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

  • Democracy – Leonard Cohen
      Because I've just come back from Nicky Hager's extraordinary public meeting in the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, here's Lenny's magnificent paean to the democratic ideal. If it's coming to the USA - why not here too? Sail on, sail on,...
    Bowalley Road | 27-08
  • The Pilgrim Of Light: Nicky Hager And New Zealand Politics
    Admonishing Angel: Nicky Hager descends periodically to trouble our consciences and wreak merry havoc with the orderly conduct of our political affairs. But, more than any other journalist in New Zealand, he has taught us to read the actions of...
    Bowalley Road | 27-08
  • Positive!
    The public are being turned off by dirty politics. Our opponents are scum, but let's focus on the issues....
    Imperator Fish | 27-08
  • Lack of information on Port of Tauranga death extremely concerning
    The Maritime Union is extremely concerned about the lack of public information about a Tauranga port worker who died last week....
    MUNZ | 27-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #15 Understanding the City Link Bus a s a Tram on Rubber Whe...
    15: Understanding the City Link Bus as a Tram on Rubber Wheels What if the red city link bus was more like a tram on rubber wheels? Ok, so trams do have wheels, steel ones on rails. But bear with...
    Transport Blog | 27-08
  • World News Brief, Wednesday August 27
    Top of the AgendaAfghan Candidate Threatens to Withdraw...
    Pundit | 27-08
  • No surprises in Te Tai Tonga poll
    Native Affairs promised, prior to the election campaign, that they’d be polling all seven Maori seats this election. On Monday they released their results for the Te Tai Tonga electorate, currently held by Labour’s Rino Tirikatene. Unsurprisingly, Labour has a healthy...
    Occasionally erudite | 27-08
  • Careering to the right …
    A (long) post about Nicky Hager's book "Dirty Politics' on The Standard. http://thestandard.org.nz/tewharewhero-careering-to-the-right/...
    Te Whare Whero | 27-08
  • The “Dirty Politics” stories – where are we?
    As I stated in my post on Dirty Politics, the most important question that it raises for me is what sort of politics and political behaviour are we prepared to accept in our country? That's a big issue....
    Pundit | 27-08
  • Dirty Politics
    I find myself getting impatient with the endless chatter about the legal and technical minutiae of some aspects of Hager's book because the essence of it is abuse of trust and betrayal of democracy. These are issues that, if not...
    Te Whare Whero | 27-08
  • Dirty politics on the Royal Society fluoride review
    In Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research I related how local anti-fluoride propagandists were busy rubbishing the Royal Society of NZ  fluoride review – even before it was released. Now that it is released (see Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of...
    Open Parachute | 27-08
  • PVR advice
    Yesterday I called Vodafone’s customer support line to get some help with my broadband internet. Today I cancelled my Vodafone account and signed up with Spark because that seemed like an easier way to get my internet working again.  Anyway,...
    DimPost | 27-08
  • So is National’s campaign “slick” or “a mess”?
    Political punditry is definitely a matter of perspective. If you were a Fox News commentator during the last US presidential election, Mitt Romney’s campaign was a dead cert winner; if you were Nate Silver, Obama was going to romp home....
    Occasionally erudite | 27-08
  • Margaret Sparrow’s Report from Lisbon
    I attended two conferences in Lisbon May/June 2014 13th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC) held in Lisbon, Portugal 28-31 May 2014. Theme: Challenges in Sexual and Reproductive Health. This was a well organised congress...
    ALRANZ | 27-08
  • Child Poverty Action Group – On The March
    Take steps against child poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand. Join the End Child Poverty HikoiBritomart, Auckland11:00am, Saturday 6 September 2014   This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite....
    Bowalley Road | 27-08
  • Supporting all the colours of the rainbow
    [Content note: this post deals with issues around gender, transphobia and gender policing. Stay safe.] In utter defiance of the Prime Minister’s insistence that the left doesn’t want to have a policy debate, Labour has continued to release policies, and...
