Action: Stop Charter Schools

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, January 21st, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: democratic participation, schools - Tags:

The chance to submit your opposition to Charter Schools closes this Thursday 24 January.

Our country’s teaching professionals are pretty much united in opposition to Charter Schools – where they have been tried overseas they are seeing (as with National Standards) a decline in relative educational outcomes.  That is: systems that were behind us are falling further back.

So the PPTA and the NZEI are urging you to make your opposition known.  An easy submission form has been set up, or you can follow how to make your own more detailed submission.

If you want to read a good article on the subject, on the Wall Street Journal Diane Ravitch – formerly a strong proponent of national testing as well as charter schools – explains why those policies are failing the USA.

Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?  Do you want public schools to become ghettos between publicly-funded but essentially private charter schools who can pick and choose their students?  If not, submit now!

90 comments on “Action: Stop Charter Schools”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?

    Because it is a little known central plank of the policy that random people will be compelled to send their kids to Charter Schools against their will.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.1

      I’m sure there will be enough wingnut dupes for one or two, and Brian Tamaki will surely require his victims’ offspring to attend, but Catherine Isaacs openly admitted that she intends to enable about thirty of these attacks on children to commence.

      In South Auckland and East Christchurch, do you honestly believe there are enough dupes and other victims to create thirty of these crime scenes?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        So, one way of answering Ben’s question:

        Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?

        Would be:

        Then don’t send your kids to a Charter School (or home school them).

        • Bunji 1.1.1.1

          It seems unlikely anyone will want an unqualified teacher – so why are we spending our scarce resources on these schools?
          Does this not just seem like ideologically-driven government waste to you?

          In reality, it seems likely that no school will go with unqualified teachers (and fail) – so why give them the option?
          And we’re still left with “publicly-funded but essentially private charter schools who can pick and choose their students”… They’ll get extra cash from Destiny or similar to teach creationism or similar, and thus have better resources – before you know it you end up with a warped system like the US. Under-resourced public schools taking the difficult children, and charter schools teaching more-able children weird things. Sound great to you?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.1

            No.

            I was addressing the somewhat narrower point that the post contends that people would be forced to send have their children taught by unqualified teachers.

            Which is not true.

            That is all.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “Which is not true.”

              Nope, you don’t have any basis for that conclusion: that shill Isaacs said thirty stolen schools would be opened. How are they going to find enough willing fuckwits in East Christchurch (or South Auckland) without a form of compulsion?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                You know that it is pretty uncontroversial that the person making the assertion (Do you want an unqualified teacher teaching your kids?) is the one that must prove it.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.2

            No.

            I was addressing the somewhat narrower point that the post contends that people would be forced to have their children taught by unqualified teachers.

            Which is not true.

            That is all.

            • fatty 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I was addressing the somewhat narrower point that the post contends that people would be forced to have their children taught by unqualified teachers.
              Which is not true.

              wrong…it would be true in some circumstances if charter schools were using unqualified teachers within poor areas. For many parents, the closest school is the only option, therefore they would be forced into accepting unqualified teachers.
              Freedom of choice depends on having the opportunity to use other options…not just other options existing. Most of the 200,000+ Kiwi kids in poverty do not have the opportunity of a second option regarding where they get their schooling.

  2. BM 2

    Who makes a better teacher, guess it depends what the subject getting taught is.

    Just say one of the subjects was IT, who’s more qualified Lprent or some wet nosed thing straight out of teachers college?
    According to what I read here lprent wouldn’t make the grade, not qualified unfortunately.
    Bit of a shame really because I’m sure he’s got a bit more knowledge than the “qualified teacher”.

    • geoff 2.1

      What’s the provision in a charter schools system for minimum acceptable teaching standards?

      • BM 2.1.1

        I’d say, demonstrable experience in the subject they’re teaching.

        • fatty 2.1.1.1

          I’d say, at a high school level, its the ability to stimulate learning, rather than just knowledge.

          • The Urban Maori 2.1.1.1.1

            Having demonstrable experience and being able to impart said knowledge are two completely different things.
            To use a sports analogy, great players don’t necessarily make great coaches.

            • BM 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A lot of teachers suck at teaching, problem is it’s impossible to get rid of them, year after year after year they suck the enthusiasm and interest to learn out of school children.
              I don’t see this as being such an issue within a charter school.

              • One Tāne Huna

                BM, having already demonstrated you know less than nothing about teaching, you go on to deliver another brainless howler.

                Tell me, Einstein, if NZ teachers are so crap, how come their pupils do so well in independent tests?

                Your whole argument is complete shit.

                My question is, are you making it up, or are you just simply parroting lies you’ve been told like a pathetic dupe?

                It must be one or the other: either you’ve made this bullshit up yourself, or you’re regurgitating lines. Which is it?

              • fatty

                A lot of teachers suck at teaching, problem is it’s impossible to get rid of them, year after year after year they suck the enthusiasm and interest to learn out of school children.

                OTH is right…where did you get this idea from? Please provide a reference for this.
                Its just been one ignorant statement after another from you BM.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2

          Really, would you. So if they’re teaching Maths, say, they have to have been employed as a Mathematician. Uh huh. And what about pedagogy? Where does the ability to teach figure in your delusions?

          Do you even think about the garbage you spout, or will you just parrot any old bullshit?

          • BM 2.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, because they’re going to hire motor mechanics to teach maths.
            Do you even think about the garbage you spout, or will you just parrot any old bullshit?

            Unqualified teachers = not in the union, that’s the real issue isn’t it.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m thinking more church elders to teach biology.

              • BM

                America != NZ.
                Anyway, if some people want to set up a Christian || Muslim || Buddhist school, I don’t see an issue.
                School covers only a fraction of the stuff you’ll learn during your life.

                • McFlock

                  In case you haven’t noticed, we have some literalists in NZ, too.

                  And I love the idea that it’s okay to have any old nutbar teach any old thing in school, because school’s suddenly unimportant.

                  In that case, truancy wouldn’t be a problem.

                  • BM

                    I didn’t say school is unimportant.
                    Reading, writing and maths is very important.
                    Everything else is just a taster to see which way you want to go in your career, that’s where I think “unqualified” teachers have a role.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, because everything beyond the three Rs is strictly about finding a job.

                      What a load of shit.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2.1.2

              BM, I note your miserable abject failure to answer the question: what will your mythical wizards know about pedagogy? You do know what that is, don’t you?

              I’d hate to think that you just started running your mouth without having the first clue about the subject to hand.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2.1.3

              Unqualified teachers = not in the union, that’s the real issue isn’t it.

              Yes, I think that is your only reality-based objection.

              What a piece of dogshit you are, attacking children’s education because the teachers want to freely associate with one another.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.2.1.4

              “Unqualified teachers = not in the union, that’s the real issue isn’t it.”

              Treasury reckons it’s a stupid idea too. Well known pinkos and union boosters the lot of ’em.

    • Scintilla 2.2

      BM, schools are obliged to adhere to the NZ Curriculum (2007). Secondary schools doing NCEA are obliged to tailor their teaching to the NCEA standards, approx. 6 standards per subject. In some subjects there is more room to move in terms of what contexts can be used to teach concepts as required by the curriculum. But you still have to make sure that what you’re teaching will enable students to pass the standards. So, a great subject specialist who is also a superb communicator, not to mention an awesome classroom manager, will find themselves up against ‘the system’ that requires them to increase pass rates as the criteria for success.
      The computing standards are pretty basic – we’re not talking learning to programme here, more like creating powerpoints, making videos, creating documents in word and excel etc. There are often teachers (not necessarily the ICT teacher) who have a specialist interest, eg robotics, who will run groups/clubs (in their own time) to extend learning.

      As I understand it, charter schools won’t have to follow the curriculum or employ qualified teachers. Will they do NCEA? Or International Baccalaureate? Maybe they’ll make up their own qualifications – maybe a Destiny Diploma will become the new benchmark of school leaver success?!

  3. DavidW 3

    So in the world of Standard definitions, qualified = registered, have I got that right? I’m sure that definition doesn’t really apply to all those registered teachers who have been convicted as paedophiles, fraudsters, statutory rapists and random other criminals in recent times.

    The blind would appear to be leading the visually impaired.

    • McFlock 3.1

      I would expect that those things would be grounds for deregistration.

      It’s pretty simply: “registration”, for anything, requires demonstrating that they meet certain criteria that are required to qualify for the job.

      Much better than leaving it up to, say, a CentrePoint charter school to decide who’s “qualified”.

    • One Tāne Huna 3.2

      DavidW are you intellectually challenged? Those de-registered individuals you refer to will find it a lot easier to get jobs where they don’t have to be registered. Duh!

      Way to bring up another reason why the stolen schools would be better described as crime scenes. and why I keep saying we need better wingnuts.

      What a fucking moron.

    • Daveosaurus 3.3

      The difference is that if a teacher does that, they get sacked, deregistered and publicly hauled over the coals. If a priest does it, it gets hushed up and he gets moved on to somewhere else to start all over again. I know that, if I was in the liability insurance business, there is no way I’d ever insure one of those “charter schools” against that sort of liability.

    • georgecom 3.4

      No, qualified means having a qualification to be a teacher. Registration requires having a qualification but a number of other facets as well. It is also an ongoing matter whereas a qualification is a done once event.

  4. Rodel 4

    The term ‘charter schools’ is smart semantic trickery, a term probably invented by the odious republican spin boy, Frank Luntz to disguise the fact that they are actually private schools funded by gullible taxpayers.Surely the word, ‘charter’ is not something anyone could object to?

    I remember a glowing report from a prestigious ‘private’ school about a child who had in the past exhibited behavioural difficulties. The expensive looking report card was embossed in red and gold colours, went on at length about the wonderful improvements he had made and the great academic strides achieved in his one year at the school as a result of the competence and dedication of the teaching staff……etc………etc..
    At the end was the comment..however that they considered that his needs would be best met by inclusion in a state school near to his home where he could interact with age appropriate members of his local community…and receive extra assistance provided by the state education system.
    In other words we don’t want him… send him back to the state system.

    It’s been happening for years folks and will increase exponentially with John Bank’s public funded private schools.I wonder how ‘Destiny’ schools would cope with unbelievers?

    • Rodel 5.1

      Joe90
      Thanks for interesting articles..Interesting to see the billionaire DeVos family involvement in the USA…
      ..Does that mean Amway Charter schools are next? God forbid!

  5. georgecom 6

    The link to the Ravitch article was interesting. What the US needs, Ravitch argues, is not an education market place but a coherent curriculum. NZ has a coherent curriculum. We launched a revised curriculum 2-3 yeras back. A widely consulted and respected curriculum. Problem is, schools were not permitted to concentrate on beding in the curriculum. Instead they had to implement a dodgy National Standards package, the sort of things Ravitch says has made no difference in the US. National Standards, ‘accountability’ and Charter Schools are all a distraction from the sort of things that will raise education achievement, stuff like a new curriculum.

  6. Cayte Shepherd 7

    Unqualified teachers are in fact, not teachers.

    These are unqualified people pretending to be teachers.

    That is the equivlent to an unqualified person pretending to be a doctor or an unqualified person pretending to be a physiotherapist or radiographer!

    This is very very scary stuff.

    Not in favour of Charter school nonsense.

  7. Glg 8

    I can see the paedophiles lining up now to apply to teach in Charter Schools. No teaching qualification necessary, no pesky information act queries.

  8. burt 9

    What’s best for the kids, the teachers and the parents ??? Who cares – it’s all about PPTA membership numbers now….

    • One Tāne Huna 9.1

      Pathetic. Your hatred of freedom of association and expression (for other people) is showing.

      Since you are crying your crocodile tears for “the kids, the teachers and the parents”, perhaps you can come up with an evidence-based case for Charter Schools and why you think they have anything to do with “what’s best”.

      But you can’t, can you, and that’s why all you’ve got is this grotesque whinging.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        And Burt, be sure to reference the Teasury paper released before Xmas in your response.

  9. Jayson 10

    I am eagerly looking forward to charter schools so that I can work as a teacher rather than as a teacher aide

    I spent a lot of money training to be a primary teacher 5 years ago, aged 42. Along with another guy on my course who was in his 40s, I was deemed to have not “met the requirements” for practicum and therefore couldn’t continue training.

    Now this “meeting the requirements” was more about keeping your head down while being a student teacher – which is pretty hard to do when you’re the only mature man in the school (apart from the Principal), and half of the kids are starved of male role models.

    Many teachers I have spoken with since agree that their profession has become a bastion of “political correctness” rather than of teaching and learning.

    Teaching kids and forming positive relationships with them is very rewarding. But you must be young, preferably female, and absolutely “plain vanilla” to have a chance of being registered. (Note, I don’t think this applies to Maori schools).

    • One Tāne Huna 10.1

      “Mature”.

      🙄

      Edit: can anyone believe this failed cry-baby?

    • Blue 10.2

      hmmm, you almost have to go out of your way to fail a Primary teaching degree. I mean you really have to try hard to do so. Failing a practicum means you are useless in front of a class. Its got fuck all to do with “political correctness”. As far as Charter schools go, if you’re useless, it means you won’t be hired, just like any other job or, if you’re hired, you’ll be fired as quickly. This is of course much different than trying to get rid of a useless “registered” teacher. Took me a year to get rid of one.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.2.1

        you almost have to go out of your way to fail a Primary teaching degree. I mean you really have to try hard to do so…

        What does that say about the quality of the teachers we have now?

        • One Tāne Huna 10.2.1.1

          I don’t know. How do their students get on when compared with those from other countries by independent assessors?

          Perhaps you might be onto something. I seem to remember the organisation concerned is called PISA. Why don’t you find out how New Zealand stacks up and get back to us?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.2.1.1.1

            Line that up with Blue’s experience that any moron can get accredited.

            • One Tāne Huna 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Line what up?

              This?

              New Zealand 15-year-old students’ overall reading performance was substantially higher than the average for the 345 OECD countries.
              • Of the 65 countries or economies participating in PISA 2009, only two OECD countries, and two non-OECD partner economies performed better than New Zealand. Four countries were similar and the other 56 countries performed at a significantly lower level.
              • Close to one in six of New Zealand students were top-performing readers.

              Shit, no wonder you didn’t want to find out the details: that totally destroys your argument, and what’s more, exposes the fact that the Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister, has been lying to parliament.

              Quelle surprise.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                I wil just accept that you want me to find a report which says our teachers are brilliant-y brilliant. Let’s skip that step and pretend I found it.

                Now, Blue seems to be telling us that any fuckwit can get qualified. You calling him or her a liar?

                I accept that he or she might be, it would just be good to know.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Is that what Blue said? Citation please.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    you almost have to go out of your way to fail a Primary teaching degree. I mean you really have to try hard to do so.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      How much weight do you give this anecdote, then?

                      Because the PISA scores (based on 4,643 students from 161 schools) tell a rather different story. Or rather, they demonstrate the excellence of New Zealand schools, as opposed to a right-wing nitwit clutching at any convenient straw.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      No weight now I know Blue’s a liar.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Nice straw. Make sure to hold on tight.

                    • fatty

                      I read Blue’s comment as any person can pass a primary teaching degree so long as they are not a complete idiot…not sure that this then translates as people who have passed their degree are still idiots.

                      I would say that the average idiot can become a qualified car mechanic after doing an apprenticeship…but that doesn’t mean once the qualification is gained that the person is still an idiot, or incompetent regarding how to fix a car. I see it as meaning the opposite, that once the qualification is passed, then any idiot then has the skills.
                      There are few degrees around that the average person cannot pass after a few years study.

                      Edit: Jayson appears to be a special kind of idiot that is unable to pass a 3/4 year qualification…another good example of why we should not have charter schools

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      I read Blue’s comment as being directed at the bitter and incompetent cry-baby, Jayson, rather than being a considered assessment.

        • McFlock 10.2.1.2

          Well, it might say that it’s absurdly easy for a well-rounded individual to become a teacher, but we’re really good at filtering out drop-kicks who can’t teach and can’t stick to the curriculum.

          Just saying – some things are easy for most people, yet insurmountable for others. A bit like economic management is easy for left (and left-ish) wing governments, but National and lab4 always seem to end up with deficits and massive unemployment.

  10. Jayson 11

    I feel sorry for you, OTH

    • One Tāne Huna 11.1

      Be more specific.

      You have my sympathies too: you failed to make the grade, your reasons for wanting to be a teacher are all about you, and you obviously have a huge chip on your shoulder about “political correctness” (which I doubt you can define) and “Maori schools”.

      What’s more, you are self-absorbed to the point that you think your little sob-story provides support for the Charter School model. As a parent, I am glad the system appears to be working to keep people like you away from the chalk-face.

      When the Charter school that is stupid enough to employ you closes (or is otherwise brought up to standard), I hope it will be in time to prevent you from doing too much damage.

  11. Fortran 12

    Isn’t an Maori Teacher best to teach Maori, whether academically qualified or not ?
    I understand many are not fully qualified, and have done well in Kohanga Reo schools.
    How does this differ from the possibility of the two Charter Schools doing similar for specilaise subjects ?.

    • McFlock 12.1

      No.

      A qualified teacher who is fluent in Maori is best to teach Maori.
      Similarly, while knowledge of physics is essential to teach physics, a physicist who can’t teach might be as useless as a teacher who is science-illiterate.

    • One Tāne Huna 12.2

      “Isn’t an Maori Teacher best to teach Maori, whether academically qualified or not ?”

      I don’t know. can you find a single citation that would support your unsubstantiated opinion that ethnicity is more important than expertise? If not, I think we should be very wary of making education policy on the basis of what random wingnuts “understand”.

      I hadn’t realised the total clusterfuck plan was to do something similar to this for “specialised” subjects. Who told you that? Is pedagogy irrelevant for “specialised” subjects, by the way? If so, how would you know, or is this another one of your “understandings”?

      One other thing: is being clueless essential to the development of right-wing education policy?

      • BM 12.2.1

        People that home school must be enemy number one in your eyes.
        Also the people training apprentices who the fuck do they think they are !!!!!
        Demonstrate Pedagogy or GTFO.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.1

          No, in fact you would be better off trying to read tea-leaves than continuing with the facile conceit that you have the first clue what I would think about home-schooling or adult education.

          But I do note that you have failed miserably to answer the question: what will your mythical wizards know about pedagogy?

          Are you really that much of a quitter?

          • BM 12.2.1.1.1

            Stop being so narrow minded.
            Teachers aren’t the only ones who can pass on knowledge.
            And yes, pedagogy – the science of teaching.

            • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Stop molesting Mr. Strawman.

              • BM

                Let agree to disagree, I see merit in charter schools, you don’t.

                Luckily for me the blue team is currently batting so charter schools are going ahead.
                Even Dave, the current labour leader has said he hasn’t got too much of an issue with them, seems to be only a few extremists on this site that have a problem with charter schools.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “seems to be only a few extremists on this site that have a problem with charter schools.”

                  And Treasury.

                • fatty

                  nah…you can’t regurgitate baseless statements like this, and then pull out the let’s agree to disagree

                • One Tāne Huna

                  “I see merit” – but are unable to articulate it, or provide any evidence of it, or even any reality-based justification.

                  As for what “Dave” has said, are you going to provide evidence for that or is it simply yet another vacuous and empty assertion?

                  PS: Yep, you’re lying. “Bigger classes, unqualified teachers, charter schools and performance pay will achieve nothing.” David Shearer.

                  Why bother telling such transparent lies? Are you trying to look dishonest as well as stupid?

                  • BM

                    Did he say he’d get rid of them though?

                    All the other stuff was just waffle to appease the diehards.
                    Dave’s a fairly pragmatic guy, I believe he sees value in charter schools but because the unions won’t let it happen, he’d never getting the opportunity to implement them, if labour ever got back into power.
                    Luckily for us, national doesn’t have that sort of hand brake holding them back.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Labour’s policy response (note: Shearer doesn’t make policy on his own) is to be outlined in a minority report accompanying the enabling legislation, which is before the select committee.

                      Why did you deceitfully misrepresent the facts? Is is mendacity, or stupidity, or both?

                      PS: “holding them back”? Back from what, the international recognition of the excellence of the NZ education system, that you’ve been desperately lying about until all your left with is lies about David Shearer?
                      Had you forgotten that every single comment you’ve made on this thread has been exposed as fantasy? Are you really that much of a dullard?

                    • McFlock

                      “Bloody Mendapidity”.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Luckily for me the blue team is currently batting so charter schools are going ahead.

                  Slavish devotion to the party line suits you, especially since it’s all you’ve got.

        • McFlock 12.2.1.2

          lol
          from a home-schooling site:

          To get an exemption from enrollment at a registered school, you must satisfy the Secretary of Education that your child will be taught “as regularly and as well as in a registered school”.

          And apprenticeships don’t teach all the skills necessary – hence pre-apprenticeship courses. Some skills, however, are best picked up in an supervised workplace. But then most of these skills are not applicable to primary school-level education, are they.

          • BM 12.2.1.2.1

            But the parent isn’t a qualified teacher.
            Isn’t that the issue?

            • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.2.1.1

              No. The parent has fewer pupils. Penny starting to drop? Slow monotonous right-wing brain function overloading?

              PS: in describing your thoughts as “monotonous”, I am of course referring to the fact that this point has been covered before on this very forum. Asked and answered. Are all you wingnuts this dense, or are you a special needs case?

            • McFlock 12.2.1.2.1.2

              They still have to go through a process to demonstrate that they can teach their kids “as well as in a registered school”. Schools need registered teachers. Therefore they need to meet the requirements, if not actually have the bit of paper.

              You’re pushing shit uphill, there. Unless you can demonstrate that the sec’y for Education isn’t doing their job of ensuring the required criteria are met?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Also, it’s their own kids and the state isn’t paying for it.

                • McFlock

                  well, the state does give them an allowance.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Oh well. It’s still just their kids.

                    • McFlock

                      well, you could say the same thing about people wanting to send their kids to a Density Crutch flat earth charter school.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Nope. Because the school isn’t teaching their own kids.

                      Think of a charter school as being like home school, but a home school that teaches other people’s kids. Why should the state pay for that? If you want to home school your kids, do it. If you want to send them private, do it (though I can’t see why the state should subsidise that either; if it wants the state’s money, then the state should call the tune).

                    • McFlock

                      good point

  12. Huri 13

    Actually, special character charter schools are probably a good idea for some communities. People should be allowed to run one if they want.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      As long as they pay for it themselves. If they’re really so good like you say, parents will be happy to fund them 100%.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        which they already do in private schools.

        So charter schools are a redundant idea (just to follow your point, CV)

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    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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