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Shearer – excellent education speech

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, September 9th, 2012 - 114 comments
Categories: david shearer, education, labour, schools - Tags: ,

David Shearer’s education speech today was excellent in every way. Core Labour values, a sound understanding of the issues, significant concrete policy, and the promise of more to come.

This is the kind of speech that I as a Labour Party supporter want to hear more of. After watching National mess up education at every level, this is the kind of speech that I as a teacher needed to hear. Here it is in a nutshell:

Under Labour, the world’s best education will be available at your local school.

It’s a big goal, and it will take time to get there, but it is the right goal. Education isn’t the short term answer to anything – but it is the long term answer to everything. By every measure better educated countries are more successful countries. Hey Labour – we could do worse than to look to Finland for direction…

Shearer set out a big policy promise, targeting one of the huge disadvantages that kids from poor families have in education:

Labour will be more hands-on, partnering with communities and voluntary organizations to put free food in all decile 1 to 3 schools that want and need it.

Excellent. Given the massive link between poverty and educational achievement this one programme alone will do far more to improve outcomes than the Nats’ misguided and discredited “national standards”. Here’s a few more highlights from the speech, including a commitment to reading recovery in all schools:

National is systematically undermining the very values that make our education system great . They are peddling tired ideas that don’t work, copied from countries that rank far below us.

We won’t agree to National’s plan to set up Charter Schools – funded with taxpayer dollars – whether they’re run by Brian Tamaki the Maharishi yogi, or whoever.

Reading recovery has an 80% success rate. It’s the gold standard. Devised by Marie Clay it’s been exported all over the world. Yet it’s not universally available here. So the starting point should be to extend Reading Recovery to every school in the country. … We also need to devise a similar maths recovery intervention.

There are ways to lift our education system and I will make it happen. We start by valuing what we have. Listening to those who know. Education is an investment in our future. It is not a cost. And in the Labour Party we take that to heart.

A good day for Labour.

114 comments on “Shearer – excellent education speech”

  1. fabregas4 1

    I’ve struggled to like Shearer – but he just won my vote back! And even more – he is right in every way.

    • mike e 1.1

      Add Science wouldn’t be a bad idea either

      • Dr Terry 1.1.1

        Reading recovery, maths recovery, add science recovery . . . For heavens sake, what we need is TOTAL RECOVERY, full stop!! I can’t be sure that we are not hearing rhetoric from Shearer, maybe I am a cynic, but I shall need a great deal more convincing and consistency yet.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Labour will be more hands-on, partnering with communities and voluntary organizations to put free food in all decile 1 to 3 schools that want and need it.

    Better to do the simple thing and build a food hall in every school where the children can get free meals.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      And help to prepare food.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        CV said “And help to prepare food” …

        Perhaps, to that, can add: And have some hands-on learning experience about how to grow food as well.

    • mac1 2.2

      Don’t need to build a food hall which would be huge. Do as I saw the Japanese did 7 years back- free nutritious lunch served by the kids to their own class in their home room wheeled in on a trolley and then the classroom cleaned up afterwards by the kids.

      Tried two of the meals- about 700 calories- interesting, healthy, tasty.

      For every Japanese child.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Don’t need to build a food hall which would be huge.

        Only if you didn’t stagger classes through it.

        • mac1 2.2.1.1

          Hungry kids if you have a hall for say 100 seated and you have 500 kids to feed. 20 minutes per sitting. Lunchtime for some at 1.30 when used to it at 12. Could be wrong, though. Have you seen it done?

          Staggering classes around lunchtime would involve some problems for schools, I suspect.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            Hungry kids if you have a hall for say 100 seated and you have 500 kids to feed.

            You’d probably want no more than 3 sittings to fit within a lunch hour.

            Have you seen it done?

            No but it’s a logical solution to the problem you brought up.

            Lunchtime for some at 1.30 when used to it at 12.

            Kids are adaptable.

            Staggering classes around lunchtime would involve some problems for schools, I suspect.

            I’m sure that they could handle it.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I suppose we could always look at the countries where they do provide school lunches cooked on site, free or otherwise.

              • Colonial Viper

                They do in private boarding schools up and down the country for gawds sakes

                • Ed

                  Boarding Schools also do breakfast – but only for boarders. I suspect free breakfast is at least as important as lunch for many children.

                  The caveat of providing this “that want and need it” is important – but equally there are some in need that go to schools that are not decile 1 to 3 – there need to be ways schools can arrange assistance wherever need is identified.

                  A good Labour initiative – with better income distribution hopefully reducing the need for such assistance over time.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.2

            Couldn’t they just have a cup of soup in a cup to have outside or in their classroom on a raining day, or a box handed out at lunchtime to have outside or in their classroom when
            raining?

    • Fisiani 2.3

      Typical Labour.
      We will give your kids food and force the parents who do feed their kids and pay tax pay for it.
      We will expect you to vote for us in return.
      Nothing that Labour ever does is for the betterment of New Zealand.
      Every policy is measured by “How many votes will this gain for Labour”
      Absolutely typical Labour. Not a word about growing the economy or the responsibility of parents.

      • mike e 2.3.1

        Fisanal leaving the $ 6 billion drag on our economy fizzing away is dunb but not as dumb as your thinking punishing the children is just abuse and thats what you are is a child abuser and neglector!
        Redneck shallow narciscisstic that you and your ilk fisiani.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        What a load of bollocks fisi.

        We will give your kids food and force the parents who do feed their kids and pay tax pay for it.

        The parents who don’t feed their kids don’t choose to do that – they’re just not paid enough because some arse-holes feel that they need to be paid far too much.

        Nothing that National/Act ever does is for the betterment of New Zealand.
        Every policy is measured by “How many votes will this gain for National/Act

        FIFY

        Not a word about growing the economy or the responsibility of parents.

        Really? I’m sure that improving education will grow the economy. Not that I think growing the economy is a valid option but a well educated populace will develop society and understand why we need a stable state economy.

        • Fisiani 2.3.2.1

          Fisiani not fisi. Ad hominen 2

          [It's common to use a shortened version of a nom when replying. For instance I'm usually referred to as RL.]

          • mike e 2.3.2.1.1

            Punish those who aren’t able to respond you are a cowardly bully fisianl

            • Fisiani 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Ad hominen 3. Wow
              Still no rebuttal.

              • RedLogix

                Simple.

                You claim that there a lot of parents who choose not to feed their children. Evidence please.

                • Fisiani

                  If I said that the Pope was a Catholic would you ask for evidence?
                  Some statments are so self evident that asking for evidence is insulting.

                  • mike e

                    Fisi he was a nazi and covered up pedeophilia in the catholic church
                    And your a pathetic intellectually vacant bullying pedantic trool.
                    so why is Finland at the top of the education pile.
                    So next your going to blame the children for having poor parents thats big of you!

                    • Fisiani

                      Not the old canard. The Pope is German. The young man was a member of the Hitler youth. Calling him a Nazi shows that you are simply misguided.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So apart from your Papal distraction Fisi, where’s your evidence?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey Fisi

                    The Government needs to be providing paid jobs for every unemployed parent who wants one. Time to stump up mate.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey Fisi you are a sad sack for not assuming that the vast majority of parents do the absolute best that they can for their kids, in the circumstances National put them in.

              • Draco T Bastard

                They must be awesome blinders, he can’t actually read anything that proves him wrong.

                BTW, just calling something ad hominem doesn’t make it so.

      • muzza 2.3.3

        Absolutely typical Labour. Not a word about growing the economy or the responsibility of parents.

        Given your posts on here I’ll assume you don’t know what growth “actually” is, but you would lap it up all day long if Key was lying to you about “more jobs more gowth”, eh bro!

        Oh and just where are those jobs, and growth, and that brighter future….

        Can’t tell if you are the level of recourse that the tr*ll employers get these days, and just no good at it, or if you are just really fucken stupid!

        • Fisiani 2.3.3.1

          Ad hominen 7.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.3.1.1

            DNFTT

            • McFlock 2.3.3.1.1.1

              I dunno – I find it quite endearing that our local toryboys will say that every hungry child is hungry by the choice of the parents, then enumerate every real and imagined “ad hominen”.
                       
              Seriously, this shit is impossible to make up.

          • mike e 2.3.3.1.2

            fisianal retentive you use your logic to push your prejudice.
            You are the type of person who doesn’t experience emotions vacant in other words.

      • mike e 2.3.4

        so leave these defenceless kids unfed while other children eat infront of them.
        let the teachers try and get these children to concentrate instead of teaching.
        heartless bastard.

      • Tracey 2.3.5

        Can you correct your typo in this post Fisiani, you accidentally wrote Labour instead of National.

        pop out into the real, fact based world. Many of the parents skipping brekkie for their children have chosen which meal the children can’t have due to lack of money. Many of those parents have only one meal a day themselves, if that, on those days. Before you ask me for proof, provide your proof that it’s a lack of responsibility that has resulted in the skipping of breakfast for the majority in this position?

  3. Dv 3

    national standards?

  4. blue leopard 4

    This speech is heartening to hear. Finally one of our 2 (traditionally) main parties speaking some sense. (Greens becoming a major party too now)

    “I want to see kids getting early advice about the path that interests them, leadership training, life skills, civics that follows their time at secondary school.”

    Civics is mentioned! Does this sentence mean that Labour are really considering introducing civics into our education? That would be EXCELLENT!!!!

    I am most heartened by the positive tone of this speech and am very partial to the ideas expressed in the “Transitions” section, which I feel would create particularly positive effects for students (and positive flow on effect for our country).

    Good stuff. Thank you Mr Shearer and your new advisor.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Civics is mentioned! Does this sentence mean that Labour are really considering introducing civics into our education? That would be EXCELLENT!!!!

      This would be very nice indeed.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Quoting his speech:

    And equip New Zealand with the best talent it needs to prosper in a 21st century world.

    But I bet he’s still thinking that a 21st century NZ is a farm.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Well, very large parts of it will be, won’t it?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        There’s a difference between large parts of NZ being farmland and farming being the mainstay of the economy. I think that Shearer and Labour will still think of farming being the mainstay. The problem with this thinking is a) it doesn’t develop our society and b) the ongoing pollution of our environment.

      • blue leopard 5.1.2

        “But I bet he’s still thinking that a 21st century NZ is a farm.”

        Actually, I just read a link that Pete gave in the ‘Something Amiss…’ thread, which was a transcript of a ‘Q&A Show late last year and contained Shearer saying:

        “First of all, I think trying to bring the party in line with research and development. I feel very passionately about New Zealand being not only clean and green but clever and talented, and I’ve been out to see a number of companies that are doing remarkable things. We cannot double our dairy industry. We have to use our brains and our talent to be able to drive through those innovative companies that are out there. And going around and seeing those companies and getting that on the table in our caucus has been possibly the most important thing that I’ve done.”

        http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/david-shearer-cuniffe-transcript-4588650

  6. Blue 6

    Finally there is some sense coming out of the Labour Party.

    Good stuff. I hope it continues :D

  7. tc 7

    Encouraging, now please ensure that the education spokesperson nails the vacuous and arrogant Tolley/parata double down, also highlighting the money Clarks era put in compared to what shonkeys lot have done.

    Leaky schools v RONS etc

  8. chris73 8

    “Shearer also said he wanted to introduce ”clear and easy to understand school report cards so that parents know whether their child’s school is up to scratch”.

    In my (always) humble opinion Shearer is starting to get on a roll. His viewpoint on the roof painter was spot on and this is an excellent idea (I’ve always wondered why we don’t do school lunches like the USA or England)

    Hopefully Team Cunliffe will stop agitating and start supporting their leader. This is what will win Labour the next election.

  9. dancerwaitakere 9

    More of the 1/5 students failing MYTH.

    More of Labour buying into the Tories lines.

    More of an out of touch opposition that will lose the teacher vote.

    • blue leopard 9.1

      @ dancerwaitakere

      How is this speech out of touch? Would you explain further?

      • dancerwaitakere 9.1.1

        Shearer fails to understand divergent learning, and instead uses the 1/5 failing line to paint our teachers and schools as failures as well.

        He does not understand that the modern classroom has a number of children with learning disabilities, a number of ESOL children, and instead the “problem” is pigeon holed as being a Maori and Pacific problem.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Technically if a fail is 50% or less, and the tests are weighted, then it’s 1/2 that are failing.

    • Vicky32 9.3

      More of an out of touch opposition that will lose the teacher vote.

      Speaking as a teacher, I have to say that I don’t agree…

  10. Pete 10

    Between ditching John Pagani and this I am starting to warm to Shearer. It’s a good time to announce it too with Key out of the country and Hekia Parata too weak a politician to run an effective counter-argument by herself.

  11. It shows the pagani’s had such a detrimental impact on labour’s policies and now that
    the wolf has left the hen house,the hens are finding peace again.
    I am pleased to see shearer putting badly needed policies out there and they will be largely
    accepted and rejoiced by those who are labour grass-roots voters,the heart of labour
    has started beating again,long may it continue.
    If shearer continues on this path that may bring back those labour voters
    who turned away or didn’t bother to vote.
    But i am still a Cunliffe fan.

    • Pete 11.1

      Oh I’m certainly part of Team Cunliffe too, but time is starting to run short. If by the middle of next year Shearer is still leader, I’m going to quit my griping. The last thing Labour needs is to be in complete disarray as an election looms on the horizon – both in bedding down a new team and placating the losing faction and in sorting out their policy platform.

    • Bill 11.2

      starlight. What policies? All I read was that national are crap at education (true) and that labour won’t do what national are doing. But nothing about what labour will actually do! You know, speeching away kind of amorphously about how you want ‘great things’ and pointing out the fucking obvious about the guys in charge at the moment, isn’t policy.

      • starlight 11.2.1

        2 policies within the education framework is a good start,they are ‘free food for kids in
        low decile schools, reading recovery in schools,it represents the bigger picture of labour
        returning to the base,at least thats the hope,rome wasn’t built in a day,policies dont get
        built in a day,watch this space.

      • Dr Terry 11.2.2

        How startlingly little it takes for disenchanted people to jump straight back on to his bandwagon!
        Let’s wait for a few consistent speeches (with concrete intentions and plans) – I sense an awful lot of wishful thinking going on!

        • Murray Olsen 11.2.2.1

          Agreed, Dr. Terry. Nothing concrete has actually changed yet. I’d personally want an apology for introducing and promoting neoliberalism over the last three decades, for a start.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    The speech was poor, delivery almost useless. Shearer sadly is not getting better. His messages are mixed. This guy needs lessons real fast from say Brian Edwards! Im seriously close to resigning from Labour.
    Never thought that would be the case but seriously Labour are in trouble.

  13. Ac 13

    This is much more promising. Common sense here and no hidden agendas. Hypocrisy seems to be the best word to describe the governments plans for education at the moment. Need more skilled teachers, then we need chartered schools with unqualified teachers, larger class sizes then as they are, what the hell is going on, whose setting policy direction – a drunken sailer?? Good on you Shearer, some clear and precise direction for helping our children succeed.

  14. Bill 14

    Sorry to burst bubbles and all. But there is absolutely nothing of substance in that speech. Nothing at all. Go and read it. Apart from signposting private charity as a solution to meals in schools (wtf?), and reinforcing the b/s that only ‘winners’ count with the ‘nobody asks losers for advice’ olympics nugget, there’s the usual repeat jobs of ‘come back later’ and ‘we will be thinking about it’ and ‘we really want to listen to you…(until you say something)’

    Over the coming months I’ll be releasing a range of ideas for discussion.

    I want to hear from you. I want to hear ideas from parents, teachers, principals and our kids.

    I will outline some of our thinking in the weeks ahead.

    So I want to look at ways we can make that happen. I’ll be coming back with some specific ideas about this later.

    • Pete 14.1

      Apart from signposting private charity as a solution to meals in schools (wtf?),

      The alternative mode of delivery is building the catering facilities within a school to provide food for the kids. Contracting charities to do it might be better because: 1) profit wouldn’t be a motive unlike PPPs, 2) Food only needs to be prepared at a few locations and be delivered to schools, making a programme more efficient and 3) any new facilities funded by the programme could be used outside school hours to feed the poor and destitute.

      • Bill 14.1.1

        I think your dreamin’ a bad dream Pete. Tell me what’s wrong with building these facilities at ‘the few’ locations you mention and hiring people on full time fucking jobs to do the food prep and delivery? 100% government funded. Got to be more ‘efficient’ or whatever other buzz word, than funding fucking charities and paying people who would otherwise be engaged in paid employment, the fucking dole.

        • Carol 14.1.1.1

          Tell me what’s wrong with building these facilities at ‘the few’ locations you mention and hiring people on full time fucking jobs to do the food prep and delivery?

          Used to do that at schools where I worked in London. Now I think the food was better than no food…. but… the food tended to sit steaming in big closed tins…. stewed cabbage etc, was not very appetising.

          • Bill 14.1.1.1.1

            My primary and secondary schools both provided two course meals for all us kids. Primary school dinners were nothing to write home about. But at secondary school they provided a half decent menu. And as I recall the food was pretty good…even healthy by todays standards. And all cooked on the premises by employed staff. They weren’t all free. But for those from families who could pay, it was a far better option than the shameful (as considered in those days) packed lunch…and probably as cheap if not cheaper. And kids from poorer families got their meals free. So what would be wrong with free meals for kids whose families have community service cards and merely partly subsidised for the rest?

            • Carol 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Don’t get me wrong, I think school meals are a great idea, but best prepared on the premises. In the London schools where I taught,the children couldn’t tell who was getting a free meal and who was paying.

              I also ate many, many school meals in my time teaching in London. (though custard on most deserts was beyond what I could stomach…. hot custard on jelly?)

        • Vicky32 14.1.1.2

          funding fucking charities and paying people who would otherwise be engaged in paid employment, the fucking dole.

          Just my twopence worth – but dropping cluster F bombs doesn’t emphasise what you say, it detracts from it. All I can think is Tourettes much? Just saying…

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Contracting charities to do it might be better because: 1) profit wouldn’t be a motive unlike PPPs,

        Why would anyone in their right mind use charities or PPPs when a direct government service is more efficient?

        2) Food only needs to be prepared at a few locations and be delivered to schools,

        I suggest you tell that to Maccas. Actually, what Maccas use is pre-prepared food which is then cooked and assembled at the store. This model would probably be the best option.

        3) any new facilities funded by the programme could be used outside school hours to feed the poor and destitute.

        I don’t see why the food halls at a school couldn’t be used for that.

    • Blue 14.2

      There are two substantial pieces amongst the usual waffle.

      One – Extending the reading recovery programme to every school in the country.

      Two – Providing Government funding to assist charities to get free meals into all decile 1-3 schools.

      Both of those are good, solid, concrete actions that Labour is promising to take and that will make a difference to children’s education and opportunities in life.

      It’s a start in the right direction.

      • Dr Terry 14.2.1

        It is pretty sad when the best we can say of Shearer after quite some time now, is that this is “a start in the right direction”. Good grief!!

  15. Craig Glen Eden 15

    Exactly Bill I have seen year 8 kids deliver better speeches. Honestly.

  16. Southern Labourite 16

    Great to see David Shearer present his skills, talents and most importantly leadership. He’s picked up the ball on the issue of education, and not only has he picked it up but he kicked it into the goal. It’s good that he’s given something not only for the media to chew on but National as well.

    Labour doesn’t have to have all the answers, but that doesn’t mean it has to be on the back foot.

    • Craig Glen Eden 16.1

      “Kicked it into a goal” yeah his own goal sadly.

      • mike e 16.1.1

        Just seen TV, Shearer much better delivery excellent.

        • Craig Glen Eden 16.1.1.1

          How sad mike e that you actually think it was better, shit! The journalists sitting behind me obviously missed some thing then.

          • mike e 16.1.1.1.1

            What ever TV3 sound bites were perfect 90% pass for me the best I’ve seen from Shearer.
            What channel were you watching.
            This will be a confidenc boost for Shearer which is what he needed.

            • Craig Glen Eden 16.1.1.1.1.1

              I was there .

              • Colonial Viper

                Bunch of people around here seem to have lowered their standards to knee height.

                Peeps. Please stay real. On a bad day Goff can deliver a speech TEN TIMES more ROUSING than Shearer can on a great day.

                • blue leopard

                  …yeah admittedly I think Dr Terry probably got it quite right:

                  “How startlingly little it takes for disenchanted people to jump straight back on to his bandwagon!
                  Let’s wait for a few consistent speeches (with concrete intentions and plans) – I sense an awful lot of wishful thinking going on!” (11.2.2)

                  It is nice to see something more confident being said though.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I wonder if people here think that Shearer can do anything more than read off a teleprompter. Certainly the expectations seem to start and stop there.

                • felix

                  Damn straight CV.

                  He’s not the messiah, he’s a man who just about managed to do his fucking job at the minimum required level of competence for exactly one day in a row!

    • Dr Terry 16.2

      Well, SL, I can only say that I am happy for you.

  17. Raymond A Francis 17

    Great stuff, I was wondering about the 40,000 hungry school children
    A bit of a search shows that was the number of children being feed a year ago which would suggest the need is going to be a few more than that now

    The only real figures I could find were a Health dept report from 2002 that suggested 83000 went to school without eating breakfast. that was not to say they went hungry because as we know in the real world some make a choice not to eat but it still is a big number that will have only got bigger over the last 10 years
    I do have to wander why Labour didn’t do anything then

  18. gobsmacked 18

    It’s a well written speech. Who wrote it?

    Before we go overboard for Shearer, can I be the grinch that points out that anybody could have stood up and read it?

    Yes, it is good that the roof painter / Grey Power nonsense has gone. Permanently, I hope. And it’s good that Labour are focusing on a core issue. It ticks both boxes – something the base can support, and something swingers can like.

    But that simply means Labour have done their job today. I’d call that “competent”, not “excellent”. It’s what they should be doing every day. It’s what they’re paid for. If they can go another 30 days (let’s be kind) without another stuff-up, then they’ll get a pass mark.

    Labour/Shearer’s performance has been so poor in recent months that we breathe a sigh of relief when the Labour leader delivers a Labour speech on Labour policy. In fact, we should expect nothing less.

  19. Red Rosa 19

    At least something seems to be happening. Like most NZ’ers, I thought Labour had disappeared or gone bush.

    NZ education is mostly OK, and compares well with overseas, but definitely shows up the societal problems. To have 250k NZ children growing up in poverty is scandalous, and impacts on the schools themselves big time. A few simple suggestions –

    Wipe the existing funding to private schools – that’s $40m+ per year to start with.

    Drop the half hour Religious Instruction (Indoctrination?) per week in favour of some real education. Civics a good alternative.

    Shake up the Ministry of Ed itself. Sack the current Pom who is trying to privatise schools by stealth. Get some real initiative and focus into the outfit, starting at the top.

    Testing at primary level (Nat Standards etc) panders to the anti-teacher crew, but is mostly a waste of time – just digging up the plant to see how the roots are doing.

    Anyway, some signs of life!

    • Vicky32 19.1

      Drop the half hour Religious Instruction (Indoctrination?) per week in favour of some real education. Civics a good alternative.

      You do know that RI takes place outside school time, don’t you? THerefore you’re talking about extending the school day, and neither teachers nor parents would thank you for it.

  20. fatty 20

    So Shearer announces that charities will be encouraged to feed our children? That’s what we’ve been doing for the past 30 years
    I’m guessing next week Shearer will propose that homeless shelters should be used to give shelter to the homeless…can someone wake me up when Labour have something worthwhile to say?

    • Carol 20.1

      Yes, I’m not keen on using charities and private sources for funding services that are necessary to ensure children are able to benefit from the education… and to eventually contribute to society.

      Like most above, my reactions to Shearer’s speech are mixed…. better than bennie bashing, some positives, but not innovative enough…. still carrying some of the neoliberal assumptions we need to move away from.

      • Olwyn 20.1.1

        +1. For me it raises as many questions as it answers. Reading recovery is a good thing, but I would like to know whether it would be incorporated into the education system, or contracted in from a private provider. I would also like to know what, “partnering with communities and voluntary organizations” to feed the children amounts to practically.

        Furthermore, there’s this: ” I don’t believe we value teachers enough. We’re lucky that most of our teachers are dedicated, talented and professional.We need the highest quality teachers.” Who the hell would think we need mediocre teachers? This, along with the qualifying “most teachers” looks to me like a dog whistle modified by an editor’s pen. And the teachers’ union is notable for its absence.

        This speech looks to me more like a change of style than of substance.

  21. Carol 21

    I like this from Louisa Wall:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7641487/Call-to-lower-school-age-to-four

    Children could be packing their bags to start primary school a year earlier if a proposal to lower the entrance age goes ahead.

    The move would see 4-year-olds included on school rolls and would take early childhood education away from private operators and into public hands. The compulsory school age is six, although most schools take children at five.

    I worked at schools in London that had “nurseries” (ie pre-school, under fives classes) as part of the school. They were funded by the local education authority, with a qualified teacher in charge.

    They education was focused on social skills, pre-education experiences via play etc. It meant children were eased into the institutional educational environment – especially necessary for children from backgrounds lacking in formal educational capital. I think they started attending for part of the day.

  22. Carol 22

    Finland has provided free school meals for all children for 70 years:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-new-finnish-lesson-why-gender-equality-matters-in-school-reform/2012/09/05/3703ad4c-f778-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_school_meal

    In both Sweden and Finland, free school meals are offered to all pupils. This practice has been in place since 1948 in Finland, and was introduced to Sweden in 1973.

    As far as I can work out, these meals are state funded. Also apparently Finland has virtually no private schools.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/finland-schools-curriculum-teaching

  23. gobsmacked 23

    Reports on both main 6 pm TV news bulletins were a “win” for Labour.

    Images good, commentary favourable, only one soundbite failure (dopey/ropey). One is too many, but better than Shearer’s usual.

    I have no confidence at all that he can cope with the campaign challenges (remember, this speech was weeks in preparation, a “set piece” – in a campaign everything is 100 times faster and busier, you have to think on your feet). But that’s a separate issue from the policy announcement, and I suppose we can only cross our fingers and hope the caucus can eventually see that even the best message still needs a good messenger.

    (A propos … why do you think Key was responding on TV instead of Parata? For the very reason I’ve just given … nobody wants a self-imposed handicap, except Labour, alas).

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      To keep Parata clean for the campaign. You’re going to see Key start to front up on more controversial issues now because he will be increasingly disposable.

  24. mike e 24

    All he has to do now is say we are following the successful finnish model and not the failed US model.

  25. georgecom 25

    Extending reading recovery will do more to lift achievement levels than the rubbish National Party Nationsl Standards policy.

    • Craig Glen Eden 25.1

      Your right George and if it was just reading difficulties that teachers had to deal with that would be fantastic but it isnt. The problem with today is it was a c pass with regards to policy. Shearer himself was not strong he had two tele prompters to deliver that speech and how many weeks of planning. Voters didnt think Goff was good and lacked the x factor , well I have seen Phil Goff give better bad speeches than the one I witnessed today. Sadly the standard of our orators in the Labour Party has fallen so low its cringe worthy. We use to have people like Clark, Cullen, Maharey that would leave you inspired, now we have people repeating Nationals 1 in 5 bullshit line in Labour policy speeches. Seriously this is bloody amateur stuff. The sadest thing is while Labour performs so poorly the Nats can push a head with no fear even if they stuff up the voters will say oh well that wasnt the best but whats the alternative. In case Labour strategist havent worked it out you have to inspire people to vote, other wise they just dont. Lastly if Labour keeps repeating the 1-5 line do you really think teachers will vote for Labour after all this is the stick that National have beaten teachers with for four bloody years. Shearer Robinson you say you want to hear party members views well theirs mine. You guys need to do a shit load better or get another job.

      • vicks 25.1.1

        Forgive me if I have lost the thread but what teleprompters? If you are talking about his speech in New Lynn he had neither teleprompters or notes.

        • Vicky32 25.1.1.1

          Forgive me if I have lost the thread but what teleprompters?

          Exactly! The anti-Shearer people will go to such incredible lengths to denigrate him, that it makes my head spin!

  26. OneTrack 26

    But, but, we already have the best education system in the world. So, surely, that means there is no need for anything called reading recovery. Because nobody would suggest you need recovery from the best education system in the world. No, of course not. Shearer must have been misreported. I blame John Key.

    • felix 26.1

      Reading recovery programs are one of the things that make it a great education system.

      But no-one said it was perfect so you’re only arguing with yourself anyway.

      • georgecom 26.1.1

        Indeed. Our system is good because of the likes of reading recovery. A tried and refined local programme that is shown to make an impact on student achievement. Extending it makes absolute common sense. Use something that we know works and apply it to more children.

        Contrast that with National Standards. An experiement as best, hastily put together with a shambolic rollout.

        • Dr Terry 26.1.1.1

          Just one little question here george, IS Shearer actually “contrasting” anything with “National Standards”?

          • georgecom 26.1.1.1.1

            If the issue is lifting achievement levels then yes, reading recovery is one way to address it, National Standards purportedly another.

            I have provided my views already on the merits of sinking several tens of millions of dollars into a well tested approach versus sinking several tens of millions of dollars into a rushed muddled policy.

      • Tracey 26.1.2

        1++++

  27. Fortran 27

    Hooray – About time too -great new idea

    It could be called “Tomorrow’s Schools”.

  28. Bob 28

    Did David Shearer get Anne Tolley to write his speech as well? Or does he just agree with everything National is doing?

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/good-progress-career-pathways-students http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/funding-confirmed-tertiary-high-school that covers off the Transitions section of his speech, he also must love Hekia Parata’s press release http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/focus-quality-will-raise-achievement because that covers off the Teacher Quality section, when he talks about Accountability he demonises National Standards, then quantifies his statement by saying we should bring in a “beefed up to look into the health of schools and report on them in clear easily understandable language. I want to see a school report card. And, if the school is falling short in any area, I want to know what is being done to remedy that.” sort of like ummmm aarrghhh……National Standards.

    So the only real initiatives David Shearers speech gives us is the use of Reading Recovery and…..ooops http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sharples-welcomes-cross-party-support-reading-programmes

    Maybe David Shearer should have just said, we will feed children in Decile 1-3 schools, and carry on with everything National is doing!

  29. Anna 29

    Its not too much to ask that our children be taught science and history and that teachers be treated well, currently public schools have a deeply disconcerting absense of all three.

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    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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