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Socioecomonic status and educational outcomes (and the ignorance of DPF)

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, January 25th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: dpf, education, poverty - Tags: , , ,

It would suit the right-wing of politics to ignore the profound impact of poverty on education. Nat blogger DPF ran the line, complete with his usual bombastic ignorance, just yesterday:

Let’s put this one to bed. Even if this was true (it is not), this is an announcement on education, not welfare. Turei seems to say we should do nothing to improve the education system while some families are poorer than others. How depressing. I want to see more families doing better, but there is no magic wand. Getting people out of poverty is often a generational thing as you have to confront parenting skills, welfare dependency, employment, drug and alcohol issues, and oh yeah education.

But let’s deal with the big lie. I call it a lie, because the amount of research on what influences educational outcomes is massive. There have been over 50,000 studies. Over 800 meta-analysis done involving 200 million students. Professor John Hattie has done a meta meta analysis of all these studies and identified 138 factors that influence educational outcomes. Not one factor, but 138. Greens think there is just one.

Now socio-economic status is important. It definitely is an influence. There have been 499 studies that looked at its effect. But is it the biggest influence. No. Is it second? No. Third? No. Top 10? Still no. Top 20? Still a no. It is No 32 and home environment by the way is No 31.

So the next time the Greens say the key reason for educational decline is poverty or income inequality, don’t beat around the bush. Call them a liar.

DPF is referring to research described in his book Visible Learning and its related work. It is (predictable but) unfortunate that Hattie’s book should be interpreted and used in this way, because here’s what Hattie himself says in the introduction:

It is not a book about what cannot be influenced in schools — thus critical discussions about class, poverty, resources in families, health in families, and nutrition are not included — but this is NOT because they are unimportant, indeed they may be more important than many of the influences discussed in this book. It is just that I have not included these topics in my orbit. [p ix]

Hattie says factors he has not considered may be highly important. So DPF is wrong that Hattie’s work proves the limited significance of socioeconomic factors, end of story, you can save yourself some time and stop reading this post right now.

Still reading? OK – here’s the long version. DPF’s fallacy is based on a superficial reading of summaries such as this:

hattie-factors

Socioeconomic status (marked with a red dot) is Rank 32 out of 138 in this list. As above, Hattie himself admits that his analysis of socioeconomic effects is limited, he regarded many factors as outside the scope of his study, but he has included some data (the main measure was “parental income” where limited effects at the upper range dilute significant effects at the lower range – a measure of poverty would have been more sensitive).

Hattie’s socioeconomic status ranks at only 32 because he used an insensitive measure, because it has a narrow definition, and because of the way Hattie’s study is structured. Most importantly – Hattie’s data is from studies relating to schools, but in his section on socioeconomic status he notes that the main impact occurs before school years begin:

It is likely that the effects from socioeconomic resources are more influential during the pre-school and early years of schooling. For example, Hart and Risley (1995) showed that when students from lower SES groups start school, they have, on average, spoken about 2.5 million words, whereas those from higher groups have spoken 4.5 million words: this demonstrates a remarkable difference in what students bring to school. The lack of resources, the lower levels of involvement in teaching and schooling, the lesser facilities to realize higher expectations and encouragement, and the lack of knowledge about the language of learning may mean that students from lower SES groups start the schooling process behind others. [p 62]

A major part of Hattie’s analysis focuses on the nature of the student when they start school (their background). It is here that we see the effects of socioeconomic status, though it is not being measured directly. The following quotes are all from Chapter 4 The contributions from the student:

The fundamental argument in this chapter is that students not only bring to school their prior achievement (from preschool, home, and genetics), but also a set of personal dispositions that can have a marked effect on the outcomes of schooling. While there is no doubt that schools can affect both achievement and learning dispositions, the origins of both are often well in place before the child enters the school yard. For achievement, there are influences from genetics and early development, very early home and social experiences, and opportunities for learning from birth to five years (e.g., preschool and other early interventions). [p 40]

It is certainly the case that by the time the child enters school, family, preschool, or genetic factors will have already played a major role in generating subsequent differences in school-based achievement. [p 42]

Children in the bottom quartile at 22 months “are significantly less likely to get any qualifications than those in the top quartile”, suggesting that “before children have even entered school, very substantial signals about educational progress” are evident (Feinstein, 2003, p. 82). The effects of social class (based on parental occupation) were marked at 22 months, and if anything, the variability increased over time. This dual influence of early achievement and socioeconomic resources contribute much to what a child brings to school. [p 42 my emphasis]

Where does this show up in Hattie’s list (figure above)? In Student effects. The two top ranked effects in the list are both student effects, they are Self-reported grades i.e. self assessment/confidence, and Piagetian programs i.e. level of cognitive development. These and other student effects are substantially determined by pre-school factors and experience (outside the scope of Hattie’s study) including socioeconomic status.

In summary, Hattie’s analysis of socioeconomic factors is both too little (by his own admission) and too late (focused on school years not the crucial prior experience) so (because of the way he has structured his study) where socioeconomic impact comes out most strongly is in factors relating to student background, such as his Rank 1 and Rank 2 effects.

Of course poverty matters. Duh.


Further reading:

Here’s one of the conclusions of a meta-study of socioeconomic factors (one of the ones cited by Hattie in fact):

Of all the factors examined in the meta-analytic literature, family SES at the student level is one of the strongest correlates of academic performance. At the school level, the correlations were even stronger.

This review’s overall finding, therefore, suggests that parents’ location in the socioeconomic structure has a strong impact on students’ academic achievement. Family SES sets the stage for students’ academic performance both by directly providing resources at home and by indirectly providing the social capital that is necessary to succeed in school (Coleman, 1988). Family SES also helps to determine the kind of school and classroom environment to which the student has access (Reynolds & Walberg, 1992a).

And here’s an analysis of Hattie’s research, including his treatment of socioeconomic factors: Snook, Ivan; O’Neill, John; Clark, John; O’Neill, Anne-Marie; Openshaw, Roger (2009) Invisible Learnings? A Commentary on John Hattie’s book: Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies 44.1: 93-106.


Personal note – I’m on sabatical from The Standard for a couple of months yet, this is a one-off post.

49 comments on “Socioecomonic status and educational outcomes (and the ignorance of DPF)”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    So David Farrar read the book and is lying about it. Or he read it but failed English comprehension. Or someone fed him a pack of lies that he didn’t even bother to check.

    It must suck being a wingnut.

    • Pasupial 1.1

      Fisiani seems notable by his absence from this thread; given his slavish posting of DPF’s post verbatum over on Karol’s post yesterday.

      It must be worse being brain-sucked by a wingnut.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I think he, and the rest of the wing-nuts, just looked at the pretty graph and then jumped to the conclusion that met their ideology and needs. The ideology that people are poor because of their own bad decisions and their need to distract from the increasing poverty in NZ.

    • sean kennedy 1.3

      Ad hominem responses are not the same as a rebuttal of the comment that obviously incensed you. You come across asa small-minded bigot.

  2. millsy 2

    That post is full of educational jargon that went straight over my head.

    IMO it is Tomorrow’s Schools that got us where we are now in terms of educational ‘achievement’. It simply whipped away the support structures for our schools and replaced them with a free market, and closures for schools in poorer areas (dicated by central government). Boards and principals were given too much powers and ran schools like their own private fiefdoms, obessed with atttracting international students and using suspensions and explusions to get rid of the “bottom 20%”, and squeezing every last penny out of parents, to the point of making them supply whiteboard markers and scissors..

    Even the Picot taskforce recognised the shortcomings of getting rid of the Education Department and the education boards, and proposed education service centres, a parent advocate and community education forms (the first of which never got off the ground, apart from specialist accounting pracitises, the 3rd was chopped by National in 1991 and the third never came to pass).

    To fix education, means to fix Tomorrow’s Schools. It may mean pissing off Lorraine Kerr, but it needs to be done.

    • QoT 2.1

      The TLDR version is: DPF says poverty doesn’t matter as much as teacher ability because Hattie’s study says so. Hattie’s study is flawed because the only thing used to indicate poverty was parental income.

      The two most important factors according to Hattie are self assessment/confidence and cognitive development – both of which will be strongly affected before school starts by poverty and socioeconomic factors.

      The moral of the story? The right want to pretend that the only effect poverty has on your life is that you can’t buy as many nice things.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        As a matter of interest QoT, the Decile Rating of a school is determined by the occupation of the parents. There must be a connection between the lower incomes and lower achievement in a sort of vicious circle in Decile 1 schools. (Though many Low Decile Schools have fantastic results in getting disadvantaged kids started while higher Decile Schools are complacent and may be underachieving.).

        • QoT 2.1.1.1

          Indeed. And in line with recent reporting about how much it actually costs to put kids through our public education system – which Hekia Parata brushed off as being about “donations” – kids in Decile 9 and 10 schools will be able to have better resources, equipment, overseas trips, and thus the gap keeps getting wider.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        The moral of the story? The right want to pretend that the only effect poverty has on your life is that you can’t buy as many nice things.

        And that if you’re poor then it’s all your fault.

        Completed.

    • Chooky 2.2

      @ millsy ….+100 agreed( but now it is a sacred cow)…Tomorrows Schools was a poorly thought out change in education…and adopted enthusiastically by David Lange who knew nothing about education .

      Tomorrows Schools allows for Principal manipulation of Boards of Trustees and parent manipulation and cronyism of Principals…it creates fiefdoms and unholy alliances for Principals who find their niche and an unwillingness to move on…

      imo one of the biggest failings was that the Boards of Trustees was open to parents who had no understanding of education or teaching ( I met one such head of a BOT who was a former expelled student from a private school….She had no education to speak of ,but she was a Queen Bee and married to a rich farmer……and she backed a Principal who was subsequently replaced by a Commissioner and then sacked…..this woman divided the existing BOT which was trying to get rid of the Principal and a whole community( previous BOT Heads had resigned) …. the school roll was taken down by two thirds over a year while she was head of the BOT….it was a nightmare and ERO and other safeguards seemed impotent to do anything)..I have also seem a Principal co-opted by the parents of bullies…you can imagine that not much was done about the bullying problem at that school

      ….it is all very well to involve parents but the professional standing of teachers/schools must be evaluated by other education professionals ( hence school inspectorates)….eg. would you have a law firm run by a bunch of uneducated hicks? or a doctor’s practice?

      ….children from the lowest socio-economic groups deserve the best of educational practice ( this means involving parents but not allowing them to run Principals and Schools) Education is a profesion and a vocation…..like law and medicine

      • Jan 2.2.1

        Yes, Tomorrows Schools was the first of the strategies to change education from a co-operative model to a competitive one. It was cleverly disguised as involving the community, but really it was the start of setting one educational institution against another by putting them into competition with each other. How could it ever work when the lower Decile schools struggled to find the necessary legal and accounting skills necessary to run a school board, let alone the ability to select and appoint the most suitable teachers?
        Teachers, and consequently children, have been, and continue to be, the big losers in this model. Competition does not encourage the sharing of information and resources, a very valuable professional tool for adding depth and experience to practice (and praxis).
        This is nowhere more evident than in Early Childhood, where the sector has been allowed, even encouraged, to develop on business model lines (much like age care) with some truly appalling results at times. This is inexcusable – a careful reading of even Hattie’s conclusions would show how important early childhood education is, especially for children who have home – life challenges to overcome. They never really recover from that early deprivation.
        This last round of right wing nonsense seems to make the competitive model even stronger. Our poor kids!

      • JK 2.2.2

        Chooky – and Millsy – 100% agree with you.

  3. geoff 3

    So it’s clear that National and their revolting appendages (eg DPF) are going to run with the strategy of out-right denying that poverty and inequality are getting worse. They’re going to flatly deny that the economic and social policies they support have anything do with this. In fact, they are going to argue that those policies are helping ameliorate inequality and poverty.

    National is going to run an ‘inverted reality’ campaign for this election.

  4. captain hook 4

    Yes its time the left devised a counter to crsoby textor. They seem to be able to trample all over any democratic notions of fairness and equity in favour of neanderthals like fatboy farrar and wail boil who believe that their own thoughts are facts. Its time they were exposed for the snivelling lackspittles they are.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.1

      Yes its time the left devised a counter to crsoby textor.

      The left isn’t capable of doing it based on recent performance. Labour in particular is just cringe-inducingly amateurish when it comes to communications.

      • KJT 4.1.1

        Difficult when the media insist on framing everything National does as good policy and everything from the other side is dammed with faint praise.

        Where is the in depth analysis, from Armstrong and his partners in crime, about the theft of assets or the “pie in the sky” “benifts of the TPP”, for example.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.1.1.1

          Difficult when the media insist on framing everything National does as good policy and everything from the other side is dammed with faint praise.

          That’s because things from the left – again, particularly Labour – come across as the work of a bunch of amateurs. Doesn’t matter what the policy actually IS; the messaging and timing and articulation of the policy say “we’re a bunch of muppets, don’t take us seriously”.

          Just look at the timing of Cunliffe’s speech. On a Monday, on the Auckland Anniversary public holiday, on the Australia Day Australian public holiday, on the day of the Grammy awards when Lorde was nominated. It’s like Labour sat down and went “hey, let’s choose a day when people are least likely to listen to us or feel positive even if they do”.

          Then National gets a Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri of media commentary saying “response to Labour’s welfare plan was quiet” NO SHIT IT WAS QUIET THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS ON A PUBLIC HOLIDAY WHERE ALL THE PEOPLE ARE.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.1.1.1.1

            Perfect example, right now.

            It’s the day after the Leader’s big speech. The name you want on everyone’s lips is CUNLIFFE, the issue you want on everybody’s minds is POVERTY, and the solution is Labour’s plan to HELP PARENTS. Got that? Cunliffe, fighting poverty, through Labour’s plan to help parents. Say it with me now. Cunliffe, poverty, help parents.

            So what does Labour do today?

            The Labour Party has put forward a possible solution to force multi-national corporations to pay more tax – ban them from the internet.

            It says the Government should first talk with companies like Facebook, but if that doesn’t work it is important to have a backup, something Labour is describing as a credible threat.

            Facebook is the world’s largest social network by far, but pays little tax here in New Zealand.

            “The Government should always have in its back pocket the ability to ban websites,” says Labour revenue spokesman David Clark.

            But Finance Minister Bill English says “frankly, that sounds nuts”.

            “Fine print, he’s going to close down Facebook,” says Prime Minister John Key. “That’ll be interesting.”

            “Paedophile websites are banned the world around,” says Mr Clark.

            http://www.3news.co.nz/Labour-threatens-Facebook-ban-over-tax-issue/tabid/1607/articleID/330056/Default.aspx

            Didja hear that? David Clark just called Facebook a paedophile website. Bill English and John Key got to reply and sound sensible. There was something in there about tax, but like whatever.

            Conspicuous by their absence:. CUNLIFFE. POVERTY. HELPING PARENTS. Also NOT LOOKING LIKE AMATEURS.

            • Sacha 4.1.1.1.1.1

              And yet again it’s lack of basic discipline. How do we stop these dolts shooting everyone else in the foot?

              • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

                We can’t. There have been too many brain explosions and self-inflicted injuries over too long, communications incompetence is ingrained too deeply in the organisational culture. They don’t even know they’re incompetent.

                “The mainstream media are in the pocket of the Right!”
                “Crosby Textor are pulling the strings!”
                “The rightwing bloggers are all being paid by big business!”
                “John Key is a smiling waving superficial puppet! And a brutal Machiavellian mastermind!”

                You’d think that at some point in this litany of excuses somebody in the Labour comms team would say “hey, maybe it’s not that everyone else in the world is part of a shadowy rightist conspiracy… maybe we’re just crap?”

                But no. Oblivious.

                • gem

                  Yeah, well, there is a right wing conspiracy, but there always was, and it didn’t stop MPs doing their job.
                  The Nats work so bloody hard in Opposition. Labour seems to have forgotten how to run issues, get out of the beltway, stir the pot a little, keep pushing, supply the journos with lots of stories, not just the big set piece policy announcements. Comes down to hard work.
                  Plus there’s a little bit of this:
                  “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” ~ Charles Bukowski.

