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The neoliberalisation of Universities

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, May 12th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, employment, exports, privatisation, tertiary education - Tags:

In an article in today’s Sunday Star Times, Martin van Beyen, Francesca Lee and Adam Dudding, produce evidence that there is an organised business of assessment cheating, through providing students with assignments for their tertiary education courses.  Their headlines put the focus on the nationality/ethnicity of the business owner/managers and the students: “Chinese.”

But ultimately, the blame for such rorts lies with the neoliberalisation of universities.  This is what happens when universities become more about income generation, competition for qualifications for scarce well-paying jobs, and valuing these things over seriously engaging with education for diverse realms of life.  Universities should be engaged in furthering knowledge and understanding  for the benefit of society at large, and to provide the means to critically engage with such knowledge, and understanding, as well as the means to critically examine all aspects of our society.

democracy and education

Some significant parts of the article:

A Sunday Star-Times investigation has uncovered a well-organised commercial cheating service for Chinese-speaking students in New Zealand.

The long-standing business uses a network of tutors, some outside New Zealand, to write original assignments ordered by Chinese-speaking students attending New Zealand universities, polytechnics and private institutions.

The tutors are paid by assignment and have specialist subjects.

The assignments seen by the Star-Times go up to masters level but the service claims to have tutors up to doctorate level….

The Star-Times, using the name of a fictitious Chinese student, successfully ordered an essay for a first-year university course subject from the company, which markets itself under a Chinese-language website called Assignment4U and is run from a unit at 88 Cook St, Central Auckland.

The signage in the office says Ateama Ltd in large, bold letters. The company also offers tutoring, counselling, help and academic “solutions” for overseas students.

A ghost writer, who wrote assignments for Assignment4U in 2007, told the Star-Times about completing assignments for students who were enrolled at Auckland University, Massey University, Auckland University of Technology and AIS St Helens (a private tertiary education provider)….

Most education institutions have introduced systems to detect plagiarism but it is still very difficult to check if an assignment is the student’s work….

“It would take a colossal amount of looking the other way by the complete legion of tutors, lecturers, course facilitators and teaching assistants to let pass such well-constructed essays and such exquisitely prepared assessments submitted by those whose written and spoken English skills are far from polished.”

Safeguards such as plagiarism buster turnitin.com did not detect a well-prepared, well-researched, ghost-written, electronic-based assignment, he said.

“New Zealand, of all the Western nations, is now widely known in the Chinese community as the easiest way to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree,” he said.

Having taught in NZ universities, I don’t believe that university tutors, lecturers and departments are deliberately “looking the other way”.  It IS very difficult to get evidence of students turning in work they haven’t produced themselves.   Any academic course team or individual staff member, cannot accuse a student of doing that, without good evidence.

This is why, in spite of the fact that assignments done honestly by students are the best means of learning, I favour using exams for some of every, or most, course assessments.  It can expose when students language and/or academic skills in an exam are at odds with those in assignments they’ve turned in.  If this is evident, lecturers can then call up a student and test them verbally on the course/assignment content.  They can put to the student that there is a discrepancy in their course assessments.

Education for democracy

However, beyond that, it is difficult to get sound evidence of students rorting the system. The best way to combat such widely orchestrated rorts, is to return the universities to the focus on education, and not treat them as a commercial enterprise, or solely as job training obstacle-course institutions, for selecting people for work.  Overseas students are now valued more for the fees they pay, than for their contributions to the broader educational endeavour: something crucial to the democratic functioning of our society.

 

42 comments on “The neoliberalisation of Universities”

  1. Sosoo 1

    Having taught in NZ universities, I don’t believe that university tutors, lecturers and departments are deliberately “looking the other way”. It IS very difficult to get evidence of students turning in work they haven’t produced themselves.

    This is true. There are a couple of wrinkles. The first is that cheating is worse in online distance courses. We have good reason to think that hired guns in China are completing some of the assessments for our students, but we have no way to prove it.

    The other problem is that the current method of choice for plagiarists is to use foreign language sources and run them through Google translate (or do the same with English sources a few times). Software like Turnitin and Google searches can’t catch that.

    It is largely a problem with Chinese students. The only other source of cheats seems to be the Middle East, but it’s nowhere near as bad.

