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TEU: Treasury’s attack on ordinary Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, February 3rd, 2012 - 115 comments
Categories: Economy, education, tertiary education, treasury - Tags:

Public education is the cornerstone of a good country and a buoyant economy. And New Zealanders have long enjoyed the benefits that come to them individually, to their families, their communities, their country, and the economy from having access to quality public education. But all this now seems under attack from a small group of Treasury officials (all of whom I am sure had access to public tertiary education) who seem determined to limit the educational opportunities open to ordinary New Zealanders.

The Treasury has just released its briefing to the incoming Government claiming, “building greater economic resilience and lifting economic growth is critical for increasing incomes and improving the wider living standards of New Zealanders.” Treasury makes this assertion fully acknowledging economic uncertainty facing not only the New Zealand economy but the world economy. Treasury’s proposed road map for stability and for ‘improving the wider living standards of New Zealanders’ is missing a crucial element –investment in high quality public tertiary education. In fact, it attacks the very engine-room that is crucial to economic growth and stability.

It has some plans for tertiary education, none of which are about investing in educational opportunities. Treasury proposes reintroducing interest on student loans so that families will save for their children’s education; increasing class-room sizes; and targeting tertiary education funding to ensure that there are more “younger tertiary students and higher-level qualifications”.

Let me give you a glimpse into what the future may look like if the National-led government takes up Treasury’s proposals on education. Imagine an ordinary, hard-working 30-something father who loses his job when the local freezing works close, and who must retrain if he is to find employment in his home town.

Once upon a time, a local polytechnic offering a six-month long diploma would have helped this 30-something father back into employment. However, Treasury says that New Zealand’s investment in education must focus on degree programmes, so there is no longer a diploma on offer in his hometown at a polytechnic. The only option available is a higher-level qualification that will take three years to finish and will leave him with a $16,731 student loan on which he will now be paying interest.

Knowing how crucial retraining is for his future and the economic security of his family, this father makes inquiries about studying at the university, an hour from his hometown (the commute is worth it, if he can get back into employment). However, the university, following Treasury directives, has a limited entry policy and is focussing on taking 18 to 25 year olds into degree programmes, and our unemployed father does not fit the profile of a ‘good student’.  He has never been given the chance to prove his worth as a student, but he is by Treasury’s reckoning a ‘poor investment’. As a result, he is unable to retrain, unable to find a job in his hometown, unable to contribute financially to his family or the economy.

In what society, or economy, is this the vision we have for New Zealanders? In what type of society is education limited to the few who can afford to get there, leaving the rest of us on the scrap heap? Treasury’s vision of a targeted education system where it picks the winners and denies opportunities to all others will do just that.

We can’t let anyone take away from all New Zealanders the opportunity to study for a diploma or a degree, a certificate or a PhD, if they have the ability to do so.  Age should not be a barrier to learning; neither should your parent’s income prohibit you from the joys of a transformative educational experience.
Quality public tertiary education is quite rightly, there for all New Zealanders, so let’s keep it that way.

What’s more, quality public tertiary education will help New Zealand weather the global financial crisis. Data from the OECD released just last week demonstrates that countries that invested in tertiary education coped with the global financial crisis better than those that did not.

Investing in tertiary education helps protect people and countries from economic troubles.

Treasury and this National-led Government need to look again at the international evidence.  Perhaps then they will realise that investing in New Zealanders’ educational opportunities will help each of us and our families as well as making sure we have a society and economy that flourishes and provides for all.

Dr Sandra Grey
National President
Tertiary Education Union

115 comments on “TEU: Treasury’s attack on ordinary Kiwis”

  1. fender 1

    And from our brand new shiny plastic Minister of Education yesterday when asked to comment: No comment!
    Too busy with her groupie chores associated with her “rockstar” leader, hope she wears knee pads to protect her knees.

    • Hami Shearlie 1.1

      Plastic should be recycled at the earliest opportunity!!

      • fender 1.1.1

        I’d have a little respect for her if she told the truth and said: The “rockstar” hasn’t given me the sheet of paper outlining my response yet.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    “Treasury proposes reintroducing interest on student loans so that families will save for their children’s education; increasing class-room sizes; and targeting tertiary education funding to ensure that there are more “younger tertiary students and higher-level qualifications”.

    School is an institution that has nearly done its dash anyway. What a waste of resources with all those buildings and land. Give it 10-15 years and kids will be logging on to their daily lessons from home.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “Give it 10-15 years and kids will be logging on to their daily lessons from home.”

      Except there are lots of things that get done in schools that are more difficult to do with this type of learning. Correspondence schools generally have semi-regular get-togethers to help to provide these elements.

      Undoubtedly online learning will increase in relevance and penetration (especially when oil goes up to $300-400/barrel) but I don’t think it can ever truly replace schooling completely. Certainly you can’t do hands-on things like chemistry and other sciences from home.

      Maybe we’ll end up having schools which are more tutorial based that children attend 1 or 2 days a week, allowing the teachers and buildings to be shared amongst more students and the rest of the time they’ll be using online sources?

      • tsmithfield 2.1.1

        “Certainly you can’t do hands-on things like chemistry and other sciences from home.”

        Yeah. Some things can be done in a virtual laboratory. However, another alternative would be to have technology hubs for this sort of thing.

      • Jimmy 2.1.2

        In a world of safety first chemistry can’t be done at all. Chemicals are dangerous substances after all. H2O is harmful by inhalation…

    • Willie Maley 2.2

      TS what complete and utter piffle. 
      What about children socialising at school?
      Learning to work as part of a group?
      Creative pursuits?
      Nah! Just log on at home.  

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        “What about children socialising at school?”

        What about no bullying, and no disruption from kids who don’t want to be there. Kids socialise on the net now via facebook etc. You need to get with the times.

        “Learning to work as part of a group?”

        Lots of people collaborate now via the cloud. So, I don’t see this as a major obstacle.

        “Creative pursuits?”

        There are heaps of ways to be creative online. Anyway, say a kid wanted to learn a musical instrument, the government could give them a voucher for music lessons. No need to employ music teachers.

        • foreign waka 2.2.1.1

          And the voucher would do what? A music teacher will be needed to teach the kid the skill. And don’t get me wrong, this is a skill that is sought after and good teachers are hard to come by. I belief that if a school has to choose between sports and art, art should be kept as the better of the choices as it really increases the students capabilities.

        • Cin77 2.2.1.2

          I cant believe what your advocating. Social media will never replace face to face socialising.

          One day each and every child has to go forth into the real world, get a real job with real people. How do you think it will affect them when they realise the block button doesn’t work on real people?

          There is no way I would want my kid growing up in your world

        • willie maley 2.2.1.3

          FFS humans are social beings. I can’t believe that you would think what you are proposing would be beneficial for the country as a whole.
          I must tell Maggie Thatcher. You must be the last person to believe her “there is no such thing as society” BS.

        • rosy 2.2.1.4

          What about no bullying, and no disruption from kids who don’t want to be there.

          Years ago when my kids were at secondary school I would have agreed – schools were a health hazard IMO. But times have changed. These days there is enough flexibility in the curriculum and many dedicated teachers that school seems to be a more positive experience – for my wider family and social networks at least. It’s a much more integrated environment – social, cultural and educational. I’m in awe of some of the well-rounded, educated, articulate kids that the ‘system’ is producing.

          Of course there plenty of schools that have yet to sort these issues out, and kids that come into schools with family and social problems require special focus, but I reckon that progress has been made. Pity it’s all going to go down the gurgler with this government’s narrow, outdated focus.

          On-line networking as the main learning environment is not going to solve any of the social/socialising problems that you’ve highlighted, IMO.

        • DJL 2.2.1.5

          Your comment reminds me of Peter Sellers last movie “Being There” when he came across an uncomfortable situation he took out his remote control and tried to change the channel.

        • bbfloyd 2.2.1.6

          oooh diddums ts… were you one of those bullied at school? is that why you havn’t the ability, or the will to look past your utterly reactionary responses and see the issues behind the bullying?

          of course, as a devoted follower of national party philosophies, it stands to reason that you would advocate for the “easiest” fix rather than the proper, albeit more difficult and long term solutions… especially as there are profits to be made for party insiders…

          at least your beloved yet vacuous leaders will be freeing up more money wasted on the ‘proles for easy access to exploitation…..that’s gotta be a good thing….. for them anyway…. who really cares about anything else anyway……. certainly not a loyal party bot like you…

      • Hateatea 2.2.2

        Or learning a wide range of sports, experiencing drama, choir, many different art forms and SOCIALISING!!

        Of course, in TS’s world, parents are able to be home all day to help school and supervise their under 14 year olds, as the law and society requires, What happens to the families where both parents are working 2 or 3 minimum rate jobs just to pay the rent / mortgage. Oh, too bad, those children are probably not worth ‘investing’ in anyway.

        Who are the people who come up with this drivel and what alternative universe do they come from? Whoever, whereever, I wish they would pack their selfish selves into a parcel marked return to sender.

    • foreign waka 2.3

      Schools are not just about learning by numbers but also about socializing with others, emphasizing, communicating and expressing one self confidently in a group. It also aids the human need of self reflection and feedback to be able to fit into the society at large.
      To learn from home may be possible for an 18 year old but certainly not for a first to eight grader. Albeit they will possible show you and me a thing or two about IT.

      • tsmithfield 2.3.1

        I agree there are benefits in this respect. But also a hell of a lot of problems. If a kid (as one of mine was) is in a class where some other kid is throwing chairs and desks around, its not exactly the best for learning. Social interactions can also distract from the learning process in many other ways. There are other ways to learn social skills. School is not essential for this purpose. Its primary purpose is to impart knowledge.

        • foreign waka 2.3.1.1

          To apply your experience to the larger population might not be advisable. It is true there are class rooms where this happens. It is anti social behavior and parents can have their say to the board of trusties. If there is no success perhaps a different school might be better. When looking at the bigger picture, it is better to have children interacting with their own age group. To impart knowledge as this wonderful phrase goes, is in fact the part that can be done via IT – more and more so. But the important part of interacting with each other, learning and growing by discussing opinions, voicing beliefs and concerns, even having pupils throwing chairs, will give a person the dept of knowledge no book is able to “impart”.

          • tsmithfield 2.3.1.1.1

            At one time we didn’t have schools. Kids still got socialised. If the online learning model of school is adopted, kids will learn to socialise in other ways. We are, as you say, “discussing opinions, voicing beliefs and concerns” here, aren’t we?

            • foreign waka 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Because we had the opportunity to learn this “skill” at classroom level. It seems that you have a very fixed opinion on that subject. The experience with the throwing of chairs must have been a great shock. I am really convinced that the mixing with others in a classroom and social life – one can make friends for a life time – is very important. So much so that it can set one up for success or failure in later life.

            • Populuxe1 2.3.1.1.1.2

              At one time we didn’t have schools. Kids still got socialised.
              Well yes, they got socialised on the streets or up chimneys. Oh wait.
              No, there really is a need for direct human contact in education – there are nuances of human interaction and material resources which cannot be replicated in a meaningful way virtually. And while home schooling may work for some kids (and usually it’s for some peculiar ideological reason) for others it is a complete disaster.

            • bbfloyd 2.3.1.1.1.3

              when was it we didn’t have schools ts?? are you taking the piss or something?? … i can’t decide if you’re simply insulting our intelligence, or whether this is the extent of your intellect…..

              oh NOW i remember…. that was the good old days when education was the privilage reserved for the clergy and certain trustworthy members of the aristocracy…… when it was a dangerous thing for a peasant to be able to read…… if the local vicar found out anyway……..so, as you obviously have extensive knowledge of the subject, pray enlighten us as to how well adjusted those societies were compared to now….. maybe you could explain the benefits to those peasant classes of being kept ignorant…as opposed to now…. just for starters… i have many more when you’ve answered these……

              and thanks for proving my point re the reactionary thing….. or do you fail to see the irony????

            • deservingpoor 2.3.1.1.1.4

              Seriously?
              When did the proposition that children should go to school become controversial.

            • Jenn Falconer 2.3.1.1.1.5

              @TS 3 February 7.36pm. If they weren’t at school, and again this only applied to those with not much money, they were working. Even when there were schools most children of working parents were lucky to be still at school at 12. But my point was that they learnt to socialise at work!

        • felix 2.3.1.2

          I don’t entirely disagree with tsmith on this. Socialisation is clearly important but I’ve never been convinced that the compulsory and arbitrary form of socialisation provided in large scale schooling is necessarily all that helpful for a lot of kids.

          Having said that, I don’t think “they can do all that online” is an adequate answer either. There’s just no substitute for face-to-face interaction.

          There’s a lot to think about here, a lot of possibilities and a lot of improvements to be made.

          It’s no reason to deliberately destroy the education system we do have though. It’s not a bad start.

          • foreign waka 2.3.1.2.1

            Felix – thank you for your input but did not feel that an arbitrary decider is needed. I do enjoy when people have other opinions. It stretches my imagination albeit on the issue of social competence as it is called in the pedagogy (one can learn about it online ;-) ) I am still of unchanged opinion. tsmithfield certainly has a point with the class room behavior which must affect his/her point of view.

            • tsmithfield 2.3.1.2.1.1

              Felix and I seeing at least partly on eye to eye about something has to be a first. :smile:

              Foreign, I realise that children need to learn socialisation skills. However, I think this can be achieved in other ways. For instance, as I suggested above, even with online learning we may still need science hubs so kids can come and do chemistry experiments etc. Also, kids could be encouraged to join clubs, interest groups, or sports teams they feel motivated to join. This means there will be a lot more positive energy when they come together, rather than being forced to socialise as is the case with the current school system.

              As Lanth pointed out above, restrictions such as the rising price of petrol might force this sort of change in the educational model faster than you might think. So, rather than saying its a bad thing, it might be better to think in terms of how to utilize the technology most effectively and how to find other ways for kids to learn socialisation skills.

              • DS

                It’d be a hell of a lot harder to afford petrol if 1 parent had to give up work all day to stay at home and supervise.

                • felix

                  Yes, but that’s a bit too simplistic a reduction. There’s a lot of room between

                  “every child individually homeschooled online with one-on-one supervision”

                  and

                  “every child bussed to a central building for the same 6 hours 5 days a week”

              • foreign waka

                tsmithfield, Forced to socialize at school? I am not sure what kind of school you were in but I am not aware that there is any force at play. However, there are clicks and yes, the sooner you learn to deal with this basic human behavior the better.
                Your comments seem to come from a privileged environment, I might be wrong there. My point is however, that the separation of kids within their societal setting is not what anyone wants but would happen in your scenario. This is counterproductive for a future society at large. Not all kids are academic, one had to go away from this devastating assumption. It is damaging to the ones who like to be mechanics, electricians etc. All kids need to learn about different type of opinions, talents etc as this will one day be the fabric of their world, society. This is not confined to school subjects.Yes, every generation had their challenges but so far none have but the baby out with the bathwater. Perhaps there should be more input from the children themselves as my experience is that most are actually quite positive and could come up with better ideas then their parents.

    • Jum 2.4

      tsmithfield,

      Typical neo-conservative wishlist – separate people from meeting and control them better – there’ll be spy drones overhead next.

      The tried and true divide and conquer routine.

    • felix 2.5

      Perhaps instead of school, kids could just watch an episode of QI every day.

    • mik e 2.6

      Tsm god your a bigger idiot than I thought.
      Children learn better when they are working together some what like society!
      But your right wing ideology doesn’t look at scientific research only at the almighty Dollar your god, the be all end all nothing else exists.