  5. It’s not ignorance. He knows it as well as you and I do, but if he were to publicly accept it there would be conclusions to draw that would be highly disadvantageous to the National Party. And his role as a blogger is to run propaganda for National, not undermine it.

  6. Karl Sinclair 6

    Anthony, fantastic post.

    Actual analysis rather than the somewhat mundane and baron insights from National media lacKeys.

    Poor dears, they maybe a little scared people, if educated well will see through their BS

    Maybe they should be reminded of this (sorry already posted this):

    Consider this Jesuit motto “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Series

    Now consider this chilling statement (somebody posted the other day)

    It is a matter of personal belief as to whether a high proportion of all centre staff should be trained teachers.

    John key, prime minister, 2010

    http://www.matuaplunketkindergarten.co.nz/Why_Trained_Teachers.html
    http://www.beststart.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Anne-Smith-NZEI-ECE-hui-Oct-2013

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    So after 5 years and two failures put in charge of Education ( Tolley and Parata), National has some vague sort of education policy that involves throwing money at it ! ( so much for that mantra )

    Of course this ‘could’ happen next year , after the election.

    Remember too the promises made to Pike River families that were so easily discarded and those families of the quake victims .
    -Quake Families group co-chairmen Dr Maan Alkaisi and Brian Kennedy maintain Key gave face-to-face assurances the Government would do everything it could to assist the families. Key met the families in the days after the quake.
    If national is in power after the election, the actual scheme will look very different

    Then there was Novopay- national cant even get the existing pay system to run properly but want to introduce even more layers

    Come on. The extra money – if it ever gets close to amount over 4 years talked about- will come out of the existing school budgets- mark my words.
    Probably the change principals primary role is to close schools without the blame being put on central government

    My guess is that Bill English, a former Minister of Education is behind this pile of cash disguished as an education policy. It will plaster over some cracks but in the scheme of things hardly will make a difference

  8. Still grumpy about this. The most annoying thing about DPF’s propaganda is that you don’t even need any fancy academic studies to get the point that poverty or the lack of it is the biggest factor in education – you just have to have a functioning brain.

    1. If you look at the school’s decile number you get a good idea of where its pupils will rank academically.

    2. The possibilities to account for this are:
    a) It’s just a very, very unlikely coincidence; OR
    b) Bad schools that don’t teach kids properly cause the surrounding neighbourhoods to become poor; OR
    c) Kids from poor neighbourhoods do less well in school.

    If we were to take DPF’s propaganda at face value, we could only conclude that he imagines a) or b) to be the case. Some of the Kiwiblog commenters strike me as being that stupid, but he definitely isn’t.

    • QoT 8.1

      You’re missing d) Poor people are inherently stupid and lazy, and that’s why they’re poor. An idea which is used to justify a heck of a lot of shitting on the poor but which few people (except in Stuff comments) will openly admit to.

  9. newsense 9

    Educational experts are like historians- I can find another one that I can skim over and misrepresent their basic argument with out actually having checked the evidence for their position

  10. newsense 10

    DPF= David PantsonFire

  11. Will@Welly 11

    Okay, here’s my take on things, thanks to Hooton, Farrar and McNasty – DPF. Our parents. or our grandparents generations survived the “great depression” and “the second world war”. Most of them didn’t go to high school, let alone university. But they wanted a better future for us, their children, and for that, they sacrificed a lot. What “pleasures” they had were simple, they rarely asked for much.
    And how do we, the next generation, pass on the baton? Like the rotten spoilt ungrateful children we’ve become. When it was our turn to receive those “rewards”, we smugly took each and everyone we could, we challenged authority at every turn, nothing was too good, and boy, did we expect, want, demand and get more.
    It seems our politicians and those who hold the shackles of power are weary of ever letting go. But our generation tookover from the previous generation and the sky did not fall in, and soforth. I think the word missing in this “discussion” is trust.
    But then trust is not a word bandied around by the right. They have proven time and again to be the least trustworthy of all. But at some stage we need to ensure the following generations are ready to take on the mantle of leadership and Government. We have to empower them, and if that means they are well-feed, then so be it.
    Poverty is not a reason for doing nothing. Poverty is not a reason for lying.

  12. Ron 12

    Interesting comment in the latest Economist which seems to make more sens than much of what National is trying to do.

    The definition of “state education” may also change. Far more money should be spent on pre-schooling, since the cognitive abilities and social skills that children learn in their first few years define much of their future potential . And adults will need continuous education. State education may well involve a year of study to be taken later in life, perhaps in stages. Yet however well people are taught, their abilities will remain unequal, and in a world which is increasingly polarised economically, many will find their job prospects dimmed and wages squeezed. (Economist Jan 18th 2014)

    So instead what does National do, reduce payments for adult education/ night classes and reward reasonably well paid principals even further. Redirecting the recent gift to educators into the preschool early learning programmes might well be a better solution but then children don’t vote so why bother.

  13. geoff 13

    I see one of the new categories National is creating is one called “Change Principals”. So if they’re anything like the “Change Managers” in business they will do the following:

    1)Parachute into a school

    2) Have no idea how things work because they don’t know anyone…

    ..and therefore..

    3) ..completely shag things up..

    ..and then..

    4) …piss off to do the same again somewhere else.

    National has done the same to so many government departments, why not replicate the successful formula in schools? /sarc

    The fundamental thing that National is planning to do is to create a layer of heirarchy in schools which will enable them inject in their neoliberal poison. Make no mistake, this is part of a long-term plan to destroy socialised education in New Zealand.

    • Rodel 13.1

      Chooky
      ‘…Tomorrows Schools was a poorly thought out change in education…and adopted enthusiastically by David Lange who knew nothing about education ..’

      Education reorganized by politicians who knew nothing about education.
      Surely that couldn’t happen again?

    • Rodel 13.2

      geoff
      Change managers read ‘ Change principals’ are often called ‘Seagull managers/ principals’
      Fly in-sh*t on everyone- fly out.

  14. Excellent post, Anthony.

    There was an interview between Kathryn Ryan and a chap from Arizona State University (who just happened, fortunately, to be here for a conference).

    His opening comments were right on this point: What the research overwhelmingly shows is that non-school related factors contribute about 60% of the variance in educational performance. School-related factors, about 20%.

    He also had critical comments to make about the idea of taking so-called ‘turn-around’ principals (those who seem to have transformed educational outcomes at one school) and putting them in other schools. He cited the case of the teacher behind the film ‘Stand and Deliver': Accomplished ‘turnaround’ in an LA school, went to a school in Sacramento and completely failed. The moral? Individual cases of success are highly contextualised and not dependent on the ‘super-principal’ or ‘super-teacher’.

    Of course, in our individualistic society, we have this funny idea that the most important ingredient in any socially notable event is an individual. Fairly unsophisticated thinking but very common.

    It’s well worth a listen.

    • Saarbo 14.1

      Yes, I heard the same article and agree it is worth a listen.

      “Of course, in our individualistic society, we have this funny idea that the most important ingredient in any socially notable event is an individual. Fairly unsophisticated thinking but very common.”

      This attitude also drives the super sized salaries of corporate CEO’s, etc…perhaps it stems from Right wing authoritarianism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      Of course, in our individualistic society, we have this funny idea that the most important ingredient in any socially notable event is an individual. Fairly unsophisticated thinking but very common.

      Its the Cult of the Individual and Randian Super-Heroes that we’ve had lumped on us over the last few decades along with neo-liberalism. The two fallacies seem to go hand in hand. Both are very unsophisticated thinking.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 14.3

      non-school related factors contribute about 60% of the variance in educational performance. School-related factors, about 20%

      Well that’s some compelling statistical analysis right there.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Nats Keep Flailing in Education

    In summary, John Key may as well have chucked his $359 million a year down the proverbial toilet. What we don’t need in New Zealand education is another layer of internal bureaucracy and perverse incentives to ensure that our best and brightest don’t actually end up teaching.

    This is the bit that gets me though:

    Executive principals. What. It astonishes me that Key can keep a straight face and announce this new position while in the same breath bleat endlessly on about how our public education system needs to be doing more to drive that Kiwi egalitarian ideal. These are principals that are “proven performers” who will get a whopping $40,000 pay rise to spend a couple of days a week doing what looks a lot like consulting for the poorer schools in their area. The idea of appointing super-executives with super high salaries compared to the rest of their educational colleagues is something that has been tried already in our universities.

    You know, our universities that are slowly going downhill.

    All National’s new education policies sound like is more jobs for the boys.

    • ianmac 15.1

      Of course Draco, the Executive Principals will have to prove their success. No one is sure what reliable measure there will be but for the Government they must trumpet successful outcomes or face ridicule for wasting millions.
      “Even if it it is a failure it will be a success,” John Key will say with a straight face.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15.2

      +1

      There is another laughable thing going on here, this ‘solution’ that National are planning shoots their own spin out of the water that was flying around a few months back about the Left just wanting to ‘throw money at a problem’ – they are going to have to come up with something new to condemn Labour, the Greens and Mana with now

      http://thestandard.org.nz/child-poverty-in-new-zealand/#comment-741232

      http://thestandard.org.nz/garth-georges-best-column-ever/#comment-754575

      We can now come right back on them with this one because it is surely a case of “throwing money at a problem rather than coming up with effective solutions”

  16. Chooky 16

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/obamas-race-to-the-top-wi_b_666598.html

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

    ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Undermine Education’ by Professor Diane Ravitch

    ( just in case people havent seen this before…..even American Education Professors dont believe what John Key is doing…it has been tried in the USA before and failed….better to go the Finland way)

  17. Xtasy 17

    I have been following David Farrar and his blog over recent weeks, and yes, he is clearly gearing up for the election, doing all to hype it up, to support Key and his beloved Nats.

    It is unbelievable how biased his blogs are, especially recently. There used to be a bit of distraction and liberal “entertainment”, but now he seems to be in full steam and full gear, to get Key a third term.

    So there he goes picking that suits their agenda, and everything else, especially coming from the Greens, is straight away rubbished, even harsher than usual.

    And then today – or rather yesterday, he did a post on Scoop and questioned their “independence” again, so what “independence” is there in the rest of the damned “mainstream media” then? Radio Live, 1ZB, TV3, TVNZ, even Radio NZ now, and do not even go down to the rest of the commercialised mercenary lot.

    What a bloody sick joke!

    Most of the MSM are in a self fed frenzy, to cheer on Key and Nats, and they have lost all decency and accountability, they have clearly thrown “independent” reporting well over board. Analysis and investigative journalism are language they no longer comprehend, and do not want to know. F them!

    • Chooky 17.1

      Good you go behind enemy lines Xtasy….we need to get reports on what the enemy is spinning ……I stick to here and the Daily Blog ( otherwise I would get too depressed with all the lies)

      …I hope you do a bit of sniping and sabotage and stirring while you are there

  18. Plan B 18

    To beat National I believe you have to attack them where it hurts.
    So instead of discussing what JK wants to discuss, reframe everything as an attack. One of the best points of attack in education is the rots that Private Schools use to their advantage.

    1. Charitable status of Private Schools- this needs to be eliminated- Charitable Stauts comes up for review this year- an election year – a perfect time to get rid of it- or make National Defend it- I wonder if they will if it is under sustained attack.

    2. Private schools payment per pupil- based on an average cost model rather than marginal cost to the state system that is forgone-

    Breaking Private education is an important step. They are helping to tear NZ apart more and more. Break them in the same way as the right broke the union movement.

  19. Jan 19

    In fact if anyone really wanted to do something about education that will actually be of some use they would stop mucking about with primary and secondary schooling, which is more or less doing its job, and focus attention on early childhood education. Time after time research shows that quality education and care before five can seriously counter the effects of negative challenges children face. Even John Hattie is saying this if you read his conclusions.
    I can remember Karen Sewell (CEO of the Education Ministry at the time) telling a somewhat miffed education conference full of school principals and other education wallahs that if a child enters the compulsory education system two years behind then try as they might that child will probably emerge still two years behind.
    Governments have allowed this essential asset to fall into the hands of the commercial sector with the consequent shortcomings that inevitably flow from the commercial imperatives of profit-making. A lot of it is in a sickly state and likely to remain that way while more attention is paid to it as a business opportunity than an important education sector and pretend it’s not really relevant.

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    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • 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
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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