    Boots Theory | 27-08
  • About time
    The Chief Ombudsman will be conducting an inquiry post-election on the general handling of OIA requests:Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem said issues which would be examined included government departments having to seek "sign off" from their ministers before releasing information...
    No Right Turn | 27-08
  • The disappointment of winning
    The Greens announced their healthy homes policy today, promising a warrant of fitness for rental housing and funding to insulate 200,000 homes. And my initial reaction was "meh, Labour and National are offering this too". Which is a sign of...
    No Right Turn | 27-08
  • Cycling in Manukau
    Last week I looked at how hard it was to safely walk around Manukau City. Today I am going to look at the cycling infrastructure that has been provided. On the various regional cycle network maps a lovely grid of...
    Transport Blog | 27-08
  • Letter to the Editor – a message to Cantabrians
    . . from:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to:         “The Press” <letters@press.co.nz> date:      Wed, Aug 27, 2014 subject: Letters to the editor . The editor “The Press” . It must be galling for Cantabrians, and specifically the long-suffering people of Christchurch, that...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • Letter to the Editor – a message to Cantabrians
    . . from:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to:         “The Press” <letters@press.co.nz> date:      Wed, Aug 27, 2014 subject: Letters to the editor . The editor “The Press” . It must be galling for Cantabrians, and specifically the long-suffering people of Christchurch, that...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • TDB Today: Bought and paid for – the dirty politics of climate denial
    It was always going to be difficult to avoid writing more about the impact of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics and what it tells us about the way the present government and its supporters have behaved, so in my post at...
    Hot Topic | 26-08
  • Letter to the Editor – fiscal irresponsibility by National
    . . from:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to:          “The Wellingtonian” <editor@thewellingtonian.co.nz> date:      Wed, Aug 27, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor “The Wellingtonian” At a time when the Capital Coast DHB is so strapped for cash that it...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • Letter to the Editor – fiscal irresponsibility by National
    . . from:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to:          “The Wellingtonian” <editor@thewellingtonian.co.nz> date:      Wed, Aug 27, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor “The Wellingtonian” At a time when the Capital Coast DHB is so strapped for cash that it...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • “Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever” – the sequel
    So a week ago, the rumours were circulating that Andrew Williams was to be demoted from number 3 on the NZ First list to number 13, to which I wrote a post entitled “Winston Peters & the NZ First list...
    Occasionally erudite | 26-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies: Today no. 24: I expect high standards from my min...
    Top ministers in Key's Cabinet focused on economy...
    Arch Rival | 26-08
  • Confirmed: The police don’t care about electoral crime
    In 2007 Parliament passed the Electoral Finance Act. One of the changes it made to our electoral law, retained in the subsequent amendments, was to massively increase the penalties for electoral offences. The penalty for a corrupt practice was doubled,...
    No Right Turn | 26-08
  • If this was Labour we’d be calling it “a mess”
    John Key has been relying more than usual on the scripted spin when it comes to defending his administration after the revelations in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics, one of his most popular being that Hager's claims were "dissolving before his...
    Pundit | 26-08
  • Speaker: Why I’m standing in Ilam
    If you had told me the media were going to focus on a Canterbury Labour candidate invoking Shakespeare, I would have hoped it was me. The thing is, the James Macbeth Dann for Ilam campaign, superbly managed by Public Address...
    Public Address | 26-08
  • Blog Link: Slater/Key/OIA/SIS–irrefutable proof of the PM’s lies.
    Not that readers of KP will need much convincing, but Selwyn Manning has written a decisive essay on why the PM is lying about his involvement in the Slater/SIS/OIA fiasco. To do so he uses the State Services Commission’s guidelines...
    Kiwipolitico | 26-08
  • Anne Salmond – Hero of the Week
    New Zealander's in general may not be aware that we have some of the best writers in the world here in Gods own country. In terms of literature, us Kiwis certainly punch well above our small populations weight. One such...
    The Jackal | 26-08
  • Herald on Labour
    Here is toady's New Zealand Herald's editorial on Labour's self-imposed fiscal haircut (well, it is more of a bread trim, but there you go...): The Labour Party has broken new ground in election campaigns by announcing cuts to spending that...
    Polity | 26-08
  • Anne Salmond’s take
    Anne Salmond (no relation, I think) has a considered, mature take on political life after Dirty Politics. Read it. I want to highlight one part in particular: If the Prime Minister’s office has indeed worked with the SIS to attack...
    Polity | 26-08
  • Deferring Transport Projects
    So what do you do when you’re told you have to cut some of your $826 million budget for capital projects and that in choosing what to cut it can’t apply to public transport projects? Well it seems if you’re Auckland Transport you...
    Transport Blog | 26-08
  • Athabasca Glacier: a tragic vanishing act
    The Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is probably the easiest glacier in the world to access by car. It's just a few hundred metres' stroll from the nearest parking lot on the magnificent Icefields Parkway in Alberta. The problem...
    Skeptical Science | 26-08
  • US/NZ host international workshop on ocean acidification
    Press Release – United States Embassy An International Workshop on Ocean Acidification: State-of-the-Science Considerations for Small Island Developing StatesAn International Workshop on Ocean Acidification: State-of-the-Science Considerations for Small Island Developing States August 28-29, 2014 Apia, Samoa Jointly hosted by New...
    Its our future | 26-08
  • Bernard Hickey: Income fairness improves economies
    The following Bernard Hickey article appeared in the Herald on Sunday Bernard Hickey: Income fairness improves economies 1:50 PM Sunday Aug 24, 2014 103 comments Huge disparities in wages, and access to healthcare and education, contributed to the global recession....
    Closing the Gap | 26-08
  • Free trade will lift Kiwi incomes: National
    Press Release – New Zealand National Party National today released a set of policies that reinforces the Partys commitment to openness with the world as the path to lift New Zealanders incomes, in contrast with opposition parties that want to...
    Its our future | 26-08
  • Letter to the Ediror – the PM? Or PM’s Office?
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . With regards to the hip-hop group that recently put out a song...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • Letter to the Ediror – the PM? Or PM’s Office?
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . With regards to the hip-hop group that recently put out a song...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • Reproductive Justice: More Than ‘Pro-Choice’
    By Dr. Morgan Healey, ALRANZ President I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at ‘That’s What She Said: Intersectional Feminist Day Conference’ hosted by the University of Canterbury Feminist Society in collaboration with NZ Tertiary Women’s Focus Group...
    ALRANZ | 26-08
  • Vote Choice: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Aid
    by Kes, ALRANZ Member An NZPPD Report on the Open Hearing on Adolescent SRHR in the Pacific – political will can make a difference for our Pacific neighbours New Zealand currently spends about $550 million a year in official development...
    ALRANZ | 26-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #14: Better Paint Jobs
    14: Better Paint Jobs What if heritage buildings had better colour schemes that enhanced their rich detail? There seems to be a thing at the moment where every time an older building is refurbished or just repainted, the modernising thing...
    Transport Blog | 26-08
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 26-08
  • Voting National Out This Election – Is a Matter of Survival For Many Kiwi...
    Electricity prices have risen by over 19% since the National Gov’t were elected in – so what do they plan on doing about it?  Nothing! House Prices have increased by over $225,000 in Auckland since National were voted in (based...
    An average kiwi | 26-08
  • On canapés and canopies
    On August 7, the Prime Minister was in town to announce the convention centre plans. This was done in a special marquee that was erected on the site, and to a very select group of delegates. I used an OIA...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 26-08
  • The spycloud
    The Intercept has a major expose today on the NSA's ICREACH program, a front-end for searching their massive databases of communications metadata. In other words, their spycloud. ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government...
    No Right Turn | 26-08
  • World News Brief, Tuesday August 26
    Top of the AgendaFrance Dissolves Government...
    Pundit | 26-08
  • It’s alive!
    A disturbing story about a song that woke up, started threatening people, and then had sex....
    Imperator Fish | 26-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • First home buyers $200 a week better off with Labour
    A couple earning around $75,000 a year would be $200 a week better off buying a two bedroom terraced Labour KiwiBuild home instead of an equivalent new build under National’s housing policy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.  “National’s policy to...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Another Day – Another big power profit
    The latest profit announcement from Genesis Energy shows that the power company was sold for a song to the detriment of the country’s power consumers, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “A net profit of $ 49.2 million follows hard...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • What Is Nicky Hager?
    WHAT WILL HISTORY MAKE of Nicky Hager? That slight, perpetually boyish, journalist who descends periodically, like the admonishing angel in a medieval mystery play, to trouble our consciences and wreak merry havoc with the orderly conduct of our political affairs....
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Can anyone in msm explain how after Dirty Politics that they all got played...
    Would you not think, that after reading Dirty Politics, that our mainstream media wouldn’t allow themselves to get tricked and played again by the VERY SAME discredited pundits? The best new feature on Radio NZ is their ‘Blog Watch’ and their...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Crusher Collins caught out lying about Privacy Commissioner – is this her...
    Crusher angry. Crusher smash own career. Crusher more angry. You would think that after getting outed as such a nasty, vicious piece of work in Dirty Politics, that Crusher would be scrambling to dial back the lies and manipulations. Apparently...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Cunliffe vs Key – first leaders debate
    This is your election ‘moderator’ – just one more reason an incoming Government need to sack everyone at TVNZ and reform it into an actual public broadcaster. The first leaders debate happens this Thursday, 7pm on TV One. I have...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – An Old and Honourable Profession
      When Dirty Politics started to reference an ex-prostitute I began to get antsy. My first response was “come on Nicky, we decriminalised in 2003. Its sex worker.” My second response was “Ah oh. Who was it and did they...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Bought and paid for: the dirty politics of climate denial
    Has climate denial in New Zealand been bought and paid for by corporate interests? We already know that the ACT Party’s routine denial is closely linked to the financial support the party receives from wealthy free market fundamentalist Alan Gibbs,...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • If the msm read The Daily Blog, THIS wouldn’t be a surprise – explainin...
    Yawn. How embarrassing for Hamish Rutherford and Andrea Vance, their breathless article today suggests that the idea of Labour and NZ First cutting a  deal over the buy back of assets  is some how new news. Silly mainstream media  journalists. If...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker??
    Yesterday I did some calculations to find out what tax John Key pays compared to a worker on the minimum wage. And I put out this media release for the Mana Movement: MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Hip hop death threats – the selective outrage of our media
    PM death threat in hip hop songAn Auckland hip-hop crew slammed for releasing a song with lyrics that apparently include a threat to kill Prime Minister John Key are urging young people to enrol to vote. Kill The PM, by...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes
    Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this!
    I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this weird spear tackle from behind by his own company. I was listening to this interview at the time, and the awkwardness of it must be the worst...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Is it weird Radio NZ ban me yet still have….
    Is it weird Radio NZ ban me for life because I criticised the Prime Minister yet still have Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and Jordan Williams, 3 of the main protagonists revealed in Dirty Politics as part of their ongoing political...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Christchurch GCSB meeting – why mass surveillance matters in 2014
    This is the video for last weeks GCSB meeting in Christchurch. Don’t forget Nicky Hager’s public meeting Wednesday night in Auckland, TDB will live stream the event in the interests of our democracy. Broadcast starts 7.30pm here on TDB....
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Assange, Greenwald to appear at Town Hall meeting? + KDC is not the hacker ...
    Wikileaks founder and the engineer of revealing some of the largest abuses of power in the modern era, Julian Assange, is rumoured to be appearing at the September 15th Town Hall meeting. Assange would join award winning investigative journalist Glen...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Why Paula Bennett will be the next leader and Hooton throws the Prime Minis...
    I don’t think the public have any idea of the behind the scenes meltdown now occurring within National. There are plenty of decent right wingers who all have ethical standards who have looked at what their leaders have been doing and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – That Awkward Feeling When Your Campaign Goe...