      • foreign waka 2.6.1

        mik e – no reason to be insulting, everybody is entitled to an opinion. It would be great for a starter to have more funds for IT allocated to schools so that a start towards a better future can be initiated. This would engage the kids and what’s more, every kid would like to be at school! Eureka.

  3. JonL 3

    “In what type of society is education limited to the few who can afford to get there, leaving the rest of us on the scrap heap? ”
    A society where an elite rule and send their sons (not daughters) to university (they can afford the fees – no nasty loans for them), and complain about the lazy peasants who should get off their lazy backsides and find a job with McDonalds, instead of living a life of ease on the generous welfare payments (based on 50% of the minimum to live), and leaching off the taxpayers (them, of course – complaining about the 5% they have to pay)!
    Keep it up boys, with the apathy of the general populace, you’ll get to that stage in no time!

  4. Dave 4

    I said much the same thing here here

    • just saying 4.1

      I must say I just breathed a sigh of relief for my own finaces when I saw that English had ruled out interest on student loans. But it sticks in my throat that I’ve been let off for now because English want to pander to the ever-diminishing middle-class, and is targetting the most vicious cuts where they will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable.

      As for this from your link to tv one:

      Treasury says the Government should consider reducing personal and company tax rates, raising the retirement age, targeting early childcare funding to low income households and reforms in resource management, the minimum wage, the housing supply and local government.

      Are they out of their cotton-picking minds?

      Or are they just self-interested and heartless?

      I know someone who joined treasury in the last couple of years, and have watched her become progressively more right-wing, authoriarian, victim-blaming, and judgmental. I’m hoping she’ll come right if she gets out of that toxic environment.

      • Jum 4.1.1

        just saying,

        Didn’t Bill English work in the treasury?

      • Jum 4.1.2

        just saying,

        Sorry Just Saying – nah. After their indoctrination they go on to jobs which give them control over other people’s lives. You think she’s a worry now – wait ’til later.

        Didn’t Bill English work in the treasury?

  5. Fisiani 5

    Can anyone cite any evidence that increasing a class size from 24 to 26 makes a jot of difference. Oh and please don’t make the claim that clases of 74 are being suggested.

    • Drongo 5.1

      And where’s the benefit in going from 24 to 26? Is that one less teacher needing to be paid?

      • Wonker 5.1.1

        Yes which would enable cost savings (along with other initiatives) to reinvest in improving the quality of teaching (the largest determinant of student outcomes at teacher/student ratios < 1:35). But you may be more interested in the # of teachers getting paid then the number of students achieving good outcomes. Union member by chance?

        • clayton noone 5.1.1.1

          Yet people pay good money to send their children to private schools because they have small class sizes. & also, smaller class sizes means less bullying, less stressed out teachers, fairer for all the children.

          * I couldn’t use my usual handle for some reason?

    • Kaplan 5.2

      If smaller classes are less efficient why is it that private schools have smaller classes on average? Shouldn’t they be representative of the perfect balance… market forces and all that?

      • Dingo 5.2.1

        Private schools have high fees .. they are not solely reliant on what the Government pays them. That means that smaller classes don’t need to be more efficient .. just charge higher fees.

    • KJT 5.3

      That is average class sizes. In reality it means that year 10 classes will be 36 instead of 30. Which is bad enough.

      Having taught both High school classes and adults in schools and private training courses I can tell you, from direct observation, it makes a huge difference in workload, the standard and speed of learning and in high school, rescuing those who are way behind.

      Private training coursers often limit classes to 6 to 20, depending on the course’ as they know with higher numbers more effective learning is difficult.

      Already, in technology classes, you can have 32 students. In a similar environment, with the same tools, in an industrial setting you are not allowed to have more than 6 trainees, for safety reasons.

      • foreign waka 5.3.1

        KJT Do you find that (this dirty word) discipline in the classroom is a factor in teaching larger classes? I know from overseas that teachers in large auditoriums are rattling down their stuff and if you get it , good – if not, too bad. At what point in your experience, should a the number be at if it is at optimum level. Also, I like to know whether you agree with a scenario like tsmithfield suggests. Thank you.

        • KJT 5.3.1.1

          I agree definitely. Discipline is much easier when classes are small enough to get to know each child. Say around 20.

          The optimum level for quality and effective teaching is about 6 to 8. (That is the number for an cost effective short course in industry) But, whether, we as Teachers, like to acknowledge it or not, there is a babysitting element in the job. Children being minded for most of the day, by schools, allow parents to go to work.
          Very small classes would shorten the time taken to teach each child. Maybe even enough to justify the extra cost. But, the inefficiency of larger classes is tolerated because the children would need to be minded for most of the day anyway.
          One thing I have noticed is that in the junior high school classes, numbers are too high, 30’s whereas the senior classes tend to be smaller as children drop out and differentiate into senior subjects. 15 or so. It really should be the other way around.

          I’ve seen the large auditoriums. In most of the countries that teach like that they accept a much higher failure rate than we do in NZ.
          Just like University in NZ. The methods used for Teaching are notably inefficient. They work, on the whole, because most University students are self selected and mature enough to direct their own learning. They want to be there.

          In high schools, especially decile one, the social contract is already broken. When children see their peers, no matter how hard working, on the dole or on minimum wage Mcjobs, on leaving school, the thoughts are very much, why bother.

          If successive Governments really wanted to fix the drop out rate, which is in reality, a lot less than the 20% often quoted, they would give more help early in a child’s education with already successful interventions such as reading recovery, school meals, small junior classes and mainstream alternatives for children who are good at manual or artistic/creative skills..
          AND made sure New Zealander’s had decently paid jobs to aspire to.

          However that takes more leadership and investment than our Governments are capable of.

          • foreign waka 5.3.1.1.1

            Thank you very much for your reply, very helpful in understanding the background of these issues. I do agree with your comments about solutions in the last few sentences. I also belief that the help that parents can give and their attitude to learning and achieving makes a big difference.

  6. randal 6

    I am a p.h.d.
    a pizza hut deliverer.

  7. tc 7

    Always good to have that independent advice to base such important decisions on…..which dept is it that’s stacked with govt appointed consultants as there’s clearly not enough public servants already.

  8. foreign waka 8

    Why on earth do we have to listen to the same claptrap that was imposed on us some 25 years ago? Haven’t they got it by now that these strangle policies kill any chance of growing the NZ economy? There are protests the world over and even here at home people go onto the street because of the obscene wage increase of a public servant – no less. And then this article is being published? I just wonder whether an old file was taken from the attic and recycled, no doubt earning the treasury employee a nice bonus or wage increase. Not withstanding the he/she is also a public servant paid for by the people they propose to just put a bit more pressure on.

  9. randal 9

    in the 90’s winz was sending people up to VUW with the bums on seats programme instigated by the BRT and building up debt and citizens with completely useless degrees.
    treasury obviously concurred but now the policy is totally reversed and VUW is emptying out and nobody really gives a shitexcept treasury who are echoing the desires of their masters to cut spending and dumb the whole place down again.
    still there might be benefits.
    no more crap post modernist sceptics running around saying no to everything without ever having done anything themselves.

  10. felix 10

    Has Hekia fronted on this yet or is she still waiting on the script?

    Yesterday she was refusing interviews, saying she didn’t want a confrontation with teachers / their unions (or words to that effect).

    A remarkably arrogant position for a Minister of Ed to take, I thought.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      A remarkably arrogant position for a Minister of Ed to take, I thought.

      She’s copying the Tolley playbook until she gets her own.

    • Kaplan 10.2

      Arrogant. Yes.
      Remarkable. Well, in her defence she is a National MP and it’s their default setting…

    • Hateatea 10.3

            ‘A remarkably arrogant position for a Minister of Ed to take, I thought.’

      Hekai may be many things but I doubt that humble has ever been one of them.

      She should be fronting on this but with all the s*** flying already I doubt that Smile and Wave is interested in any more. Maybe he will throw her on the bonfire if he makes a mess at Waitangi. After all, she <b>is</b> the brown face on the frontline, isn’t she? 

  11. Hateatea 11

    Many years ago, when I was younger and less cynical, I worked at a polytechnic. We had a vast diversity of courses at several different levels of ability and  type. It was at a time of high unemployment and there was a huge push for retraining. Many students came to upskill after being unskilled and semi skilled workers and quite a number needed to work on literacy and numeracy to qualify for entry into higher level programmes. Some policy wonk decided that people doing courses like that would earn a lot more money with that education and so they had to take out student loans of as much as $2,500.

    Of course, all those people had their education when student fees were well under $1,000 per annum and they were earning in a year what most of us would take 3 years to earn.

    A healthy society would ensure that people could access affordable education whether they are 5, 15, 35, or 55. Especially as we are constantly being told about the need to retrain several times in a lifetime.

    After land and water, the most important resources this country has are US. A population that is educated to the level that as many as possible wish to attain will surely be a healthier, wealthier and generally more equal society or am I just an idealist today. 

  12. Wayne 12

    Funding should be prioritised.

    Medicine and engineering and science should get priority. And also to a certain extent commerce.

    And if an adult wants to become a doctor or an engineer later in life, all power to him.

    But degrees in ‘management’ should be got rid of.

    And if somone wants to do fine arts, music, or literature—let him or herself pay their own way.

    (the only exception perhaps would be for classical musicians and ballet dancers etc. Based on tests to determine aptitude one could select the most talented for further training. Like the old Soviet Union and China does today.)

    I would never expect someone else to pay for my hobbies. Why the hell should I pay for someone elses?

    If a country is scientifically and commercially capable there is absolutely nothing to stop it being successful. That is what our education system should concentrate on. Technology, science and commerce.

    Perhaps if we cancelled funding for BA’s and the Fine arts, we would have more money for those who want to study in fields that are worthy.

    • Matt 12.1

      “If a country is scientifically and commercially capable there is absolutely nothing to stop it being successful.”

      Oh I don’t know, horribly inept leadership and crackpot ideas might stop it.

      Get rid of BA’s, huh? Who do you propose will be educating young students who might embark on these “worthy” pursuits, or can that be done without reading or writing. I wonder if they can develop those skills without introducing “hobbies” like literature into the facto- I mean classroom..

      • rosy 12.1.1

        Getting rid of BAs has far wider implications that teaching alone… how about negotiations with all those countries and organisations that might supply all those scientists and med grads, or buy their stuff? And anyway who would Bob Jones hire with out Arts graduates?

      • Wayne 12.1.2

        Oh I don’t know, horribly inept leadership and crackpot ideas might stop it.

        This is much less likely in a population which is scientifically literate.

        Why did the West dominate the world? Of course because the West had the scientific method. The non-white world lagged behind and got caned.

        Now look at Singapore. Almost all her ministers have science or engineering degrees or economics degrees. The prime minister is a mathematician.

        As a result, Singapore is one of the most efficiently run and successful societies in the world.

        Look at the phenomenal growth rate of China the past two decades. All of China’s leaders since Deng have been engineers. The President and the premier now are both civil engineers. Hence the huge infrastructure projects of recent years. The president to be is a chemical engineer.

        In fact eight out of nine members of the politburo are engineers.
        http://tinyurl.com/78r2n27

        In short, if you have a society led by a technocratic elite, it will be a much more successful and wealthy society. And this will be good for economic growth.

        Another thing is this.

        The populace is generally happy when they are ruled by rational rulers. For example in Singapore there is none of this namby pamby approach to crime. If hanging 10 drug dealers means preventing 10 young people turning to drug addiction and crime, then they will hang those 10 drug dealers.

        At the moment, the West because it has become wealthy and lazy does not take a cold-eyed and analytic approach to ruling. The East can ill afford such an approach. That is why they are on the rise, and the West in decline.

        And the West is not even truly democratic. One thing that concerns most people is law and order.

        Poll after poll has shown that a majority of people in Western countries would support a return to capital punishment. A majority of Australians supported Singapore when Singapore hanged that Vietnamese Australian drug trafficker a few years ago.

        But it is highly unlikely hanging will return soon to most Western countries. Whereas in China the government actually uses widespread support for capital punishment as its main reason for retaining this penalty.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          Holy fuck. Because the US imprisoning and killing so many of its own citizens – absolutely catastrophic numbers now – has been such a postive force in their society.

          I know lets use the Chinse system. Criminal, found guilty, bullet to the head, charge the relatives for the round used, sell the prisoner’s organs to defer other costs. If on appeal (haha) the deceased is found to have been wrongfully convicted and killed, a form apology letter can be sent out.

          Using standard post, because its cheaper.

          After all, people are expendable, you can always breed new ones.

          BTW the West is in decline because we have a generation of leaders who care more about themselves, their personal fortunes and their private sector careers after politics than about the wellbeing of their people.

          You missed that point.

        • rosy 12.1.2.2

          “In short, if you have a society led by a technocratic elite, it will be a much more successful and wealthy society. And this will be good for economic growth.”

          Not that I dispute your assertion that Singapore is wealthy, successful society, there are other methods of creating a successful (and wealthy) society than an autocratic/technocratic leadership that kills wrongdoers.

          Compare and contrast development indicators r.g. at http://hdr.undp.org/en/data/explorer/ – yes, Singapore rates highly on wealth, education etc, but so do many other societies with rational but more liberal approaches.

        • foreign waka 12.1.2.3

          This is like saying the color of the day is red, albeit one can see it is green. 1984?

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      Perhaps if we cancelled funding for BA’s and the Fine arts, we would have more money for those who want to study in fields that are worthy.

      Who needs your papal stamp of “worthiness”???

      I studied a fascinating field which you would probably find not ‘worthy’ and yet I reckon I could fuck you over professionally in a majority of corporate, business and industry roles you might care to mention. Which suggests to me that you have no idea what an ‘education’ is actually about.

      I would never expect someone else to pay for my hobbies. Why the hell should I pay for someone elses?

      I would never expect to be allowed to show my face in public with an outlook as limited, facile and two dimensional as yours. So why the hell should you be able to?

      • Wayne 12.2.1

        “Who needs your papal stamp of “worthiness”???”

        Actually no one.

        But don’t expect me to fund your hobbies.

        I studied a fascinating field which you would probably find not ‘worthy’ and yet I reckon I could fuck you over professionally in a majority of corporate, business and industry roles you might care to mention

        Really? You are a bit of a blowhard.

        What did you study? Pooh pushing? ….but then maybe not—no need to —you are a born talent in that field eh?

        • felix 12.2.1.1

          “Pooh pushing” Wayne? Seriously?

          Why is this homophobic, racist (see above) fascist (also above) idiot (see all comments) still posting here?

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.2

          “Who needs your papal stamp of “worthiness”???”

          Actually no one.

          But don’t expect me to fund your hobbies.

          You have and you are going to continue to fund my hobbies, get used to it. Including my tramping, my aircraft watching, my broadband internet, my driving of fast cars and my E&A visits when I come off my mountain bike.

          Get used to it little man, you’re part of a wider society and you ain’t Emperor of NZ yet.

  13. Populuxe1 13

    Wayne, just because you can’t get your tiny, prejudiced mind around the utility and greater creative problem solving implications of the arts, doesn’t make it a hobby. How much does Damien Hirst make on one of his sales?

    • Wayne 13.1

      Populuxe1:

      Have you any empirical evidence to substantiate your claim of the ‘utility and greater creative problem solving implications of the arts’?

      At least in the way it is currently taught and promoted in the West.

      There is of course a world of difference between decadent art, where the artist smears himself in paint, rolls along the ground, and claims the resulting pattern as some sort of ‘masterpiece.’ That is decadent art.

      Truly great art is that of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. This is the type of art that should be promoted.

      But sadly we now fund worthless studies on rap and hip-hop.

      And I have heard of some chick who did a Masters in German –on Hansel and Grettel –FFS!!!

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        WTF

        So your idea of great art is that art which is over 110 years old (Johannes Brahms).

        You think rap and hip hop are worthless why? Because it is the art form and creative expression of worthless poor coloured young people?

        I’ve heard of some chick who did her PhD on techniques useful to building better hydrogen bombs – FFS!

      • foreign waka 13.1.3

        Wayne, Bach Beethoven and Brahms, the 3B’s, were very poor at some stage in their life. None have been financed but all had “patrons”, meaning people who sponsored them. Teaching Art and/or Art History is many hundreds of years old. All ancient cultures had some form of education and a component of art was included. Many were financially supported by the rulers or private financiers. Q/Wiki: “It should be noted, also, that art and architecture were vital educational mediums through which religion, philosophy and history were taught to masses of peoples who were primarily illiterate. These ‘picture books in stone’ were akin to other cultures in Asia, Africa and South America who passed on history and ideas through representative forms as well”. So you see, art is not confined just to one narrow spectrum, art is without any boundaries really as it involves the human mind and is an expression of imagination. As for the Masters in Hansel and Gretel – Maybe you need to read her dissertation to understand why she has chosen this subject that looks so banal from a laypersons point of view.

        • Wayne 13.1.3.1

          foreign waka:

          What you say is partly true. But remember Beethoven, Mozart etc showed precocious talent (especially Mozart) at a very young age and they were supported because they had incredible talent.

          But nowadays, any useless piece of anthropoid refuse can dip his hand in the till for public money to go study some bullshit course at uni without having to prove a whit of talent.

          Completely different. I am all for lavishing support on developing talent. If that talent is used of course in a life affirming direction for art that uplifts and edifies society….not for ‘art’ that is from the gutter and wants to drag everyone else down to the gutter.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.3.1.1

            Wayne don’t be an ass. You remember Mozart and Beethoven but you don’t remember the thousands of Salieri’s and other now largely (or entirely) forgotten artists of that day.

            And you are showing your ignorance by forgetting that the like of Van Gogh, Thoreau, Kafka, J.S. Bach were truly under appreciated in their own time and only reached their maximum prominence and artistic reknown years after their deaths.

            No doubt you would judge any one of them as a contemporary of theirs of the day and say they were shite.

            You are using a closed minded bullshit version of hindsight bias. Essentially you’ve learnt nothing from the arts except how to appreciate your own prejudices.

            • felix 13.1.3.1.1.1

              He doesn’t know shit anyway.

              The strongest link between Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms is the alphabetical one. Only a fool would lump them together the way Wayne has.

              • Populuxe1

                Three separate centuries with nothing stylistically in common except they’re all German and start with B. Bach is Baroque, Beethoven is Classical, and Brahms is Romantic.

          • Dingo 13.1.3.1.2

            Mozart was not regarded as high art in his day – probably the equivalent of the Spice Girls – he wrote for the masses … as did Shakespeare .. and a host of others … Good Art is always cutting edge …

  14. eljaydee 14

    I challenge the assertion we need more high level qualifications. Where are the skill shortages in New Zealand. Yes we could do with some more Doctors but do we really need more M.B.A.s, Lawyers or God forbid Economists. What we need is more, or better trained tradesmen, Farmers, people who produce, not people who increase cost without increasing value.

    • Wayne 14.1

      I agree. We need to channel our resources into supporting education in the trades.

      The only high level education that should be funded is medicine, engineering, and the sciences.

      That is all. Throw all your resources at these areas.

      Also, for a cultured society, provide funding for ballet, the symphony orchestra, and arts that require a bit of skill. Also provide support for Maori artists, art, and culture.

      But absolutely no funding for paint dribblers. No funding for hip hop or rap.

      And those who want to study archaic greek or hansel and grettel can pay for it themselves.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        But absolutely no funding for paint dribblers. No funding for hip hop or rap.

        And those who want to study archaic greek or hansel and grettel can pay for it themselves.

        Yeah coz you’re the arbiter of that which is artistic and civilised, which appears to be the shit you are in to = good, and none of the shit that you are not into = bad.

        • fender 14.1.1.1

          Wayne is stuck in Hitlers Degenerate Art method of appreciation.
          Have you ever seen the many “dribbles” of paint in a Bill Hammond work there Wayne?
          I suppose the action paintings of Pollock are worthless too Wayne?
          Don’t worry if you don’t understand abstract art Wayne, it just confirms you have a narrow blinkered view and an unfunctioning part of grey matter.

          • Wayne 14.1.1.1.1

            Don’t worry if you don’t understand abstract art Wayne, it just confirms you have a narrow blinkered view and an unfunctioning part of grey matter.

            Yes. I suppose you are a most cultured person – you can appreciate and support what you want —-from your own pockets.

            Not mine.

            • fender 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t recall asking asking you for money.
              And you clearly dont have the wealth to decide what consitutes art.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes. I suppose you are a most cultured person – you can appreciate and support what you want —-from your own pockets.

              Not mine.

              Tell you what, you get yourself declared Emperor of NZ and you can decide exactly what is funded and what is not, to your exacting tastes.

              Up until that point, fuck off.

          • Wayne 14.1.1.1.2

            “I suppose the action paintings of Pollock are worthless too Wayne?”

            http://www.artchive.com/artchive/P/pollock/pollock_1_1949.jpg.html

            Yes.

            • fender 14.1.1.1.2.1

              You would appreciate its presence in the flesh perhaps if you opened your mind a little.

        • Wayne 14.1.1.2

          “Yeah coz you’re the arbiter of that which is artistic and civilised, which appears to be the shit you are in to = good, and none of the shit that you are not into = bad.”

          Fraid so….look at the Soviet Union. They had the greatest artists in history. The greatest dances, pianist, violinists, cellists. The Red Army choir. The Bolshoi ballet.

          Yet Khruschev went out and banned modern art. And Stalin executed poets for ‘rootless cosmopolitanism’. Which is what much of what passes for art in the west these days is. Seems like we could do some of that today. Would improve society a lot.

  15. eljaydee 15

    Perhaps a good way to reduce Education costs would be to remove a lot of the adminstrative burden of teachers and get them back to teaching. How about we get rid of National Standards and go back to teacher telling the parents how their child is getting on without resorting largely meaningless grades such as “Achieved with assistance” (= failed but we aren’t allowed to use THAT “F” word)

  16. TighyRighty 16

    They’ve been saying things like this for years? Is it ok to attack a government now that nationals in power? Christ, how many treasury recommendations are ignored by successive governments? But of course the union wouldn’t want it’s members to have to pay for their education. If you borrow to invest in a house, you pay interest. If you borrow to invest in your future, you should pay interest to. Otherwise we see a proliferation of courses that add no value to the economy or society. Basket weaving? Night time golf?

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      If you borrow to invest in your future, you should pay interest to. Otherwise we see a proliferation of courses that add no value to the economy or society. Basket weaving? Night time golf?

      Why should you pay interest?

      Don’t you know that the Federal Reserve has dropped real interest rates close to zero to benefit bank speculators and destroy the interest incomes of savers?

    • mik e 16.2

      So we borrow to invest in motorways that bring us very little income and cost us huge amounts of imported fuel to build maintain and use but when we invest in higher incomes a smarter economy we get Dumb idiots like you tighty almighty explaining that we should keep more of the population dumb like yourself as a way forward!
      No Smart growing country in this world thinks like you Tighty !

    • mik e 16.3

      Tighty almighty So what’s the point in having a right wing think tank[treasury] subsidised by the tax payer.When the right wing have more money than any one else for propaganda than every other political movement.

    • DH 16.4

      That’s a bit simplistic. When people borrow to invest in a house they have an income to pay the interest immediately and the debt is a constant. With student loans the interest capitalises until they can start paying the loan back. A $20k loan can easily turn into a $30k debt or more via capitalised interest. Just how much do you want to burden these people before they even begin earning a crust?

      The argument about nonsense courses has no merit either, the basket weaver still has to pay the loan back it’s only interest we’re talking about here.

      Interest free on student loans is about fairness, I support it because it’s the right thing to do.

    • Dingo 16.5

      And who “pays” for uinvestments in our country’s future . which is what Education is all about .. Treasury want changes to education because it is an investment in our future as a country …

  17. fabregas4 17

    Education – who needs it!

    This debate is really about deciding whether Education is a public or private good. Also whether it is about preparing people for the workforce or for more than simply that.

    My two pence worth is that an educated society is a pretty good goal for a government/country. This belief also has driven western society for the most of last century. Countries with good education systems are usually the best countries (I know best is subjective). But try Scandanavia, Aussie, Japan, NZ, most of western europe. If this is true then money isn’t wasted in this investment at all – it returns itself many fold because of what people do when educated. Rutherford wouldn’t have done his work with out this investment, nor Curie, nor Gates, nor – well you get it. But also neither would have Te Kanawa, nor Mahon, nor Patricia Grace, or Ihimaera. But also not you or me or our next door neighbours.

    Education is much more than getting ready for 40 years of labour – it also allows for a life worth living – learning for learnings sake is good because it allows for interested and interesting lives. From this basis folk contribute to society and communities way more than their daily toil.

    Does everything now have to be directed by the Chicago Schools? I am hoping that there will be a renaissance of arts learning so that our lives can all be enriched past this terrible focus on money.

    But beautifully enough these students of BA’s and the arts and languages are also creators – and money makers – Jobs, Jackson (though he is a sell out), Fry, etc.

    If you try really hard those who live in Waynes World to get just past yourself then you might just see what the world should be about.

  18. randal 18

    people send their kids to private schools so they can meet others of the same ilk.
    rich malignanat predators coated with a veneer of civilisation so that when they emerge into the world they can fool the peasants.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Yep. Hence the middle class/upper middle class bun fight fight to get into the “Grammar Zone”.

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    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
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revelled by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Proposal Would Ensure Mental Health Transparency: SST
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is once again calling for reform of the insanity defence following revelations over the weekend that mass murderer Stephen Anderson is tutoring at a Wellington art school. Anderson was acquitted of six murders in 1997 by...
    Scoop politics
  • The Warehouse Group praised for removing Grand Theft Auto V
    The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation....
    Scoop politics
  • 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...
    Scoop politics
  • 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....
    Scoop politics
  • 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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