web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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”.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The problem with our economy is too many tea breaks?
    ...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task For Progressive New Zealand.
    "For mercy has a human heart, pity a human face" - William Blake MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty...
    Bowalley Road | 31-10
  • Campbell Live on Trains and Motorway tolls
    Campbell Live have been doing some great stories on transport and urban issues in the last few years and have easily been one of the best media organisations on the subjects. This week contained quite a few transport segments including...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • Thieving Bastards Steal Big Red Umbrella! Read All About It!
    View from the bach at Leigh Our house in Herne Bay was burgled some years ago. We were woken in the middle of the night by crashing sounds from downstairs.  It requires a really brave person to investigate strange noises...
    Brian Edwards | 31-10
  • Saturday playlist: songs about work
    Every Saturday we’re going to post a couple of music videos, probably on a particular theme, unless we run out of ideas and it just turns into Stephanie spamming us with professional wrestling soundtracks and Nicki Minaj. So, in that...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    Frankly Speaking | 31-10
  • The Greens are wacky?
    It is a bit like a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the National Government and their supporters are desperately attempting to stick the wacky label on the Greens again, but it is becoming harder to make it...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novapay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: The Forgotten Triangle
    48: The Forgotten Triangle What if the forgotten triangle behind Shortland Street was more than a parking lot? Continuing the series on forgotten or underutilised spaces within the city, the steeply rising wedge of land between Shortland Street, Albert Park...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • World News Brief, Friday October 31
    Top of the AgendaTensions Flare in Jerusalem...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • Guest post: Plain English is radical
    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere