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Why New Zealand’s educational standards are crashing

Written By: - Date published: 4:29 pm, December 4th, 2013 - 55 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, same old national, uncategorized - Tags:

The PISA results are now out.  From 2009 to 2012 New Zealand’s educational standards have apparently crashed.  Our results have gone from seventh in reading and science to 13th and 18th respectively, and from 12th to 23rd in maths amongst the 65 countries engaged in the study.

Hekia Parata has said that the cause is not the introduction of National Standards but because of a major shift in the curriculum in the last three years and under-investment in teachers’ skills.  She may be right but she does not acknowledge that funding for teacher professional development was cut in 2009 and the money was transferred to the National Standards Programme.  There may be a direct link between the drop in standards and the roll out of National Standards.

The 2008 briefing for the Education Minister gave a snapshot of the education system that National was inheriting under Labour.  Three points stand out from the briefing:

  1. The average performance of New Zealand 15-year-olds in mathematics, science and reading literacy placed New Zealand at that time among the top performing countries of the OECD.
  2. The Government was urged to continue with professional development programs for teachers.  The Numeracy Development Project, established in 2000, had resulted in significant improvements. Between 2002 and 2007 the percentage of Year 6 students achieving at or above the expected level in mathematics increased from 40 percent to 61 percent while the percentage classified as at risk decreased from 30 percent to 13 percent.
  3. The Literacy Strategy, also established in 2000, also saw significant improvements.  A 2008 evaluation showed that after taking into account expected growth and maturation, students’ gains in reading and writing were twice those that could be expected without the intervention and that schools accelerated the rate of progress for the majority of the at-risk students by four times the expected rate.  The Minister was also urged to continue with this programme.

So what happened?  In Budget 2009 then Minister Ann Tolley gave private schools $35 million extra funding, announced the roll out of National Standards and at the same time cut funding for the literacy and numeracy projects despite their effectiveness. If she wanted to do something for literacy and numeracy she would have not done this.  She was obviously looking to appease National Supporters and introduce testing for PR purposes at the cost of two quality programs.  It is not difficult to see a link between declining professional standards and the subsequent decline in PISA results.

Of course this is probably only half the reason for the decline.  The ongoing attacks by the Government on the teachers unions and fiascos such as the Novopay have sapped morale and reduced the effectiveness of teachers.  And the growth of inequality and poverty is no doubt one of the major contributors.  Young people will not perform to their best if they are hungry or stressed or living in overcrowded conditions or their family is suffering financially.  Attacks on working conditions and on beneficiaries will inevitably have an adverse effect on their children.  I am sure that it is no coincidence that worsening results have occurred at the same time as increasing disparity in our society has occurred.

There could be implications for the Government’s Charter School policy.  As noted by Gordon Campbell the Pisa report comes out strongly against Charter Schools.  He quotes Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s deputy education director as saying the following:

My organisation [the OECD] is very strong on choice, enabling citizens to make choices, and you would expect that systems with greater choice would come out better. You expect competition to raise performance of the high performers and with low performers put them out of the market. But in fact you don’t see that correlation… Competition alone is not a predictor for better outcomes… The UK is a good example – it has a highly competitive school system but it is still only an average performer.”

And further,

Our data doesn’t show much of a performance difference between public and charter and private schools once you account for social background.”

What this occurrence has done is shoot down in flames any pretence that National may claim that it cares about improving education standards.  It is willing to attack teachers unions, is totally indifferent to the effects of poverty on the lives of young people, and is willing to engage in mass state funded PR at the expense of a rounded previously high quality education system.

When it comes to education National does not have a clue.  It needs to be removed from office before it does further damage.

55 comments on “Why New Zealand’s educational standards are crashing”

  1. Philj 1

    Xox
    Hekia’s response, “Trust us, and give us time for it to work”
    All fools us, for this unfortunate experiment of a government.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      In Parliament this afternoon the Nats have started to run the line that it was all Labour’s and the Teacher Unions’ faults. They are so predictable …

      • BrucetheMoose 1.1.1

        This is Key’s government of we are right and everybody else is wrong, and when it goes all wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault. Re writing politics and accountability according Johnny. Who the hell votes for this imposter?

      • Dumrse 1.1.2

        I guess you’re not denying it shows some agreement to the progress being made. And, don’t forget the choice we will all have.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        +1

        The party of personal responsibility never takes responsibility for their own actions.

  2. Rogue Trooper 2

    My pick; NZ will not be able to claw back from these slips (short of drilling, mining and fracking Bonanzas Hoss). This is the century of Hop-Sing! :)
    -“Dance to your Daddy my little laddie
    Dance to your Daddy, my little man
    When thou art a young boy, you must sing and play
    Go along the shore and cast your shells away
    Build yourself a castle, watch the tide roll in.”

  3. tc 3

    Keep the message simple and get all Mp’s any opportunity to repeat it : national is failing our kids and doing so in the face of evidence that told them this would happen.

    All this and those taxpayer funded charter schools yet to kick in.

  4. Chooky 4

    +100…good post!

    • Chooky 4.1

      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

    • Chooky 4.2

      Mucking around with NZ education hasn’t happened by accident under NACT.

      There is a hidden USA..neo-liberal agenda on NZ 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

  5. Tracey 5

    Yup failure of charter schools to be the promised panacea are inevitable.

    Beware the various “research” available on charter schools versus public schools

    http://shankerblog.org/?p=5867

    also see

    employees review Charter Schools USA

    http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Charter-Schools-USA-Reviews-E234934.htm

    Also

    “Fed up with persistently poor student results in Ohio’s eight largest urban school districts, Republican state legislators enacted a law in 1997 allowing charter schools to locate exclusively within the boundaries of the “Big 8” systems.

    Sixteen years later, charters statewide performed almost exactly the same on most measures of student achievement as the urban schools they were meant to reform, results released under a revamped Ohio report-card system show. And when it comes to graduating seniors after four years of high school, the Big 8 performed better.

    Akin to a deregulation movement, charters operate under different rules: Operators are allowed to turn a profit from a portion of the tax money they’re given and don’t have to follow state laws that dictate everything from the distribution of textbooks to minimum teacher salaries to school-board elections. In return for that freedom, their supporters expected them to deliver strong academic results.

    But what started as an experiment in fixing urban education through free-market innovation is now a large part of the problem. Almost 84,000 Ohio students — 87 percent of the state’s charter-school students — attend a charter ranking D or F in meeting state performance standards.”
    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/09/01/charter-schools-failed-promise.html

  6. Tracey 6

    Mickey

    have our results slipped or have others moved ahead of us? If the second, then our standards, that is, results, could be the same as last report.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Hi Tracy

      I understand that our results are declining. There is a graph at the link below that suggests that our overall performance is getting worse, the results for our top end students still above average but getting worse and the results for our low end average but getting worse. Not very pretty …

      http://www.compareyourcountry.org/pisa?cr=F024&lg=en

  7. Phaedrus 7

    Their education cupboard is now empty. Didn’t have much to start with, mind you! Expect a rev up in implementation of existing programmes. PPP schools in Christchurch for a start.

  8. Disraeli Gladstone 8

    I would like to state early on that we put too much damn stock in the PISA rankings. Teaching, just like learning, isn’t something that you can just set up a league table for (or otherwise we’d all just support National Standards?).

    The fact of the matter is that they’re a good indicator when used with other measurements and studies. On their own, we put too much stock in reports and numbers that can be faulty. Also important to note that while the UK is average on test results, on enjoyment at school, they’re at the top and the Asian Elites are toward the bottom.

    Neither position is ideal.

    Somewhere in the middle is nice.

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    nice? The particular combination (perfect storm) of historical influences that NZ is increasingly facing the outcomes of -the inevitable outcomes of inequality produced by our particular form of Welfare State, for example, disproportionately benefiting the ‘boomer generation’ , numerically speaking; trading in the NZ dollar (paper economy), interest paid to Australian-owned banks; deregulation; the centrality of neo-classical liberal economics (Chicago School) ; post-colonial hangovers; residential property speculation bias; climate change; dairy intensification; movement into greater fossil fuel extraction; INEQUALITY; just add it up!

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Bernard Hickey noted yesterday that NZ’s “terms of trade” was at a 40 year high (this is good), in other words the value of imported goods that we can access with our exports. But even so our current account deficit was well in the red at 5% of GDP. The implication being that when those terms of trade decline, that current account deficit will worsen considerably. And foreign money will end up owning more of NZ, worsening the situation further.

  10. ghostrider888 10

    In your head would preferable to needing to show the workings! Gottit? Fucking entitled Tory pestilence.

  11. Craig Glen Eden 11

    The unions told National that National Standards would not lift student performance and it hasn’t.
    How you are going to improve teacher performance by cutting the money invested in teacher professional development heaven wouldn’t even know, but apparently the National Party knows best.
    Then you cut funding to State schools and increase funding to Private Schools.
    Then you cut funding for therapist to special needs kids in public schools because the National Party knows best
    Then you set up Schools that are not subject to the same scrutiny/standards that is expected of public Schools despite no evidence that they will improve student achievement why? Because the National Party knows best.

    The animals have control of the zoo and the shit is mounting up!

    • amirite 11.1

      +100

    • Anne 11.2

      On the button Craig Glen Eden! You don’t need a PHD or be a trained teacher to see why it’s all going belly up! You don’t need any Inquiry either because the reasons are under our noses for all to see.

      Huge cuts to Education spending
      Cuts to curriculum.
      Blocking off the avenues for adults to acquire qualifications or retrain.
      Cuts to supply of state houses.
      Cuts to employment opportunities.

      then:

      Demonisng those who, through no fault of their own, are forced through the cracks by the above cuts.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        Steps to increase teacher morale and leadership skills needed

        Plus I don’t hear good things about M. Ed in Welly

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.2

        You don’t need a PHD or be a trained teacher to see why it’s all going belly up!

        No you don’t but you do need to be able to accept facts that are contrary to your ideology. National is incapable of this.

    • Fran 11.3

      Thank you

  12. Will@Welly 12

    What pisses me off is this will take a generation to turn around. Merv Wellington oversaw a similar destruction when he was Minister, why can’t Ministers just leave well alone. Children’s education is just too important to muck around with. Sorry, teachers are trained to teach, those of you who think you know better, why don’t you sign up, and see if you can do better.

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      not being a politician, no admissible criticism of teachers from me, or primary health workers; Jesus Wept, as he watched upon the gentrification of Godzone. Where’s that ‘money-changers’ pic Viper, I too fail to bookmark occasionally. Sh!ts gonna’ hit the fan now, many parents politics are motivated by their children’s perceived needs.

  13. Macro 13

    Actually these results are a total reflection on our increasingly inequality as a society, not only have our overall performance in the critical areas declined, but there has also been a significant decline in the performance of lower socio-economic groups and a fall in the number of high achievers. The commentators don’t seem to get this point yet (eg K Ryan on Radio NZ this morning flabber gastered that inequality could have had such an effect in just 3 years), but they simply fail to see, that the only ones doing well under the current administration are the uber rich. Those in the middle are going backwards financially with respect to the upper brackets as are those at the bottom, just not as quickly.

    So what it appears now is we have a new society with a distinct class structure.

    Those who have

    Those in the middle who think they have but are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

    Those who have not and have no prospect of ever doing anything about it.

    These PISA results are simply a reflection of our society as it is now. The sooner NZ wakes up to this new reality the better.

  14. irascible 14

    Some interesting findings from the PISA results.
    Sweden has suffered an education decline since the introduction od Charter Schools.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/03/swedish-results-fall-free-schools-pisa-oecd

    The UK results have slipped back since the advent of the Cameron-Clegg Tory government and the introduction of TEst, Test, Test and Charter Schools.
    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/dec/03/uk-students-education-oecd-pisa-report

    Researchers raise questions about conclusions being drawn from PISA because of its methodology.
    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2013/dec/03/pisa-methodology-education-oecd-student-performance

    One does start to wonder if there is a correlation between neo-liberal “reforms” of education as implemented by conservative governments in Europe and in NZ. It would appear so.

  15. Rodel 15

    I meet and talk with a lot of immigrants.

    One of the main reasons they want to settle in New Zealand is the superiority of our education for their children. This include Japanese, Korean and Chinese parents, and a few Americans plus others .

    They all think our broad based education is far better than their narrow test and teach systems.
    I suspect the so called assessments by renowned OECD assessors is invalid and has little reliability or authenticity.

    Many of the immigrant parents say..’children in our country can read, write, do math but are not taught to think.’

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Many of the immigrant parents say..’children in our country can read, write, do math but are not taught to think.’

      And if we keep going the way National are taking us our children won’t be taught to think either. I sometimes wonder if this is what National wants because who don’t think also don’t question.

    • grumpy 16.1

      Yep read that. So those same academics who were happy to use our PISA rankings to claim there was no need for National Standards, now want to discredit those same rankings when the results do not go their way.
      I agree that results in the PISA exam tells us little about the value of subject content, it’s usefulness in life and give nothing more than an indication but the sheer hypocrisy from the teachers unions and education academics is breathtaking.

  16. Steve Wrathall 17

    Why? NCEA. Which your lot brought in. Students can now cherry-pick the easiest credits. Why work hard?

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Actually, it was National that brought in NCEA, the Labour led government started fixing it and now National are fucking it up again.

      • millsy 17.1.1

        Back in 1997 I was doing NCEA. Only back then we just called it ‘Unit Standards’. It was National that brought in the whole concept of unit standards and mastery learning, etc and it fucked up education in this country. Any old cowboy could offer up a certificate and create unit standards for making beds, playing golf and ringing people up.

        If you want to blame anything for the state of our education system, and the ‘long tail’ in this country, you blame the Tomorrow’s Schools model, which privatised school support and made schools compete with each other, to the point where they would rather attract international students and hope the underachivers get themselves expelled.

        • Rogue Trooper 17.1.1.1

          many accurate points millsy; thankful I was gone before NCEA, although, if they’d offered Units in rock music appreciation, majoring in Tom Petty, Joy Divison and The Clash, I’d be a different man today! (School was shit for lower decile equivalents when I was there).

          • Rodel 17.1.1.1.1

            Reluctantly agree that Lange’s ‘Tomorrow’s schools was a stupid idea promulgated by some twit whose name I can’t remember..Picot was it? ( I believe he was a manager of a light bulb factory) who had read an obscure Canadian manual about semi privatizing education and got paid a lot of money to regurgitate the idea which was swallowed by Lange & co.and Roger Douglas / Prebble clapped their gleeful hands.

  17. tricledrown 18

    Education achievement constantly went up under labour down under national 1990to 1999 standards fell here we Go again cutting investment in education and demoralizing teachets again same result.
    National are slow learners!

  18. infused 19

    Can’t use league tables in schools, but we use them to compare us to the rest of the world. Only when it suits eh.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      The country league tables also say zip about what NZ needs to do to improve, say zip about why we have fallen, and say zip about why other countries improved.

      In other words, just as useful as National Standards.

      • grumpy 19.1.1

        Pretty well correct but without standards how will we know if outcomes have fallen. A bit like the canary in the mine, they tell you something is happening but it’s up to you to look at the indication and figure out what to do about it.

  19. From 2009 to 2012 New Zealand’s educational standards have apparently crashed. Our results have gone from seventh in reading and science to 13th and 18th respectively, and from 12th to 23rd in maths amongst the 65 countries engaged in the study.

    “Apparently” is the best word for it. It takes kids 12 years to pass through the education system, so if a study is showing a dramatic change in quality over a three-year period in the absence of a war or something similarly disruptive, you really have to ask a few questions about the reliability of the study. This might be a tempting propaganda stick to beat the government with, but it’s not a very convincing one.

  20. Philj 21

    Xox
    Sad to say but this is depressing. The Nats misgovernment, or non government, fails our kids at school. Dumb parents vote National back in. It’s a vicious self fulfilling cycle. It’s us folks, we’re too stupid to realise it. Sad, but kind of funny. And we are top of the non corruption countries. There is the proof of our gullibility and dumocracy right there folks. Hahaha. Take all you can JK, make hay. You can fool most of the people most of the time.

  21. Rogue Trooper 22

    somebody has the wrong end of the stick!

  22. captain hook 23

    this is what happens when yew get people who cant reed and who dont believe in the moon landing in charge.
    The National government are basically a party of carpebaggers and lowbrows who think they know everything just because they have had their false teeth polished.

  23. grumpy 24

    Same argument in Australia who have just dumped a Labor Government
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/test-scores-show-were-being-outclassed/story-fni0ffxg-1226775380344

    This argument will go nowhere unless people start looking at the global perspective and why the Western education systems are failing to keep up, not the political leanings of individual countries, however appealing that might be to local political interests.

  24. tc 25

    All part of their plan, as the late George Carlin put it
    US Dream

  25. Delia 26

    The sight of Anne Tolley blaming the teacher’s unions for these stats beggers belief. The contempt she sneered at teachers. No wonder teachers are feeling undervalued.

  26. JanM 27

    I am intrigued by all the comments from people who still think that the decline of our education system under a National Governmens arises out of ignorance rather than intent. Really?

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    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    2 days ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    2 days ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    13 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    17 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    2 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    2 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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