web analytics

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

      😀 ( 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).

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Petition for free vote on Shop Trading Hours Bill
    “Labour is petitioning the Government to allow National Party MPs to have a free vote over Easter shop trading legislation, says Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The Bill which allows shop trading on Easter Sundays has just had ...
    7 hours ago
  • Council must build on heritage, not destroy it
    Auckland Council must move to ensure there are heritage protections in place following recommendations that demolition restrictions be tossed out, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The panel considering the Unitary Plan has recommended removing partial protections ...
    7 hours ago
  • Numbers of Māori waiting for homes grows
    With the number of Māori households waiting for homes increasing by more than 20 per cent in the past year, it’s time the Māori Party admits its support of the Government’s state house sell-off has made life worse for whānau, ...
    8 hours ago
  • Children’s ministry, but only for some
    The Government is stigmatising a whole cohort of young New Zealanders while leaving others behind with its creation of a Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Confirmation of the move by Hekia Parata, an acting Minister, ...
    11 hours ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER – Thursday 28TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    11 hours ago
  • Fee fi fo fum…tax swindle comes undone
    At the same time the Government is looking to pump more cash into private schools the IRD is investigating several over a tax swindle which allows parents to falsely claim private school fees as donations and claim a rebate, Labour’s ...
    14 hours ago
  • Government scuppers affordability requirements
    The Government must explain why the panel considering Auckland’s unitary plan removed affordability requirements at the behest of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Housing NZ, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Labour welcomes the Independent Hearing ...
    1 day ago
  • National pushes on with failed state house sell-off
    Merchant bankers, overseas companies and property developers will be lining up to buy 364 state houses in Horowhenua during two days of “market sounding” meetings starting tomorrow, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Despite a housing crisis and families ...
    1 day ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- WEDNESDAY 27TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew Little’s International Affairs Speech
    Tena Koutou Katoa Can I begin by acknowledging: Sir Doug Kidd, President, NZ Institute of International Affairs Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien, Executive Director, who did all the organising for today’s event. Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer. Victoria University of Wellington law ...
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry into surgical mesh needed now
    The Government must urgently launch a Ministerial inquiry into surgical mesh after more than 500 patients have lodged claims of complications with the ACC, say Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is the most widespread crisis involving surgical devices in ...
    2 days ago
  • Crime on the increase yet again
    Police Minister Judith Collins’ contention that crime is falling has proven to be wrong yet again, with latest Police statistics showing an increase in most crimes, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “Figures for June 2016 show an increase in ...
    2 days ago
  • Major reform of careers and apprenticeships to meet Future of Work
    The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Today I am announcing the next Labour Government will commit to a major ...
    2 days ago
  • DOC struggles on the pest front undermine Nats’ predator-free promise
    The Government’s planned predator-free initiative comes at the same time as the Department of Conservation is facing major challenges to keep pest numbers down, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “DOC’s annual report shows it failed on 5 out of ...
    2 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- TUESDAY 26TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    2 days ago
  • Unfunded CYF a ticking time bomb
    The Ministry of Social Development is sitting on a ticking time bomb with Child, Youth and Family out of pocket by $56 million despite increased demand for its services, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The new entity that’s replacing ...
    3 days ago
  • Lack of any real funding in predator free proposal
    Predator Free New Zealand is a laudable idea but the Government has not committed any real money into killing New Zealand’s pests, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “The $28 million earmarked for this project is just to set up ...
    3 days ago
  • Andrew Little Speech to LGNZ Conference
    Thank you for having me here today. Local Government New Zealand’s work of advocating for New Zealand’s 78 local councils is critical as we upgrade New Zealand’s economy, and make sure it’s delivering for all our people. Whether in Auckland, ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key must sack out-of-depth Trade Minister
    The Prime Minister must sack Todd McClay for failing to do his job as Trade Minister and be on top of a significant potential threat to some of our biggest exporters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Todd McClay is clearly ...
    3 days ago
  • 45,000 Kiwis sent back to their GPs
    Last year nearly 45,000 Kiwis were sent back to their GPs without getting to see specialists they were referred to, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “This is a shocking figure and underlines how far the cut of $1.7 billion ...
    3 days ago
  • Half a million smells like pure cronyism
    The National/ACT Government’s decision to pump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into a new lobby group to advocate for charter schools shows just how much of a failure their ideological experiment has become, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Select committee changes Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill
    Photo by Tom Hitchon Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee has made many changes to the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill in response to public submissions, particularly submissions from iwi authorities and Te Ohu Kaimoana.   Read the amended Bill and the ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • Housing map a hit as crisis spreads across NZ
    More than 55,000 New Zealanders have used Labour’s interactive housing map in its first week to see how the housing crisis is affecting their local community, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Our innovative map shows the housing crisis is ...
    6 days ago
  • Bridges must come clean about fraud within transport
    Hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money have gone missing and  the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges must come clean after the Labour party revealed that a senior manager is being investigated for serious fraud, says Labour’s Transport Spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supports Spencer victory
    Labour congratulates Margaret Spencer for her tireless efforts in challenging the Government over family carer rights, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Warship visit welcomed by Labour
    Labour sees the United States warship visit as a red letter day for New Zealand’s non-nuclear status, which is core to our identity and has defined us a nation for 30 years, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest dairy sector conversation
    ...
    1 week ago
  • What next? Dog kennels?
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain why the Government thinks it is acceptable for it to refer families to live in garages and sheds, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is a new low, just when you ...
    1 week ago
  • Banks bust a move, Government possum in the headlights
    Three of the big four banks have acted responsibly by bringing the shutters down on property speculators earlier than required by the Reserve Bank, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s a shame the Government isn’t as motivated to act ...
    1 week ago
  • Latest OECD dairy forecast raises serious questions for economy
    The latest global dairy price forecast shows that New Zealand dairy farmers will not reach a break-even payout before 2019 at the earliest, and will not reach the dairy price factored into this year’s Budget until after 2025, Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s reckless, out of touch approach to economy exposed
    Today’s economic assessment from the Reserve Bank highlights the danger to the New Zealand economy from a National government that is recklessly complacent in the face of a housing crisis and a struggling export sector, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    1 week ago
  • GP’s visits get more expensive
      Visiting the GP is set to become more expensive after the Government ignored warnings that people were not receiving access to affordable  healthcare, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Over 400,000 New Zealanders who should be able to access ...
    1 week ago
  • Farm prices bear brunt of dairy downturn
    The slump in dairy prices that has seen farm prices drop to their lowest level since 2012 and down a third from their peak in 2014 will be of concern to farmers, banks and our overall financial stability, Labour’s Finance ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank “gets on with it”, National carries on in denial
    The proposal by the Reserve Bank to tighten loan to value ratios for investors shows they are prepared to do their bit to crack down on speculators, while National is still stuck in denial mode, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    1 week ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Papers describe litany of incredulity
    Treasury documents which slate the Government’s plans for a national bowel screening programme confirm the proposal was nothing more than a political stunt to cover up underfunding of the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette Kings says.  The papers were ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Effect of rampant house prices widens
    The latest house price figures from REINZ show the housing crisis expanding throughout the country, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “We are seeing steep increases in median house prices in Central Otago Lakes – up 42.4% in the last ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public invited to have say on homelessness
    People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. This inquiry was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sorry seems to be the hardest word
    An apology from Hekia Parata to the people of Christchurch is long overdue, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "As if the earthquakes weren't traumatic enough, Hekia Parata and the Ministry of Education then attacked the one thing that had ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis affecting more than 98 per cent of NZ
    Labour’s new housing map shows the housing crisis is now affecting more than 98 per cent of New Zealand, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Housing pressures have seen house prices rise faster than wages in all but four ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Uber might not be a taxi firm but it must pay tax
    Uber needs to explain how it paid only $9000 in tax when it earned $1m in revenue and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Uber New Zealand appears to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax changes should have been made 3 years ago
    National could have avoided the international stain on our reputation from the Panama Papers if it had let IRD’s planned review of foreign trusts go ahead three years ago, instead of now belatedly acting because of the Shewan recommendations, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must stop state house sell-off
    The Government must immediately pull the plug on its planned sell-off of state houses in order to stop the housing crisis getting any worse, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “While Paula Bennett is putting people into transit camps in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere