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ACT’s failed charter school protest in tweets

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, May 1st, 2018 - 101 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, Media, twitter - Tags:

101 comments on “ACT’s failed charter school protest in tweets ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “…Who in their right mind thinks Mr Dancing With The Stars is still a good political investment..?”

    Alan “Amphibious cars are the next big thing trust me” Gibbs, probably.

    • Anne 1.1

      My immediate response too.

      He’s so filthy rich $20,000 is just change he pulled out of his trouser pocket. He’s a nasty piece of work with a gross ego who thinks he’s above the law of the land. And I say that from personal experience albeit 20 plus years ago.

      • s y d 1.1.1

        amphibious gibbs

        • Frankie and Benjie

          I’m puzzled as to why National isn’t helping push ACT up in the polls in some way. They seem to be happy for ACT to sink out of sight. No friends National should be desperate to keep any chance afloat or maybe they are positioning for a new Blue/Green party to con enough votes away from the coalition?

          • Anne

            … maybe they are positioning for a new Blue/Green party to con enough votes away from the coalition?

            That is precisely what they’re up to.

            Back in the 70s and 80s they jeered at Labour’s anti-nuclear policy, then in the 90s it dawned on them there were votes to be gained from going anti-nuclear so they changed their stance. They’re doing it again over environmental issues (note they are avoiding using the words ‘Climate Change’) and they’ll fool plenty of people into believing its genuine.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Even if National had bought that they need a coalition partner to be viable, (and I don’t think they have) ACT would not be that partner. They are a shell of a party that exists in hope that they lose the party vote well enough to get National an extra seat when their voters throw Epsom to them, and they have no embedded constituency, no coherent ideology, and no real party infrastructure. They are an active waste of time for the right-wing beyond gifting them Epsom.

            • Draco T Bastard

              They are a shell of a party that exists in hope that they lose the party vote well enough to get National an extra seat when their voters throw Epsom to them

              And thus proving their disregard of even the limited democracy that we have.

            • tracey

              I thought I read Bridges or someone saying the other day that 44% isnt enough, they need to get higher? So I guess they are aiming to govern alone and if fall one short, Rimmer.

              I bet ACT members have been bust registering multiple identities to get Rimmers popularity up on DWS as they did for Hide

  2. millsy 2

    The whole purpose of charter schools was to indoctrinate poor kids into Christian Dominionism and free market economics, turning the sons and daughters of South Auckland into passive consumers, who only know a trade, support the All Blacks and believe in the Young Earth creationism. Unquestionably supporting the National Party.

    • solkta 2.1

      I thought the purpose of Charter Schools was that they form the thin end of the wedge by which Nact could privatise the whole education system, as has been their desire since the 90s?

      • Frankie and Benjie 2.1.1

        I agree that was the purpose Charter Schools were planned for. They were then “given” to ACT to “promote” as part of an agreement after the election (even thought neither ACT nor National had campaigned on them as a policy?), if my memory serves me correctly.

  3. Incognito 3

    That turnout is about as high as a Decile 1 school sausage sizzler somewhere in the regions. Mind you, it was the last day of the School Holidays 😉

  4. Chris T 4

    Ahh yes. Charter schools

    The working things no one seems to have a problem with (as far as I can see), apart from Labour and the unions ………………. not counting Kelvin and Willie.

    • solkta 4.1

      The Greens and NZF also oppose Charter Schools and there is widespread concern amongst the general public about the privatisation of education.

      You obviously can’t see very far.

    • millsy 4.2

      Don’t come crying to me when gays are swinging from power poles in South Auckland and you cannot burrow “The Origin of Species” anywhere because charter school educated councillors have pulled then from the libararies.

      • Stunned Mullet 4.2.1

        Eh – not all charter schools are full immersion religious are they ?

        • millsy

          Religious groups have made bids in the past to run these schools. Alwyn Poole’s school teaches creationism. There is no doubt that companies connected to the US evangelist sector would have been handed charter schools in Porirua and South Auckland this term had National governed.

          • Stunned Mullet

            Strange I was under the impression they would be required to teach the NZ curriculum ?

        • JanM

          No – some of them are schools which have taken the opportunity to offer education with a kaupapa Maori emphasis

          • Lettuce

            Those schools have been offered the chance to become “special character” public schools with genuinely qualified and registered teachers – everybody wins!

            • JanM

              Indeed – and at least some of them, like the one my son teaches at, already do the qualified and registered teacher thing, as well as NCEA, etc

              • dukeofurl

                So whats their point if they are doing the same as state and integrated private schools are doing now.

                • JanM

                  Did you not read my first comment? – I guess you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about

      • Peter ChCh 4.2.2

        If that happens it will have little to so with Charter Schools and lots to do with the increased immigration of Muslims, particularly those from the Middle East. Islam and Homosexually, or indeed lersonal freedom, have little 8n common.

        • You_Fool

          About as much in common as fundamental christian values do… but then the majority of Muslims have about as much in common with strict sharia law as most Christians have with fundamentalist bible teachings…

          By the way, I have your pearls right here, you seem to have squeezed them too hard

      • Chris T 4.2.3

        A lot of them aren’t religious and a lot of private schools the tax payer partly funds are.

    • millsy 4.3

      Willie Jackson has made it clear that he doesn’t want big churches and big corporations running schools

      • Stunned Mullet 4.3.1

        Really, what’s his plan for the very many Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian schools in NZ and also the occasional Islamic schools that are popping up ?

        Also which big corporations is Willie particularly concerned about – I was unaware there were any large corporations interested in setting up schools in NZ ?

        • dukeofurl

          There is in early childhood education.

          We could assume Serco Schools, an offshoot of Serco prisons will arrive at some stage

        • Marcus Morris

          Those of us who support a free non-secular education, as promulgated in the 1877 Education Act, lost the “state aid” battle long ago largely through the power of the R.C. vote. It is true that other religious groups have benefitted from this (who would have thought that Whanganui Collegiate would ever have sought integrated status) but many small rural towns still maintain their convent schools so a significant number of New Zealand children have a state aided religious education.

          As for Charter schools – after noting the benefit that a close relative of mine gained through attending the Vanguard School in Rosedale I am somewhat ambivalent although I am very much opposed to them in principle.

          (as an aside, this relative of mine attended an integrated private school (not R.C.) for ten years and at the end of Year 11 had achieved absolutely nothing – he thrived on the discipline of the Vanguard School.)

          • alwyn

            “lost the “state aid” battle long”
            I suppose you have never forgiven Norman Kirk for that have you?
            The Roman Catholic church had a lot to thank that bigoted old bastard for.
            I can’t imagine that Fran Wilde’s bill on homosexual law reform would ever have seen the light of day if Norm had survived.

            • Marcus Morris

              Thanks for that fatuous remark about Norm Kirk. It prompted me to do a little bit of research and to remind myself of the event. It was Phil Amos who paved the way for the integration of private schools into the state system and so to receive substantial financial support. I think that, tragically for the country as a whole, Norm had died by that time. What I was reminded of however, was the incredible amount of social reform the Labour Government achieved in that three year term. You might like to have a look yourself.

              • mpledger

                It was actually cheaper to pay for the kids to be continue to be taught in RC schools then if the schools closed and the kids all went to the state schools – there would have been a huge building program needed. It was a bit of a win-win.

                • Marcus Morris

                  That is precisely the argument I was referring to. There is no doubt that if the Private (mainly Roman Catholic) schools had closed overnight the state system would not have been unable to cope so the “threat” was essentially moral blackmail. Had there never been any private schools then the state would have already provided for those students. However the debate was long consigned to history and so, I have to admit, become pointless.

          • Baba Yaga

            I think what you’re saying is ‘one size doesn’t fit all’? That is precisely the case with education, which is why choice is good. Problem is, unions hate choice, and Labour is in bed with the unions…

            • Marcus Morris

              I am not saying that at all. I am saying, as was said so often at the time of the debate (which lasted many years) that if people want their children to be educated under the “auspices” of a particular faith then that is their absolute right but they should not expect the state (in other words those who don’t subscribe to their religious beliefs) to subsidise this. Many of us old enough to remember those arguments still hold that view but have long since resigned ourselves to the status quo. I am sure that you will come back with the old chestnut that those who did press for support were doing the opposite and subsidising the state. Well, you won, we lost.

              • Baba Yaga

                “…if people want their children to be educated under the “auspices” of a particular faith then that is their absolute right but they should not expect the state (in other words those who don’t subscribe to their religious beliefs) to subsidise this.”
                First of all I was referring to Partnership Schools, not religious schools. But seeing as you raise them…

                There is no such thing as benign education. Education always follows one philosophy or another. Secular education follows secular ideology. Religious parents could equally argue that they don’t expect to have to subsidise the children of parents who choose to send their children to secular schools.

                “Well, you won, we lost.”
                Really? There are hundreds of religious schools across NZ that receive government funding. And even more if you included ECE. Who won?

                • Marcus Morris

                  Sorry I thought that was obvious. Those who fought for state aid to private schools “won”. Can you define “secular ideology”. I guess “flat earthers” and “creationists” might support your argument but secular education is essentially neutral when it comes to ideology – I taught in state secondary schools throughout the country for over forty years and, apart from encouraging students to be honest, to work and play hard, be kind to each other and to obey the law i.e. be good citizens (I suppose this all could be construed as ideology) there was no other obvious philosophy which motivated any of those schools.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    “Those who fought for state aid to private schools “won”.”
                    You seem to not understand how the education system in NZ is funded.
                    Private schools receive no government funding. There is no ‘state aid’ provided to private schools.
                    Integrated schools do receive government funding, as they should.

                    All children are entitled to state support for their education, and should receive the same level of subsidy wherever they chose to attend.

                    Can you define “secular ideology”.
                    I’ll leave you to look that up, but your assertion that children who receive their education in religious schools should not receive the same subsidy as those who choose to be educated in a state school is itself an ideological position.

                    “…secular education is essentially neutral when it comes to ideology…”
                    Rubbish. There is no such thing as ideologically ‘neutral’.

                    • Marcus Morris

                      I understand very well how our funding works – okay it is a question of semantics. There are very few private schools in New Zealand now under your definition. As I say in a previous post even that most elitist of erstwhile “private” schools, Whanganui Collegiate, has long since been integrated. The battle over state aid to private schools, which was the original terminology used in the debate, has long since been lost and those of us who opposed it have long since learned to “suck it up” albeit begrudgingly.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “There are very few private schools in New Zealand now under your definition. ”

                      Clearly you don’t understand.

                      There are close to 100 ‘private’ schools, educating around 5% of the total number of school pupils ( https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/education/school-system).

                      “The battle over state aid to private schools, which was the original terminology used in the debate, has long since been lost and those of us who opposed it have long since learned to “suck it up” albeit begrudgingly.”

                      You’re repeating the same error. Private schools get NO state aid. None. Zero.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “Government proposes more funding to private schools, for equity’s sake”

                      Yes, that would certainly have made things fairer. At the moment parents of private school pupils effectively subsidise the education of public school pupils.

                    • solkta

                      In a “fair” system ALL children would get the same standard of quality education.

                      If parents choose not to use the state system then they should pay the full cost.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “In a “fair” system ALL children would get the same standard of quality education. ”
                      Human nature determines this is a pipe dream.

                      “If parents choose not to use the state system then they should pay the full cost.”
                      Why should they subsidise children who attend public schools?

                    • solkta

                      You brought up the idea of fairness. Either you want it or you don’t.

                      If the state provides you with something and you choose not to take it then that is your choice.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “You brought up the idea of fairness.”

                      “If the state provides you with something and you choose not to take it then that is your choice.”
                      Indeed, and you should be able to take the value of that something and transfer it to another provider.

                • Marcus Morris

                  I forgot to emphasise that the 1877 ACT provided for free, secular education for ALL. No one was excluded on any grounds.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    Private schools provide a secular education. But it is not free.

                    • Marcus Morris

                      Thanks for the address that you gave me. I came across this statement from the governments own page.

                      “Private (or independent) schools charge fees, but also receive some funding from the government. They are governed by their own independent boards and must meet certain standards to be registered with the Ministry of Education. They don’t have to follow the New Zealand Curriculum but must follow a learning programme of at least the same quality.”

                      Perhaps you might like to modify your assertion.

                    • Marcus Morris

                      I am repeating no error. You have misread my lines. The State Aid to Private Schools debate at that time (goodness knows when it began but it was raging throughout the sixties and into the seventies until Phil Amos ushered in the compromise of integration) referred to any school not in the state system. “Integrated” and other definitions were not even known at that time.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      ““Private (or independent) schools charge fees, but also receive some funding from the government. They are governed by their own independent boards and must meet certain standards to be registered with the Ministry of Education. They don’t have to follow the New Zealand Curriculum but must follow a learning programme of at least the same quality.”
                      Perhaps you might like to modify your assertion.”

                      No, you have misread the comment you cite, which refers to a combination of private and independent schools.

                      From https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/education/school-system

                      “Private schools are not government funded – they charge set fees by the school term or year. The amount is typically around NZ$20,000 a year. Financial assistance may be available.”

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “I am repeating no error. ”
                      Yes you are. You’re repeating the error that private schools receive state funding.

            • mpledger

              If Charter Schools can meet the standards expected of state schools then they can stay open and parent’s will still have that choice.

              It’s not the parents who are objecting to that, it’s the Charter School because it’s going to be costly. That’s why they can’t get the parents to demonstrate because the parents don’t see the problem.

              • Marcus Morris

                I might be wrong but I think that part of the issue here is that some of these schools are run for profit – money which should be spent on the public education system. I stand to be corrected.

                • Baba Yaga

                  There is only one Partnership School run on a ‘for profit’ basis. All others are NFP.

              • Baba Yaga

                Partnership schools are delivering better results for less cost. But the unions don’t like them, so the government will break the contracts and they will shut.

                • Marcus Morris

                  Evidence please.

                  • Baba Yaga

                    For which part?

                    If you want to know more about what PS’s are achieving, I suggest you read the Martin Jenkins report at http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/184841/Multi-Year-Evaluation-of-Partnership-Schools-Kura-Hourua-Policy-Final-Evaluation-Report.pdf.

                    There are the natural caveats, but this report shows PS’s are engaging a demographic that were previously at risk. Labour are married to the unions, however, so even those within Labour who support PS’s (and there are a number) have to swallow this dead rat.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “However, administrative data showed engagement “significantly improved for students” enrolled in charter schools. It said students at partnership schools were more likely to complete a Level 3 NCEA exam and more likely to go on to tertiary studies than to go into work straight from school. Current students made up almost 50 per cent of the report, while 15 of 350 graduates answered the survey, and 4 per cent of answers were from parents of students who left charter schools before graduating. Parents said smaller class sizes attracted them to the model, which later met 80 per cent of families’ expectations. Just over 40 per cent said their chosen school had values similar to their own. The report said the schools attracted previously transient or disengaged learners, a good understanding of its students and “innovative practices”. “Whānau … reported feeling more involved in their child’s learning, and more confident communicating [with the school].””


                      Of course Labour don’t really give a toss how parents feel about their children’s education.

                    • Marcus Morris

                      “Labour are married to the unions, however, so even those within Labour who support PS’s (and there are a number) have to swallow this dead rat.”
                      You have certainly widened the debate here. Of course Labour is married to the unions. Luckily for the vast majority of us the Unions spawned the Party and for a large part of its history it was assisted hugely by funding from the Unions. Right wing parties too are massively financed by groups and individuals with a vested interested in furthering their policies. I think here you might be referring specifically to the two Teacher Associations, the NZEI and the PPTA. I cannot be certain but I think that I am safe in saying that neither group has ever made a direct or indirect contribution to the Labour Party. What I can say is that they are both highly professional bodies who have contributed magnificently to the development of education in this country. The interests of their members and their members’ clients, i.e students and their parents have always been central to their activities.
                      ” course Labour don’t (doesn’t??) really give a toss how parents feel about their children’s education.
                      This nonsensical statement merely highlights your own political bias.

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “What I can say is that they are both highly professional bodies who have contributed magnificently to the development of education in this country. ”

                      Oh I don’t doubt you believe that. But in opposing Partnership Schools for nothing more than ideology, these unions reveal their concern is not for children but for their own survival. It’s sickening.

          • repateet

            About your relative. Do you think there could have been a rage of factors which saw him thriving which were incidental to him being at a charter school?

            • Marcus Morris

              That is a fair question. His siblings did exceptionally well at that same private school. There would have been a number of factors at play but my feeling is that the lad responded positively to the particular discipline regime (essentially military) that this school offered.

      • pdm 4.3.2

        As I understand it Willie Jackson has an involvement in a Charter School which his wife runs.

      • Stuart Munro 4.3.3

        Better the larger established churches than ones like Destiny or Gloriavale.

        • Stunned Mullet

          Oh I agree, although the large established churches have also had their fair share of ratbags over the years.

    • Michelle 4.4

      Chris T, Willie said the government set the charter schools up (initially) but then expected them to get their own money ( stand on their own feet) he mentioned 2 million for the kura he was involved in. Also who has control and always had control of the NZ education systems and who have been the least successful. When I went to college in the early 70s I remember our pommy teacher telling two of the maori boys in my class they should do Wellington maths not school certificate maths but the dumbed down versions just because she couldn’t relate to them. Now is this good teaching practice I don’t think so and I have to wonder how many others this happened to.

    • tracey 4.5

      It is odd though that when ACT says it wants everyone treated the same, they exclude Private and Charter schools from that… otherwise they would be railing to ensure ALL children get the alleged quality of a charter school education, yet they keep supporting the falling behind of them.

      • Gosman 4.5.1

        Where did you get the idea that ACT states everyone should be treated the same? That has never been ACT party policy as far as I am aware.

  5. Stunned Mullet 5

    Who’s Jeremy Greenbrook-Held ?

    • AB 5.1

      A citizen within a democracy – just like you, me and David Seymour

      • Stunned Mullet 5.1.1

        No doubt but why are his utterings of particular merit, is he a regular commentator on education matters ?

        • Sacha

          There is nothing in his tweets above about education; just the protest.

        • AB

          Their merit stands or falls on their content- not whether someone else validates him as being ‘important’ or not. The latter is a very quick route to elite capture of discourse and policy.

  6. Cinny 6

    Charter Schools, the national party invention that didn’t require registered teachers in classrooms.

    Yeah… NAH!!!

    What parent in their right mind would pay to have their child taught by an untrained educator? Not me that’s for sure.

    Whose funding seymours campaign? That money could have been better spent on children in poverty, or donated to a school that needs more funding. Priorities, ego etc (watching dancing with the stars last night it’s obvious seymour’s ego is large, regardless of his awkward dance moves), shameful.

    • Ssorwredna 6.1

      Cinny so wrong- Charter Schools are not required to employ registered teachers but most do. Charter Schools do not charge fees. Charter Schools were an ACT policy that National sensibly backed.
      Charter schools are succeeding for students where the state school were not able to .

      • Marcus Morris 6.1.1

        I think that ACT was merely the front for a policy which the Natz were totally supportive but knew would be highly controversial.

        • tracey

          The only reason Collins isnt in ACT is cos there is only one seat available. I suspect the same of Goldsmith amongst others

      • Cinny 6.1.2

        Thanks for explaining Andrew, was under the assumption that charter schools charged large fee’s. I am into registered teachers educating children. I am into fair funding for schools and free education.

        “In September 2014, the Northland-based Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru in Whangaruru (a charter school) attracted controversy over its poor leadership, high absenteeism of 20%, and mismanagement of government funds. The school, which received 500% more funding than a state school, spent half its income buying a farm”

        What really pisses me off is the narrative that charter schools are succeeding for students where state schools were not able to. However the national led government bent over backwards to try and close down the only NZ residential school for girls with disabilities and behavioural problems.
        Salisbury – not a charter school – school, changes lives for girls who don’t ‘fit in’ at a state school. But hey charter schools are fine, but not Salisbury in the nat’s world.

        If charter schools adapt to the new guidelines then they won’t be closed down. And thankfully we have a new government so Salisbury School won’t be bullied into closure anymore.

        Maybe it’s the education system which is broken, but rather than fix that, charter schools were introduced?

        • tracey

          Agree. Also our schools are failing far mote than Charter schools cater for. Why do ACT and Nats keep supporting a failed public system thereby keeping it in its failure

      • Michelle 6.1.3

        Charter schools were suppose to be for the tail they were a step towards privatisation if something is wrong in the public sector we need to fix it not create another unequal playing field. Also many of those failing in public schools got the boot from charter schools. Charter schools had smaller rolls yet the national government wanted bigger rolls for public schools. Then we had private schools getting more of our tax dollars and yet the parents can claim a tax rebate but then cry they are paying twice. Well isn’t that their choice national talked about creating more choice if the public school aren’t good enough too bad why should we have to pay for the middle class to send their kids to these private schools.

        • Marcus Morris

          An interesting question would be: “Which schools do the MP’s of any party send their children.” I suspect that a fairly large proportion of the children of National’s last cabinet would have gone to elitist private schools.

      • tracey 6.1.4

        So why do ACT and Nats keep supporting a public school system that is clearly not providing quality to all?


        I object to ANY state funding of private and Charter schools with a religious doctrine/foundation.

    • Gosman 6.2

      So why are you concerned if no parents would send their kids to such schools?

  7. Gosman 7

    Who is Jeremy Greenbrook-Held when he’s at home?

    Edit: Just noted above. Some nobody then.

  8. Macro 8

    Spending $10,000 on a protest.
    Should have gone to Rent-a-Crowd.


    • tracey 8.1

      John Key was quoted ad infinitum calling unpaid people rent a mob. Did any media use that phrase for this protest?

  9. NZJester 9

    Thank goodness all that money being wasted on Charter schools to pad the bank accounts of those supposedly running it while having teachers aids instead of real teachers doing the schooling will be gone and the money can be put back into the public education system and real teachers.
    Charter schools in every country they were tried in before NZ where a failure and here the best of them were doing no better than our underfunded public schools, even though they were given way more money per child on their school roles. Mostly because a lesser amount of that money was actually being spent on the child’s actual education.

  10. Jenny 10

    Date published: 8:30 am, May 1st, 2018 – 51 comments
    Categories: act, david seymour, Media, twitter
    Tags: Jeremy Greenbrook-Held

    Last weekend ACT had a protest against charter schools and spent in the vicinity of $10,000 to get maybe 50 people to attend. They should have gone to Labour Hire.

    Shouldn’t that read; “Last weekend ACT had a protest for charter schools….”

    If ACT had called a protest against charter schools, I think that they would have got a lot more people to attend. (And for free).

    • dukeofurl 10.1

      So the ads were featuring Seymour ( likely paid for by charter schools) and Seymour was rousing the media over this, and you are claiming it wasnt ACT ?

      • Daveosaurus 10.1.1

        No, Jenny’s claiming that there’s an error in the article’s covering note and that it was actually a protest for charter schools, not a protest against charter schools.

  11. repateet 11

    Stuff editorial:

    “The charter schools were born out of a backroom deal between National and ACT, a tiny political sect whose intention with charter schools was to balkanise and weaken the state education system to which it remains ideologically opposed. National did the deal with ACT over charter schools as a way of keeping its right wing happy.”


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