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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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