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The real aims of National’s “Education” policy.

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, July 8th, 2014 - 149 comments
Categories: business, class war, equality, jobs, national/act government, Privatisation, Public Private Partnerships, tax, Unions, workers' rights, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

If the aims of National/ACT’s education policy were, genuinely, to to improve the learning, education and career choices for our children, including the ones that are failing at present, they would not be following policies which have signally failed to achieve any of these goals, anywhere else they have been tried.

When you realise the real results of the polices that National, and ACT, want to introduce in other countries, you begin to see the real aims.

A two tier education system.

One tier, of private schools, entrenching wealth and privilege.

http://www.toomuchonline.org/tmweekly.html
“jobs today — “particularly the most lucrative” — have become, they add, “available almost exclusively to young people from wealthy backgrounds. One example: In the UK, only 7 percent of children attend private schools. But two-thirds of the nation’s doctors have been privately educated”.

National are even more cheeky. They still want us to fund their spoilt brats privileged education, while they cut funding to our children..

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9601664/School-gets-aid-despite-assets-worth-millions

 

Tier two. “Education factories” designed to teach the minimum, while making profits for private owners.

 

A tier, of cheap, production line, “education” in conformity,  and the minimum required for working in dead end jobs. Unthinking cannon fodder for poor employers. The Teaching of critical and independent thought to be removed as far as possible. (So the accumulation of wealth by a few non working bludgers, and their spoilt offspring,  is unquestioned). Reading, writing and arithmetic. (National standards).

Of course, the destruction of Teachers collective voice, the unions, is needed, to remove opposition to dumbing down and “privatising” education..
The bribing of compliant “executive Teachers” that conform to National’s “vision” of education is, of course, designed to help the true aims.

Hostage Taking in The Classroom

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/education-hostage/17cceda6b3d44b20031f5583a3c40e5d0c630f30/
“The commercial application of this extortion scheme is straightforward. In shock-doctrine-like fashion, the corporate community that typically lobbies against higher taxes to fund schools makes a business opportunity out of schools’ subsequent budget crises”.
“Ultimately, the public is removed from its own public education system and faraway moguls turn education policy into their ideological plaything, consequences be damned. Worst of all, the hostages are left to suffer – and have no hope of ever being released”.

 

When you see that the goal is to commercialise public education, regardless of education quality, and entrench the privileged, wealthy “class”, the seeming ineptitude and incompetence in “improving” “education” from National and ACT, makes sense.

 

149 comments on “The real aims of National’s “Education” policy.”

  1. BM 1

    National are even more cheeky. They still want us to fund their spoilt brats privileged education, while they cut funding to our children..

    Offer a tax rebate to the parents instead of government funding.

    • KJT 1.1

      Banning private schools would be even more effective. Then those parents would make sure that public education remains high quality.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        What schools do cabinet members’ kids go to?
        Conflict of interest?

        • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1

          How many shadow cabinet members kids go to public schools?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            The guillotine doesn’t discriminate. It’s still a bit blunt at the moment but I’m sure you can wait.

            • tinfoilhat 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “The guillotine doesn’t discriminate. It’s still a bit blunt at the moment but I’m sure you can wait.”

              I’m not sure what you mean by this ?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                A wealth-based education system: say it with pitchforks.

                TR is quite happy to continue along this path.

          • Freda McGaw 1.1.1.1.2

            At a good guess – I’d say none

      • BM 1.1.2

        Why, don’t you like people to have choice.?

        If parents want to send their kids to private schools or home school them, I don’t see a problem.

        • Paul 1.1.2.1

          Only some people have choice BM…

          • BM 1.1.2.1.1

            Within reason, every one has choice, it’s one of the great things about NZ.

            You may not achieve what you choose, but the opportunity is there.

            • KJT 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Tell that to a kid from Otangarei.

              • BM

                What’s so special about Otangarei.

                • KJT

                  Average income or less than 10k.

                  When, only a very few wealthy people have “choice” then it is not a choice.

                  Equality of opportunity has never really existed in New Zealand, but up until 1984, it was better than most countries.

            • Paul 1.1.2.1.1.2

              Not everyone, (and you know it) can afford private school fees.
              Please talk sense.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Quite right. We can’t afford to have a two-tier education system in this country. The costs are evident and huge. Look at the damage ACT do, for example.

              • Even fewer people could afford private school fees if they weren’t subsidised by the government, an irony we must never let the right get away with not mentioning.

        • KJT 1.1.2.2

          If you don’t like how a public school is working, you have the democratic right, along with the rest of us, to work towards changing it.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.2.1

            No, he doesn’t want to participate in public education so his opinions must be ignored completely according to the simple formula I outline below.

          • BM 1.1.2.2.2

            What happens of public schooling isn’t what you’re after?

            Public schooling serves the vast majority of kids in NZ very well, but there are also situations, for whatever reason, were other options are better, for example charter schools.

            Nothing wrong with specialization.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.2.2.1

              So long as you give up the right to have your opinions on public education policy heard, fine.

              • BM

                If you’re not part of public education, I don’t see why you’d want to stick your oar in anyway.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s the end of John Key voting on education policy then? Didn’t think so.

            • KJT 1.1.2.2.2.2

              BM. We did have specialised schools within the State system..

              Right wingers have been reducing their funding and closing them down.

              Salisbury school just escaped.

        • Rodel 1.1.2.3

          Confucius say- ” man who don’t see a problem need to open eyes.”

        • The Pink Postman. 1.1.2.4

          BM.

          I have no objection to any parent sending their children to a private school ,What I do object to is the fact the this Tory government hands our millions of dollars to private schools whilst our publics schools have cuts backs and struggle to Make ends meet.I also object to parents of public schools recieving generous tax breaks whilst the majority of public school parents are struggling to feed their kids and pay for expensive uniforms.
          Labours education policy is amust for middle and lower income families.
          smaller classes, computer ownership and food in schools a great policy that should have ben done years ago . And its Labour that will do it whilst the greedy rich will seeth with rage.

        • Anne 1.1.2.5

          Why, don’t you like people to have choice.?

          The only people who have a choice are the 10% in the upper income brackets. In other words, the NAct mantra is: we want to have a choice, the rest of you can bugger off…

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.5.1

            +1

            And see the article I linked to below about choice. Personally, I think you’ll find that private schools actually do worse educating our children than state schools but because the private schooled person is also plugged in to the old boys network they’ll get a good paying job anyway.

            • Macro 1.1.2.5.1.1

              We can’t be too generalistic about state verses private actually. Education is never one size fits all. There need to be alternatives for a number of reasons. I have taught in state, private, independent, and home based schools at both primary and secondary levels (as well as teaching in a tertiary institution and have been a senior manager in industrial training and development and an examination moderator). All forms of education have their pluses. My children have also attended state, private, independent and home based schools.
              When it operates well the state can provide a wonderful education, but for quite a number of children the system does simply not provide. I instance one of my own children in this regard. At the age of 10 she was still struggling with reading, even the most basic of texts. We realised that she would simply not cope in a secondary state school. Fortunately we were able to afford to enrol her in an alternative school which recognised her needs and was able to deal meet them. Dyslexia needs a number of alternative strategies to develop the brain to handle the symbolism of written text. Remedial eurythmy will never be available in a state school. It is far to “out there” to be taken seriously by orthodoxy, yet within 3 months of starting at her new school she was able to read all the “Harry Potter” by herself. A feat she would never have accomplished at her old school. Whilst dyslexia is always with her, she has now completed a degree, has written and performed several stage productions, and is currently actively working as a co-convener for the local branch of the Greens.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Remedial eurythmy will never be available in a state school.

                But it damn well should be even if it means a specialist state school. There shouldn’t have to be “Fortunately we were able to afford to enrol her in an alternative school which recognised her needs and was able to deal meet them.” In the present socio-economic system not everyone is born to parents who can afford to do that.

        • Tom Jackson 1.1.2.6

          Why, don’t you like people to have choice.?

          Collective action problems.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.3

        What would the cost to the state be be to bring all students currently attending private schools into the public system?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.1

          It would be a massive saving if we closed the sociopath incubators.

          • Enough is Enough 1.1.3.1.1

            How so?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Society would no longer have to bear the costs associated with right wing born-to-rule sociopaths.

              • Enough is Enough

                That is just a nonsensical comment.

                I went to a faith school because my (Labour voting) parents wanted that to be a part of my education. The state is secular and should never have to fund a school that has a particular faith as a cornerstone of its curriculum.

                I have school friends that went through that same private education who attend Green party fund raising events with me.

                I have met more “right wing born-to-rule sociopaths” from Auckland Grammar and Christchurch Boys High School than have ever come out of my particular private school.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Weird: comment disappeared.

                  If the wealthy have more skin in the public education game they’ll still do their best to see their kids go to a good school.

                  The two-tier system they have created doesn’t impact sufficiently on National Party owner/donors; their victims bear the brunt of their greed instead.

                • KJT

                  I don’t think it is a coincidence that both the schools are zoned to wealthy areas and they “manage” their roll to exclude children from poorer families, unless they are top rugby players, in the same way as private schools.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    So will you ban schools in wealthy areas as well private schools?

                • Tom Jackson

                  A “faith school” is a contradiction in terms.

                • Tracey

                  can “any” parent send a child to a private school, or any parent whocan afford the fees. They are not the same. In auckland, auckland grammar is grouped with private schools in the mind of many, sameas chchch boys high in chchch.

                  The parents are very affluent and class trips often include going to italy, or rug y trips to sa, and so on.

                  • McGrath

                    My understanding is that if you have the cash, the private school will take you.

          • tinfoilhat 1.1.3.1.2

            OAB I’m not sure you can call private schools sociopath incubators, there are many fine educators and students that come out of private schools just as there are in public schools.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.1.2.1

              I expect my more moderate colleagues will have to ameliorate my extremism.

        • KJT 1.1.3.2

          Cheaper.

          “The school will receive $1.52m for 2012/13, as it moves towards being an integrated school. To put this in perspective, Wanganui City College, its public school neighbour, operates on a budget of $1m”.

          National put 57 million into private schools in 2011. The same year as they cut 43 million from public schools. Including Teacher professional development and assisted learning programs.

          • Enough is Enough 1.1.3.2.1

            I am not talking about Wanganui. If a private school fails it fails as far as I am concerned. Collegiate should have been left to collapse.

            I am talking about the private schools that stand on their own feet. If we are to ban private schools how much would we have to increase the state education budget to educate the thousands of kids that the state doesn’t currently fund?

            And where would that leave parents that want their kids to be educated within Jewish/Muslim/Christian backdrop.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.2.1.1

              Those extra costs are nothing compared to the social and economic costs of a two-tier education system.

              In any case the offending parents can easily be identified and required to fund public schools at the same fee levels they pay for private ones. There have to be some punitive consequences for their anti-social behaviour.

              It’s time to get tough on Tories before we have to haul the guillotines out again.

              • Enough is Enough

                Can you at least try to give rationale response without inaccurate generalisations about the political leanings of those who attended private schools.

                Guess what kind of school these mad dog Tories went to Roger Douglas, John Key, Jim Bolger and Judith Collins?.

                Michael Cullen on the other hand attended guess what kind of school.

                My point is there is a place for private schools in New Zealand. They do not teach kids the dark arts of the Tories any more than certain state schools do.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. In any case I’m sure more moderate solutions can be found if the current situation isn’t allowed to deteriorate much further.

                  PS: I’ll repeat myself: the extra costs are nothing compared to the damage done by the two-tier system.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    You haven’t really explained what those costs are other than inferring every private school graduate is some kind of Tory out to destroy society.

                    The people who have destroyed our society are more likely to have come through the state education system.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You don’t think removing wealthy children from their peers isolates either group at all much, with inevitable social consequences? I do.

                      What impact do you suppose it has on social mobility?

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Right so how do you suppose we deal with Auckland Grammar and Epson Girls Grammar. Truck kids in from South Auckland or just close them down like you propose to do to Private Schools?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The problem goes far beyond that, as your example illustrates.

                      As inequality progresses, so too we see the gulfs between people grow not just financially and in terms of life expectancy, personal health and education, social mobility and child mortality/morbidity, but geographically too.

                      The guarded gated communities where the workers are bussed in. I think that’s about the point where the possibility that it’s all on starts to become significant.

                      We can’t ban inequality. We can choose how much we have.

            • KJT 1.1.3.2.1.2

              There are no private schools in New Zealand, that I know of, that stand on their own feet without some sort of State funding or support..

              If nothing else they rely on the State system to train their Teachers.

              • Enough is Enough

                Well Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully rely on the state to train their lawyers as well. Not really a reason for closing down private law firms though.

                But back to my point. Why should parents not be allowed use their own money to send their kids to a faith school? I sure as hell do not want the government funding a Jewish or Christian school, but I see no reason why the schools cannot operate independently.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You don’t consider Bishop Tamaki to be reason enough?

                  How about the mendacious and illegal practices of the current CRI providers?

                  • Enough is Enough

                    Why would you ever want to silence someone for their personal religious beliefs and essentially ban it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I just don’t want child abusers anywhere near kids, and lying to children (in this case about sky fairies) is abuse.

                    • KJT

                      No. People can believe what they like, unless it harms others.
                      Harm includes, having a captive audience of children to brainwash.

                      As the Jesuits used to say. “Give us a child by 7………”.

                      A state school by it’s nature allows children to learn a diversity of ideas.
                      So long as they are not dumbed down by “National standard” education.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Probably agree with you there re state schools and diversity. Which is why there are just as many elitist tory fuckwits coming out of state schools as there are coming out of private schools.

                      I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree now.

                      I will always argue against intolerance. No-one should be accused of being an abuser or being nuts because of their personally held religious beliefs. A belief which is enshrined in our law.

                      I attended St Pauls Collegiate in Hamilton. My own kids attend Hillcrest High, a co-ed state school. My parents wanted me to have a religious backdrop to my education. I wanted my kids to go the local school. Don’t take that choice away from parents because of your intolerance for religion.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No-one has accused believers of being abusers or nuts. We’re simply pointing out that bearing false witness is wrong, especially to an immature audience.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As the Jesuits used to say. “Give us a child until the age of 7………”.

                      fify

                      Point Taken.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    Just relax – no-one is asking you to send your kids to Tamaki’s school.

                    And while you are relaxing explain why Section 13 of New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 should not be applied to those who choose to send their kids to faith schools.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      For the sake of the children. Why should we amplify the existing misfortune of being born into a family of god-botherers?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why should children be forced to believe that which their parents believe?

                      Or, to put it another way, Why don’t we extend that same right to children?

                • Molly

                  I’m fairly sure that the National Government changed legislation for funding of religious schools to include Jewish (and other denominational) schools. Previous to that it was Christian and Maori based – as they were the two recognised state religions.

                  Yep, here is the article from 2010 in the Herald.

                  “Some families will save more than $250,000 when a prominent Jewish school is integrated into the state system.

                  Kadimah School in central Auckland will go “public” from January, meaning its fees for pupils will drop from $11,400 a year to $500.

                  It is the first Auckland Jewish school to be integrated into the state system.

                  The school’s roll has dropped to 120 from 275 10 years ago as fees became a major obstacle for families facing tougher economic times.”

                  You really need to keep up with what is going on…

              • Northshoreguynz

                Yet another example of the Nats subsidising a failed business model. I thought they were in favour of business doing its own thing. Oops, no, wait…

              • Macro

                The average funding for Private as opposed to charter schools (which are a subset of private I know) was approximately $1700 per child in 2009. I’m not sure what the latest figures are. And yes almost all have State trained teachers – but these days student teachers fund a significant portion themselves. One area that do not have state trained teachers is Steiner Schools who have their own teacher training at Havelock North.

                • Macro

                  There is also confusion from those who do not appreciate the difference between ‘Private” and “independent” schools which are in many ways like a “private” school but are almost exclusively funded by the state.

            • KJT 1.1.3.2.1.3

              Those that want to abuse their children by apartheid education, indoctrinating them with fairy tales, should not be encouraged.
              Those whose beliefs are so fragile they cannot stand the light of day. Who do not allow their children to be exposed to the idea that there are many different beliefs, and even ‘science’ based on evidence, are doing their children and our community, a disservice.

              • Enough is Enough

                Ohh goody, there is nothing like a bit or religious intolerance and bigotry to fire up a debate.

                Section 13 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. Read it

                • KJT

                  “religious intolerance and bigotry” tends to come from those who have been kept in the dark about the whole world of ideas.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    And your comment at 1.1.3.2.1.3 (that’s a lot of numbers) about “abuse” is not in anyway intolerant about another’s basic human right to hold a religious belief?

                    • KJT

                      Another humans basic right not to be brainwashed in to one belief, by people deliberately with-holding information, trumps that.

                      I think we should, rather than exclude religion from schools, teach about belief systems so that children can decide for themselves.

                      Of course, children, or adults, with the information and right to decide is the last thing any ‘true believers’ want.

                      Modern day neo-liberal university economics is a more dangerous ‘belief system’ than religion, which at least, has a moral code attached.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What KJT said.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      “I think we should, rather than exclude religion from schools, teach about belief systems so that children can decide for themselves.”

                      Have you done any research into this? Most Christian schools have that in their curriculum. It isn’t just don’t be bad or you go to hell. It is understanding all religions.

                      The NZQA Religious Studies course is taught in Year 12 in catholic schools. It is not the study of Catholicism. It is a study of all religions. It is not brain washing. Teenagers are developed enough to believe what they want to believe.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure.

                      Then they grow up and forget all about their teenaged open-mindedness.

                      cf. ‘Wenn du lügst, den luge gründlich…’

            • Tom Jackson 1.1.3.2.1.4

              You would simply increase tax to cover the small difference. The amount that those who sent their kids to private school would pay in a tax increase would be quite a bit lower than what they were spending to send their children to a private school, since the cost of their children’s education would be spread across the whole society over whole lifetimes of earnings.

            • Tracey 1.1.3.2.1.5

              if people want religious education it needs to be 100% user pays. You cant ask taxpayers to subsidise unproven imaginary friend philosophies

      • Chooky 1.1.4

        Why should the State fund private schools?…if people want a private education and the State system is not good enough for them…they should pay for it entirely themselves

        ….and this includes schools of ‘special character’ like Church schools and Catholic Schools…( say no more about Catholicism…except do we really want to perpetrate the values and practices of the Catholic Church in largely secular non sexist values ,egalitarian New Zealand?)

        • Enough is Enough 1.1.4.1

          Spot on Chooky… The state should never have to fund faith based schools

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      So long as they give up the right to vote on public education policy, sure. A simple formula: if the education budget is 20% of revenue, private education fundies get 0.8 of a vote.

    • miravox 1.3

      “Offer a tax rebate to the parents instead of government funding.”

      How can you offer a tax rebate to people who don’t pay taxes?

  2. Weepu's beard 2

    Had the interim reports the other day and they too appear to be designed to confuse the average parent into not asking too many questions. Remember Theresa Gattung famously stating that confusing the (Telecom) customer is a legitimate marketing strategy? Well, this looks like the same thing. Plain language has been replaced with acronyms instead of the other way around which is what was promised.

    The focus very early (too early) is on testing readin, ritin, and rithmatic, rather than teaching the child. Huge classes too but then we are told class size has nothing to do with it.

    Young families will vote along these lines. Left = smaller classes, right = larger classes. They won’t vote for some bizarre educational experiment dreamt up in the dark reaches of fundamentalist America.

  3. karol 3

    Yep. The difference between left and right wing education policies, are not about which is “better”, it’s about what each approach aims to do and/or the most likely outcome of each.

    Small classes, for instance, enable more student-centred learning, where children learn to learn for them selves, and in collaboration with their peers.

    Large classes are more geared towards rote learning – and thence, a large docile section of the population who learn to accept the authority of those who dish out the rewards: a shaping of behaviour in ways that the authorities deem in their own interests.

    • Rob 3.1

      The real issue is that if you have a large class taught by a drop kick teacher and you have a small class taught by a drop kick teacher you will still get the same student outcome, the difference that has been orchestrated is that the drop kick teacher has remained in a job.

      So is this plan really about the kids?

      • karol 3.1.1

        Duh! Do the left wing policies ONLY focus on small classes? As micky stated, small classes help deliver a load of other outcomes that are beneficial to children’s learning.

        Plus, left parties aim to work on the other factors as well, including teacher performance.

        Meanwhile the NAT’S policy pays lip service to improving teacher performance, with very little actually planned to ensure that outcome.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2

        The real issue is that the most influential factor in academic achievement is household income, and while you were demonstrating your ignorance, teachers are already subject to performance assessment and review.

        The functions, roles and responsibilities associated with the management of teacher performance are distributed across the Ministry, NZTC, schools and ERO. The performance management framework aims to ensure that all students in New Zealand schools experience effective teaching.

        Whinging about a non-existent state of affairs is so stupid and tiresome; why do you do it?

        • dv 3.1.2.1

          Drop kick commentator.

          • Rob 3.1.2.1.1

            I think you would be very suprised by the amount of wrangling parents (and also students themselves at older stages) are putting on schools to ensure that their child is being taught by a particular teacher. Parents and students are very aware of the performance and connection of teachers, which ones are good and which ones are a waste of time.

            If you think these are a non-existant state of affairs again you are in dreamland, just as if you think that employing 2,000 more of anything will fix an issue.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Fix is the enemy of improve.

              Why are you fixating on one aspect of the policy rather than considering the whole?

            • McFlock 3.1.2.1.1.2

              2,000 more doctors or dentists would certainly help the country, too.

              But 2000 more teachers would increase the number of non-“dropkick” teachers, so you’re still wrong. And a small class taught by a “dropkick” teacher would have a smaller damage outcome than a large class taught be a “dropkick” teacher.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1.1.3

              Among teachers, as among lawyers and doctors and artists and engineers and labourers and scientists, there are varying skill levels.

              It is the human condition.

              Labelling one of those extremes as ‘the drop-kicks’ says what exactly? Other than as an expression of ignorance and hostility?

              • Rob

                Because there are some truly useless teachers just as you have correctly identified that across any same industry there is a distribution curve of performance, ability and commitment.

                There are also some quite brilliant and inspirational teachers that can blow minds and reshape directions. Treating them all the same is just wrong, and especially treating them all the same at low level so that the lower performers feel protected and involved is damaging and it is the students, parents and society that have to own these outcomes.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  What a relief that they are not all treated the same, then. See the link I provided above.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  PS: “Even under conditions of effortful processing, attitudes toward a social policy depended almost exclusively upon the stated position of one’s political party. This effect overwhelmed the impact of both the policy’s objective content and participants’ ideological beliefs, and it was driven by a shift in the assumed factual qualities of the policy and in its perceived moral connotations. Nevertheless, participants denied having been influenced by their political group, although they believed that other individuals, especially their ideological adversaries, would be so influenced.”

                  I bet you adhere to doctrine.

                • mpledger

                  Rob said “There are also some quite brilliant and inspirational teachers that can blow minds…”

                  One kid’s brilliant teacher could be another kids nightmare See this story about siblings who viewd one brilliant teacher very differently.

                  “Like most of us,
                  they (teachers) had complex personalities
                  that meshed with some people and conflicted with others.”
                  http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/the-complex-web-between-teachers-and-students-694.php

      • Macro 3.1.3

        Your basic assumption does not relate to reality Rob – a teacher who has poor skills will most certainly not succeed in a classroom with many children – but may perform better with less children.

        Furthermore you fail to understand the significant difference between Primary and Secondary teaching. A primary teacher will have 1 class all day. i.e. they need to relate to 25 – 30 children depending on class size. A secondary teacher teaching 6 periods a day with class sizes varying from maybe 20 to 35+ nowadays (say an average of 28 students) will have to relate to 160 + students in that day. Studies have shown that the maximum number of inter personnel relationships per day is around 140 max. over that and the result is stress. Have you tried to relate to 160+ people in a day? I’m not talking about performing on a stage or addressing an audience in a crowded a hall, or about checking out customers in a supermarket, although all of these involve some form of interaction if to be don’t successfully. Teaching is far more involved than that.
        Obviously a reduction in class size has benefits for teaching that are undeniable particularly at the secondary level and that is why the PPTA supports this proposal. The idiot spokesperson who represents Private Secondary schools obviously does not speak for his staff but is there to support National policy because he fears the consequences of a change of Government.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    “If, the aims of National/ACT’s education policy were, genuinely, to to improve the learning, education and career choices for our children, including the ones that are failing at present, they would not be following policies which have signally failed to achieve any of these goals, anywhere else they have been tried.”

    Think you could throw a few more commas in there? Jesus.

    • KJT 4.1

      You can be my editor if you want.

      Not Jesus, however. Not up to being a mythical example of a perfect human.

  5. Paul 5

    Good on Campbell Live for calling out Parata for not fronting a debate on education.
    The Nats do not want to discuss serious policy.
    They we’ll sleepwalk to the election.
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Class-size-conflict-becomes-election-issue/tabid/817/articleID/351746/Default.aspx

  6. Tom Jackson 6

    It wouldn’t matter if we banned private schools. Wealthy people would still gain educational advantages by paying for private tutoring and so on.

    If you want to ameliorate this, there is one way to do it.

    There are always going to be a limited number of places for things like medical school or law school. The current system of selecting only the candidates with the very best grades advantages the wealthy who can afford to devote more resources to the competition.

    In fact, small differences in grades don’t tell you a whole lot. It would be easier to establish a cut off point in grades for acceptance to medical school, law school, etc. and then stage a lottery for places. The great thing about lotteries is that they’re perfectly fair.

    This would serve a number of social goals. First, it would stop people wasting resources on trying to achieve small gains in grades that don’t actually do much to improve the pool of med or law school students. Secondly, it would allow for a greater diversity of students and would stop them being so up themselves, since their position would depend in a large part on luck. Lastly, it would prevent the wealthy crowding out other talented applicants.

    Everyone wins except the rich. Got to be good.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Maybe sorta, but education at primary and secondary school should not be framed or aimed as entry preparation for pre-law and pre-med.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        One of my problems with our current Tech. curriculum.

        It doesn’t value practical skills enough.

        Only 4 credits for “making” in NCEA. The majority for writing a lot of BS about design criteria.

        Even secondary tech. courses are aimed at those who will go on to do subjects such as design, engineering or architecture at university, when most of them will become builders, mechanics, mechanical engineers and fitters.

        Not to mention, the best designers started as good makers.

      • Tom Jackson 6.1.2

        Primary and secondary education have many purposes. I agree that personal development, personal autonomy and social and political literacy should be goals of a compulsory education system.

        But one important part (and it is only a part, but an important part) is to funnel people into tasks they are good at and away from tasks they aren’t good at. Individual parents have accrued far too much power over education, to the detriment of everyone else who must put up with substandard graduates.

        • KJT 6.1.2.1

          From, I admit, rather subjective observation, the declining quality of graduates has more to do with the “bums on seats” competitive model of tertiary education, which values numbers of students enrolling, and passing, rather than excellence.

          Mind you recent graduates were never good for much. It takes at least 3 years, for them to unlearn the entitlement and arrogance engendered by learning 10 000 new words, and get them to learn the job.
          The ones that never unlearn the arrogance, become politicians.

    • ianmac 6.2

      The acceptance into pre med is not for just the top grades. The selection includes a proportion of those who come from more humble beginnings or who show great promise but have come from smaller unknown Colleges. But once selected for the pre-med course, it is open slather and each student has to fight for a place on merit.

      • KJT 6.2.1

        At least some medical schools look for diversity, empathy and life experience as well as academic ability.

      • Tom Jackson 6.2.2

        Sure, but affirmative action policies are notoriously gamed by the middle classes. Case in point, the many students who identify as Maori solely for getting grants and consideration at tertiary level.

        Yes, many programs (much more than med school) have looser criteria to avoid just getting rich people, but lo and behold, most of the people going end up being rich people.

        As a society we should start getting used to the idea that the primary purpose of education is not, as it is usually framed, to let people “realise their dreams” of being a lawyer or doctor, but to produce good lawyers and doctors. The two goals can diverge and do diverge when wealthy people start to game the selection processes.

        We need a more realistic attitude towards the place of the professions in society. They are primary treated as markers of social class rather than social utility. This is bad.

        • KJT 6.2.2.1

          The UK was once described to me as a “make work scheme for lawyers and accountants”.

          It is a peculiar characteristic of societies made up mostly of immigrants from the UK, that academic prowess is valued way above real practical skills.

          As Andre Merkel said when a British prime Minister bemoaned Britain’s lack of progress. “We still make things”. In fact a builder in Germany is about the same hourly rate as an accountant.
          Here we get real skills and nous for next to nothing.

          • Tom Jackson 6.2.2.1.1

            I’m not sure I would divide it that way. To me it seems more a divide between people who have paper qualifications for intensely specialised skills, and people who can (qualified or not) deal with more general issues that involve reconciling multiple specialisations. The result being that our intensely specialised society finds it difficult to execute on the big stuff – one effect is moribund policy. Another is a lack of innovation.

            And on the subject of the UK, as a citizen of that dolorous realm, I would argue that it’s problem is just that the people are English. The Scots would be well advised to leave.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1.2

            In fact a builder in Germany is about the same hourly rate as an accountant.
            Here we get real skills and nous for next to nothing.

            Considering that my nephew has advised lawyers on the law surrounding building houses and high-rises (which the lawyers then ignored only to get burned later) I figure that they should be paid about the same amount.

  7. dimebag russell 7

    the real aim of Nationals education policy is to take all the funding it can get off the state system and use it to pay out its loud mouthed boosters, hucksters and carpetbaggers.
    The people who want this money have not been trained in any discipline whatsoever except loudmouthed gimme and threats if they dont get their own way.
    Nationals policy is a tragedy in the making.
    They know that the best scholars are always going to make it so the rest of the education budget is up for grabs and disbursing to idiots and fools.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Excellent and succinct write-up, KJT. I do love how the Tories can think strategically and for the long term though.

  9. Tc 9

    More divide and conquer policies from the born to rule set.

    Education was doing ok till the hollowmen showed up, the statistics tell a sad tale of decline under their watch.

    Charter schools and natstandards are a proven failure, if the opposition keep it simple education alone can see nact off as vandalising kiwi kids potential.

  10. minarch 10

    even though i could have afforded it , I would have never sent my children to a private school.

    based on my own experience from when I was enrolled (and booted out of )in various VERY expensive schools years ago they are 80% percent populated by very very strange (and some outright weird ) people

    The funniest are people who actually convert to a religion (usually Catholicism ) so the kids can get into a particular private school

    • Enough is Enough 10.1

      Catholic schools aren’t private….soo probably not funny chief

      • minarch 10.1.1

        I stand corrected !

        sort of

        maybe i meant Scottish Presbyterians ?

        still full of weirdos either way

        thanks for calling me chief too , always good to know where you sit on the totem :)

        • greywarbler 10.1.1.1

          @minarch
          Catholic schools have integrated only in recent years so it could be that converting to Catholicism was a pragmatic decision for some at one time.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1.1.1.1

            Nah you still have to convert in the main. Only 10% of the kids they take can be non-Catholic, non-Presbyterian, non-Anglican, etc.

            Lots of white flight conversions to these schools which depresses me both for the racist fear these parents have and the infliction of religion they place on their children.

            It must be weird having conversations with your parents about a god you as a child believe in through your schooling when you parents clearly do not and are playing along.

            Kids aren’t stupid and pick up insincerity really easy. Time will tell how those kids turn out.

            These schools set up in opposition to the public system not to supplement it.

            I’ve never once heard one of these schools advocate for raising taxes to help them. It’s all about stealing from existing taxation.

            If the unions set up private schools in opposition to the public system with a special left wing character and later on put their hand out for funding then the outcry from the right would be enormous.

            At a time religious belief is falling we should be getting fewer of these schools instead we’re getting bailouts and funding via charter schools.

            And it seems some of these schools struggle to account for their state funding properly:

            http://www.oag.govt.nz/2010/copy_of_2008-09/4-education/part9.htm

            This governments response seems to be give em even more money.

            Just like Wanganui Collegiate was broke but owned more than a million dollars worth of property.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.1

              At a time religious belief is falling we should be getting fewer of these schools instead we’re getting bailouts and funding via charter schools.

              And we’re seeing those bailouts and charter funding because there’s fewer and fewer religious idiots people about. The religious schools can no longer attract the numbers that make those schools financially viable. Considering the public funding that goes into private schools I’d say that that was true there as well.

    • Tom Jackson 10.2

      For what it’s worth, I’ve never known any male who has been to a private school who has not either been involved in or has been a direct eyewitness to acts of homosexual sadomasochism.

      Off subject. KJT

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1

        One question: what percentage of the perpetrators identify as homosexual?

        • Tom Jackson 10.2.1.1

          Not many I should think.

          I should have added “mostly non-consensual”.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1.1.1

            So to be clear, you are talking about mostly heterosexual bullying in the form of sexual assault?

            • Tom Jackson 10.2.1.1.1.1

              No. I’m talking about male on male acts of sexual bullying up to and including forced oral sex and anal rape.

              You don’t have to identify as homosexual or bisexual to be so. This is just the whitey version of the “down-low” IMHO.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                :roll:

                whoosh

                • Tom Jackson

                  So you don’t actually have a point, then?

                  Good to know.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yes. The point is that bullying in the form of sexual assault has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

                    • Tom Jackson

                      Obviously not true in all cases. Would you like to try again.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Rape ≠ sex.

                    • Tom Jackson

                      Oh God. You’re one of them.

                      Go away when you haven’t been brainwashed by the rantings of the less rigorous of the social sciences. Reality doesn’t fit the tidy little theory you want it to.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So you don’t actually have an argument then. Good to know.

                      PS: I never studied social ‘science’. Perhaps reality doesn’t fit the tidy little theory you want it to.

              • Enough is Enough

                WTF?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I find Tom Jackson’s remarks profoundly ignorant. I don’t say this often: I am sorry to be a straight man right now.

                  • Tom Jackson

                    Why don’t you educate me then, Mr Smarty Pants?

                    Oh you can’t. Oh well.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    I haven’t agreed with you much today OAB but but Tom is off the planet

                • Tom Jackson

                  Did you go to boarding school in the 70s and 80s?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No. I was in the Scouts though.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Yep.

                    Dubbin and deep heat and nugget on testicles, caned by the prefects on my bare backside with bamboo, forced to take long cold naked showers in the middle of the night while the prefects watched and laughed, hung hog-tied and naked from a tree, regularly beaten by people much bigger than me, made to fight other small classmates to see who was the strongest of the weakest, made to traipse all day to the dairy to buy one lolly at a time – those pricks taught me a lot about how the powerful, strong and mainly wealthy (given the school I went to at that time) could so easily abuse that power.

                    The twit above who thinks that is somehow linked to homosexuality is quite delusional – it’s about power pure and simple. Those brave farmers sons and business owner sons would be distraught if anyone suggested there was a prurient sexual aspect to what they were doling.

  11. dimebag russell 11

    the rag this morning tried to make a distinction between better teachers (nat) or more (lab).
    that is no choice.
    the system isn’t broke.
    what is going to happen if national succeeds is that large transfers of the education budget are going to be parcelled off to nitwits and nutters of the heak paratai and john banks ilk who are big on the mouth but no guarantee of skills or ability.
    that is what is going to happen and only a vote for Labour will stop the wholesale dismantling of the education system in favour of grasping bigmouths.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Are private schools better than public schools? New book says ‘no’

    It would be overly simplistic to say that parents are poor choosers when it comes to schools, since they work with the information, options, and priorities that they have. Instead, it appears that more autonomous schools—the private and charter schools so often credited with innovation—are doing a poor job of choosing effective educational strategies, of working on behalf of students, rather than parents. We agree that there are serious problems facing public education. But private models for public education do not appear to be the answer.

    National’s really having a hard time with their push to private education and business models for running schools.

  13. Ennui 13

    State education is crap. John Key went to Burnside and just look him. Just think; if he had only been to Christs……..

  14. Herodotus 14

    A challenge I saw laid down to our dearest and loved minister on what to do when she has a spare week. This would allow our minster to gain valuable credibility.
    http://insightnz.Wordpress.com/2014/07/07/heck-hekia-youre-doing-my-head-in-and-im-not-even-a-teacher/

  15. dimebag russell 15

    oxymoran.
    national has no education policy.
    if anyone saw the junior nitwit from the act party on backbenchers this week he said that teachers and the education department dont know anything about teaching.
    only the parents.
    so that gives national the let out to hand the whole thing over to the nutbars who want the jobs and prestige.
    the country is in danger of sliding into an agrarian economy with these people from the far right and the fascists who call themselves libertarians grabbing as much tax money as they can.
    wonk!

  16. bloke 16

    State funded education should be secular if not for any other reason than it is evidence based. Religious schools are founded on intellectual dishonesty, no matter how you dice it or slice it. The mere existence of multiple religions all claiming to be “right” based on belief sets up a problematic future for society any special interest group gains power (which is the whole idea) If parents feel so strongly (which I suspect most dont) then they should pay for it. One does not have to look very far to find deep problems that are glossed over. In a previous post its mentioned that a Jewish school is funded to the tune of over 10k per student, should we as taxpayers fund a religious cult that practices and teaches infant genital mutilation? If that is the case should we also fund hard line Shiite schools that teach likewise, but we dont. Children should have a secular education then choose their religious poison as adults.

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    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • First batch of household protection kits arrives in Liberia
    Kits containing protective gear will equip a network of community-based Ebola care centres nationwide...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dr Paul Hutchison praised for work to reduce child poverty
    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has thanked retiring National MP Dr Paul Hutchison for his work to reduce child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Bag snatch hero deserves a medal – McVicar
    The Justice Spokesman for the Conservative Party, Garth McVicar, is calling for the woman known as the bag-snatch hero to be awarded a medal for bravery....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Police Remembrance Day
    This week, Police staff and others have been wearing the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin as they reflect on those who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect. Police Remembrance Day falls on...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid
    Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry is disturbed by developments increasing the number of local body regions choosing racially based representation. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils already have Maori wards, while New Plymouth...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dairy Strategy Proving to be a Disaster
    The intensification of the dairy industry is proving to be a disaster, says SAFE. This comes after the forecast 2015 milk price payout was cut 12% by Fonterra this week. “Last year, the government effectively gave the green light for...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Where Next for the Left?
    26 September 2014 A discussion of the post-election prospects for radicals, facilitated by Fightback. 6pm | Monday 28th September | 19 Tory St [ Facebook event ]...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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