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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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    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Maori Party President Acknowledges Founding Co-Leaders
    Maori Party President, Rangimarie Naida Glavish, has today acknowledged the enormous contribution founding Maori Party co-leaders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples have made towards building a greater nation....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Ngati Ruanui supports plans for Te Reo Maori
    Te Tumu Whakaae (Chair) of Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust said today his iwi supports Te Matawai, the Maori Affairs Minister’s new Maori language strategy....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mana Party Using Taxpayer Funds for Election Hoardings
    Reacting to the photograph posted on the WhaleOil website of a Te Tai Tokerau electorate hoarding featuring Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, which carries the House of Representatives crest and appears to have been funded by taxpayers, Jordan Williams, Executive...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • EPA Questions For Chatham Rise Phospate Mining Raise Alarm
    Alarm bells should be ringing in light of the hard questions asked by Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) of Chatham Rock Phosphate’s miningapplication....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Ngati Ruanui joins ironsand mining appeal
    Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust has applied to the High Court to join Trans Tasman Resources appeal against the decision to reject its application to mine iron sands off the south Taranaki coast....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • More victims fall foul of aggressive phone scam
    A victim of an aggressive phone scam which is targeting Inland Revenue customers for money or threatening them with deportation or prison if they don’t pay has been duped out of $6,500....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Three Strikes: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
    Crime is on the decline, not just in New Zealand but across the Western World....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Public Money? Public Entitled to Know
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are unable to find out the extent of disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti’s spending, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Parenting in an Age of Terror
    What impact does news of war and terrorism have on children? Does seeing the wreckage of downed airliners, missiles flying and gunfire in the streets affect them? What do we tell them? It is unlikely children are actually going to...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • NZ Jews, Christians, and Muslims United in Call for Peace
    Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders in Wellington issued a joint statement today regarding the current conflict in Gaza and Israel:...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    " Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #27: Nats back in ascendency
    Inflation and interest rate expectations fall ahead of OCR announcement tomorrow · Forecast fiscal surplus again falls sharply, and growth marginally down · Greens fall and Internet-Mana strengthens, as Sykes gets closer in Waiariki · No feasible...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • TOUGHLOVE urges more funding for Parent Support
    TOUGHLOVE has issued a challenge to all of New Zealand's political parties to state where they stand on helping parents of youth at risk. The challenge comes just ahead of the organisation's thirtieth anniversary celebrations in Auckland on Friday 25th...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Reports: Aotearoa stands in solidarity with Palestine
    Fightback supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a tactic to show solidarity with Palestinian resistance. The following reports are from demonstrations over the weekend from Fightback activists and supporters....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mental Health & Addiction Services Funding Crisis
    The funding crisis threatening the effective provision of NGO mental health and addiction services will be the main topic for debate by health spokespeople from all the main political parties at a public meeting in Penrose....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Job losses show the dangers of relying on dairy exports
    Today’s announcement from Fonterra that up to 110 jobs will be cut at its Canpac facility in the Waikato shows the dangers of relying on dairy exports to China to sustain our economy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Cambodian Workshop successful, says Labour MP/PGA President
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson is pleased with the successful outcome of the Asia Pacific Regional Parliamentary Workshop held last week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mangere College students take stance on family violence
    The students of south Auckland high school, Mangere College, became the first in the country today to implement the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign throughout the school in an effort to help prevent family violence occurring in its local community....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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