    Urgh. It’s a thankless and nearly impossible task politically firefighting some days. Somebody (who isn’t you, but who’s in your care, or whom you’ve got a close professional relationship with) does or says something stupid; somebody from the Media’s there...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Dirty politics goes viral
    Join the latest social networking craze this election that every Dog Cat and Jabba is putting on their facebook pages.     Joe Trinder – Ngāti Awa Born and born in Ōtepoti Ōtākou, Ex RNZN he is an Information Technology...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Blogwatch: An open letter to David Farrar: Please, be that guy
    Dear David, In light of  Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, you wrote a blog entitled ‘Some changes on Kiwiblog’ and you suggested it was time to tighten up ship on your website, saying “I want to improve trust in myself,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • What The Hell Was That! Reflections on the media’s coverage of the Intern...
    WHAT, EXACTLY, DO WE KNOW about the confrontation outside Internet-Mana’s campaign launch? Well, we know the news media was there in force. We also know Internet-Mana’s media person, Pam Corkery, blew her stack. We know that Corkery’s outburst led the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • NZ First candidate – homophobic, bennie bashing anti-intellectual clown
    Oh God, apart from Ron Mark, Tracey Martin, Curwen Rolinson and Winston before midday, the woeful cavalcade of political circus freaks NZ First seem to attract has picked up another hitchhiker. This time Epsom candidate Cliff Lyon who said this about Labour… “If...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Nicky Hager Public Meeting LIVESTREAM on The Daily Blog 7.30pm Wednesday 27...
    As part of our commitment to the 2014 Election debate, The Daily Blog will Livestream the Nicky Hager public meeting in Auckland, 7.30pm live from the Mt Eden War Memorial this Wednesday on this site. Doors open at 7pm. It...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Opening Night. It’s like an opera!
    On Saturday night just gone, we collectively experienced one of the premier panegyrys of political pageantry in our three yearly electoral cycle. For one glorious weekend evening every three years, it’s not the All Blacks or some Super 14 team, or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Unions – what ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Timor-Leste’s Parliament handed ‘humiliating’ defeat over harsh media...
    East Timorese journalists raise their hands to approve the Timor-Leste JournalistCode of Ethics in October 2013. Photo: Tempo Semanal/Cafe Pacific   David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. PACIFIC SCOOP reported this week that East Timor’s Appeal Court had scrapped...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • THIS is why we need a public broadcaster!
    The richest 20% of us in NZ own 70% of the wealth, with 18% in the hands of the second richest quintile, and 10% in the hands of the middle quintile. Just 2 per cent was owned by people in...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • A vote for Key is a vote for this
    A vote for Key is a vote for this...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Why the Secret Intelligence Service feeding Cameron Slater information is s...
    Folks, it doesn’t matter if you are Right or Left, the issue of the Secret Intelligence Service being forced to feed a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater with sensitive information is an ‘us’ issue. The SIS are...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • How lost and irrelevant are ACT?
    So ACT had it’s ‘launch’. Well, what passes as an ACT launch these days. Lot’s of anorak’s with that 1000 yard star and dreams of a Milton Friedman Free Market dancing behind their eyelids all crammed into a room small...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • National Party rowing advert aimed at Gen Xers
    Unkind wags such as myself would suggest that if the above were a real representation of National, it would look more like this…   National know they have the rural mob and the angry provincial vote locked in, with their...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • National Housing propaganda – McGehan Close Revisited
    .   . Housing has become a major, defining issue in New Zealand. We have critical shortages and escalating prices in  in the main centres and falling house values in the regions. The National government has addressed the supply &...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • The boldest, most creative and dynamic policy on employment for two generat...
    If you watched TV news last night you could be forgiven for thinking that a circus was on when Internet MANA launched its election campaign today. The reporting was abysmal but I won’t rehash it here because it’s been described...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Call for Aaron Bhatnagar’s resignation from govt body
    .   . One of the many sordid “bit”-players in Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“, and one of Cameron Slater’s inner-cabal, is businessman, National Party card-carrying cadre,  and former city councillor, Aaron Bhatnagar; . . In 2008, Bhatnagar was caught...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Internet MANA announce free tertiary education & full employment – me...
