no easy and clear way to differentiate student achievement from school achievement, and in many regards they are the same thing”, I would have to disagree. You are implying that if a child scores badly in a National Standards it just reflects the level of teaching in the school.

    A mother of a child with autism told me recently that a “good” school for her child would be one that is inclusive of all children, provides a variety of learning contexts that would excite and inspire her child and one where her child will feel happy and supported in their learning. A decile number or a National Standards assessment wouldn’t be able to discover that for her.

    Using the either flawed National Standards data or the decile rating to ascertain the quality of a school is equally problematic.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Using the either flawed National Standards data or the decile rating to ascertain the quality of a school is equally problematic.”

      I don’t disagree.

      What I was pointing out are the following logical positions:
      1. It was stated that decile rankings do not have *anything* to do with educational achievement
      2. It was stated that when National Standards rankings are brought in, some of the decile ranking will be reflected in the National Standards rankings; presumably he meant that schools with lower National Standards rankings would tend to be the ones that had lower decile rankings and vice versa.

      If we assume that National Standards do measure student achievement in some way (perhaps a bad assumption?), from statement 2 we should conclude that statement 1 is in fact wrong, in that lower ranked decile schools perform worse on National Standards, therefore lower decile schools are transitively indicators of lower performance. I’m not saying that lower decile schools cause lower performance, just that’s it’s correlated. This should be obvious.

      ““…there’s no easy and clear way to differentiate student achievement from school achievement, and in many regards they are the same thing”, I would have to disagree. ”

      Ok, if there is an “easy and clear way” to differentiate student achievement from school achievement are you asserting there is, then surely you can come up with good measures, better than National Standards, to do this.

      Because at the moment National Standards will be used to measure school achievement, based on individual achievement, and IMO the system simply will not work at all for all the obvious reasons (kids in lower decile schools will likely have lower National Standards scores, but that’s more to do with the kids attending the schools than the actual school performance). It seems you agree.

      • Georgecom 3.1.1

        Decile ratings don’t tell you very much about the quality of a school or its ability to raise achievement levels for particular students from the point the student eneterd that school.

        What decile ratings might reflect, broadly, are some of the socio-economic advantages or disadvantages that children bring with them to that school which will have an inpact on academic achievement levels.

        A schools finds children as they walk in the school gate, including such things as decile, and then goes to work from there to create learning, the actual achievement rates that schools can control.

        Reporting data against National Standards might also reflect some of the socio-economic advantages or disadvantages that children bring with them to that school. That is, the ‘readiness for learning’ state that students enter the school gate may well be reflected in reporting under, at or over National Standards achievement rates for students.

        What the NS don’t reveal is the level of learning growth that each particular child has made in a set period of time, measured against a preceding set period of time. The NS data is far too blunt a measurement to capture contextual learning improvement for individual students.

        So, decile and reported NS data might both reflect the particular socio-economic data that students bring with them through the school gate. Decile ratings won’t describe the quality of learning that occurs within the school and neither will, really, reported data against National Standards.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Yes, I fully agree with you, and in fact that is my point.

          NS (purport) to show the performance of an individual: do you know what 2+2 is or not? What it doesn’t show (very well) is how much progress an individual has made. NS attempts to take a measure of individual ability and then apply it in aggregate as if it is a measure of the performance of the school they attend. But because NS isn’t directly measuring a change in attainment, it isn’t measuring whether a school does a good job at improving attainment or not, which is the purpose to which it is going to be used.

          • It seems like we are generally in agreement, Lanthanide, and what it all really means is that while decile rankings and NS do measure things that have some basis in fact, they are blunt and limited measures and cannot and should not be used to make judgements about something as complex as the teaching and learning process.

            • Dv 3.1.1.1.1.1

              To say that NS measure anything is a bit of a stretch.
              Measurement needs to be reliable, and valid.
              Can anyone guarantee that a standard measure in a school in Northland is the same as a std in southland.
              Will it give the same results over time and with the same and different pupils who are at the same level?
              Will it give the same result over time?

              The ‘standards’ are neither national nor standard.

              • Georgecom

                More than that, decile ratings were developed with a logical purpose in mind and have some logical and consistent methodology behind gathering of data.

                National Standards? Hmmmm, well.

                Shambles?

              • National Standards are overall teacher judgments (OTJs) on a child’s attainment in literacy or numercy. I have no doubt that the information they provide would be useful for parents and supporting learning, but they only focus on a fraction of the curriculum and do no more than touch the total package of what a school provides to support teaching and learning. DV, they do measure something but I agree, they are neither national nor standard.

  4. Ianmac from Vietnam 4

    Many low decile schools are hugely successful. Not necessarily in academic standings but in adding huge value from where the kids start. Learning enough words to be able to communicate with more than grunts. Being able to share. Being able to play fair. Being able to respect the rights of others. Being able to handle books properly. Many kids from deprived homes have these hurdles to overcome before they can begin to learn the academic stuff. It must tear the teachers apart to be regarded as low level schools because of the labels like decile ranking. As for National Standards…….

  5. Georgy 5

    Lanthanide – you don’t appear to know what decile rankings actually are.

  6. Georgy 6

    To see what how effective a school is you get a better idea by looking at data from the “native cohort”

    When a school separates the achievement data in literacy and numeracy into two sets –

    [a] children who started at the school and are still there and
    [b] children who have enrolled since starting school [ie have been to other schools]

    then the data for set [a] shows quite a different picture from set [b] – obvious to schools but not necessarily so to others. A significant number of children in the second cohort tend to be transient and usually come from “poorer” homes.

    As schools are forced to submit data to the Ministry of Educ they should send the data from set [a]

    The MoE will misuse it for league tables and pai websites but there may be more integrity in the set [a] data as a reflection of the school learning programme.

    While the decile rank will reflect the community the school sits, it does not reflect the quality of the teaching programme.
    Many schools will tell you that set [a] data shows very high levels of attainment against any criteria.

    When all the data is collated, the effect of the set [b] data will show the school as being “less successful’ in the eyes of the community – a very unfair way of measuring.

  7. Mike Steinberg 7

    *** obscure the link between poverty and educational underachievement. Mmmmm.***

    This obscures the main causes of educational achievement are motivation and intelligence. Unless you are talking extreme malnourishment (or perhaps exposure to toxins in utero), cognitive ability is not going to be significantly depressed. As Professor Steve Hsu notes:

    “It is sometimes claimed that IQ is just a proxy for SES (Socioeconomic Status): high IQ kids are merely the beneficiaries of better home environments, and correlations between IQ and life outcomes are merely a proxy for correlations between childhood environment and outcomes. Of course, this claim does not address the significant variations in IQ within families. Does IQ have predictive power once SES is controlled for? The answer is obvious from anecdotal experience: we all know siblings who, by definition, shared the same family SES, but with different IQs and life outcomes….

    SES does not cause SAT (weakly at most).
    SES does not predict college success, SAT does.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.co.nz/2010/03/ses-and-iq.html

    • Urban Rascal 7.1

      Although from an economic and statistical analysis it seems that things such as merely having the presence of books in the house as a child can drive better schooling outcomes, as well as mother’s age at birth and a raft of other correlated factors.
      - Based of the analysis in the book Freakonomics.
      So I’d have to say you argument has a fairly well known counter. As these common factors are far more evident in lower socioeconomic areas.

  8. Ianmac in Ho Chi Minh city 8

    An afterthought. Without decile rankings will it mean that when national Standards are published, there will be no more guidance that a “lower performing” school draws from lower socio economic shoeless English as a second language transient kids. Just a bald percentage. This would confirm the government’s argument that some schools are failing. Ugh!

  9. Georgy 9

    Poverty, Deciles and Achievement

    Poverty is one dimension of a bigger and more complex situation. Many families who are “at the bottom” of the heap socio-economically move a lot for a variety of reasons. This directly impacts on learning. Also many children from these families have a high absentee rate, as well as often arriving at school late.

    We know that learning is a wholistic process and in school terms begins the moment a child arrives at school until the moment they leave. The first 15 minutes of class time are crucial and set the tone, the direction and timetable for the day. Children who arrive late miss the informal events and social interaction before the bell and the first part of the formal stuff – and are then on the back foot for the rest of the day. And if they have missed days then whats’s going on is a mystery. It is easier then to turn off and not really try. Input zero, output zero, development low, attitude negative.

    Many schools try various strategies to overcome this but it is a major challenge – and if the transient rate is 25% or more the school faces a lot of problems. the families also don’t value education, have language deprived homes, don’t have books and don’t have the routines that children need to support their education.

    This dimension of poverty is very real for schools and impacts hugely on individual achievement thus the collation of school wide data will reflect this. So, low decile schools will reflect their community in terms of achievement. What this won’t show is the incredible job a lot of teachers do to get children ahead. Many Reading Recovery teachers will report that they just get children going and the family moves again. Many Special Ed teachers will report the same. Many children can attend anywhere between 5-12 schools during their primary school years, often with long breaks between schools while the family shifts, finds a house, buys new clothes, sorts out benefits with the new winz office, waits for the benefit to come through to get money to put on their phone….

    The link between poverty and school achievement is very real for many teachers throughout nz.

  10. fabregas4 10

    This move also raises questions about whether the powers that be want to forget about the context that schools work in. Maybe not talking about the socio economic deprivation that is Decile 1-3 areas
    means that the govenemnet can expect the same results from these kids as those for decile 8,9, 10 schools?

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    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
    The draft decision by the Board of Inquiry (BOI) on the Tukituki Catchment proposal represents a significant win for freshwater management and the urgency of a transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture in New Zealand, says Fish & Game NZ....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
    Today is a very sad day for ACC, as news of the passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse has become public knowledge....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • New pipe ban will increase harm to cannabis consumers
    The Government will increase harm by further restricting the sale, supply and importation of drug harm reduction equipment. “This National-led Government seems to be encouraging use of the more harmful synthetics over safer natural cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Council can’t ban legal highs
    Under current law Gisborne District Council cannot ban the sale of legal highs (psychoactive substances) in our district. Council can restrict where these substances are sold....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Online job vacancies pick up in March
    The number of jobs advertised online grew by 1.9 per cent in March 2014, following a 1.3 per cent decrease in February, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal
    The White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal, the main fundraiser for the White Poppy Peace Scholarships, starts tomorrow and runs through until Thursday, 24 April....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lawyers saddened at passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse
    New Zealand has lost one of its greatest jurists with the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore said today....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • “Rock star economy’ throws hospital staff out the window
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star economy’, with the Government instructing pay rises be limited to just 0.7%....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Sensible Sentencing backs call to ban legal highs
    Sensible Sentencing backs call to ban legal highs The Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling on the Government to take immediate action to ban legal highs. Trust Spokesman, Garth McVicar said he was appalled that the Government was so apathetic on...
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Paul Potts promotes Pink Shirt Day
    Opera singer Paul Potts has taken time out of his busy NZ tour schedule to show his support for bullying awareness campaign, Pink Shirt Day....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Ruataniwha decision bold and encouraging
    Ruataniwha decision bold and encouraging IrrigationNZ says the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve the $275million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme is bold and encouraging....
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Ruataniwha gets to second base
    With the Ruataniwha Water Storage scheme getting the tick from a Board of Inquiry appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), the concept of water storage has passed a major milestone but a greater one is to ensure it is...
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Labour Should Hit the Brakes on Motorhome Tax
    Responding to the Ministry of Transport analysis of Labour’s new policy for taxing motorhomes, suggesting that motorhome owners would end up paying more for Road User Charges than they do today, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Ruataniwha decision puts water demands before nature
    Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird says the Board of Inquiry that today granted consent for the Ruataniwha irrigation dam has failed to account for the overall environmental damage the project would cause, if it is built....
    Scoop politics | 15-04