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Standards slipping

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 22nd, 2012 - 135 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, schools - Tags:

So the first ‘ropey’ National Standards data is slipping out.

It may not bear comparison, and not be moderated or indeed standardised, but Hekia Parata can now divulge the great wisdom that National’s StandardsTM provides:

In shock news, apparently Maori and Pasifika children aren’t doing as well.  And now we can target them to make sure we can help them improve.

Maybe by bringing back all those “Closing the Gaps” policies that Labour hurriedly cancelled once Don Brash’s Orewa speech made them too politically toxic.

Which party was Don Brash leader of again?

I’m glad we’re going back to the 50s and labelling lots of kids as failures at age 5, giving them complexes and blocks to their learning, all so we can learn… what we already knew.

Next week, Hekia will no doubt divulge that her 20% tail is in fact the ones the teachers were pointing out before they had to spend large parts of their day teaching to the National Standards test – back when they spent their time helping our kids fulfil their potential.

For yet more on how standards go horribly wrong, here’s an in-depth article from the US.  Schools getting fabulous results for their under-privileged kids, and looking like they’ll get punished financially because they don’t do well on the test.

That’ll motivate them.

Now why are we adopting the education policies of those countries far below us in education rankings (and falling), and not having faith in the 4th best education system in the world, that costs just about the least?

135 comments on “Standards slipping”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I was particularly disappointed to read John Hartevelt’s “explanation” of why they published the data. It seems they were given a lot of reasons why they shouldn’t and accept the rationale presented but have decided that it’s the right thing to do to publish because…?

    It was strangely defensive the way he stressed it wasn’t a “business” decision despite the fact nearly every parent in the country will want to see where their children’s schools are listed (even if they think it’s inaccurate) and the subsequent increase in page hits and newspapers sold will help Fairfax’s bottom line.

    Oh and John, just because journalists are making the decisions doesn’t mean the decisons aren’t business decisions – unless you would have us believe a senior journalist such as yourself has no care or understanding of his employer’s business needs.

  2. BM 2

    Great day for democracy.

    • mike e 2.1

      Hik town piranha has made a poor judgement on boys outcomes and reading outcomes Scandinavian countries don’t start teaching reading till eight years old and they have better outcomes than us
      she is one dumb idiot.
      Labours closing the gaps policy would have brought our education system to number 1 In the world today!

    • captain hook 2.2

      great day for democracy my arse.
      heka paratai does not know the meaning of the word.
      she should go back to school.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Definitely not, a dismal day where misinformation makes our democracy even more precarious.

      • BM 2.3.1

        All this data shows is that certain kids can’t read, write to a average standard.
        Nothing to do with the quality of the teachers.

        I don’t see why this data is ropy?, it achieves what it supposed to do which is point out which kids are below par.

        • OneTrack 2.3.1.1

          Unfortunately, it also helps point out which schools (and teachers) are below par as well. They might be encouraged to try something different. Oh the horror. But its easier to blame John Key and capitalism. Waa Waa.

          • mike e 2.3.1.1.1

            old timer the ERO already did that you imbecile oh woe is me just add another layer of bureaucracy that will fix it old timer!
            During the election campaigns in the 2000’s National said paper work and bureaucracy was getting in the way of teachers doing a good Job now we have the same party doing the opposite?

          • Dv 2.3.1.1.2

            BUT it is these sub par teachers that are making the judgements.
            SO the DATA MUST be wrong eh?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1.3

            Unfortunately, it also helps point out which schools (and teachers) are below par as well.

            Nope, doesn’t do that either. All these standards do is show that some children can pass tests. They do nothing else. So judging teachers and schools on them will just result in the children being taught to memorise the answers (taught to the test) while learning nothing. This is why these standards have failed every time that they’ve been tried – they make education worse.

            On top of that, they’re not even standardised so that they don’t and can’t show what the RWNJs say that they show.

            • OneTrack 2.3.1.1.3.1

              Step one – standardise the tests.
              Step two – have the ministry rotate the tests each year to reduce teaching to the test.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Doesn’t work you idiot as has been shown in the US and the UK.

              • Georgy

                OneTrack – you make a fundamental mistake in your comments that clearly show you have no idea how all this stuff is done in schools. National standards are not tests. If you want to engage honestly in the discourse on education and Nationals policies you need to do some serious homework. Trolling is very unbecoming.

              • mike e

                Why not just breed wrote learning Zombie regurgitating repetitive teachers! when our teachers and teaching methods are seen by other countries they love our teachers!
                National and the waste of time and money testing for what we already know basically
                are ruining a very good system that needs a little tweaking and not throwing out the best value for money education system in the world! where our education system teaches us to think for ourselves .
                National want us to have our children turned out on a production line!
                Zombies that just do as they are told!

          • Georgy 2.3.1.1.4

            OneTrack – how did you come to that conclusion from this data?

        • mike e 2.3.1.2

          Blond Moment Every body knew that data all along closing the gaps was the answer accepting boys learn to read later and that poor people have poor outcomes all known! .
          So how come 40 out of 50 US states are dumping Standards testing aye Blond Myopic Idiot!

        • Dv 2.3.1.3

          Nope AVERAGE is the wrong word. They are based on a standard, and that has nothing to with averages.

          BUT what is the PAR, and can compare one to the other.