    While it’s fair to put some blame on the desire of universities to attract international students, that is not the major factor. The major factor is organised Chinese cheating. The Koreans and the Japanese don’t cheat more than anyone else.

    • just saying 1.1

      Having taught in NZ universities, I don’t believe that university tutors, lecturers and departments are deliberately “looking the other way”. It IS very difficult to get evidence of students turning in work they haven’t produced themselves.

      Probably that is largely true. But in some cases cheating does seem to be “facilitated”. I accidentally ended up in an ‘English for Health Sciences’ class with about 80% international students. The cheating was specatcular, and it struck me as odd that the paper had the greatest degree of internal assessment of any I took. For the most prestigious courses such as medicine and dentistry 75% in that class was the bare minimum for entry. I wondered how much those schools relied on fee-paying students. It did seem that many students who were probably top scholars in other subjects, were extremely weak at in-class work that didn’t count toward the final grade, and yet they consistently handed in A+ assignments. The exam was worth 25 percent.

      I noticed that a common form of borderline cheating amongst NZ students was a sort of ‘crowd sourcing’ amongst friends, especially for lab reports, but I’m not sure how “illegal” it was to work on individual assignments as a group.

      This was a few years ago and things may be different now.

      • Rogue Trooper 1.1.1

        Yep, just saying, and there has been many articles in the MSM about the academic un-preparedness of many domestic students entering University.

        and

        Nope, things have not got any better.

      • karol 1.1.2

        That’s depressing, js.

        I noticed that a common form of borderline cheating amongst NZ students was a sort of ‘crowd sourcing’ amongst friends, especially for lab reports, but I’m not sure how “illegal” it was to work on individual assignments as a group.

        Well, working in groups on the preparation for an assignments can be a useful learning experience – trying out ideas, weighing up other people’s ideas, ete. It probably depends on the assignment, and how students work together as to whether it is a kind of cheating.

        However, markers often pick up on it when there is similarity between the work of 2 or more students for the same assignment. If the marker knows the students it’s easier to tell who is doing the heavy lifting. But, if the work is too similar, then they can be called up to explain.

        I’m not sure how that would work for science or maths work though, if there is only one answer that can be found for a set task.

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.2.1

          It’s very easy to design Physics questions so that they can’t be answered just with numbers, or even so there’s more than one correct answer. In fact, I’d say only a lazy lecturer would ask those sort of questions by the time you get to the 3rd year. At first year, where you might get 150 in a lecture stream, it can be hard to do anything else.

          Ironically enough, at one university I taught a first year Physics course for non-science students, disparagingly known as Physics for Morons. Basically, we had to teach stuff without any equations, so it mostly came down to broad concepts. I found it quite challenging because that’s not normally how we teach, and the students were actually interested. They were far from moronic and as far as I can remember, there was no problem with cheating. I can’t think of any other undergraduate course where I could say the same. I also put the blame squarely at the feet of the commercialisation of education. Students pay for an education but think they are paying for a degree. University administrations often seem to agree with them.

          • ghostrider888 1.1.2.1.1

            I did a paper like that as an adult student to make up course-load; really enjoyed it, obviously. :)

  2. kiwi_prometheus 2

    [lprent: deleted because you’re banned. Changing IP’s and emails is kind of pathetic. It isn’t like you haven’t had sufficient warnings. ]

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Chinese being “third worlders”? Lol it seems like the country desperate for their monies and willing to trade away its values is the beggar nation.

      • ghostrider888 2.1.1

        yep. University qualifications now are not worth the rice-paper (scissors, Rock) they are pictogrammmed on.

        “NEW ZEALAND ,OF ALL THE WESTERN NATIONS IS NOW WIDELY KNOWN BY THE CHINESE COMMUNITY AS THE EASIEST WAY TO GET A BACHELORS OR MASTERS DEGREE”; welcome to the primers, and anybody who thinks that ghostwriting is not public knowledge is in denial.

        There is no way this side of hades that I would part with another bean towards an academic education in New Zealand; hiding to nothing, that is what the country is on.

        Confucius, the master, said, “Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?
        also,
        “Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?”

        The philosopher Yu said, “The superior man bends his attention to what is radical. That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up. Filial piety and fraternal submission- are they not the rock of all benevolent actions?”

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2

      Looks like the witless dick-cheese has transferred his weird obsession from QoT to Karol. OK, Kiwi Prometheus, we get it: you’re a prick. Now give it a rest, eh?

  3. Alanz 3

    “.. a network of tutors, some outside New Zealand, to write original assignments ordered by Chinese-speaking students attending New Zealand universities, polytechnics and private institutions.

    The tutors are paid by assignment and have specialist subjects.”

    Brilliant example of neoliberalism encouraging ‘outsourcing’.
    /sarc

  4. Matt 4

    “However, beyond that, it is difficult to get sound evidence of students rorting the system.”

    Sometimes the answer is the answer. If institutions are serious about thwarting organized cheating, then include on-site exams and require students to present and defend “their own” academic work.

    • Sosoo 4.1

      Universities can’t afford that. Online courses have caused a race to the bottom. If a student can’t get one at Auckland or Waikato, Massey or Vic will happily take their money.

      • Matt 4.1.1

        Well, another reason for my girls to not attend NZ universities.

        • Sosoo 4.1.1.1

          Don’t. Send them to Australia. Why bother with our substandard tertiary sector when you have quite a few world class institutions across the pond?

          • karol 4.1.1.1.1

            Actually, I think it’s wrong to assume that all students are getting a low quality education in NZ unis. There’s some excellent work being done by some staff and students, in spite of the less than favourable context/conditions.

            Unfortunately the cheats undermine the students doing honest and high quality work.

            There’s a big range of student performances: some excellent, and brilliant high quality work by a few. then there’s a long tail of low achievers, many just scrapping by, and learning little.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s world leading stuff going on in NZ universities but we mostly hear about the cheats.

  5. One Anonymous Knucklehead 5

    Neoliberalism was going to improve the quality of tertiary education. Since its introduction, however, NZ universities have slid down the global quality rankings.

    The experiment is a colossal failure on all fronts: economic failure, educational failure, environmental failure, social failure. Fail fail fail.

    New Zealand will not go forward until the last vestige of neo-liberalism is destroyed: its advocates shamed, its professors shown the door. The sooner the broad left (looking at you, Labour Party) fully accepts this the sooner things will improve. It’s that simple.

    It could be worse though: morons like KP could be running the show.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +1

      Except the bit about Labour, forget Labour – they’ve drunk the Kool Aid.

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      Our universities have obviously slid down the rankings because of the deconstructed Marxist feminists still employed in Arts Departments. Market penetration has not been fully allowed, just like the presence of any banking regulations at all caused the GFC. No one who doesn’t contribute to WhaleSpew on a daily basis should be allowed to work at any university. We’d immediately see them at the top of the rankings. At least according to any polls Farrar might run.

  6. Tim 6

    Have a listen to this if you haven’t already:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2551967/richard-hil-academic-anger.asx

    I’d be interested in people’s thoughts – if I may be so bold as to ask.

    FROM Sunday with Laidlaw (broadcast 14 April)
    Richard Hil has written about pressure on universities to make money and the effect that has on academics and teaching. He talks to Chris about the long-running industrial strife at Sydney University; the casualisation of the workforce at universities throughout Australia, which he calls an outrageous exploitation of labour; and the need for academic staff to stand up for their colleagues.
    Whackademia: An Insider’s Account of the Troubled University, by Richard Hil, is published by NewSouth Publishing.

    • Murray Olsen 6.1

      At the higher levels, faculty Dean and above, Australian universities are full of corporate neoliberal types. Very few of them have had distinguished academic careers. Their main aim is to make money and go up in the international rankings. The first is done by attracting international students and increasing staff workloads, along with an increasing casualisation of labour. The strategy for the second is to poach research superstars from other universities and throw millions at them.

      The level of unionisation is not generally high. As far as I’m concerned, only those who join the union should partake of the benefits.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    It IS very difficult to get evidence of students turning in work they haven’t produced themselves.

    There’s a way to ensure that it is – require that the students notes and work are done and maintained on the universities cloud system.

    • ghostrider888 7.1

      :-D ( and then a helpful sysops can don-load (sic) the file.

    • Matt Damon 7.2

      Matt Damon

    • Sosoo 7.3

      That doesn’t work. Students take online courses and submit their work from all over the world. Many Chinese students are in China when they take our courses. It’s tremendously easy to fake an IP address.

      Universities can’t really abandon online learning. They also can’t stop the attendant cheating.

      It’s a genuine dilemma.

    • QoT 7.4

      Oral presentations via Skype would be handy, but time-consuming.

