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What the Hekia happened to our education standards?

Written By: - Date published: 4:22 pm, December 3rd, 2013 - 112 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, schools - Tags:

Spock_Parata

Chris Hipkins said in Parliament today that New Zealand’s educational standards have dropped rather dramatically in data gathered recently.  According to TV3:

New Zealand has slipped in OECD education rankings, the Labour Party has revealed.

In the House today, education spokesman Chris Hipkins said the country’s education system had slipped from seventh in reading and science to 13th and 18th respectively, and from 12th to 23rd in maths.

Mr Hipkins questioned the success of national standards given the ranking decreases.

The drops come in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which measures the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds. The data, which will officially be released late tonight, shows the results from last year’s testing.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said she was unable to talk about the results because of the embargo.

However, she pointed out that those who sat the test went through school between 2001 and 2012 and would not have sat national standards.

Whatever the cause of the decline it has happened under Parata’s watch.  And you have to wonder what has happened to cause such a significant drop.

112 comments on “What the Hekia happened to our education standards?”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    I wonder if teachers being treated like shit by their employer while not getting paid has had any effect.

    Smash neo-liberalism then burn the pieces and salt the ashes. Make membership of the National Party a euphemism for life in the gutter.

  2. Phaedrus 2

    While I hate to cover for Hekia, PISA tests 15 year olds. National Standards apply to primary school kids from year 1 to year 8, and so the tested kids were not involved in them. The opposite argument is that tested kids started school in 2002 when it was realised that the existing curriculum (implemented under the 1990 -1999 National led govt) wasn’t working. Under Trevor Mallard’s watch as Minister of Education, a major curriculum review was commenced, and this resulted in the world renownedNew Zealand Curriculum of 2008. This had barely got off the ground before the 2009 election and the introduction of national standards and the downplaying of the NZ Curriculum. The blame, therefore, should be targeted at the previous National led govt.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Thanks Phaedrus. Education is something that if you stuff up you see the results in decades to come. I mentioned “whatever the cause of the decline” because National Standards obviously are not the cause of the decline. But this Government’s handling of education obviously is.

  3. greywarbler 3

    Thinking about educational standards. Then thinking about the latest iteration in the lady politicians using S&M method of treating responsible, good adults in teaching who have been chosen as scapegoat du jour in the Punch and Judy show that is present NZ education. And thinking about how teachers unions are derided and often villified by many RW who sound as if they hate unions. (And then that the Police spokesperson on general behaviour of the Police is the Union Leader). Strange.

    It seems that Teachers Unions get RW frothing at the mouth. Can it be that Charter Schools are seen as opening a schism in the hyperbole of ‘socialist wall of opposition protecting the incompetent and inadequate’ . Who apparently should be paid on piece rates like factory workers, for finished polished diamonds produced from the raw materials of beach pebbles that they receive.

  4. greywarbler 4

    Was that a publicity photo prepared for a Star Trek guest spot?

  5. tc 5

    Let’s not forget the sterling first term work of Aya Tolley in taking to the teachers and school system like a farmer would to a gully full of gorse.

    Hipkins needs to avoid the dancing on the head of a pin Wrekia and shills will do with numbers/timeframes and keep the message simple.

    Phaedrus nails it they really are good at this from one nat gov’t to the next.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    The information will be released at 11Pm ???

    What sort of joke is that ?

    • Tim 6.1

      11pm NZ time is the kind of joke you get when the OECD releases information at a pretty reasonable 11am in Paris.

    • ScottGN 6.2

      It’s an international report released sometime in the morning in Europe I guess.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Do you have to pay teachers on time with the correct wages to get the best work performance from them? I think so.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    a discredit to the uniform

  9. Plan B 9

    National have been diverted by ideas of turning education into a business- a non tax paying business. Private schools register themselves as Charities- which under the existing rules than can do- trouble for them is that educating the children of the very rich and charging very high fees while receiving a per pupil subsidy out of the general education budget does not sound like a charitable institution to most people.

  10. Paul 10

    Reasons:
    National Standards
    Novo pay
    Charter schools

    In summary, an ideological government determined to bust the teacher unions so their banker friends can make some money out of one of the few areas they haven’t got their hands into.

    A quality educational system is not what they want.
    They want a profitable one.

    Hekia is just a puppet.
    Key is just a puppet.

    Follow the money.

    • infused 10.1

      Has nothing to do with any of those.

    • Chooky 10.2

      Paul +100…”A quality educational system is not what they want.They want a profitable one.”

      What the Heke…. is Mini Mouse and John Key is Micky Mouse…. for a USA Captalist style and inspired re-engineering of NZ education ( once one of the the best in the world) into a designer education funneling money into private corporate pockets.

      To hell with Plato and the Philosopher Leaders of education and society ….these Micky Mouse philistines wont even listen to NZ Professors of Education….such is their arrogance and greed!

    • Wayne 10.3

      If Hekia and the PM are puppets and all you have to do is follow the money, at least tell us where it leads.

      • Chooky 10.3.1

        USA..neo-liberal agenda on education …influencing /steering NACT /Treasury policy makers

        ….. to privatize/corporatise education and undermine state education ….with testing, charter schools and excessive choice .

        The results : see Professor Diane Ravitch, ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education’

        http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/58511.Diane_Ravitch

  11. Ian 11

    Be carefull guys. I think if you work backwards those kids had all their preschool and first few years at school under a labour Government.. The blame can be fairly laid on the teacher unions , poor teaching ,and a compliant labour government.

  12. Foreign Waka 12

    Standards in Europe and Asia are far far higher than NZ. There isn’t one particular reason but rather a combination of factors culminating in the “kids need to learn how to learn” or “recognize the word – no need to spell” approach. That sounds good, but all that happens is some slacking off and doing more art than English and maths, history (oops, not that again). Quite a few parents try very hard to get the show on the road so to speak but if there are 3 kids playing rugby, 2 doing a sing along the one that wants to achieve will find bullying is a favorite past time for some. Unfortunately, the true reasons are not being confronted as everybody is so politically correct that it is best t send kids to private school or overseas.

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      hmmm, some validity to that comment I imagine; oh well, that’s another expired bolt from National, “the party of a brighter future” ; eejits!

      • Foreign Waka 12.1.1

        All it takes is some guts and no more “she’ll be right” as it is a disservice to the kids. Sooner or later the reality will bite as there is no job that has a aunty reading the manual for them. The kids will not know why but they do know that they are affected and all that is left for them is frustration, aggression and defiance. Come to think of it, some of those glimpses are already…..

        • Rogue Trooper 12.1.1.1

          Media this week; students not prepared for science and engineering at Uni -The Herald
          -another intermediate-aged child tried to take their life; remember that in the 70’s? I don’t think so: Tory Scum! (now who is Scum! Cameron? Karma.)

        • Tracey 12.1.1.2

          and what about the large number who are doing fine, have great work ethics and are finding, and excelling,in the workplace?

        • KJT 12.1.1.3

          Funny that NZ kids on the whole are still more desirable employees worldwide. Eh.

          Something South Korean teachers envy.

          Something to do with the “can do” attitude and general competence gained from their education, I believe.

    • Tracey 12.2

      “Standards in Europe and Asia are far far higher than NZ.” Links and causation?

      • Foreign Waka 12.2.1

        Tracey, standards are way higher in Europe and Asia. There is also a structure that gives students a path that is orientated towards the wants of the young person and the need of the economic development. This at least provides a chance of a job.
        Yes, there are students in NZ and elsewhere doing great. My reference is about the general standard. There are many youngsters who are enrolling at University do to lack of alternatives only to drop out later. Not everybody is an academic. There are no apprendiceships to speak of and many go without any professional training.
        Link and causation? Look around you and be honest. No link needed – causation is obvious.

        http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education%20/Eurydice/documents/key_data_series/151EN.pdf

        Teachers education is being shown from page 26 onwards. For primary and secondary school level it is Bachelor to Masters degree, minimum 3, up to 6 years training.
        Children start school at the age of 5-6 years and will go on to at least the age of 19, most longer due to University or College studies. Most speak 3 or more languages as it is necessary to communicate across different nations. However, many Asian countries exceed the level still.
        It is not desirable to become engulfed in a mass of learned subjects without having some balance but it is necessary to have a certain level of education to be able to develop ones own interest further and participate in the wider society.

        • Tracey 12.2.1.1

          “Link and causation? Look around you and be honest. No link needed – causation is obvious.”

          Nuff said

        • Tracey 12.2.1.2

          “Link and causation? Look around you and be honest. No link needed – causation is obvious.”

          Right, so everything you said above is your opinion?

          • Foreign Waka 12.2.1.2.1

            Not at all, look at the link provided and get your head out of the sand. How long does it take until it sinks in that NZ kids are being disadvantaged by the likes of you finding a excuse after another just not getting involved.

  13. infused 13

    Once again, this shows how stupid Hipkins is.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    did I say Tory Scum? That’s what I meant! SFH!

  15. Rogue Trooper 15

    the sort of scum I cleaned off around the drain in the hand-basin today. :-D

  16. ianmac 16

    Putting National Standards aside the bald facts should be stated.
    The National Government has demanded changes in Education since 2008. After 5 long years with their control of teaching the scores have sunk.
    Reading:7th to 13th
    Science: 7th to 18th
    Maths: 12th to 23rd.
    We should hammer those changes without getting technical about possible causes.
    Just say New Zealand Educational Standards have slipped drastically under National!
    New Zealand Educational Standards have slipped drastically under National!
    New Zealand Educational Standards have slipped drastically under National!
    New Zealand Educational Standards have slipped drastically under National!……

    (By the way I wonder just why the drop has happened???)

    • Puddleglum 16.1

      The real information that is needed to determine whether anything has changed is actual performance on the PISA tests.

      Rankings are just that – you can stay the same in terms of performance and still go up or down in rankings. The question is whether there has been a deterioration in performance on the tests.

      Personally, I’d also want to know a lot more about the tests (their content and form) and the process of selection of participants and how the tests were administered. But that’s because I have my concerns about summative assessment and considerable concerns about the focus on measurement rather than education.

      It is often claimed that if you can’t measure ‘it’ you can’t manage ‘it’ – to me that saying has always said a lot more about the deficiencies of the whole notion of ‘management’ than it does about how we should try to come to grips with understanding important phenomena like learning and education.

      • ianmac 16.1.1

        Agree with your comments there Puddlegum re summative assessment. An argument put up so far by Hekia is that it not that we have slipped, its because the Asians have got better. Maybe so but it might be better to compare the scores with last Pisa rather than the ranking. (Interesting that the UK and USA fell away drastically when they embarked on a regime of testing and scaling in recent years).
        However politically, we should use the figures as they stand:
        While the National lead Government has been in power New Zealand PISA Scores have dropped drastically. The general population will understand that simple idea.
        (By the way I thought that 8 year olds were tested by PISA as well?)

        • grumpy 16.1.1.1

          Not just in New Zealand either, similar situation in Australia despite record spending on education by Labour.

          http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/we_added_billions_and_students_went_backwards_so_mere_cash_is_not_what_scho/

          The world is competitive and that is why our comparative performance is huge cause for concern. The woryy is that entrenched conservative influences within the education administrators and the teaching profession are holding back development.

          In this world, standing still is going backwards.

          • KJT 16.1.1.1.1

            The worry is that entrenched conservative influences within the education administrators and the National Government are holding back development.

            Fixed it for you.

          • Tracey 16.1.1.1.2

            the world is competitive but national wants children education as though it were the 1940’s. That’s hardly going forwards.

            It is NOT the role of education to create fodder for the treadmill.

            Paradoxically on one level many ought ot be pleased with poor achievement if it results in a conveyor belt for the minimum wage workforce. That might help explain the desire to return to the education of the 1950s.

  17. tricledrown 17

    Hik town pariah/pirana has got to Go along with English and Key .
    A giant leap backwards for our future work force.
    Nationals policies as we warned are a complete failure.
    Following the failed US model .
    When NZ’s model was much better.
    Go to the bottom the class National.
    That’s where we are now.
    Using our children ad guinea pigs in an already failed model.

  18. tricledrown 18

    Hekling pratarse
    Claims National standards are working for slow learners.
    She being a slow learner is a good example.

  19. Grumpy 19

    Just so I get this right……..we are opposed to National Standards when the Government does it but we are over the moon when the OECD does it.
    I would have thought that the purpose of National Standards is so we find out this stuff and address the causes BEFORE the OECD tells us?
    Perhaps if we had them earlier, the kids tested by the OECD might have done better?

    • Delia 19.1

      That is the problem, to much testing, not enough teaching. Children are there for six hours of the day and teachers should not be distracted with paperwork like this. We had high levels of literacy in the 60’s because teachers were not testing and writing up results, every five minutes.

      • grumpy 19.1.1

        So, why has this happenned to 15yr olds who have never been part of National Standards???
        ….and why also in all the Scandanavian countries, Britain, Australia etc?…all the “old world” education systems. It’s a much bigger issue than you realise.

        • KJT 19.1.1.1

          The have all been subject to the Neo-liberal right wings, cannon fodder for industry approach to education, and increase in children living in poverty..

  20. Craig Y 20

    Answer: The Key administration.

    • grumpy 20.1

      Pretty influential then, causing chaos to education systems throughout Scandanavia, UK and Australia……

  21. ghostwhowalksnz 21

    There is something strange about the PISA test scores

    The top 3 countries are “cities”

    Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and number 6 is Macau

    But why Shanghai but not the rest of China ?

    Heres why !

    “, “China has an unusual arrangement with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the organization responsible for PISA. Other provinces took the 2009 PISA test, but the Chinese government only allowed the release of Shanghai’s scores.”

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brown-center-chalkboard/posts/2013/10/09-pisa-china-problem-loveless

    So they are cheating by cherry picking the best result.

    • KJT 21.1

      Talking to South Korean Teachers they wonder how we get such good results for creativity, general ability and knowledge, compared to their “exam hell” results..

      • Foreign Waka 21.1.1

        If this is what the left stands for, a generation without proper education and therefore a future I am absolutely not voting for anything like this. It does not need to be Korea but by god, to make excuses just the same is irresponsible. I see every day people who cannot read or write, let alone doing simple equations. Yes, most are very socially adapt, friendly and engaging but that will not provide a future.

  22. tricledrown 22

    Grumpy labor in Australia introduced National standards their same result a slide down the OECD.
    Child poverty is another reason.
    But the testing is the main reason creative thinking is stifled by focusing on testing.
    More testing less teaching less learning.
    Grumpy you and your Nactional cohort.
    Slow learners Go to the bottom of the class.

    • grumpy 22.1

      Pretty influential then, causing chaos to education systems throughout Scandanavia, UK and Australia……

    • grumpy 22.2

      So, are you saying that those countries now at the top don’t do any testing?

      • ianmac 22.2.1

        In Finland Grumpy, there is no universal testing until the kids get to about 17 years of age. But all the way through kids progress is monitored and assessed, for individual help not for ranking or league tables or school comparisons.

  23. Puckish Rogue 23

    I don’t think the blame can be laid solely on Labour or National but some blame must surely be laid at the feet of the teachers unions

    Anytime a govt suggest something you can be sure the teachers unions will oppose it and this happens which ever party is in power (happens less under Labour but still happens: T. Mallard)

    the arguements of the teachers unions are starting to ring hollow and maybe they now need to stand aside and do whats best for the kids not themselves

    • miravox 23.1

      “Anytime a govt suggest something you can be sure the teachers unions will oppose it and this happens which ever party is in power “

      Maybe you should turn that idea on it’s head and think about why the Teachers’ Unions oppose policies that are thrust on them without proper evaluation…. and where we might be if properly tested and evaluated policies were implemented.

      The problem with the unions might then be that they caved in to political demands, not that they opposed them.

    • ianmac 23.2

      It would be hopeless to change your line of attack Puckish but the teacher unions are run by practising teachers. Their objections are against poorly thought out political footballs. Anything that detracts from teaching is objected to on behalf of the kids because who else will protect them?

      • Puckish Rogue 23.2.1

        Maybe if the teachers spent more time teaching and less time using kids as political footballs…

    • KJT 23.3

      Maybe inexpert and ideologically blind politicians should just stop dicking with the education system.
      Then Teachers, and Teachers unions, would not have to waste so much time protecting children from some politicians “idee fix de jour”.

      Labour did actually attempt to fix Nationals last fuckup of the education system.
      Rightly, spending 8 years investigating worlds best practice and introducing the new NZ curriculum in 2008.
      Designed in the light of evidence about worldwide and NZ best practice, professional autonomy and child centred learning. Solution s to many of the things people claimed were wrong with our schools.
      To have it scrapped by National almost immediately when they introduced failed policies, like National standards and charter schools, from two of the worlds worst performing education systems.

      Do you really think 5 years of increased denigration of Teachers, introduction of new changes just when the new curriculum was beginning to bed in, pay uncertainty and micro-management of the Teaching profession by group thinking politicians, is not going to have an effect? Especially on children in the middle of assessments.

    • fender 23.4

      About time you threw in your union-phobic slater-ism.
      I for one trust teachers to do the job they gained qualifications to perform, they are the experts, not you, despite your usual rant that blames all the worlds ills on a word like union.

      When your drain gets blocked do you jump up and down blaming the master plumbers assn.?

      Do the teachers at your exclusive brethren school belong to a union, you better find out!

      • Puckish Rogue 23.4.1

        “I for one trust teachers to do the job they gained qualifications to perform”

        – I agree and thats why they should stick to teaching not unionism and protesting

        • fender 23.4.1.1

          So fragmentation and acceptance of whatever gets dished out is your recipe for improved educational outcomes for kids?

          Will removing the Police Association improve policing?

          • Puckish Rogue 23.4.1.1.1

            “Will removing the Police Association improve policing?”

            – Thats (inadvertantly) a very good question

    • northshoreguynz 23.5

      Maybe the teachers unions want the best for their pupils. Which is teaching and learning, not testing.
      For some misguided reason the govt wants to test and rank. There is very little research to support that that raises achievement and plenty to prove the opposite.

    • Tracey 23.6

      ever thought, if it is true, that National always try to take teaching and education back 40-50 years and teachers know that wont work in today’s world, which many nats haven’t noticed, is not post war NZ. Perhaps it’s time for the nats to put aside their dated ideology for education aside and put the children first. Perhaps they aim their policies at parents vote rather than what will actually work for children.

      Parents are not experts in teaching, despite what some of them think. If they are, home school. I wonder why the biggest moaners dont do that??

      Hating on the PPTA and disrespecting teachers doesn’t seem to make for better education for the children

      Example 1 relying on the USA research practice to support charter schools but ignoring the testimony of the woman who orchestrated it in the US who says it fails children

      example 2 NS used int he Uk relied upon for implementation here but ignore the removal of NS in the Uk due to failure.

  24. Linz 24

    I’m not surprised our kids are doing badly in Maths. The rest of the world is taking Maths seriously; we are not. Go to Mathopolis.com and try grade 8 maths skills practice http://www.mathopolis.com/questions/skills.php?year=8. Grade 8 kids in the US are 13 years old. I’m guessing most of our 13 year olds wouldn’t have a cat’s show in hell of doing these questions. I’ve looked up the NZ maths curriculum and compared with the clear list of skills required on Mathopolis, it’s a mess of gobbledegook and jargon.

    • ianmac 24.1

      Wonder how you know how well our 13 year olds would manage?
      Wonder why the USA is way below NZ in Pisa maths?

    • ianmac 24.2

      Wonder how you know how well our 13 year olds would manage?
      Wonder why the USA is way below NZ in Pisa maths?

      • Linz 24.2.1

        Well, I was a teacher for 26 years between 1966 and 1995. I don’t know why the US is below NZ in Pisa maths, and I don’t think that’s the point. It’s a waste of time comparing ourselves to people who aren’t doing well. We should be looking at the top performers and finding out what they’re doing.

    • KJT 24.3

      Maybe inexpert and ideologically blind politicians should just stop dicking with the education system.
      Then Teachers, and Teachers unions, would not have to waste so much time protecting children from some politicians “idee fix de jour”.

      Labour did actually attempt to fix Nationals last fuckup of the education system.
      Rightly, spending 8 years investigating worlds best practice and introducing the new NZ curriculum in 2008.
      Designed in the light of evidence about worldwide and NZ best practice, professional autonomy and child centred learning. Solution s to many of the things people claimed were wrong with our schools.
      To have it scrapped by National almost immediately when they introduced failed policies, like National standards and charter schools, from two of the worlds worst performing education systems.

      Do you really think 5 years of increased denigration of Teachers, introduction of new changes just when the new curriculum was beginning to bed in, pay uncertainty and micro-management of the Teaching profession by group thinking politicians, is not going to have an effect? Especially on children in the middle of assessments.

      • grumpy 24.3.1

        Bear in mind that this fall is not confined to NZ. Those education systems in Scandanavia and other “developed” countries that we have so admired and tried to emulate have dropped to a similar extent.
        This indicates to me that if we want to remain comparitively at the top, we need to look further afield. The unwillingness to do this is why the education unions cop flak.
        Interesting that in Left wing discussions it’s always National’s fault (despite this being a Western World affliction) and in Right wing discussions it’s the teacher’s fault.

        • Rogue Trooper 24.3.1.1

          yes, an amount of ‘scape-goating’ occurs

        • greywarbler 24.3.1.2

          ‘want to remain comparatively at the top’. It would be good if RW could remember or even start thinking that education is for preparing children to know their way around the world, and, find work that uses their skills and talents.

          It is not a sports event, a competition, a ‘league of governments’ with tables showing who has the highest this and that. Children then become fodder in this circus. And while we are agonising over this, which has extended to introducing a new way of ticking off boxes ensuring uniformity, the real problem is ignored. That is the problem that successive governments have shaped our economy and business methods so there are not enough jobs and they are not doing enough about it.

          More standards for politicians to attain in the requirements of running a thriving country and less idle chit-chat and time-wasting restructuring would result in education standards being more than adequate for the jobs waiting. With opportunities to raise skill levels when required, study for adult goals as adults, would provide a better fit. Education when and where needed, not the mind-numbing, score-fixated learning and mind-controlled present approach.

      • KJT 24.3.2

        Sorry about the double postings. Having trouble with the browser/site.

    • KJT 24.4

      I will give you a prize for guessing which children do better in overall capability and knowledge when leaving school, including real world math problems.

      I will even give you a clue. It is not the US educated ones.

      • Linz 24.4.1

        Japan?

      • Linz 24.4.2

        I looked it up on Google and apparently top performer is Hong Kong. No surprises. The Chinese have valued education and educated people since the year dot, except during the Red Guard years of course, and Chinese kids are taught to sit down, focus on the task and get it done. The last time I was in a New Zealand classroom just visiting, it was like a mad house.

        • Tracey 24.4.2.1

          I wonder what motivates some parents in hong kong to send their kids to our schools?

        • KJT 24.4.2.2

          Chinese children are taught to be docile and obedient.

          New Zealand children are taught to question and think.
          A problem for authoritarian Governments, and incompetent managers who like “yes men”.

          I’ve worked with people from all over the world.
          I know which ones I prefer to have working with me on difficult jobs.

          • Linz 24.4.2.2.1

            I agree that it’s vital that kids are taught to question and think and challenge authority in a positive way. I also think we should enable kids to develop self control. I think we can learn from all of the countries that are doing well in education, particularly Finland.

            • greywarbler 24.4.2.2.1.1

              Linz
              I have a teacher in our family. She has to spend considerable time learning to cope with an individual coming into her class that finds it difficult to just sit and think. Banging desks etc can disrupt the class.

              Working out a strategy of control methods with a final go and see the Principal or whatever takes time away from the others. The child may settle down eventually and she may be the only one he, it’s often a boy, will listen to. Also she has been asked to have a child back in her class after trying out another class, or she is asked
              to take him in for another year when the next teacher can’t manage him.

              All these people mainstreaming their children, make it hard to teach children with average learning abilities. And teachers, amazingly get so much flak. Often from those who obviously hardly know their a from their e.

              • Linz

                I have the greatest sympathy for teachers, especially now. I got out in 1995 extremely disillusioned, frustrated and burnt out, and I understand it’s even worse now. Talking about mainstreaming, way back in 1987 I was working part-time with a class of 38 five- and six-year-olds. One day a new boy arrived. He was much bigger than the rest, because it transpired that his minders lied about his age. He was at least eight. But what made him stand out was he thought he was a dog. He’d get under the teacher’s desk, bark, and if you got too close he’d lunge out and bite. Among his other tricks was as soon as the bell rang for playtime he’d hive off to the drinking fountain, get a load on then climb to the top of the slide, and pee down it. We called in the pysch service who found he qualified for “special school” but the school psychologist wanted him to be main-streamed, because main-streaming was coming into fashion. We’d get no extra help, of course. When we expressed doubts about how we would manage, and what about the other 38 kids, many of whom also had problems, she said “That’s what they said in the 1800s when there was a move to educate girls.” So nothing for the teachers, except a pile of guilt and a great sense of inadequacy. It’s not only politicians who don’t listen.

                • greywarbler

                  Linz
                  What an anecdote. I remember that bit from the Bible sometimes ‘I wanted bread but you gave me a stone.’ In modern times you get some PC-imbued task ordered by an expert authority, that represents a triumph of aspirational idealism and theory over human reality.
                  Matthew 7:7-12
                  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
                  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

                  @KJT
                  There was someone on radio recently who commented on teacher aids, some were okay and great, some were too helpful and suffocating. And I have heard said that the disabled child often felt odd person out in mainstreamed schools.

                  Sometimes the acceptance and camaraderie of special schools would make for better experience and educational outcomes. There should be an option. Why can’t youngsters and families have the right to try both?

                  I don’t see why youngsters can’t go to schools for the special subjects they want and then return to their own school. Where they are on ‘a level playing field’ with the others all of whom understand coping with difficulties from their own experience.

                  On Tuesday 9toNoon there was interesting talk by Minnie Baragwanath – disability advocate.

                  • KJT

                    I don’t disagree.

                    We have a child with mental and behavioral disabilities who had to be taken out of mainstream schooling.
                    He is succeeding with the help of a DHB school and tutoring.
                    Some very good Teachers and Teacher aids kept him in “mainstream” school in the primary years. Unfortunately that stopped in intermediate.

                    It would be nice if all disabled kids felt accepted and nurtured in mainstream schools, but the funding and personnel required did not transfer to schools with “mainstreaming”.
                    We know that “mainstreaming” was a cost cutting exercise. As is the closing of “special” schools.

                    I’ve also taught tech classes with up to a third “mainstreamed” children.
                    Schools, especially ones who are high decile, “high achieving” sic, tend to “dump” kids, who are not succeeding in academic classes, into Tech. The over- emphasise on school ranking tables and the 3 R’s encourages this sort of thing.

                    It is very difficult to teach and help all the children in a class when you have such big class numbers, risky machinery and such a spread of needs and abilities.

                    A Teacher aid in the class enables you to spread your efforts more effectively.
                    Especially if they are focused on helping with the whole class, not just the disabled in the class. Also avoids “singling” out if the Teacher aid is part of every class, not a tag on to a particular child..

              • KJT

                How much improvement would we have made if all the money National has wasted on private schools, ideological tinkering, contractors, corporatism in schools and “national standards” had simply been spent on a teacher aid in each classroom?

            • Colonial Viper 24.4.2.2.1.2

              I agree that it’s vital that kids are taught to question and think and challenge authority in a positive way.

              University is supposed to do that, especially.

              But all we seem to be turning out of university nowadays are corporate drones. And the number of academics who actually choose to rock society’s boat as we are all sinking…where are they all? I can think of only a few…

            • KJT 24.4.2.2.1.3

              Simple really.
              Asian countries are moving away from their one size fits all and rote based education, often using New Zealand, Finland etc, as models, and doing much better, while Western countries overtaken by GERM (http://www.standupforkids.org.nz/g-e-r-m/) and increasing inequality, regressing in the opposite direction, are going downhill.

              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.”

          • Colonial Viper 24.4.2.2.2

            Rote learning and repetitive application formula alone is no good. Yes you need the basic core skills and base knowledge, but from then on the ability to laterally think, be creative, communicate, understand culture and work in a team are vital. You don’t get that in the vast majority of Chinese/HK/Taiwanese schools.

            Got the first 6 binary section questions right…then my head started to hurt. Where’s my scientific calculator…

            edit haha I still know my exponent laws from Third Form. I’m going to stop there now before I hit some mathematical humiliation.

    • Tracey 24.5

      I tried the test and couldnt get a single one right int he binary section.

      I got 54% in School C maths.

      I was at high school in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Went to University and got a law degree.

    • Foreign Waka 24.6

      Absolutely agree on that one. Unfortunately, there are more excuses then solution seekers and this will not serve the kids.

  25. captain hook 25

    hey you lot of pakeha fruitcakes.
    when the noo charter schools cum in then yew will all be able to reed and know everyfing about God.

  26. Not a PS Staffer 26

    Nikki Kaye is Associate Minister, Pita Sharples is Associate Minister and from 14 December 2011-16 October 2013 another Associate Minister of Education was John Banks!

    • ghostrider888 26.1

      well Banks doesn’t believe in evolving for a start. Nikki’s just lovely for a Nat though.

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    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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