    Internet MANA launch their campaign after an extraordinary road tour and after gaining 4% in the Colmar Brunton Poll, today should have been the start point for a momentous occasion  in progressive political history. It was, but sadly most won’t...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Privilege denies true representation of disability rights
    The human right of people with disabilities in New Zealand has come back into the spotlight by the Human Rights Commission. The report named ‘Making Disability Rights Real’ highlights some of the main issues as being adequate data collection, accessibility,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Election TV campaign ads – Opening Night
    . .The infamous National Party ‘Dancing Cossacks’ Attack advert  NZ, 23 August -  The election campaign “kicked off” on Saturday evening, with a one hour “televisual feast”. Party advertisements were broadcast for National, Labour, Greens, NZ First, United Future/Peter Dunne,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Blogging vs Journalism vs Politics – The 7 latest revolting revelations
    So we now enter the most dangerous phase for National, the phase where the minutia of detail is so great now, the media have all the ammunition to keep asking questions that clearly show Key isn’t being honest in his...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • A positive story of political co-operation!
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 23 August - The following is a true story and shows how the natural inclination of the rank-and-file of our main left-wing parties is to work together… I’ve been in contact with both the Green...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • “Dirty Politics” – the fall-out continues…
    . . As the shock-wave from Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics” continues to engulf everything in it’s path, it’s worthwhile looking at the damage caused by the ever-expanding fallout… Fallout Dispersal Zone: 1oom Farrar wrote on 19 August  (and later...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • #TeamKey’s sinking boat
    #TeamKey’s sinking boat...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Cat vs Key – I know nuffin
    Cat vs Key – I know nuffin...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Israel’s sudden fixation with Hamas
    Israel’s sudden fixation with Hamas...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Toke the Vote 2014: NORML’s guide to NZ cannabis policies
    NORML’s policy, renewed at our recent national conference , is to encourage supporters to vote for parties and candidates who will work to reform our cannabis laws....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Internet Mana List Embodies Modern Aotearoa
    An impressive mix of personal and professional skills, cultural backgrounds and ages marks the release of Internet MANA’s combined party list. “Our list highlights the calibre of talent woven throughout Internet MANA,” said leader Hone Harawira....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • The Dirty Politics Fallout
    Tonight’s 3News-Reid Research poll shows that the Conservative Party is on the verge of making it into the next Parliament, even without an electorate deal with National. The poll, conducted in the week following the release of Nicky Hager’s...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Te reo Māori trending at New Zealand Fashion Week
    Language and fashion express culture and identity so it’s fitting for the Māori Party to launch its te reo Māori policy at New Zealand’s premiere fashion event in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Party And Candidate Lists for 2014 Election Released
    The Electoral Commission has released the nominations for the 2014 General Election, with 15 registered political parties and 554 candidates contesting the election....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Take Steps Against Child Poverty with Us!