          Can you be confident that a judgement in northland is the same as the judgement in the west coast.
          What confidence can you that the same and different teachers apply the same and consistent standards.
          Can you be sure the judgements with the same next year.

          The Nation Standards are neither National Nor Standard.

          That why they are ropey.\

          The judgement have a lot to do with the quality of the teachers BECAUSE it is the teacher that makes the judgement.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.4

          I don’t see why this data is ropy?

          Why don’t you ask John Key. He’s the one who described them as that but the general consensus is that they don’t measure anything. To be able to measure anything means having an accurate measure and National Standards aren’t accurate never mind the fact that not everyone is the same – as the RWNJs keep telling us – and so the same measure doesn’t fit.

  3. Carol 3

    Now why are we adopting the education policies of those countries far below us in education rankings (and falling), and not having faith in the 4th best education system in the world, that costs just about the least?

    Welcome to Planet Parata – going boldly where others have failed before.

    Looking at the image of Parata on the front page of this post, I realised why she is so far out of touch with realities of educational success – she’s a Trekkie!

    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/carolpinchefsky/files/2012/03/StarTrekCast.jpg

    First My Chemical Romance:

    http://wa1.cdn.3news.co.nz/3news/AM/0-Articles/206361/hekiaa.jpg?width=460

    http://visionaryartistrymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/mc1.jpg

    Now this.

    • Adele 3.1

      Tēnā koe, Carol

      You do a dis-service to Trekkies!

      I am an avowed science fiction fan, although not a trekkie, I do appreciate the more serious extrapolations of the genre. Besides, Parata would fail the United Federation of Planets Inter-Galactic Diplomacy Test.

      Imagine trying to impose a monoplanetary set of standards across a broad spectrum of planets – say, lets rate them for how intelligent they are against the human standard as an example. The Romulans would eat us for dinner, the Cardasians for breakfast, and Klingons would use us for tooth-picks. Not to mention the Vulcans raising a collective eyebrow to imply the logical fallacy.

      The Ferengi would also make a killing, having already secured inter-galactic patents on the standards and its methodologies, and selling them back to planet Parata at super-nova prices.

    • tc 3.2

      Just another hollow lackey following orders, you give her way too much credit if you believe she even has shallow thoughts about what she’s doing.

      Boldly bulldozing where ayatolley floundered and the star trek reference is unkind as gene rodenberrys creation was all about seeking out intelligence for the betterment of mankind whereas…..see where this is going.

  4. just saying 4

    This is a debate the left could lead opinion on, with a concerted effort.

    Cool pic.

  5. OneTrack 5

    It is so horrible that parents can see how their school is relative to others.

    The results make it pretty clear why the teachers unions were so violently against National Standards.

    But the cat is out of the bag now. Do you think this might encourage schools and teachers to start giving some priority to harder subjects, such as “boring” reading, writing and arithmetic. But its more “fun” to do kapa haka and recycling. The kids “enjoy” it, and thats the goal of school isnt it – to have fun and do what we want?

    • ianmac 5.1

      Never mind One Track. Perhaps a little medication might help soothe your ill-conceived rant. Maybe when you calm down you might think of something helpful or even credible. Nothing so far.

      • Dr Terry 5.1.1

        It’s alright, ianmac, One Track clearly never “made it” at school and needs right now to join up with 5 year old beginners.

        • Jokerman 5.1.1.1

          ironically, 40 years after beginning school and mainstream cultural and media socialisation, and following recent Revelation/s, i often feel like i am 5 again; obviously not alone in feeling that emotional age, John Key!!

    • Dv 5.2

      >It is so horrible that parents can see how their school is relative to others.

      BUT what are you comparing. The standards ARE not moderated., so cannot be compared between schools with any accuracy.

      Sort of like in the olympics each country brings there own measuring devices tht are not moderated.

      ANY way if the data has any accuracy what is the next step?
      This stuff tells us nothing that has any value.

      • OneTrack 5.2.1

        So, we should start moderating then, shouldn’t we. Easy. Ohh, thats right, the teachers unions (and the left) are against having any sunlight shone on how are education system is really doing. And they are doing their best to kill any real oversight of what the do and the results thy get.

        For some reason, teachers saying “trust me, I know what I am doing” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

        What is the next step? Well this data, unmoderated which implies it has been padded by the schools to avoid looking bad, is even worse that expected. So, the education system should start putting some emphasis on these subjects and, maybe, just maybe, look at alternatives from the prevailing dogma, such as phonetics, etc.

        • Dv 5.2.1.1

          NOP teachers ARE NOT against moderation. (Got any reference for that) In fact they argued for a trial the start. But Nacts didn’t want that.

          Moderation is NOT easy. But as you say with out some moderation the data is meaningless.

          Yes if you have high stakes evaluation, then schools may pad the data. (Ref the hamilton school that fudged it NCEA results.

          >>Trust me, I know what I am doing”

          But with out sensible moderation that is exactly what is happening, because who are the evaluators?
          The teachers.

          So we come back to the original statement – what use is the data to do any comparison?

          • OneTrack 5.2.1.1.1

            You are joking aren’t you. The teachers have been against National Standards from the start and have done their best to sabotage the whole project.

            If teachers had engaged and did their best to get the best value out of national standards I would be supportive of them. But they didnt. They did all they could, including stamping their feet and ignoring ploicies of the democratically elected government because “they know best”. Democracy seems to come pretty low on their list.

            My understanding is that the standards WERE to be moderated but the teachers kicked up such a stink, it was dropped to make it “easier” for the teachers. I admit I might well be wrong in this, but that is my impression based on what I read and saw at the time.

            What use is the data? Now parents have something tangible they can go to their school with and ask why the school is at the bottom of the list for reading, say. That might just encourage that school to put some effort into reading recovery, or maybe even some focus so we ont even need something called reading rcovery. And when some bright spark says, lets have the whole day doing “recyling” or something, some teacher somewhere might actually think, no, lets do a period of reading first.

            You say the data is meaningless. I dont agree with that but, if so, what to do.

            Easy – fix the data. Do it now. Suggest a really standard set of tests that all schools can agree on. Start the moderation. You know, the stuff I always thought the education system was already doing. Like they did in the old days.

            • Dv 5.2.1.1.1.1

              YES Teachers are/were against the standard from the beginning. BUT not only the teachers a lot of education academics too.

              Remember the NS were forced through under urgency, the legislation didn’t go to a select committee if I recall.

              The teachers did want to engage they wanted a trial BUT that didn’t happen.

              The data does have a little meaning BUT it is very limited and doesn’t tell us any that wasn’t known already.

              There are many evaluations already that teachers as a whole agree on Astle, PAT etc and that give good data.

              I do agree that if standards are to work there has to be appropriate moderation and buy in from the teachers.

              In the old days we had school cert that was scaled to 50% pass. Only a written 3 hour exam. Not really appropriate for a 5 year old eh.?

              • OneTrack

                The trial as you describe it was obviously a delaying mechanism with the hope that if it was stretched out long enough, here would be a change in government and the “problem” would be solved. Even a slowmo like me could see that. Unfortunately, Labour lost the election so that plan didnt work.

                And with all these trained professionals around, why would you need a trial. As you said, there were testing methodologies already in use – pick one (astle?) and start using it, correct as required and repeat. It wasnt hard. Except the unions made it hard – much harder than it should have been if they were really looking out for the students instead of themselves.

                IMHO If the teachers had actually been positive about it, they could have had huge influence on the whole thing. They chose the other path.

                • McFlock

                  Pilot schemes aka trials are a good way of identifying whether a programme is conceptually clusterfucked before money is wasted on national programmes by pissant little toryboys like yourself.

                • Logie97

                  OneTrack – you appear such an expert on this theme – what are your connections with the education system? You throw the word moderation around with gay abandon. Perhaps you could advise on what criteria you would moderate 10 children’s pieces of narrative, on any given topic. Would be interested to know exactly what you mean?

                  • OneTrack

                    That is a “how” question that I would like to think could be easily? handled by the education establishment. Am I wrong to expect that? Should we get some educational professionals to come in from overseas to help us find out how we could evaluate students work?

                    I have this silly idea that teachers could actually communicate with each other and agree how a set of work would be marked for different ages. Or is it really rocket science and I didnt realise?

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                         
                      And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between someone who knows about the field and some dropkick who insists on using words bigger than they are.  

                    • Logie97

                      One track would assess writing on whether simple punctuation was in place, or spelling of high frequency words was consistent. That’s the level he operates at. Judging on those criteria alone he would probably get a level 3A. Equivalent of the old Standard 4. For deaper features as in engaging an audience, about a 3P. So not meeting the standard I’m afraid.

                • Dv

                  >>Unfortunately, Labour lost the election so that plan didnt work.

                  Your timing is wrong.
                  The standards were forced thru under urgency AFTER the election. A select committee would have pointed to the difficulties.
                  Re democracy, there was no discussion before the election about NS implementation. (Just like charter schools)

                  They we ussng aste and pats as you suggest. These ‘test’ took several years of careful development.

                  >>IMHO If the teachers had actually been positive about it, they could have had huge influence on the whole thin

                  BUT what do you think a pilot is, they wanted a pilot to iron out some of the difficulties.. So it was the govt that being dictatorial.

                  NOW we have a set of ‘data’ that is close to meaningless, for a cost of 30 odd million

                  AND that will continue

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.2

              They did all they could, including stamping their feet and ignoring ploicies of the democratically elected government because “they know best”.

              That’s because they actually do. No government, no matter how democratically elected, knows anything about education and so what they need to do is listen to the professionals, the teachers, who do.

              What use is the data? Now parents have something tangible they can go to their school with…

              No they don’t…

              That might just encourage that school to put some effort into reading recovery,

              The teachers have been wanting more access to Reading Recovery for some time – it’s the government that’s not providing it.

              Suggest a really standard set of tests that all schools can agree on.

              Why? What does it actually achieve when what we had/have is already doing it’s job and is one of the best in the world?

              Like they did in the old days.

              The education system has gotten better than what it was in the old days so why would you want to go back?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2

          Ohh, thats right, the teachers unions (and the left) are against having any sunlight shone on how are education system is really doing.

          But we already know and we’re in the top 5. The countries that we’re copying are significantly worse than us and going backwards after implementing similar standards.

          And they are doing their best to kill any real oversight of what the do and the results thy get.

          The oversight was already there and working really well. What we’re against is putting in place policies that make our education system worse while costing lots of money.

          • OneTrack 5.2.1.2.1

            How do we know we are in the top 5? Oh, thats right – a standardised test, where all the results are presented in a league table. And, the world hasnt ended. Who knew?

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Oh, thats right – a standardised test,

              Yep.

              where all the results are presented in a league table.

              Yes again.

              And, the world hasnt ended.

              Yep but that’s because it’s measuring education over an entire country through random selection and comparing with other countries. In other words, it’s general enough that it’s of some use to the countries to indicate that they may want to work on their education system. Such a system doesn’t work at the individual level to then be used to compare schools and teachers as it measuring the wrong things.

    • quartz 5.3

      OneTrack is one of those rightwingers who thinks they should have done better at school than they did and rather than take personal responsibility for it blame “teh unions!” I think it’s time to just accept you’re a bit thick OneTrack.

      • OneTrack 5.3.1

        Thats good quartz – dont like the message, attack the messenger – lefty 101 isnt it?

        • quartz 5.3.1.1

          Let me speak slowly for you. You. Have. No. Coherent. Message. Because. You. Are. Thick.

          I’ve no interest in wasting my time arguing with morons.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.3.1.2

          That’s hilarious given that the whole argument from the right wing about this is

          “Don’t trust the experts saying this is a stupid policy, because UNIONS that’s why! ”

          That’s the argument you’ve been running is this very thread. That we shouldn’t listen to teachers because erm, they are a bunch of grasping lazy shiftless pricks, or whatever.

          ffs.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      It is so horrible that parents can see how their school is relative to others.

      I take it you missed the bits about the data being “ropey”, non-standard and generally incorrect? You know, something no one could actually draw a conclusion from.

    • mike e 5.5

      OldTimer So it that why our education system jumped up the ladder by 12 placings when Labour dumped your dumb arse policy out last time!
      Children need to be engaged and inspired boring kids to death does not work, to think children are not learning while engaging in these activities is very shallow and uninformed1
      Many studies have shown children who learn music and singing doe better all their lives because it forms more links in the brain!
      Which you have obviously missed out on !

    • Cat 5.6

      Have you ever been in a primary school? All the ones I’ve been in do prioritise reading, writing and maths – the challenge is doing justice to all the other curriculum areas that are also part of the New Zealand curriculum.

      And how terrible that teachers should want kids to enjoy school! Much better to try and make it as boring as possible – after all if it’s not boring it can’t be learning right?

    • Georgecom 5.7

      never mind that children learn in a variety of ways and that schools use all manner of ways to engage children in learning and weave a variety of curriculum strands through activities which are not directly maths or reading/writing. Chuck all that stuff out eh and give them RRR all the time, even if it bores them and demotivates them to learn.

      Bugger the unions who were actually interested in children learning stuff.

      Any other wisdom to impart onetrackmind?

      • OneTrack 5.7.1

        Too bad that the results dont seem to be matching the rhetoric though, isnt it? What “stuff” are the unions actually interested in teaching? Kapa haka seems high on the list, followed by closely by recycling.

        The public have been saying for a long time, teach our kids what they need to get a job.

        Now there is at least a limited positive feedback loop in place which will help do that.

        And nobody is actually saying chuck out all the other stuff. But I expect this will slowly change a few priorities which hopefully will mean less kids leaving school with no skills at all ie the long tail, which even the education establishment admitted existed, but until now, nobody (publicly) was aware of how long it was.

        Now we can start improving. Why is knowing you have an issue a bad thing?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.7.1.1

          Too bad that the results dont seem to be matching the rhetoric though, isnt it?

          The results that put NZ education in the top 5?

          The public have been saying for a long time, teach our kids what they need to get a job.

          Not the public, the RWNJs.

          … but until now, nobody (publicly) was aware of how long it was.

          Really? Wonder how it was that we could say that some people weren’t doing so well before hand then.

          Now we can start improving.

          No, under this system we’re going to get worse as international studies on it show.

        • Georgecom 5.7.1.2

          Lets go back to what you wrote.

          “Do you think this might encourage schools and teachers to start giving some priority to harder subjects, such as “boring” reading, writing and arithmetic. But its more “fun” to do kapa haka and recycling. The kids “enjoy” it, and thats the goal of school isnt it – to have fun and do what we want?”

          The point of schools is to engage children in education. If by having fun, kids learn, then that is good. In whatever interests a child and motivates then to enquire into learning, learning can occur. Other themes and curriculum strands can be woven through the subject that interests the child.

          Recycling you say. Within the wider theme of recycling I imagine a teacher can run a whole lot of learning including reading, writing and maths. If giving ‘priority’, as you call it, to the 3 RRRs does not engage children or motivate them, then, learning will suffer. If whatever is fun for children, and motivates them to learn, permits other things to be woven through it to provide multiple strands of curriculum, then learning will occur.

          If National Standards puts that ‘multiple strand’ learning as risk then it needs to be chucked in the rubbish.

  6. freedom 6

    Speaking of blocks to learning,
    I don’t care how broke the country is or what dogma of the week the pollies are preaching,
    this little article highlights the ever invasive short-sightedness of the 9th floor’s nincompoops.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7710081/Dyslexics-denied-exam-aid

    • ianmac 6.1

      The sad thing is that many of the kids with ADHD or dyslexia (and others) are in the most intelligent groups. They find it extremely frustrating that the system denies them the chance to strut their stuff. Funny how Mr Thornton NZQA does not have the figures to support his “lower than usual denial.”

  7. lenore 7

    The thing is, we knew that the results would be published and I know the standards are subjective as it is a fine line between saying – is this student “below or at”,

    We also know the media is going to be making some good money publishing all the drama that comes out of the schools and NZEI etc about the standards being published. The Govt can sit back and watch it unravel.

    If we don’t kick up a stink then the media won’t have anything to get their teeth into. Let’s just not buy into this crap and work towards getting this bloody govt out of office!

    Personally I would like to see a benchmark of all children entering school at 5 years old as to their abilities around reading, writing etc – eg do they know how to hold a pencil even? Then we would see the stark realities between the schools in terms of children’s abilities from the get go. Kids living in poverty circumstances are generally starting at a much lower level than the kids who are generally attending higher decile schools.

    If the benchmark is much lower than if there was to be any comparison, it should be between schools with similar economic social circumstances

  8. ianmac 8

    Next week, Hekia will no doubt divulge that her 20% tail is in fact the ones the teachers were pointing out before they had to spend large parts of their day teaching to the National Standards test – back when they spent their time helping our kids fulfil their potential.

    And there you have it Bunji. What a pity that the NS millions hadn’t been spent on helping the teachers to help those kids. Smaller classes would help. Good food would help. Cultural respect and understanding would help.
    I imagine that Parata will gather money by taking from existing programs.
    And Primary Schools with rolls less than 250 will be amalgamated to save money. Starting in Christchurch then…..

    • mike e 8.1

      How come 40 out of 50 states in the US have dropped national standards!
      hik town Piranha is chewing up our fine education system and spitting back at us with her pathetic diatribe!
      Tell us something we didn’t already know!
      Boys develop skills later than girls !
      People from poor families do worse at school!
      So all this teacher time and Education money is being wasted,when we aschually need that money and time spent on teaching these children and making sure they have food in their belly to get on with leaning instead of disrupting and not concentrating!

  9. BM 9

    Going by the results that I saw today, there’s something that really stands out.
    How badly Maori and Polynesian kids are doing at school, even with masses of extra finding.

    The answer is simple.
    Maori/Polynesian boarding schools,remove the kids from their toxic home environment and into a place that values education and achievement.
    The teachers aren’t the issue, it’s the parents.

    • mike e 9.1

      Bellyaching Mongrel Thats a bit like the way aboriginals were treated in Australia!
      BM ignorance is bliss redneck rhetoric!
      Maori and Pacific Islanders have different values the start is for us to understand those different values ,one of the core values is strong family ties so your solution would lead to worse outcomes not better!
      Polynesian people are are far more physically and emotionally orientated1
      European tend to be more intellectual and logic orientated,
      Although in your case BM I think you are confused, lack Intellect and your logic is Racist!

  10. Jokerman 10

    apparently, as a child i had a “measurd” quotient of 137, yet labelling, pedantry and teacher/pupil ratio’s of the time saw me sat with a struggling maori boy at the back of the science class (yet without being encouraged to achieve my potential, i received the annual senior academic prize for science).go figure?

  11. captain hook 11

    tell me has heka paratais PhD arrived in the post yet?

  12. Mary 12

    Hekia comes from the same evil school of lies, nastiness, hatred and stupidity as Bennett. Peas in a pod. A very clearly identifiable type of person.

    • David H 12.1

      The question is this. Why do these two women hate our children, what have our children done to deserve this hatred?

      • Mary 12.1.1

        Their hatred and nastiness are aimed more at anyone who questions them. What they do to children comes more from their stupidity. Neither are anywhere near the sharpest knives in the drawer. Combine all of these traits and you get this very strange almost indescribable beast that won’t listen, is never wrong, is arrogant and totally illogical and condescending especially when challenged. It’s only one example among many but just look at the way Bennett handled the privacy complaint made against her. The most alarming thing, though, is that they’re both so incredibly thick it’s just beyond comprehension how they became MPs let alone ministers of the crown. And I know there are and have been a lot of thick MPs, but these two are exceptionally thick, and is no doubt the main ingredient in this weird, almost surreal personality type that Bennett and Parata seem to share.

  13. unpcnzcougar 13

    As a parent I want to know how my child compares with the rest of the country. If he was doing badly then I would want to help get him back up to standards. Having standards gives a benchmark and something to aim for. Without them it is simply a race to the bottom.

    When I was studying I liked getting an actual score out of 100. It told me whether I needed to work harder or not. Now you get “achieved”, “merit”, “excellence” etc. If you have “achieved” does this mean you were a couple of marks off “not achieved” or a couple of marks off “merit”?

    Actuals in my opinion should always be reported.

    • lprent 13.1

      Pity that National’s standards do none of those things. Even assuming that they are worth while as a concept. They are unmoderated and the standards being measured are completely arbitrary. Consequently the system is a useless for being able to measure changes in standards.

      More than that, the people putting them in appear to have no idea why they are putting them in. Ignoring the usual lapses of ministers into typical stupidity (like Parata asserting that reading standards were good for maths), there is no sign that the ministry will do anything more than measure. Which is a waste of time without rectifying.

      So far the only thing that has been exposed is what was already known – kids from more affluent areas and with English as a first language do better early on in school. So are there any signs that resources are going to be moved to even up the opportunities? yeah right.. I will think that this policy is worth while if we see something in the order of 25% of resources shifted from affluent schools to where the problems are.

      But all this horrendously expensive policy of unstandardised reporting seems to be designed to do is to make people like yourself happier that there are people worse off than you and your children. It is a classic conservative process of voter retention and does nothing to rectify any issues with the imbalances in opportunities for the kids of NZ

    • freedom 13.2

      unpcnzcougar and every other braindead automaton that think schools raise your children. . .

      So you want to know how well your child’s reading writing comprehension and arithmitic skills are progressing ? may i suggest you sit down with them for five minutes, turn off the idiot box grab a bloody book and find out.

    • OneTrack 13.3

      You are only a parent and have no rights. The intelligensia are in control. Trust us, we know what we are doing. Just give us more money so we can spend it widely, I mean wisely. No, not enough, give you more and we will spend it even more wisely.

      • McFlock 13.3.1

        lol
        Love the anti-intellectualism you inject into a thread about education.
             
        In case you haven’t noticed, for the last 4 years spending has been in the control of thick-as-pigshit oiks like yourself. What to we get for it: more poverty and idiotic arbitrary rankings like national standards. 
             
        At least the “intelligensia” know what they’re doing. But then if national standards were a coherent measure, you’d be in the lower decile.

    • Sunny 13.4

      My school days ‘in the old days’ were the most miserable days of my life! We were hit, frequently and savagely, with straps (on outstretched hands and around the legs) with rulers (over our knuckles and over the backs of our heads.) We were yelled at, ridiculed, made to feel ashamed, kept in for detention, burdened with ‘lines’ and collectively punished. As a result I hated school with a passion and for years after had a recurring nightmare that I was back there. The ‘old days’ of education were simply ghastly for many, many children and must never be allowed to return.

  14. Bill 14

    Now why are we adopting the education policies of those countries far below us in education rankings (and falling), and not having faith in the 4th best education system in the world, that costs just about the least?

    Because they ain’t education policies, they are profit maximisation policies.

    Education has always favoured the middle classes. That’s a fact that has a lot to do with the cultural assumptions and so on that are inherent to education programmes.

    Standardisation will merely highlight that fact and exacerbate problems associated with that fact. Education will become a series of ghettos. And the better off ghettos will privatise…become charter schools.

    Parents anxious to be seen to do what is best for their children will attempt to place their children in high ranking, privatised, charter schools, while those lacking the resources will have to settle for their kids being educated in situations where systemic barriers are concentrated. (Pupils with English as a second language or with a preponderance of non-english and non-middle class cultural backgrounds etc)

    And as those schools get lower and lower scores, that will be trumpeted as showing the efficacy of ‘standards’…charter schools will generally be higher ranking. It’s fcking criminal.

    But highly profitable.

  15. Completely agree. A big shock to find that Maori/Pacific are “failing”, as are boys. Just goes to prove that National Standards are POINTLESS because they are just telling us what we already know!

    • OneTrack 15.1

      Except they are telling us that the situation is even worse than we feared. Tell us again why we should trust the education establishment – the ones that seem unable to do anything except protect heir own patch and refuse to consider anything diffent.

      • quartz 15.1.1

        I give that comment three out of a possible 14.

        • OneTrack 15.1.1.1

          Fantastic comeback. That really shot my assertion down in flames. I am so mortified. Not.

          Does this mean you actually admit that the results are even worse than you expected and haven’t thought of a suitable response yet. I am sure the union will come up with something. Or maybe the Principals Federation (whatever) when they get back from their Melbourne junket. Taxpayers money -yay.

          How about this for a line – “Its all John Keys fault and John Banks and those rich pricks. They should give us all their money. If only we lived in North Korea, Cuba or Soviet Russia, everything would be wonderful.”.

      • mike e 15.1.2

        So why have we jumped from 6th in OECD stats in the 1980’s to 16th during the 1990’s and back to fourth in the 2000’s ?
        Because National are a bunch of Fwits that just want to bring costs down at all cost by bullying the sector into submission!
        Bean brained bean counters!

  16. Blue 16

    Breaking News: Kids from wealthy, white backgrounds do best at school!!!!!!

    Wait. We already knew that. Anyone hazard a guess at how much money we wasted to get told that?

    Not a dollar of that money went on improving education FOR ANY CHILD in NZ. All it did was tell little Charlie’s teacher that Charlie is good at reading but struggles a bit with maths. Just as Charlie’s teacher already fucking knew because they’re been in the class with him day in and day out trying to teach him.

    Now, let’s await the announcement of what National plans to do to actually help the children who are struggling.

    Bigger class sizes? Oops, no. Scrapped that.
    ‘Better’ teachers? Oops, no. Scrapped that.
    Food for poor kids so they can concentrate on lessons? Mmmm….no.
    Anything? Anything at all?

    • OneTrack 16.1

      But Charlie’s teacher didn’t tell Charlie’s parents about it, because then they might have asked what he was going to do about it and that might mean he wouldnt be able to leave at 3:05 every day. Oh no.

      But Charlie’s parents did find out when he got to intermediate and had to be put in a recovery group and it was a little bit late to catch up. Oops.

      Trust us, we know what we are doing.

      • Blue 16.1.1

        I sincerely doubt it.

        If you think any teacher leaves at 3:05pm then you haven’t the first fucking clue about education.

        • OneTrack 16.1.1.1

          Well you would be wrong then. Some teachers work on sure. Some others, not so much.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            Yeah those ones are usually on part time, casual or itinerant contracts. Fuck wit.

          • PJ 16.1.1.1.2

            You have no idea.

            I’m not a teacher, but I know plenty, from relative newbies of my generation (1-5 years experience) through to experienced old-hands (25 years +).

            Not one of them leaves work before 5pm. Every one of them goes to school on a Sunday to work. Every teacher I know spends their evenings marking or planning.

            Get a clue.

            • Grumpy 16.1.1.1.2.1

              What fucking drugs are you on? The local primary school,s carpark is empty by 4pm.

              • McFlock

                Why the fuck do tories think that wherever someone parks their car is important in determining where they are or what they are doing?    
                       

              • PJ

                Um what? I’m the one on drugs? You’re the one sitting at home watching the local primary school at 4pm… Dodgy much?

              • Dv

                Private school Huh Grumpy

              • lenore

                I really hate these kind of dumb throwaway comments!!!

                Sometimes the car park is empty because the teacher is out taking the students to their basketball games because they are also coaches etc

                Also this is the 21st century with Internet. Many of us now work from home – hence if a teacher is not there, doesn’t mean they are not working. In the old days before Internet etc , my partner would go back to school til about 10 pm and go into school every weekend. Now they just work every night at home and all sunday. They also coach 8 school teams so are out several times doing that. Can I just say I think it sucks and has a big impact on our family life and under the new pressure of National standards, I want them to get out of teaching!!!

        • Fortran 16.1.1.2

          Blue

          Fact –
          All the cars from outside my house backing on to a primary school are clear by 3.12pm
          That includes all the teacher’s cars that are there all day. Including teacher’s new Porshe convertible with baby seat, and late model Merc coupe.
          Decile 10 with shocking results today, so perhaps you are right.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2.1

            Including teacher’s new Porshe convertible with baby seat, and late model Merc coupe.

            I always knew you would resort to the politics of envy.

            BTW a $125,000 Porsche Boxster is NOT going to be purchased on a teachers (or even a principle’s) salary, despite your implication.

            You really are full of it.

      • Dylan 16.1.2

        Or, Charlie’s teacher told Charlie’s parents, but they didn’t care

        Or, Charlie’s teacher asked Charlie’s parents to come in for a chat, but they didn’t bother

        Or, Charlie’s teacher asked Charlie’s parents to encourage Charlie to read for fun while out of school, but they didn’t see it as their responsibility…because we all know that you learn only while actually at school…

        Or, Charlie’s teacher told Charlie’s parents, and he also told Charlie’s parents about the extra work he’d been doing with Charlie, and how Charlie had improved immensely over the last few months—but that doesn’t show up in NSs…

        Trust parents, they always do right by their kids

        And teachers are used to the argument: if the kid does well, it’s the kid and parents who caused that; if the kid does badly, it’s the teacher fault

      • mike e 16.1.3

        Old Timer all the full-time teachers I know work nearly 60 hrs a week in a job you sit on the side lines criticising but wouldn’t even contemplate doing this job ?
        We will just increase the class size reduce teachers pay and conditions and make more people poor so they can send their kids to school hungry and not able to study nationals policy!!!!

      • quartz 16.1.4

        I give this comment nine out of a possible 62.5.

  17. freedom 17

    Yesterday i visited the Stuff FB page, wow, and we thought the daily news service was bad on the Stuff site, try this little beauty on for size regarding their header for a National Standards post.
    http://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz?ref=ts

    “After months of resistance, obstruction and stalling tactics from unions and hundreds of schools, you can can now view National Standards results. Read what the primary and intermediate schools have to say and let us know what you think of the system.”

    ( i too would like to ignore FB and pretend it does not exist but the fact is it does )

    • Jokerman 17.1

      to moi? i have closed all that rubbish down. Focus-as Uturn suggests; so much noise and very unpleasant and unhelpful trolling. People being motivated by fear

  18. captain hook 18

    f*c*book is for f*c*heads.
    you know.
    tory party toadies and that ilk.

  19. BernyD 19

    The only positive in Nationals’ stance is incentivising the parents participation in their childs future.

    A very worthy thing, but maybe we could be offering a few more ways of doing this?.
    Then the “message” wont need to be so loud, and may indeed be allowed to adapt according to the current understanding of the data available.
    Here’s some ways to do this off the top of my head ….
    1. Adult Education
    2. Trade Union style qualification heirarchy to follow
    3. More “Life” education content in current curiculum
    4. Civilised Advertising
    5. Peer bonding and Mentoring at night classes
    6. Posters in the WINZ office
    7. ….

  20. kousei 20

    My kid’s school has a room full of music equipment but the kids aren’t taught music unless an individual teacher has that ability and bothers to make it important. The kids are always given notices about private expensive music tuition all the time. I can’t count on two hands the number of teachers who play guitar, piano or other instuments in the school but no dedicated music teacher. The school sends me bills for technology classes for a bunch of materials. Never happened to my parents. We are asked for money for the kids to play school sports.

    Yesterday my twelve year old son told me they don’t really do much history, geography or social studies at school because they as he explained it they don’t really figure that much in the national standard stuff.

    He was then talking about the play that they had to do. It wasn’t the topic he wasn’t happy about but the fact that they were performing it without much preparation together with a bunch of the younger grades. He suggested it was because the teacher had told them it was part of the national standards so they had to do it.

    There seems to be a lot of box ticking going on with the NS. Token gestures as far as I’m concerned.

    There does not seem to be a strategy for developing all childrens potential. This is the important bit. This is the bit that worries me as a parent.

    • BernyD 20.1

      This is a really good point, shred a curriculum and start again, those teachers and kids are starting from scratch, the teachers may get some additional content happening but it’ll take another 2 years.
      Meanwhile …. back in government land, they’re clapping for themselves.

      • kousei 20.1.1

        I don’t think we can only fixate on a few measurable things. We run the risk of saying the values we can’t or won’t measure don’t exist and that spells disaster for us all whether your child suceeds or fails. Like or not we are all in this together.

  21. infused 21

    lol, no one is labeling them failures you retard. The shit you write is almost as bad as stuff.co.nz.

  22. xtasy 22

    Who needs standards?

    We have NONE!

    Hekia, John, Bill, Paula, Tony and consorts

    Signed: NatACT

  23. Lloyd 23

    Taking Maori and Pacifica Children from their parents might improve some children’s educational results but it probably won’t improve those of a large portion of the children and it certainly has a good chance to produce disastrous results like those that were imposed on Aboriginal families with the forgotten generation policies.

    A far better result will be produced by getting Maori and Pacifica parents into the classroom with the kids. If Mum or Dad is the classroom for their child to learn, then the results will be far better than the present situation where Maori and Pacific children work actively to be seen as not excelling in many classes because of peer pressure. Designing a system where parental presence in the classroom is encouraged and where the parents also receive benefit/education would help improve our society in several ways, but we appear to be far too busy testing to help schools achieve better outcomes for our youngsters and no National policy appears to be connected to a brighter future.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      A far better result will be produced by getting Maori and Pacifica parents into the classroom with the kids.

      Except in the many cases where both parents are on low wage jobs and have to be at work to have any hope of making ends meet.

    • BernyD 23.2

      This has been a problem for a while, it started with the funding models.
      Teachers feel like they spend more time on documentation than on teaching.

      Now it’s the curriculum, it’s like they’re trying to ISO9000 certify the education system without knowing what ISO9000 means.

      They’re not likely to change the approach any time soon though.

      One on One is great if the parent knows the content it really can help and visi versa of course.

      At the moment the only option for parents that are working is an open polytechnic style correspondence course @ home or the local library for other home studies they want to do.

  24. Posted also in open mike.

    There is an interesting series articles on National Standards in the Herald this morning, including the first league tables.  Interestingly not all schools were there.

    I found myself compelled to compare the results of my kids primary school with the neighboring schools.  A school with a poor reputation amongst professionals had better results.  Its principal is known to overhype things and it looks like national standard results are no exception.

    And the Herald’s conclusions are not earth shattering.

    1.  Girls do better than boys.
    2.  Maori and Pacifica are doing poorly.
    3.  Rich areas schools perform better.

    We are spending $50 million a year to produce dodgy data that will only hurt some schools.  The money would be far better spent on professional development for teachers and school breakfasts.  

    • Grumpy 24.1

      I had a look at some schools in Christchurch that I know, i was interested in maori achievement as my gradkids are maori.

      I compared Spreydon, Hoon Hay and Rowley primary with the intermediate they feed into, Manning.

      All the primaries do a reasonable job in educating maori kids in terms of the national average, Rowly, which is a particularly difficult area does a good job in the circumstances.

      however, when they got to Manning, everything changes with NO maori reaching National Standard for writing. In fact Manning did a terrible job all round.

      …….and….who was on TV the other night loudly complaining about being shut down, or forced to amalgamate?? Right, Mannings headmaster……

  25. Dv 25

    How do you know the result are comparable as there is no moderation.
    It may mean Manning is tougher on assesment.
    You just really dont know.

    • Grumpy 25.1

      Manning Intermediate feeds into Hillmorten High. A mate of mine is a teacher there. He reckons the Nation Standards data just confirm what teachers at Hillmorten have always known.

      • Dv 25.1.1

        BUT it still teacher judgment that is not moderated
        The NS are not national nor are they standard.

        You mate may well be right, and a lot cheaper than the 60M for a bunch of crap ‘data’

  26. irascible 26

    The data from the poorly constructed and imposed “National Standards” testing merely confirmed what PISA and the established reputable moderated tests have told us for years. Children in poverty do worse than those from affluent areas, ESOL children are handicapped when tested on an English language test, and that Maori & Pasifika students have reading & writing difficulties that stem from both economic and literacy poverty.
    Parata, however, has released the data to distract from her botch up in Christchurch, Bennett’scollapsing Beneficary bashing policies, to create a stick to hitthe teachers as they enter into contract negotiations and to create a positive spin cycle to disguise the corruption around Banks and KeY’s relationship.
    Whichever way you read it this release of KeY’s ropey data has been done as a smoke screen exercise.

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  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
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  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
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  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
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  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
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  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
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  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
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  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
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  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
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  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
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  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
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  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
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  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
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  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
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  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
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  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
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  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
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  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
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  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
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  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
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  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
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  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
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  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
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  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
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  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
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  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
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  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
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  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
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  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
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  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
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  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
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  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
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  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
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  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
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  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
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  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
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  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
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  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
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  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
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  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
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  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
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  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
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  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
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  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
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  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
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