ACE restored

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 6th, 2014 - 85 comments
Categories: education, labour - Tags: ,

I see that Labour announced the restoration and increase of the Adult and Community Education (ACE) funding that National slashed back in 2009 and largely killed the programme throughout much of the country.

Damn good idea. This used to be a vital step up for people and their families to improve themselves and the subsequent generations as well.

I have a personal history and interest in this. Both my parents left school at 5th form. But in the late 1960s, my mother went back to night school (as ACE was known then) to get her university entrance while raising me and my siblings. She subsequently got our extended families first university degree. This was an example followed by a number of members of her generation. The result was that it is now rare for any of our family kids to not go through to tertiary education.

There are tens of thousands of families who can similarly trace their changes in the availability of opportunities from this extremely effective low cost stepping stone of night schools and ACE over the many decades that the programmes have been running. It is pretty damn cheap.

The policy will see $13m of funding from the first budget, a further $9m from 2018, and $1m per year for English for Speakers of Other Languages courses (ESOL).

The major slashing of the ACE program back in 2009 had no credible explanation by the government at the time apart from reducing expenditure. This explanation rather lacked credibility as in 2009, they also gave out generous tax cuts to the already wealthy and gave their affluent backers billions of dollars in overly generous finance company guarantees.

This type of profligate and irresponsible wasting of the efficient operation of government finances caused a massive increase in government debt..

Net core crown debt with special imaginary forecasts from Bill English for the 2014 general election.

In other words this will cost about 2 days of the interest payments that the government is currently paying on their accumulated debt -currently running at about $10 million per day in interest alone.

Before the National Government’s 2009 Budget cuts, more than 400,000 Kiwis were enrolled in ACE courses every year.

National slashed funding to night schools by up to 80 per cent. That led to the number of schools providing these courses falling from 212 to just 23. Now more than 150,000 Kiwis who once attended night school and other school-based learning can’t.

Indeed. Now all we have to do is get a Labour led government in place to get these productivity boosting courses back into full operation.

85 comments on “ACE restored”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    Completely agree with this policy, I was going to chastise you that the Greens had already promised this but can’t actually find their position on it ?

    • lprent 1.1

      I’m pretty sure that it was both in the Labour and Greens policies in 2011. What is interesting is that Labour are extending it beyond where it was in 2009.

      You may be thinking of this, a policy on community hubs?
      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1401/S00045/ace-sector-supports-green-party-policy-on-community-hubs.htm

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        while i support access to all education for anyone who wants it..

        ..(it should come under ‘human rights’..i reckon..)

        ..i don’t think labour have thought this one thru..

        ..as these are different/digital-times..

        ..and yes..open up all those options again..(esp basic quals etc..for those who have fallen off the education bus at an early age..)

        ..but enshrining internet-access as another human right..

        ..would mean superior courses wd be able to be offered online..

        ..to far more people..

        ..so if the internet/mana duo think this one thru..

        ..they cd gazump labour..

        ..by positing a clear plan for that online education access for all..

        ..so once again..a seemingly ill-thought-out/presented/knee-jerk policy from labour..

        ..an..’ok..!..but..!..’

        ..(someone further down the (unread) thread may have made this same point..if so apologies for duplication..)

        • Naki man 1.1.1.1

          Have you had a job since you went back to university phillip or were
          you just exercising you human rights and getting a student loan?

          • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1

            “..Have you had a job..”

            i actually have put my education/experience to work ..in that i run/edit the online news-aggregation website whoar.co.nz.

            ..and my days’ ‘work’ usually starts @ 5.00-5.30 am..7 days a week..

            ..and i trawl thru what i consider to be the ‘best’ news outlets/commentary local and on the planet..

            ..and each day i collate a best-of-the-best..(this usually means 40-50 new links each/every day..)

            ..and in the process i have built a wicked little best-of searchengine..

            ..with over 90,000 best-of’s in it..(a browsing-heaven..easy to get ‘lost in/lose hours in..)

            ..and if the site has an ethos..it is respect for the intelligence of the reader/audience..

            ..(so i guess that wd b yr call..if it fits you/is for you..eh..?..)

            ..and thanks for asking..eh..?

            ..and yrslf..?

            ..are you in the cow-concentration-camp/animal/planet-exploitation-‘business’..?

            ..which branch of fucking-the-planet are you in..?

            ..should we compare environmental-footprints..?

        • Huginn 1.1.1.2

          Phillip

          It’s a feature, not a bug.

          Prestigious universities are offering excellent online education programs, often for free. But online education is hard because sometimes you need someone to talk to and to keep you on track.

          Adult and Community Education can use these to bring a much richer educational experience into the community.

          Bringing ACE back is a fantastic idea. Very exciting.

          • phillip ure 1.1.1.2.1

            yeah..i am talking a mix of those two..online access..backed up by personal-contact components/options..

            ..and of course much easier to fit into users’-lives..

          • Stephanie Rodgers 1.1.1.2.2

            There’s also the practical element – a lot of things are more easily demonstrated in person – and the social element. Getting out and meeting people from your community while you all learn a new skill together has to have a lot of benefits.

      • Chooky 1.1.2

        lprent+100… Great Post thanks!…Adult and Continuing Education is important for all sorts of reasons!

        …for many it is to extend and catch up …and to eventually go on to tertiary education or develop a new career

        ….for others newly come into a community, or a new immigrant, or a Mother or Father at home, or the newly divorced or separated, it is to make new friends ( two of my best friends I met through Continuing Education)

        …..for others it is to find a new skill or develop an art or language

        ….Adult and Continuing Education provides social cohesion!….and quality of life ! It values people!… It values Continuing Education and continued learning throughout life…like the old WEA …Workers Education Assn.

        (….. and I think John Key’s Nact cynically put the money saved from axing Continuing Education directly into propping up Private Schools)

        Good on Labour and the Greens for promoting the reintroduction of Continuing Education !

  2. BM 2

    I remember doing a picture framing course a while ago, we didn’t learn jack, basically it was just a way for the particular guy who was running the course to drum up more businesses.

    Rather put me off these ACE courses after that

    • tinfoilhat 2.1

      Here’s a suggestion then – don’t go and let those who do get something from the many different course that used to be run at schools across the country get back into ACE courses.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Was this picture framing course an ACE course? Because you didn’t actually say that.

      I can only guess it was something ran by the local kindergarten aimed at pre-schoolers. You’d probably fit in fairly well there.

    • John 2.3

      I did a picture framing one too, as well as a few others.

      They are all pretty much hobby courses – nothing of any depth that would actually get a job for anyone on those courses.

      There should be funding for some courses – i.e. adult literacy etc – but the question is …..”should taxpayers be funding peoples hobbies?”

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        They are all pretty much hobby courses – nothing of any depth that would actually get a job for anyone on those courses.

        Just because you were too useless to use that knowledge to get a job or create your own business doesn’t mean that others don’t.

        should taxpayers be funding peoples hobbies?

        Yes because hobbies help people develop into better people especially when those hobbies have positive social aspects. We’re not automatons whose sole purpose is to go to work to make someone else richer.

        • John 2.3.1.1

          Draco says “Just because you were too useless to use that knowledge to get a job or create your own business doesn’t mean that others don’t.”

          No one on the courses I saw was stupid enough to think they would get a job because of a night course, when they’re up against people with real qualifications.

          You think the government should pay for hobbies for positive social reasons.

          What next? Free picnics for everyone?

          If there’s a choice between spending on real education and qualifications, or on hobbies, I know what is far more important to people and the country.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1.1

            No one on the courses I saw was stupid enough to think they would get a job because of a night course, when they’re up against people with real qualifications.

            A night course is still a real education – whether you want to admit it or not.

            If there’s a choice between spending on real education and qualifications, or on hobbies, I know what is far more important to people and the country.

            No, you’ve just proven that you don’t.

    • Chooky 2.4

      I met one of my best friends through a picture framing course…we were both hopeless at woodwork but we had an awful lot of laughs …and we are both interested in art and creating art …..later he came to own a small art gallery …..we remain great friends and work on joint ventures!

      certainly didnt put me off Adult Continuing Education!

      also while some may have a tangential commercial business incentive to take a course …it is never-the- less valuable to learn form an expert! …in this case picture framing

  3. karol 3

    Excellent. ACE is important for the employment opportunities it opens up, but it is also important as part of life long learning for all areas of life, and for its contribution to local communities.

    I think that the Greens support all these aims in their stated education principles, but I haven’t seen any specific policy aimed at restoring and developing ACE.

  4. BM 4

    I was just googling for adult community education courses and this site popped up

    http://www.cecwellington.ac.nz/course-catalogue/93-art-crafts-sewing-textiles-weekend-workshops

    They seem to do all the courses that I remember and the price for each course seems pretty reasonable .

    I think expecting the tax payer to subsidize a major portion of a curtain making course is a bit rugged.

    Maths,English,Small business courses, I see nothing wrong with those, hobby courses I’m not so enthusiastic.

    • karol 4.1

      $95.00 per course for those on low incomes as “reasonable”? What alternative reality are you living in?

      • BM 4.1.1

        When I did my “Picture Framing course” 10+ years ago the price was around $50 dollars.

        $95 seems reasonable and no offense if you’re short of coin I don’t think spending money on a Moroccan cooking course or book binding is particularly wise.

        • Molly 4.1.1.1

          Price Waterhouse Cooper, unlikely advocates for ACE spending quantified in their 2008 report to govt a return of $54-$72 for each dollar of funding.

          “Based on the available data, including the survey responses, the estimated economic impact of the ACE sector is between $ 4.8 and $6.3 billion annually. This equates to a return on investment of $54-$72 for each dollar of funding.

          Each dollar of government funding generates a return of $16-$22, but this is further leveraged through private contributions to the sector, including those voluntarily added such as unpaid volunteer labour. The table below summarises the estimated value and net economic benefit (NEB) per dollar, allocated across government and private investment.”

          And that calculation does not even take into account the SROI – Social Return on Investment of ACE.

        • Ron 4.1.1.2

          I wonder how many pictures you actually framed after your course. Or did you not manage to learn anything on the course.

          • BM 4.1.1.2.1

            I cut a bit of board, that was about it.

            On week 3 the guy brought in some frame samples for us to choose from and then gave us a price for how much what ever picture we wanted framed would cost.
            The course was complete shit.

            After that I flagged the rest of the course.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Sounds to me like either a) You were determined not to learn anything on the course or b) didn’t go on the course at all.

    • Will@Welly 4.2

      Part of the warmer homes initiative. Curtains = insulation = drier houses = lower power bills.
      But then that takes thinking, initiative and a certain amount of residual grey matter BM.
      All of which you lack.

      • BM 4.2.1

        Obviously a ton more than you pal.

        You can go down to the warehouse and buy a set of thermal lined curtains at half the cost of what it would be to just buy the material.

        Making it yourself isn’t quite the cost saver it used to be.

        • Will@Welly 4.2.1.1

          But that’s just the cost of one set of curtains. Imagine making the lot for a whole house. Plenty of ‘cheap’ linen to be had if you know where to buy, and once you know how to make one set of curtains, easy-peasy!
          Also, ready made is brought in using ‘overseas funds’. How many kilos of dairy fat do we have to sell to afford that, how many rivers do we need to pollute to keep buying overseas products?

          • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1.1

            I’d suggest that most curtain fabric would also be imported. And cotton thread. And sewing machines. And sewing machine oil. Etc.

            • Rob 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Exactly , all curtain and drapery material is imported , none of it is loomed and weaved in NZ.

            • Will@Welly 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Before your time that’s what people did. They made their own drapes, curtains, clothes, etc.
              Now we’re in hock to the slave-labour camps of China, where young workers are exploited.
              And our workforce, our people have lost so many skills.
              Without being rude, how many people can darn a sock, patch a tear in a piece of clothing, or do we simply look at it, put it in the too hard basket, and throw it out?
              Because once upon a time, not that long ago, people actually mended their clothes, rather than chucked them out.

              • Rob

                Yes I agree Will. It is different now, not different good or maybe different bad , but just certainly different. It is a mixture of skills being forgotten , time pressure and low cost opening price point products.

              • karol

                Ah. Some skills I learned when young still come in handy – or could. I can darn a sock. We have iron on patches these days.

                And I can take up my trousers for my short legs, and sew on buttons. Have a sewing kit that does get used.

        • felix 4.2.1.2

          “You can go down to the warehouse and buy a set of thermal lined curtains at half the cost of what it would be to just buy the material.”

          Brilliant. God forbid anyone learn a useful skill when they’re supposed to just be good little obedient consumers.

        • ShazJaz 4.2.1.3

          Yes you can go to the warehouse to buy curtains with a bit of rubber stuck on the back of the fabric. They last 2 or 3 years and cannot be washed because they fall apart. I made a set of curtains more than ten years ago and I used good quality fabric and also separate lining with a high thermal properties. Black out ones for the bedrooms. My point is we all know you can get cheap ones at the Warehouse, but by making them using high quality fabric good separate lining gets beautiful results that can give you years of joy. I can wash them press them and they go up on the window still looking as good as they did when I made them. Fabric was expensive and the lining was too but I bet it will end up with me spending less over 15 years while others may have renewed theirs maytimes

    • McFlock 4.3

      we’re so lucky to have you to protect us from knowledge that you see as useless.

      I once got a job interview purely because of a side-hobby week-long course mentioned in my CV. If an employer is looking for robots, Moroccan Cookery might be irrelevant. If an employer is looking for a rounded human being who might get on well with others, what separates the applicant from the discard pile is largely down to luck.

  5. Rosie 5

    ACE is fantastic for those wanting to expand their knowledge, exercise the brain and be a bit social all at the same time. I’ve done a couple of courses before and have enjoyed them.

    It was a sad day when Natz scrapped the scheme – completely indicative of their lack of a grasp on how important adult education is for the individual and of the beneficial social dimensions of ACE.
    Something as simple as reinstating ACE will contribute towards returning to a sense of normality for our country post election, if we are to see the back of the Shonkey Govt.

    I hope that colleges around the country that have closed their night and weekend classes will be able to reopen and welcome back their students. Onslow College in Johnsonville closed last year after 35 years of providing ACE because no one could afford the unfunded costs of classes. I’m hoping all the teachers will be electorate voting Ginny Anderson!

    • alwyn 5.1

      I suspect that most of the schools that closed their classes won’t reopen them at all.
      Many of them used the Government action as an excuse to stop providing them at all. How many of the schools that dropped them actually gave their users the option of paying the full costs?
      Damn all as far as I could see. Certainly the only one I had ever done a course at, furniture restoration incidentally, didn’t offer myself or my wife the option of doing another course at a bit higher fee. The school couldn’t cancel them all fast enough.
      I think the staff simply found it too much bother to have to open the facilities to the public after normal school hours and they won’t go back to doing so if they can possibly avoid it. Some schools might offer the courses but an awful lot won’t. Was there anything in the announced policy that said that schools would be required to do so?

      • Rosie 5.1.1

        “Was there anything in the announced policy that said that schools would be required to do so?”

        Not in the link that I read that was included in Lprent’s post. I should imagine schools would have a process for reopening ACE classes if we get to the point where we oust the Shonkey Govt.

        Do you have examples of schools you know of “used the government actions as an excuse to stop providing them” ? I am speaking of Onslow College in particular, and as I said, after the funding was cut they offered the courses at their full unfunded price, which resulted in no one being able to afford to attend, so they had no choice but to wind it up after 35 years.

        Do you think that 35 years of service to the community meant nothing to the staff? Sounds fairly dedicated to me. I hardly think these are the kind of people that would find it too much bother to have to open the facilities after hours. To me it sounds like they are exactly the kind of people who understand the importance and relevance of ACE, and the role they play in delivering it.

        I hope they are able to reopen, when the time comes. I need somewhere to go to learn Gaelic.

      • karol 5.1.2

        Don’t the schools just provide the premises? And maybe some night security. But who actually runs, or used to run the courses?

    • Ron 5.2

      It appears that some people are unsure just what education is. A quick check of Wiki states the following “Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, or research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but may also be autodidactic. Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. Education is commonly divided into stages such as preschool, primary school, secondary school and then college, university or apprenticeship.”

      That sums up pretty much what ACE is for people. Any government that seeks to restrict such education because of their philosophy on education or because of perceived monetary savings are really not worthy of being entrusted with the role of governing.

    • Chooky 5.3

      +100 Rosie

  6. Excellent news .All learning is good .Many young people are late in developing regarding learning so night school helps them to gain knowledge and skills that are then very often extended . The result is an increase in skilled workers and a happier work force. The Tories believe in divide and rule ,they like low wage economy so evening classes are liable to change that, no wonder they stopped it
    I must wonder why it is not headline news and that I have to come to the Standard to hesr it’

  7. Tracey 7

    Great news. Now the low skilled in work can upskill at night. Righties will be thrilled wont they?

    • Rosie 7.1

      Not if they have to fund it through their precious tax! They’ll come over all Golum like, “my precioussss. Cants part with precious tax no, for underachiever. Underachiever not like me, underachiever don’t deserve golums precious tax.

    • Ron 7.2

      Just thought maybe it would not be too late to start teaching Civics at night school, Just imagine a whole range of people learning about how government works and how to change the institutions to the benefit of all people.

      • phillip ure 7.2.1

        civics @ high school should be mandatory..

        • fisiani 7.2.1.1

          civics = socialist indoctrination

          • BM 7.2.1.1.1

            Couldn’t agree more.

            Goes with the push to drop the voting age to 16.

            • felix 7.2.1.1.1.1

              You guys are hilarious. What do you have against people learning about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and the functions of the society they are part of?

              Oh, right.

          • phillip ure 7.2.1.1.2

            i dunno if you know this..fisiani..

            ..but i find you to be quite funny..

            ..i often get a guffaw from yr bullshit..

            ..and that one delivered..

            ..you are a simplistic/slogan/cliche-spouting fool..

            ..it’s as simple as that..

            (..and of course the voting age should drop..

            ..after their civics lessons at highschool..they’ll be primed/ready..)

          • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.3

            Being kept ignorant = RWNJ indoctrination

  8. greywarbler 8

    What good news. We need more education not less. People who take an interest in learning something new, making community, getting skills, learning new techniques, whatever. Good one Labour.

  9. NZJester 9

    National have always been hypocrites in cutting funding. Look at when Paula Bennett closed an allowance she herself had benefited from in the past and that had helped her get to the position she is in now. She also saw noting wrong in illegally publishing private details of a beneficiary who had called her out on this fact in the press. Paula Bennett is always unfairly trying to paint beneficiaries as lazy or trying to rort the system when ever National needs a distraction in the media. When Ms Bennett said more than 21,000 beneficiaries had their benefits cut in a nine month period for unauthorized trips abroad, I wonder just how many might have been poor Pacific Island families flying back to the Islands for funerals and other important family events. I head these might have actually been the majority of those unauthorized travels recorded and not extravagant holiday trips over seas like she claimed. I can see her trying some more beneficiary bashing in the lead up to the election to try distracting from the National Governments failures in education, housing, employment and so many other areas I think I would end up running out of space to list them all!

  10. fisiani 10

    ACE currently takes place. It therefore cannot be restored. BTW restored is past tense.
    Citation for restored please.
    You had a whole post about a one letter typo. How about changing the title to ACE to be restored to former largesse????? That would be more accurate.

    • karol 10.1

      The citation is in the post. You clearly haven’t bothered to follow the link to the actual policy announcement, or read the post.

      • fisiani 10.1.1

        there is no citation to “restored”

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          fis, are you capable of reading beyond the headline, which is a shorthand for….? go on, try reading the first sentence of the post. It does have a citation.

          • fisiani 10.1.1.1.1

            wrong again karol. If Farrar can be castigated for a single letter typo it’s a fair call for the title of the post to not be misleading.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              it’s not misleading

            • Tracey 10.1.1.1.1.2

              This line of comments attests to your lack of reading comprehension

              • fisiani

                tense. tense tense.
                restored is past tense and thus knowingly dishonest to stay unchanged this long. It is not a typo.

                • McFlock

                  well, it’s true that labour have not yet restored ACE to previous levels (or beyond), but then only an idiot would not assume “to be” was subtext given that Labour isn’t in government yet

                  • lprent

                    And the requirement is the last paragraph. I suspect that Fis didn’t read down that far. Which is of course why I put it there.

                    I am always interested in the people who don’t read the whole of my posts before commenting.

                • In Vino

                  Fisiani, go and learn some Grammar. ‘Restored’ is a past participle. In the Passive Voice it does not determine the tense: the auxiliary verb does. This is a headline where the auxiliary verb has been left out because headlines are usually abbreviated. Full version would probably be “ACE will be Restored” or “ACE to be Restored”. Both “will be” and “to be” are a form of the future tense. ‘Restored’ is a past participle, being used almost like an adjective, and has no bearing on the tense.

                  If your grasp on politics is as appallingly weak as your grasp on linguistics, I would suggest that you would be better employed washing somebody’s dishes. Maybe your own would be a good start.

                  • felix

                    In fairness, fizzy’s first language is Vogon.

                  • fisiani

                    Comedy show In Vino how about some veritas. Ace restored is the headline. Headlines have to be accurate . It never went away and has never been restored.

                    • felix

                      “ACE currently takes place. It therefore cannot be restored.”

                      So as well as not following In Vino’s grammar lesson, you don’t even know what “restored” means.

                    • In Vino

                      You do not know what a past participle is, do you? You never got to School Cert level where they actually TOLD you that headlines are usually highly abbreviated and there to get attention and indicate the topic. Clearly, the intent of the heading is ‘ACE to be RESTORED in newly-announced Labour Policy’.

                      You have picked a dud nit. Go and learn some English grammar, and veritas may come to you. Or just go and wash some dishes.

                    • karol

                      They actually kept many English and literacy classes going. You should try one.

                    • lprent

                      It was reduced to 20% or less of its original funding. I tell you what lets do a Merchant of Venice at 80% on you and see how functional you are afterwards.

                      But I’d have to say your language skills are kind of appalling, especially on the tenses. You are treating English as if it were Latin with its precision on time. English is a much more fluid language.

                      Perhaps you should find a night class to learn more?

                      Updated: snap. I see that karol already suggested that course of action.

      • BM 10.1.2

        After having a very quick read of the Price Waterhouse Cooper report

        The ACE sector receives approximate funding of $88.4 million annually and according to Cunners

        Labour will provide funding of $13 million in the first two years and a further $9 million in the following years

        I assume that there was $6 million dollars cut from the ACE budget and this injection of money will take it back to 2008 levels?

        • karol 10.1.2.1

          The government cut 80% of its funding to ACE, and that was $13 mill.

          That would make the previous total $16 mill, leaving about $3 mill. I think the amount allocated to night classes provided in schools. There are still other ACE classes run by the community and and organisations.

          That is indicated in this 2009 article.

          Adult Learners’ Week has been more about commiserating than celebrating as supporters battle the National Government’s 80 per cent cuts to night-class funding.

          Protesters will march down Queen St tomorrow to show they intend fighting to have the $13 million cuts reinstated.
          […]
          On the list of criteria for schools applying for the $3 million pool is a condition that a school graduate 100 people in literacy and numeracy programmes each term.

          • BM 10.1.2.1.1

            Had a read of those articles you linked to.

            It seems that the vast amount of ACE training is done via polytechs and very little in the high school enviroment.

            I was under the impression the ACE funding was cut to the bone when this is not the case at all.

  11. DH 11

    Got my vote too. I did numerous night classes and I’d rate them highly. They’re weren’t all picture framing. I did some pretty comprehensive accounting, labour relations, sales & marketing and various other career related courses. Not so sure they were ACE courses but the principle still applies IMO.

    A big, really big, benefit of night classes was the tutors I had were people who were actively doing what they taught and were good at it. Their teaching might have lacked finesse but they sure knew their stuff.

    We don’t all make the right decisions when we leave school and those night classes were a chance to make some positive changes in our lives when the opportunity had otherwise gone. They allowed us to keep working so we could pay the bills while also learning new skills. Cancelling them was criminal.

    Doesn’t matter what the courses are IMO, all learning is good. Good stuff Labour!

    • JK 11.1

      Me too, DH and Lprent – night classes were a godsend in those days to those without a tertiary qualification. And they could lead onto a career. I did one in creative writing (I learned years later
      that the tutor hated doing it) but it gave me sufficient insight to start up a career in journalism, and I found some already august people in my class – people like Marti Friedlander who wanted to know how to put the words to her photos, and others with similar reasons. Other night classes gave lessons in basic bookkeeping for a self-employed person, then there were the ones which were an introduction to NZ’s colonial history via tangata whenua eyes, and the unspoken history of women in NZ : all extraordinarily useful stuff to know as I grew older (and hopefully, wiser !)

      • Chooky 11.1.1

        yes it is a great way to meet people of all ages…some just out of high school and some in their eighties…and new immigrants

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    This is wonderful news, and thanks to Labour to put this policy out. I am a fan for adult and community education, and it was a nasty, mean and stupid step by the Nat led government to cut back on it.

    While this is welcome news from Labour, I wish they would put the same emphasis on some other policy areas, like the environment, transport and even welfare. They are still short there, and lacking.

    • poem 12.1

      labour have come out with some good policies and this is definitely one of them. Agree with others, Good stuff labour !!! I would say there are some policies labour are keeping close to their chest until the election proper is well under way. Would you give john key, his national party and their media mouthpieces and drum beaters the chance to turn it all into a weapon too far out from election day? I know I wouldn’t.

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  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
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    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
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    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
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    3 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    1 week ago