      • Rhinocrates 7.4.1

        Well that’s the problem. Two thirds of my contract for one paper is devoted to marking, since we use what’s called “formative assessment”. This method means that the feedback along the way is regarded as helping learning, but it means that I. as a tutor, have to be paid to spend time marking drafts as well as completed assignments.

        As universities try to cut costs, if there’s going to be any formative assessment, then the “economical” trick is to get the students to assess each other, and in other papers I’ve been involved in, the university has been trialling such methods. It works quite well, I have to say, if a strong sense of community is fostered among them, though it’s very dependent upon circumstances, which bean-counters won’t be able to appreciate. For example, in vocational degrees such as architecture and design, that works, since the students are all working in parallel and form tight-knit communities, but in looser degrees, that will be a problem.

        As you say, QoT, assessment and tutoring would be time-consuming, and from the perspective of a university that employs tutors, markers and so on on a contract basis (as is increasingly the case), expensive.

      • karol 7.4.2

        Individual interactions on Skype would be useful. It’s the individual, face-to-face interactions that help staff to assess a student’s academic capabilities, interests etc. And enable them to discuss assignments while students are working on them, as well as seeing students doing oral presentations.

        But, again, it needs lower staff-student ratios.

    • karol 7.5

      I have taught on courses where students are reuqired to hand in their assignment notes. That creates as many problems as it solves. Students can still get their notes from someone else. And it just makes more qork for the markers.

      Part of the problem is academic staff are under a lot of pressure because of the need to increased class sizes as a result of the “bums on seats” approach to funding. This is particularly true of first and second year under-grad courses.

      The issues ease at the final undergrad level, and for post grad courses when the classes tend to be smaller. This means staff have more contact with each individual student. This helps with judging if students are turning in their own work,

      I see Joyce is jumping in blaming others. A=However, he is the last person to be providing remedies. Hids approach of “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing” is the problem.

      There needs to be more attention to educational processes, rather than focusing on short term measurable outcomes – same as the national standards ethos in schools.

  8. andyS 8

    I spent a month teaching in China and cheating is endemic there, to the extent that the tutors encourage it.

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    The informant sent a registered copy of his letter to the IRD because he alleges massive tax fraud. I am waiting to see what shadow Revenue Minister, David Cunliffe, uncovers.

    If the IRD read the allegations, they should have been swarming all over this company 3 months ago.

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    A member of my family has just told me when she wanted to verify her overseas university degrees for the NZQA the first thing that popped up on a Google search was NOT the NZQA. It was a company that would get you verification of phoney qualifications . . . for a price.

    She says it was common knowledge that for $1,000 you could buy fraudulent qualifications which would be accepted by the NZQA.

  11. In my experience, the universities are quite open (internally at least) about international students = cash. The government caps the number of domestic enrolments it will fund, but international enrolments are uncapped and self-funding. They’ll all say it’s not in their interest to take students who can’t complete their degrees, but the fact is it’s in their interest to take people who’ll pay cash up front, regardless of what happens after the cash hits the bank account.

    That said, internationalisation is a good thing and any institution that tries to pretend otherwise is on a fast track to decline. This problem is an inevitable result of taking students from countries in which corruption is the norm (China, India and the Middle East being the main offenders in the NZ market). It can be managed, but NZers without experience in Third World countries tend to be naive about corruption on the basis that we’re really not that used to it. Basically, we have to stop being such easy marks if we want a better class of international student.

    • karol 11.1

      How about NZ education (university and in other sectors) is for the benefits of Kiwis and wider society, rather than trying to operate them as businesses? Education is a resource and common good, and not a sale-able (trade-able) product/service.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Yep, that was what I was thinking.

        • ghostrider888 11.1.1.1

          I despair, I really do; this from Pete Hodkinson, NZUSA president- “it’s disgusting this business takes advantage of stressed students”. wtf, where do we get these opinions from? crib notes? ffs!

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.2

        That would be nice, but neither of the big parties seems keen on the idea. National’s just a bit more focused than Labour when it comes to treating universities as some kind of SOEs.

  12. Binders full of viper- women 12

    the blame for such rorts lies with the … dishonest students (& inter web).

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    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    12 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    14 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    14 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    14 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    15 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    15 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    15 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
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    15 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
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    16 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    17 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    9 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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