    TAKE STEPS AGAINST CHILD POVERTY WITH US! Britomart to Aotea Square, Auckland, 11am, Saturday 6 Sept Music * Interactive Art * Stilt Walkers * Great Speakers * Plus more!...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Leading politicians to debate NZ’s role in the world
    Have you ever wondered where New Zealand stands when it comes to issues beyond our borders? Join Amnesty International's North Shore Group on Monday 1 September for a lively cross party debate and the chance to find out the answer...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Livestream
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence is happy to announce the upcoming political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invite representatives...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Politicians ignore 20% of New Zealanders
    Despite 20% of New Zealanders supporting it, none of the parties currently represented in Parliament endorse the legalisation of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Company tax rates
    The Op Ed pages of the left-leaning New York Times are full of articles by economists supporting proposals to dramatically lower Company Taxes. These economists are urging the United States to lower company taxes and point to Canada where the...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Stephen Dudley Case: No appeal or review of discharge
    On 8 August 2014 Crown Law received a request from the office of the Auckland Crown Solicitor to consider a Crown appeal against the discharge without conviction entered in respect of M in the High Court at Auckland on 7...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Dudley Family Statement
    “We are utterly devastated at the news regarding the law not allowing for this unjustified discharge without conviction to be appealed....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Chief Judge: Chief Sized Offender Bias
    “Justice by name, not by nature” states Ruth Money Sensible Sentencing Trust National Spokesperson, of Justice Helen Winkelmann’s decision to discharge without conviction the offender charged with the fatal attack on 15 year old schoolboy Stephen...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Confusion over BPS Reducing Crime and Reoffending Results
    A survey has revealed widespread confusion – even amongst professionals in the justice sector – about what the government’s reducing crime and reoffending progress reports actually mean....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Commission condemns violent attack on Gay Wellingtonians
    The Human Rights Commission has condemned a violent attack on staff and patrons at a gay bar in central Wellington last Friday. GayNZ reported that the alleged attackers were abusive and violent when they realised the bar and the people...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • One down, 12 to go says Community Housing Aotearoa
    The Waimahia Inlet is a step in the right direction for community housing to deliver 20% of New Zealand’s social and affordable housing by 2020, says Community Housing Aotearoa. CHA Director Scott Figenshow says the sector has been set a...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Research considering changes to pedestrian crossing laws
    A University of Canterbury research project has been considering the costs and benefits of a range of potential changes to pedestrian crossing laws that would bring New Zealand in line with the rest of the world....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Dairy farmers and consumers at risk from unapproved GE Grain
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) must immediately test all maize and soy for presence of unapproved GE lines coming from the Americas....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • NZ on Air Refuse to Condemn “Kill the PM” Song
    New Zealand On Air has refused to condemn @peace’s 'Kill the PM' song, and will not provide any assurance that no further taxpayer money will be used to support groups that promote violence and political hate. Earlier today the Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #32
    The combined wisdom of iPredict’s 8000 registered traders suggests National has begun a recovery after its prospects crashed last week following the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics . The governing party’s forecast party vote is back...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Juicy carrot for prisoners alarming suggestion – McVicar
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman, Garth McVicar says the public will be alarmed to learn that the only tool the Corrections Department has available to get prisoners to behave is to offer them a juicy carrot....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Panel: Fiji’s Return to Democracy
    Fiji’s post-coup elections and their impact in the Pacific o What is the role of the media in the Elections? o How might New Zealand help Fiji on its return to democracy?...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Cross-party consensus on climate change critical
    Senior NZ health professionals welcome recent policy announcements on climate change by major political parties, saying cross-party consensus is critical to address this leading health issue....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Minister of Transport to Attend Election Debate Tomorrow
    Organisers of tomorrow night's transport debate in Auckland are delighted that Minister of Transport Hon. Gerry Brownlee will now be attending....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Society Applauds Proposed NZ-Wide Risk Assessment
    The Wise Response Society is heartened to see that Labour' just released Climate Change policy includes formal support for the Society's call for a New Zealand-wide Risk Assessment. The Green Party has also formally acknowledged support for the Wise...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Iwi Leaders welcome Labour policy on climate change
    Labour’s policy to stamp out price – gouging by big polluters that has cost New Zealand tax-payers $1.4 billion over the last 3 years and especially impacted low – income Maori households has been welcomed by Dr. Apirana Mahuika, Chairman...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Auckland Broadcasting Debate this Sunday
    Auckland Broadcasting Debate 6.30pm, August 31st 2014 (doors open 6.15pm) Pioneer Women's Hall High Street, Auckland City...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • New Zealand First Party List 2014
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the Party list for the 2014 election. We believe the list is a balance of experience, youth, skill and ability. These candidates, many of whom will be in Parliament after the election, will...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Refugee Policy in Election Year
    Leading politicians representing major political parties will be highlighting their policies, answering questions and ebating the issues in the lead-up to the coming election in an event organised by RCNZ this coming Saturday in Auckland. The present...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Intueri shareholders celebrate corporate welfare
    New Zealand's largest tertiary education company Intueri, which announced a $1.6 million profit yesterday, has received an increase in public funding over the last two years of at least $1.8 million....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Response to “Kill The PM” Song Coverage
    I do not want to literally kill this man. I do not wish to have sexual relations with anybody related to him. Let's not pretend a silly little song ever changed anything. Last I seen famine was still going pretty...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment resource consent approved
    Mayor Annette Main has welcomed the granting of resource consent for the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui redevelopment project....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • How much tax does PM pay compared to a minimum wage worker?
    John Minto, MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson Tuesday 26 August, 2014 MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Aucklanders to March in Solidarity with Iraqi Christians
    Hundreds of people are expected at a march this weekend in Auckland's Queen St, calling for solidarity with persecuted minorities in Iraq....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Why not let Robin Hood help our children thrive?
    Why have we been so willing to accept the fact that a quarter of our children live in poverty? And why are we so unwilling to do anything about it when some simple measures would give all New Zealand’s kids...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Te Mana o Te Wai – the quality and vitality of water
    The Māori Party intends introducing legislation that gives the status of taonga to freshwater and will prioritise the improvement of its quality and vitality making it safer for drinking, swimming and gathering food....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • “Kill the PM” Band @Peace with Taxpayers’ Money
    Responding to the Fairfax article that hip-hop group @peace have released a track that threatens to kill the Prime Minister and have sex with his daughter, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • New Zealanders are right to be afraid of burglars
    “A poll in a major morning newspaper shows New Zealanders are afraid they will be burgled. They are definitely right about that,” said Dr. Jamie Whyte ACT Leader. “Official Police statistics report less than half of the burglaries that actually...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • National and Labour to outline economic visions
    The deputy leaders of National and Labour will outline their visions for the New Zealand economy in two upcoming public lectures hosted by Victoria University of Wellington....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Objectionable Hip-Hop Song Offensive to All NZ’ers
    Family First is slamming Auckland hip-hop crew @peace for their new release containing lyrics that threaten to kill Prime Minister John Key and have sex with his daughter....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Maori party Candidates Announced
    Maori Party Candidates Announced The Māori Party has today announced its list of 24 candidates to contest the 2014 General Election. "The list is headed by our co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, and followed by two brilliant young candidates, number...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Commercial Industry Opposes Recreational Fishing Policy
    Press release from Alan Simmons. United Future Outdoors spokesperson and Candidate for Taupo. United Future Party President....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Statement on William Yan
    The Internet Party has noted published comments from Mega Ltd. about a shareholding in the company being subject to a Restraining Order by police under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act in relation to Mr William Yan....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Conservatives will abolish Parole – McVicar
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman says that one of his first tasks when he gets to Parliament will be to overhaul the Parole system. On current polling and the fact he is ranked No 3 on the Conservative Party list...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • ONE News & Facebook – Election Coverage Collaboration
    Auckland - ONE News and Facebook are collaborating to offer an interactive and social experience for the 2014 General Election utilising data insights and trends. This collaboration provides a new way for the electorate and candidates to share their...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Vote Compass Reaches 200,000+ Respondents
    On Friday 22 August the total number of respondents to Vote Compass reached an impressive 200,000 - and that number continues to grow rapidly (the total was more than 204,500 as of 5.00pm Sunday 24th)....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Climate Policies Commit to Single Most Important Reform
    Labour’s response to climate change includes the single most important reform required - a Carbon Budgeting process and a Climate Commission to drive it....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Foodies come out for a CAN DO government
    Wellington culinary celebrities will be joining the call for a “can-do government” and supporting “can-do people getting out to vote” as they help build the beehive out of cans tomorrow....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Nicky Hagar – Auckland Public Meeting
    A public meeting meeting with Jesson Prize winner Nicky Hagar will be held Wednesday 27th August, 7.30pm, at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall (Cnr Dominion Rd & Balmoral Rd)....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Remote Pacific atoll challenge lures Christchurch planner
    How do you come up with an urban development plan for a city which consists of tiny islets connected by causeways located in a remote Pacific atoll and subject to flooding on the next king tide?...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
Images of the election
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere