web analytics

Time to end perception of degrees for sale

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 pm, December 4th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: education, tertiary education - Tags:

The All Blacks do not give out honorary test caps to the chief financial officer of insurance sponsor AIG. Politicians no longer give seats in a House of Lords to their almsgivers and patrons. Perhaps it is time to question why our most prestigious universities give away honorary doctorates to significant benefactors.

A couple of weeks ago Victoria University of Wellington announced it would confer an honorary degree on long-time donor and business leader Paul Baines. The university lists Mr Baines in its annual report as a member of its Benefactors’ Circle, which comprises its “most significant donors and sponsors”. To qualify as a member of the Benefactors’ Circle, Mr Baines has to have donated at least $10,000 to the university.

Now, I have nothing against Mr Baines. I do not know who he is. The university’s media release on his award lists his many significant contributions to the university and to New Zealand’s business community, not all of them financial. He may be as worthy as any other honorary degree recipient.

However, most of the people who cross the Michael Fowler Centre stage and graduate with a doctorate next month will have studied at the highest level for many years to earn their qualification. Their degrees recognise hard work and academic excellence. When universities give them away to people who have not studied it undermines the honour they bestow upon their true students. All too often, universities give away honorary degrees in circumstances that appear be either about rewarding the university rather than the recipient, or rewarding the recipient for nothing more than making a financial donation – in other words, buying a doctorate.

Two common forms of this practice are universities awarding degrees to celebrities to bring prestige and publicity to that university, and universities awarding degrees to major financial donors in circumstances that outsiders may view either as rewards for the donations or an encouragement for keep the money flowing. Neither of these practices exhibits the academic integrity and respect for their students that one might expect of highly regarded institutions of learning.

Last year the New Zealand Herald revealed New Zealand universities spent more than $250,000 awarding honorary degrees to celebrities and visiting dignitaries. It listed celebrity recipients such as the Topp Twins, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Richie McCaw, Peter Jackson, Neil and Tim Finn, and former prime ministers Jim Bolger and Helen Clark.

Owen Glenn got an honorary degree from the University of Auckland after donating $7.5 million to its business school. Singaporean businessman Lee Seng Tee, funded a lecture series in Antarctic studies at Victoria University, and then received a doctorate. And Sir Eion Edgar funded the University of Otago Edgar Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research in 2003, the same year he received an honorary doctorate there.

Among academics, there is no worse allegation than that one did not earn their degree, but instead bought it with either cash or favours. Perhaps it is time that New Zealand universities removed the perception of corruption that will continue to persist when they hand out degrees to major financial donors.

Some of the world’s most prestigious universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell, UCLA and Stanford, do not confer honorary degrees. Each has alternative awards they confer upon worthy members of the public instead.

New Zealand universities should follow these examples. We should let the world know there is only one way to receive a doctorate in New Zealand and that is by studying and working hard to earn the qualification. Certainly, we must honour members of the public for their achievements and their contributions but do not honour them with a degree they have not earned.

Alternatively, our universities may inadvertently end up in the company of institutions such as this.

Stephen Day
steven_dayTEU

49 comments on “Time to end perception of degrees for sale”

  1. red blooded 1

    I absolutely agree. It’s part of the creeping commercialisation of our education system: institutions (including schools) set up as competing enterprises, selling access to their facilities and expertise to overseas students in order to fund their services to the NZ kids (and thus creating a higher student-teacher ratio and a whole set of new demands on teachers), downgrading of teacher education to an apprenticeship-style model, charter schools staffed by people with no teacher training or experience, universities setting up “PPP”s to help fund research (with the inevitable effect that research that is not immediately commercially viable is unlikely to be funded)… It may seem like I’m getting off the point but these are all effects of taking a commercial model of thinking and applying it to education. Put that together with long term, chronic underfunding and what do you get? Donor doctorates.

    • millsy 1.1

      To be honest, I am sure that our universites would rather, if they could, just kick all the New Zealanders out of their campuses and just purely educate international students.

  2. Demi 2

    My husband took 7 yrs to do his doctorate in Science, we called it the mistress as it took him away from our family a lot. It was a hell of a lot of work and these honorary doctorates do diminish the work that was done. I like the idea of a separate system for people who donate money or are ex students etc.

  3. QoT 3

    At one of my graduations the valedictorian was a celebrity who’d been given an honorary degree. It annoyed me at the time because he wasn’t part of the student corps, he hadn’t done the work all of us were there to celebrate, and it felt very much like the university council expected us all to be impressed that Such An Important Person was deigning to share his thoughts with us, instead of one of our own peers.

    • rhinocrates 3.1

      I agree. These people are embarrassing, and show what cynical, mercenary contempt the university has for its real students and academics. They only declare that they’re diploma mills that have particularly high fees compared to the South American stereotypes when in fact their faculty that does real work is insulted by such money-grubbing.

      It’s shameful and any university that cares about its reputation – oh, sorry, I think “brand” is the word we use now – should cease this practise.

      Peter Jackson has an honorary degree. Whoop-de-fucking-do. OK, he’s made films that might be good or bad but in any case involved years of hard work and skill and made lots of money (from taxpayers). That’s fine, so let him take his money, his jet, his Oscar – but the shameful spectacle of a university trying to gain “prestige” by grabbing at his ankles so that it can be dragged along across the Hollywood red carpet is humiliating to those who submitted to the discipline of study.

      And if anyone wants to call me elitist, I say, “Fine, get a PhD through work and then tell me how easy it is.”

      • Murray Olsen 3.1.1

        Getting a PhD wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It required a lot of work, but I think cleaning toilets for 8 years would have been harder for me.

        I don’t really care much about honorary degrees. They’re something that exists on the administrative, management and financial level of the universities. These parts are only accidentally connected to the places where the actual academic work is done. What I do object to is the dumbing down of Bachelors and Masters degrees so that fee paying students will keep enrolling. As always, I blame all ACT governments since 1984 for this development. They’ve turned education into a commodity where, as long as the student pays, they get their diploma.

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          Agreed, MO.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.2

          +1 MO

        • KJT 3.1.1.3

          Agree with Murray.

          Well. As I pretty much continued with a full time job/business while doing post graduate study I don’t think it is tha–at hard.

          With “Honorary degrees, so long as it is clear they are “honorary” degrees I don’t see a problem. It is a way of acknowledging someone who has contributed to the University or public life.

          If someone meets the requirements in another way, such as life achievements in the field then I consider they may well have earned a degree. (Not just an honorary one).

          The real issue, as Murray points out, is, the “bums on seats” degradation of standards.
          In one of my qualifications, for example, all the foreign fee paying students pass. Working with the graduates, I would say less than 40% meet the standard.
          The standard of NZ students has also dropped markedly with the reduction in on the job experience, and expansion of classroom time, so the tertiary institutions can get more fee paying “bums on seats”.

          The commercial model does not work for education.

          Neither does top down authoritarian management.
          (Does not work well for business either, except to justify grossly inflated salaries for managers).

          • Murray Olsen 3.1.1.3.1

            A PhD requires commitment and perseverance over a more or less extended period of time. It also allows the candidate to utilise their creativity, make a contribution to the discipline, follow their curiosity, and learn a hell of a lot about a specialised area. I saw it as far more of a rewarding opportunity than as hard work. Most of the work was enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding. The hardest part has been paying back the student loan.

            • KJT 3.1.1.3.1.1

              Yes. Having the time and resources, while at Uni to study interesting ideas and facts in depth was a privilege and a delight.

    • alwyn 3.2

      At the time when one of my nephews was graduating, after a lot of very hard study, one of the PhDs awarded by the University was a retired politician who was given an honorary degree. It annoyed my nephew because she wasn’t part of the student corp and hadn’t done the work.
      That was of course Helen Clark. I presume she will read this post, feel abjectly ashamed, and hand back her honorary degree on the grounds she hadn’t earned it.

      The best views on the subject were those of Richard Feynman, Physicist.
      “I remember the work I did to get a real degree at Princeton and the guys on the same platform receiving honorary degrees without work – and felt an “honorary degree” was a debasement of the idea of a “degree which confirms certain work has been accomplished”. It is like giving an “honorary electricians license” “.
      Feynman wrote this when rejecting an offer to confer on him an honorary degree. He never accepted such an award.

      Come on Helen. Give yours back.

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    +1
    Monetisation of life itself. It’s the commodification and corruption
    of demockary.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    An honorary degree should have to apply to what a person has done in their life that would equate to doing an actual degree. It shouldn’t be awarded just because someone has donated to the university.

    • swordfish 5.1

      My thoughts entirely, Draco.

      In general, I think of honorary degrees as bordering on worthless. However, if, for example, someone went straight into journalism after leaving high school (ie no Uni), acquired a good deal of expertise on a particular subject over the years, and subsequently wrote a sophisticated, perhaps ground-breaking, book on the subject – then I think there is a place for universities to recognise that. Especially if it equates to – or goes beyond – the work required for a PhD.

  6. rhinocrates 6

    I agree totally. It’s like calling someone an “Honorary Dentist” – it’s just a joke at best, but at worst, honorary degrees are simony; they embarrass those who’ve worked hard to gain their degrees and undermine the integrity and intellectual value of universities, making them look like whores (and apologies to honest sex workers).

    A professor of mine said of higher study when he came to a crossroads in his career, “it was either a Porsche or a PhD”. He took the PhD and inspired generations through hard work. If you want a Porsche, pay for it, be happy with it and masturbate over it as much as you like.

    • rhinocrates 6.1

      edit fubar… to amend “as much as you like and don’t expect applause as well, Mr Jackson.”

  7. Thanks for the comments all. I should clarify that I’m not saying this guy bought a degree – just that the practice of honorary degrees creates an unhealthy perception that degrees can be and sometimes are bought. Some people will pay big money for status, and honorary degrees, although academically worthless, do carry significant status.

    Red Blooded – I don’t think you are off topic. The increasing commercialisation of tertiary education incentivises universities, wananga and polytechnics to act in increasing bizarre ways. Using honorary degrees to reward financial support is just one example of watering down academic credibility so as to meet commercial funders half way.

  8. rhinocrates 8

    Dunno how that happened, only posted once.

    FYI lprent, there seems to be a technical problem – first my comment didn’t appear at all, and shutting down Safari and restarting it and then clicking on The Standard showed that my reply had been duplicated. Please delete one of them.

    Hope that’s useful?

    • lprent 8.1

      All comments are getting holdups. Lot of spam getting checked.

      • rhinocrates 8.1.1

        Yeah, I don’t envy you for the site maintenance job. Just hoping that feedback gives you some help in finding out what the problems are.

      • Ake ake ake 8.1.2

        I think some of us should get together and get you a very generous voucher for you to dine out at a restaurant as the festive season approaches. You deserve a knighthood or honorary doctorate for what you do here.

        • lprent 8.1.2.1

          I never have time to go out anyway. Besides, my sister and parents volunteered us to host xmas dinner. Then it is off to for another family post Xmas. I am starting to starve now in anticipation…

          • greywarbler 8.1.2.1.1

            lprent
            Good man with the starving. I am doing the same – getting in training for matchfitness for the Big Day. Even thinking of a vegetarian diet or vegan so much discussed lately here, but after Christmas. Family, fullness and fun is the order of the day, and some days after as well.

  9. rhinocrates 9

    Dunno how that happened, only posted once.

    FYI lprent, there seems to be a technical problem – first my comment didn’t appear at all, and shutting down Safari and restarting it and then clicking on The Standard showed that my reply had been duplicated. Please delete one of them.

    Hope that’s useful?

  10. greywarbler 10

    Would Patron be a better title? Money assisting the university is rather handy, so how it can it be acknowledged and the person donating it be incorporated into the hierarchy?

  11. Rodel 11

    A good post.
    How about Dr Banks? Dr Key , Dr dot com? or even ha ha ha Dr Craig eventually?
    Just give them Bachelor or Masters toy degrees but not PhDs.

  12. Richard Christie 12

    Honorary degrees, as with knighthoods, it says more about the calibre person who accepts the offer of the honour than they could ever possibly realise.

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    Started as a sharebroker in Jarden and Co if I have the right one. Then CS First Boston then Telecom director and other public coys. Been around Wellington for quite a while.

  14. The Wolf 14

    Tall poppy syndrome much?

  15. infused 15

    That moment when you realize that most degrees are total bullshit anyway…

    • Tat Loo (CV) 15.1

      Especially degrees in commerce and economics. Our society needs people who can think about meaning, values, and to build them into human systems for local communities.

      • KJT 15.1.1

        Hang on. I found studying economics and management useful.

        That is when I realised “mainstream” economics bore no relationship to the real world outside, whatsoever, and started reading Steven Kean, Ha Joon Chang, Krugman et al.

        The funniest part about management studies was not being believed by the Tutor when I talked about real life occurrences.

    • Rodel 15.2

      infused
      obviously hasn’t qualified for one …sorry..i know a few grumpy people with that attitude.

      • Murray Olsen 15.2.1

        Funny, you mirrored my thoughts. I’ve known a few absolute geniuses in my time who have totally failed to fulfil the requirements, then decided retrospectively that degrees were a load of shit. As far as I know, they’re still waiting for their brilliance to be recognised.

