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Another big empty promise

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, March 20th, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: education, same old national - Tags: ,

Education Minister Anne Tolley made quite an extraordinary statement on Wednesday. You can watch it at Red Alert, or see the transcript here. Tolley said:

New Zealand elected a Government that promised to introduce national standards so that every single child could read, write, and do maths when they left school. That is what the country voted for. No matter what the briefings say, no matter what the Opposition may say now, almost one in five children failed. They failed under the previous Government. [My emphasis].

There’s quite a bit here that I want to respond to. Some of it will have to wait for a second post early next week. Here I want to consider the big promise. Every single child to reach acceptable levels of literacy and numeracy. That is huge!

If we take the promise at face value then of course we would all love to see National deliver. But they won’t, because it isn’t possible. Primary education doesn’t produce a perfect result in any country. For all the supposed faults of primary education that National have been banging on about incessantly for years*, the facts are that we have a system that produces average results for below average funding. Consider this recent Ministry of Education summary:

State of Education in New Zealand: 2008

The State of Education series is an annual publication. State of Education in New Zealand: 2008 is the third issue in the series, with most of the data relating to the previous year (2007). …

Reading literacy achievement
In 2005/06, the second cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) found New Zealand Year 5 students, on average, performed significantly higher than the international PIRLS scale mean. The data also show: .. the performance of many New Zealand Year 5 students was relatively strong compared with their international counterparts in 2005/06. For example, approximately 13 percent of New Zealand students achieved scores 625 or higher (i.e. reached the Advanced International Benchmark). This was the ninth highest proportion internationally and nearly double the international median of seven percent …

Mathematics achievement
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed that in 2006, New Zealand Year 5 students performed higher on average than 12 of the 36 participating countries. Furthermore, there was significant improvement in the mean score of New Zealand Year 5 students between 1994 and 2006. The range of scores between the highest and lowest-performing groups of students reduced between 1994 and 2006, largely because of the increase in scores of students in the lowest performing group. …

Science achievement
Between 1994 and 2006, the average science performance of New Zealand Year 5 students remained about the same as measured by TIMSS. In 2006 the mean performance of Year 5 students was significantly higher than 13 of 36 participating countries.

That’s a strong win on literacy. We are in a statistically indistinguishable low/middle group on mathematics and science (“However, by the time these students are 15 years old they will be performing, on average, above the international means for mathematics and science”). Significantly, this is achieved despite — Labour should have done so much better here — poor investment in preschool and primary education. A 2009 OECD report finds, according to this summary, that NZ has “limited spending on children 5 and under (less than half the OECD average)” and “annual student spending is below the OECD average at prim[a]ry, secondary and tertiary level”.

In short, our primary education is producing average or better results with below average funding. It is cost effective. Yes there is room for improvement – significant improvement. But (1) if National were serious about improving primary education then they would use methods that are likely to work (increased funding, improved pay and conditions for teachers, more teacher training and support). They wouldn’t run an ideological bandwagon like standards, which far from helping will probably cause great harm. And (2) primary education can never be perfect. Only a lunatic would promise that it can be.

Sadly then, National’s promise cannot be taken at face value. While Tolley may be daft enough to believe it, of course her handlers do not. This is just another example of National’s highly effective two pronged campaign strategy – run negative issues to associate with Labour, and make big empty promises. Run negative issues like emigration to Australia, red tape hampering business, growth in the public sector, or children failing primary school (the aptly named “New Zealand sucks campaign“). Make big empty promises like tax cuts North of $50, closing the gap with Australia, a cycleway to rescue the economy, or having every child succeed at primary level. National never deliver on their promises. They can’t possibly deliver on this one. It is desperately cynical politics. But they’ll keep doing it as long as it keeps working.

[* National are absolutely full of praise for our education system when it suits them: “If you’re moving to New Zealand with children, you’ll want to know they’re going to get a good education here. And they will. New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century. From a child’s first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.” Sounds fantastic doesn’t it!]

40 comments on “Another big empty promise”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Hi Marty,

    You don’t think that Tolley might have been engaging in a bit of obvious hyperbole rather than intending her statement be taken literally?

    Comparing stats with a basket (case) of other countries is not really an argument if all we are doing is pointing out that we are less mediocre than some other countries in respect to literacy, numeracy etc. I am not qualified to comment on whether national standards are a good thing or a bad thing. However, what I can say from my personal experience when marking undergraduate papers during my post grad years several years ago, is that the standard of literacy I observed in the papers I was marking was very bad, especially from people who are supposed to be our brightest hopes for the future.

    Rather than comparing us with a basket of other countries in the same quagmire, what would be interesting would be for you to do a comparison with literacy/numeracy between now and say the 60’s,70’s to see whether our standards in this respect have advanced or degenerated compared to earlier generations.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      You don’t think that Tolley might have been engaging in a bit of obvious hyperbole rather than intending her statement be taken literally?

      No, I believe that she, just like you, has NFI what she’s talking about.

  2. RedLogix 2

    New Zealand elected a Government that promised to introduce national standards so that every single child could read, write, and do maths when they left school.

    Looks like a fairly concrete and measureable promise to me ts.

    Still that’s a line we’ll have to tuck away for future use; anytime a govt says one thing and does the opposite we can just put it down to a spot of “obvious hyperbole”.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    RL “we can just put it down to a spot of “obvious hyperbole’.”

    Yeh. In the same way that I’ve told my kids a million times not to exaggerate.

  4. Name 4

    A result close to it is probably possible to achieve if that’s all you do. If a class full of children of varying capabilities and enthusiasm is reduced to the level of the slowest and least enthusiastic who become the target, focus and ‘measure of success’ you can turn out children who can at least read, write and have basic numeracy. But that’s all, and the capabilities of the quickest and brightest will have been wasted, their enthusiasm withered by boredom and lack of challenge.

    It’s a return to Dickensian schooling, aimed only at producing competent ‘hands’ to man the factories we no longer have.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That’s it exactly and what you’d expect from a conservative government – a return to the failed past.

    • Descendant Of Smith 4.2

      “But that’s all, and the capabilities of the quickest and brightest will have been wasted, their enthusiasm withered by boredom and lack of challenge.”

      Couldn’t agree more. Part of the deal at NPBHS when Merv Wellington gave us the new gym was that classes were no longer streamed and students were all mixed up. This was imposed on myself in the sixth form where the pace of the class slowed to the pace of the slowest and we were rarely challenged.

      The saving grace was that in classes such as physics there was generally only the brighter ones there and we were still challenged. In some other classes we rarely went e.g. Economics.

      Part of me understands what was trying to be attempted in the sense of a view of treating all students equally and not having some some set up as elite. It’s the failure to differentiate between equal and equitable that is the problem. At the end of the day it wasn’t my fault I was good at Maths and English and Science.

      On the other hand I have great admiration for those students who were not good at these subjects but who could draw, and engineer, and build things cause all those things I’m pretty crap at.

  5. RedLogix 5

    I know their behviour in the House can be discouraging at times, but when it came to policy thinking here was I imagining that we could hold Ministers of the Crown to slightly higher standards than your kids ts.

  6. jcuknz 6

    I think it is an excellent target to aim for and without a target how can we progress? But I remember that the schools don’t want tests to show that not all are equal and results may hurt the loosers, whereas others believe tests are a spur to greater effort when handled properly. Applied to the children and their teachers. The problem is the media who simply don’t have the time/room for the full details. So we should prohibit media involvement in school results ….. now that is a slippery slope!

    • RedLogix 6.1

      But I remember that the schools don’t want tests to show that not all are equal and results may hurt the loosers, whereas others believe tests are a spur to greater effort when handled properly.

      The ‘winner takes all’ competitive model works effectively when considering how evolutionary forces allow species to adapt to changes in the environment.

      But humans have firmly planted one foot beyond competition; we are a ‘post-Darwinian’ species whose rational capacity allows us to co-operate as well as compete. The fabulously complex social structures that our unique capacity for co-operation allows us to develop, has made humans the number one dominant species on earth…strongly suggesting that co-operation is the more powerful model.

      It’s also the best model for educating our youg.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        “The ‘winner takes all’ competitive model works effectively when considering how evolutionary forces allow species to adapt to changes in the environment.”

        Yikes! (symbiotic and other such relationships not withstanding)

        Considering how we are viewing evolution from within a culture that puts so much store by competition, it might simply be that we have a skewed view of evolution….and much besides.

        What do you reckon competition would do in a wide open savannah where you and I are the first item on the lunch menu for most carnivores? I’m up for integrating with those chappies over there who are exploring cooperative ways to stay off the menus. Nice knowing you.

        Or what if you imagine standing in 1800 and having the present day described to you as brought about through a worship of competition. Is the description adding up to a utopia or a dystopia?

        So why have school children worship at the alter of competition, praying for a success as defined by others? (And just to say, I see nothing wrong in competing per se. It has it’s place, but when it’s central to ‘everything’ then it’s become something immensely stupid.)

        What’s the chance of some intelligent shit? How about the Summerhill model? Founded in 1921 still ahead of its time

        Nah, can’t allow those pesky kids the space to sick their heads up over the parapet of ‘normalcy’ and realise there’s a whole world of infinite possibility out there. They might leave the compound ffs!

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.1

          Bill,

          Maybe I was just being too brief or you totally misread me.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            I only disagree with the statement I cut and pasted.

            The rest I agree with. ( maybe not the terminology)

            But why come to what you say from a contradictory premise?…You argue for cooperation to be built on top of a supposedly more basic and successful evolutionary ‘winner takes all’ competitive view…I’m arguing that the competition as primal driver view or whatever is highly questionable and probably completely wrong.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              But why come to what you say from a contradictory premise?

              In the interests of friendly co-operation, I’ll take that point on board. It’s probably a habit of mine that I’ve never thought about.

              You argue for cooperation to be built on top of a supposedly more basic and successful evolutionary ‘winner takes all’ competitive view

              Yes, that was probably what I had in mind. I guess this discussion speaks to the heart of our dual human nature, a strange melding of heritage mammalian/reptiliam instincts and our uniquely developed capacity to reason with abstract concepts.

              At any given moment we have the choice to which aspect of our nature we listen to, the instinctive or the rational… but no matter how frequently we choose one over the other, I would imagine that in this life while we are still attached to these physical bodies, both natures must co-exist…however uneasily.

              But we rather digress….

              • Bill

                Aye. So digression aside…although I don’t think it was irrelevant…there is the question of Summerhill and other similar educational environments which do not force kids on bended knee before the alter of competition to pray for success.

                It’s rhetorical, but why are states that provide education not looking at these highly democratic educational models since we do, after all or at least so they say, live in democracies?

                Here’s a quote from the link I provided above which cuts, I believe to a certain heart of the matter.

                “Today, all over the world, education is moving towards more and more testing, more examinations and more qualifications. It seems to be a modern trend that assessment and qualification define education.”

                “If society were to treat any other group of people the way it treats its children, it would be considered a violation of human rights. But for most of the world’s children this is the normal expectation from parents, school and the society in which we live.”

                http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/pages/index.html

                Further to this point was the idea that kids sjhould get ‘credits’ towards qualifications for cultural activities or whatever. I mean, what the fuck ever happened to extra curricular activities being valuable on their own merit….

  7. Ms X 7

    What’s next? “And all New Zealanders will live happily ever after”?

  8. Cnr Joe 8

    un-frikken-believable. I just read the link to the immigration site re: education

    “If you’re moving to New Zealand with children, you’ll want to know they’re going to get a good education here. And they will.

    New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century.

    From a child’s first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.”

    Make Tolley read this! in fact I shall email it to her

  9. randal 9

    I vulnable tooo.
    have trubble with multivlication at skul MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    can the beroccasee do anfing?

  10. Mike 10

    No, it cannut be anfing? Life with it! They will lye period!

    [lprent: You realize that lye is sodium hydroxide. I’m puzzled how you think that chemistry fits into the national standards debate – it is a bit advanced for the wee kiddies. Possibly in national waste debate? ]

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    Reading great – and let’s support that by supporting programmes such as Books In Homes and by building libraries in poor communities so children have access to these – particularly those that are bright. Maybe we could innovative and ensure they get access to a free newspaper everyday. Maybe we could have night classes at the schools for parents to learn to read as well so they can help their children. What about some classes to teach some teachers how to spell. I did have an anal tendency to send my kids marked essays back with corrections on them where the teachers had not corrected their spelling. Maybe we could put our best literacy teachers in those communities where there is a problem rather than have them in the so called best schools.

    We want to improve reading it’s more than about the school.

    • Ianmac 11.1

      Dof S: “I did have an anal tendency to send my kids marked essays back with corrections on them where the teachers had not corrected their spelling.”
      You know the story of … but give them the means to catch their own fish…. how about giving writers the tools to identify errors and self-correct? Ownership – audience defined and not just writing for the teacher. The days of teachers identifying errors with a red pen are gone. My guess is that you yourself have learned to self correct though there are 2 minor errors in your piece. 🙂
      “Maybe we could put our best literacy teachers in those communities where there is a problem rather than have them in the so called best schools.” Too right. Excellent idea. Agreed.

      • Mac1 11.1.1

        Ianmac, you were at the Blenheim Tolley meeting? What was the story of the questioner who made reference to stomach stapling as reported in today’s Dom Post? Was the turn out and the report of the meeting significantly different from the Marlborough Express report?

        • Ianmac 11.1.1.1

          Yes Mac1. I was there. There were about 40 persons. There were clearly a few supporters. My belief in speaking briefly to about 10-12 of others afterwards was that they were not convinced.
          The woman who asked about the stomach stapling was not a heckler. She simply asked, (paraphrased) that if a person such as the Minister felt pressured enough to get surgery to bring her weight down because she did not match the average expected by others, wouldn’t kids who were told that they were failing feel anxious in the same way?
          Anne let the question run but looked angry. Her answer seemed to miss the drift/intention of the question, and didn’t deal with it.
          My question was that “my grandson was not doing well but his parents and teachers were discussing where he was at, and some plans as to what to do about it. How will Nat Testing help Ricky?” She congratulated the school but did not answer the question.
          Finally, I think that Anne Tolley would really like the tail dealt with but I don’t think that Nat Testiong will help at all. Wrong remedy.

      • Descendant Of Smith 11.1.2

        “My guess is that you yourself have learned to self correct though there are 2 minor errors in your piece.”

        That’s much more a reflection of my typing that my punctuation and spelling. I’m also watching the cricket and playing Mass Effect 2 at the same time.

        As a parent I played a part in teaching my children good usage and grammar but had some ability to do so. This ability was in part however clearly as a result of teachers making the effort to make this important and to instill in me a wonder about how language could when used with some degree of competence inspire, move, educate, express ideas clearly and so on.

        I had some good teachers in my time that taught students rather than simply teaching subjects.
        I also had the bad but it’s the good I remember.

        There is also an emerging (although it’s been around for a while) model of working to people’s strengths that is having some success with disadvantaged youth and is starting to be used in management as well in various organisations.

        Trying to fit everyone against the same measure is counter productive to such an approach. I know my eldest son went from top of the class at primary school to near bottom at intermediate and high school in part due to constant harassment and disparagement about his hand writing. No matter that he has a disability that effects his co-ordination ( and no effect on his intelligence ) and that this was well documented in school records and at teacher’s meetings. He was expected to be like everyone else.

  12. jcuknz 12

    Since we are doing relatively better than other countries with reduced funding then it is obvious that further reductions in funding will result in further improvement in results. Less messing around with fanciful subjects and a concentration on the factors that make for useful employer fodder. The three R’s.
    There is a vaste difference between maintaining standards and “winner takes all”. Judging from what I hear when listening to National and Concert Radio, I abhor commercial stations, I think standards are slipping with just the few older staff intelligable. So reduced funding could well help there.

  13. jcuknz 13

    You might like to break away from the interlectualising of this thread to read about something which is really wrong.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-into-the-terrifying-world-of-pakistans-disappeared-1923153.html

  14. Ianmac 14

    The definition of what is average is interesting. (I met an Australian teacher who had been seconded for a year to moderate/mark samples of kids writing from all over. Few could agree with her marking because of the huge range of variables. She gave up exhausted!)
    One way for Anne to achieve the “every child will succeed” is to shift the goalposts. Since the standards are not provable as “right” then shift the standard steadily downwards and you can prove at the next election that statistics show that there are only 2.43% in the tail and not 20%. Yay!
    Needless to say I have been contracted as a consultant to Anne to start the planning and the annual fee of $475,000 is exaggerated. (It is only $473,000.)

    • Paul3 14.1

      There are a lot of interesting things around assessing children’s writing – here are some.

      Grading the writing against a scale or standard does nothing in itself.
      Grading writing (mostly done at present against exemplars) is really hard and an inexact art. Moderation ends up being a discussion about each moderators perspective and understanding.
      In my experience teachers who do this best don’t consider a single piece of writing but rather all the child’s writing – not by reviewing it all but by building up knowledge of a child’s writing ability as the year progresses.
      Deciding what it is ‘quality writing’ is pretty hard too – think about adults differing attitude to writing (before you say it is the mechanics of writing that are important and should be judged this is only a part of the story).

      The best use of writing samples and exemplars is to use them to guide teaching (seeing where improvements can be made) – to do this teachers need PD – which costs money and takes time.

      • Bill 14.1.1

        “..before you say it is the mechanics of writing that are important and should be judged this is only a part of the story.”

        Nah. I’m right in favour of caps “which suppress curiosity and creativity and leave the recipient placid and docile, incapable of dissent.” but perfectly able to read and write and spell and do sums!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tripods

        Actually, I’m right in favour of ‘The Tripods’ being a stock standard read in all primary schools (as it was in mine) as a good basic intro to critical reading and critical reasoning

      • Descendant Of Smith 14.1.2

        “Further to this point was the idea that kids should get ‘credits’ towards qualifications for cultural activities or whatever. I mean, what the fuck ever happened to extra curricular activities being valuable on their own merit”

        But this seems inevitable with the private sector’s insistence on schools producing qualified people and their premise that you are not worth anything unless you have qualifications. A bit of paper to your name is totally a sense of your value to society.

        Remember you must only do things that enable you to earn a living. Get qualifications, get qualifications. Preferably get your qualifications off my business even though they aren’t worth jack straw and I simply sit you down in front of a computer or send you a CD so you can self learn.

        Art is not valued unless you can sell your art works, playing rugby / soccer / cricket is not valued unless you can play professionally. Experience and skill have been devalued – qualifications have a perceived value way beyond their real value.

        We seem to want to sort and sift our population based upon their bits of paper.

        I find it quite amusing that my other son gave up a mainstream subject to do a barista course. He has got much more work from that course and his barista certificate than he ever has from getting the 7th form physics prize in the sixth form.

        There’s plenty of people skilled at kapa-haka working in tourism. Should they not have a bit of paper to recognise their skill and the level at which they perform?

        Having placed so much importance on these bits of paper in our workplaces it seems such a logical progression to issue them for all sorts of skill sets.

        • Bill 14.1.2.1

          For the sake of coherence, it’s probably worth pointing out that “further to this point” was a point made way up yonder and in relation to this link contained within this comment

          • Descendant Of Smith 14.1.2.1.1

            Appreciate that but there was no further reply option on the last post so plonking it at the end seemed the next logical option rather than add it on to the reply option on the next post below.

            In hindsight I should have also linked back.

            • Bill 14.1.2.1.1.1

              No need.

              You just go to the last available ‘reply’ on that portion of the thread and your comment will automatically attach itself to the foot of that portion.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Ta. I thought another post said there was a limit so I just thought that limit had been reached. Much appreciated.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2.2

          I’m somewhat of the opinion that the piece of paper is Bills’ “caps”. It signifies that you’ll do as you’re told to get a possible reward later and the suggestion is that that possible reward is to become a capitalist.

      • Ianmac 14.1.3

        Exactly Paul 🙂 Actually if we were asked to assess say Rob’s writing above on a 10 point scale he would earn umm….. Range 1 to 9.5
        Face features
        Context
        Persausiveness
        Humour
        Spelling
        Credibility
        Structure
        Too hard actually – though I’d give you a 10 Rob.

  15. prism 15

    “New Zealand elected a Government that promised to introduce national standards so that every single child could read, write, and do maths when they left school. That is what the country voted for.”

    This is a statement made regularly by elected politicians. What the voter hoped to get in policy outcomes from their chosen party cannot be known. The voter chooses a party and won’t want all its policies, but in a choice has decided on that party as the best or the least worst, IYKWIM.
    National government electors will be interested in getting good education I am sure, whether national standards will underpin it and supply the greatest outcomes, which would come from raising the lowest levels, is doubtful and all voters should be wary of such blanket policies that are at distance from the politicians control and untargeted, so they can blame others (education sector) if they don’t get the results they wanted.

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    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    22 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    7 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    7 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    7 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
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    7 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
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    7 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
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    7 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
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    1 week ago