        • ropata 15.2.1.1

          maybe they failed because of a giant atheist conspiracy to suppress the TRUTH about dinosaurs, moon landings, chemtrails, biblical floods, and the Earth was created “on Sunday the 21st of October, 4004 B.C., at exactly 9:00 A.M., because God liked to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh.” (according to Pratchett & Gaiman) 😛

  16. Tracey 16

    Right up there with most of the highest honors

  17. One Anonymous Knucklehead 17

    I can’t see anything wrong with honorary degrees. Does anyone seriously pretend they’re the real thing, or not suffer ridicule if caught doing so? The sting of academic disdain might seem baffling to someone honoured in this way, and certainly provides (yet) another example of the pettiness of academia.

    It’s not like they’re a recent invention cooked up by Stephen Joyce.

    As for the sale of honorary degrees, allegations of this sort are commonplace, but there are plenty of places the wealthy can spend their money; it seems to me that donation to an institute of higher learning is a relatively enlightened way to do so, honours bestowed as a result are one way to say thanks.

    Pat the rich man on the head, professor. He ain’t after your job.

    • KJT 17.1

      I find academics rather pretentious at times. Not all. There were some amazing people there, also.

      Just one example being the fake outrage about plagiarism, as they deliver a totally boring lecture, straight from the textbook!

    • Rogue Trooper 17.2

      Agree OAKIE

  18. grumpy 18

    I worked bloody hard for my degree in engineering but I know of others who have developed huge skill and knowlege in a technical field who probably would have been fitting recipients of an honorary degree. John Britten and Bruce MacLaren spring to mind.

  19. Rogue Trooper 19

    Could not care less if I had earned a PhD in caring less 😀
    “The fool doth think he is wise but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”- As We Like It
    (Be yourself, everybody else is already taken- Oscar Wilde).

    • greywarbler 19.1

      RT
      +1 Oscar was unique.
      By the way you put Mr C under one of my comments. I don’t understand your morse code mind. What can it mean?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National’s cuts shave $100K off KiwiSaver by retirement
    New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The former Labour Government launched KiwiSaver nine years ago today to boost ...
    13 hours ago
  • TPK struggles to measure Whānau Ora outcomes
    The Government needs to explain why so many vulnerable whanau are falling through the cracks, Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. The Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell attended the Māori Affairs Select Committee to highlight “gains” – ...
    15 hours ago
  • EY: TPP stamp duties on foreigners may have to apply to Kiwis
    The Government’s claim that a TPP-enabled tax on foreign buyers would amount to a ban has been exposed as folly by tax experts, who say that in most cases a tax would apply to Kiwi buyers too, says Labour’s Trade ...
    1 day ago
  • Project 300 short on facts
    A Minister’s pet scheme to employ 300 disabled people in Christchurch seems to be short on facts, says Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Poto Williams.  “Nicky Wagner cannot provide solid evidence to show that her much vaunted Project 300 has actually ...
    1 day ago
  • Who are they going to call?
    A cry for help from New Zealand’s longest-running crisis line highlights chronic underfunding of the sector by the Government, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Lifeline is THE go-to helpline for people in crisis, taking up to 180,000 calls each ...
    2 days ago
  • Five months too long for homeless to wait
    New figures revealing homeless people registered with Work and Income are waiting an average of 155 days to be housed shows the Government is totally overwhelmed by the housing crisis, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “What’s worse is ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister in cloud cuckoo land
    Hekia Parata needs a very big reality check if she truly believes every parent has the choice of sending their child to a private school, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Questioned in the House today about plans to pump ...
    2 days ago
  • Convention centre failure means years of uncertainty for CBD
    The failure of Gerry Brownlee’s planned convention centre deal leaves Christchurch facing uncertainty about when activity will be restored to the CBD, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “As one of the CBD’s major anchor projects, the convention centre complex ...
    2 days ago
  • PCE proves water quality still deteriorating
    The PCE State of the Environment Report shows that river water quality is continuing to get worse across large parts of New Zealand, says Labour’s Environment and Water spokesperson David Parker. “Water quality has deteriorated in Canterbury, Central Otago, Auckland, ...
    2 days ago
  • Families with new babies victims of today’s veto
    Families with new babies are the victims of an historical “first” for the New Zealand Parliament today. “For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because ...
    3 days ago
  • Crime on the rise…again!
    The Police Minister’s contention that Police have enough resources to meet the expectations of New Zealand communities is not reflected in the Police’s own statistics, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Yet again, reported burglaries have increased in every region ...
    3 days ago
  • Private schools beneficiaries of extra cash
    Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Not only did this year’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Inequality getting worse under National
    Inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent according to Statistics NZ figures released today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    4 days ago
  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    4 days ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    4 days ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    5 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    1 week ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    1 week ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    1 week ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    1 week ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    1 week ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    1 week ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    1 week ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere