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Brave whistleblower in Ministry of Education

Written By: - Date published: 1:54 pm, November 9th, 2010 - 69 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , , ,

Kelvin Smythe is a long standing educationalist and the driving force behind the Developmental Network Magazine. Kelvin still comments on educational matters (ht: ianmac), but the magazine has become a blog, Networkonnet. His latest entry is an interesting read:

Revolt in ministry

There has been a revolt in the ministry.

On Friday, a senior ministry official from the Auckland office refused, on moral grounds, to take instruction from Karen Sewell to organise ministry officials to ring schools about their declared stance on national standards. …

There were scenes of consternation in the Auckland office and, judging from the communications received from Karen Sewell, near panic in the Wellington one.

The Auckland office was supposed to swing into action with the first stages of the ‘Escalation Process when Schools are Not Implementing National Standards’. (A copy was obtained under the Official Information Act.) The first stage involves ringing up the principal and board of trustees in a manner deliberately intended to be threatening. The action of the senior ministry official meant the bureaucratic stand-over tactics were seriously delayed in Auckland. …

It is clear the brave senior ministry official is well informed as are most principals about the harm national standards (of any stripe) do to children. The literature from overseas is indisputable. …

That senior ministry official also knows the ‘Escalation’ process for what it is – bureaucratic bullying, and anti-New Zealand.

Shame on you Sewell and Chamberlain: all hail the senior ministry official. May your example further inspire us.

I’ll add my vote of thanks to the unnamed official who is not prepared to participate in this shameful campaign. It is bravely done. So much easier to keep your head down and “just follow orders”. But these orders are wrong. National standards are likely to damage children and they are being forced down our throats by a dangerously deluded government.

240 schools so far have said no, and now there is internal dissent in the Ministry.

Who’s next?

69 comments on “Brave whistleblower in Ministry of Education”

  1. grumpy 1

    Chalk up “1” for the new public service sinking lid policy.

    • Kaplan 1.1

      I think you meant

      chalk up 1 for the new public service “sinking lid” policy.

      Still a piece of rubbish really but moving the quotes makes the sentiment clearer.

  2. Hilary 2

    I feel sorry for the Ministry officials (including Karen Sewell and Mary Chamberlain) who are having to do the government’s bidding on this. I’m sure all of them know it is a seriously flawed policy but it’s the sort of ethical compromising public servants have to do these days.

    Are public servants there to serve the public or their ministers? At the moment it seems the ministers are demanding total allegiance and too bad if the public suffers (in this case little kids being told they are educational failures because they don’t learn in the prescribed standards method).

    • Swampy 2.1

      It is their job to do what they are employed to do. It is no different from your boss giving you instructions. Nothing to be sorry about. As Government employees it is clear who they serve.

  3. Fabregas4 3

    I don’t feel sorry for Sewell – she is on record as saying to Principals that if they philosophically oppose National Standards then they can always leave teaching – or Chamberlain who is also on record as saying that she believes in the Standards and as she is so close to retirement she wouldn’t stick around if she thought they were damaging to children.

    Both are in privileged positions that enable them to talk to the Minister about the flaws in this system, neither chose to do so and both sold their educational souls to protect themselves.

    When Tolley’s house of cards tumbles she will go looking for scapegoats – then I might pity them.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Sewell and Chamberlain are sell outs. And as more brave people come forwards to stand up against Tolley’s BS, it is going to be more and more clear that Sewell and Chamberlain are cowards willing to act as paid overseers against their own colleagues in education.

  5. Crumble 5

    I was told by Lester Flockton at a talk he gave about National Standards that when it was changed from the Department of Education to the Ministry of Educatuiion he was told “A Ministry is there to support the Minister”

    • grumpy 5.1

      Which is obviously correct. After all, the Minister has ultimate responsibility to the taxpayers.

      Or are you saying that the Ministry employees actually set government policy? That would not be acceptable to any government.

      • Crumble 5.1.1

        No, I’m not saying that. I saying that instead of promoting and supporting the education in the country they have to kowtow to the whims of a minister.

        • Bright Red 5.1.1.1

          and how seriously public servants take that duty is witnessed in the fact that this dumbarse government manages to get any of its dumb policies implemented at all

        • Swampy 5.1.1.2

          It is the role of the government to govern. We elect governments for this purpose.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        The ministry is there to do the research that the minister then makes informed decisions upon. What’s happening in this NACT government is that the ministers are making ideological decisions and telling the ministries to implement it and to ignore the research.

        What this causes, of course, is bad government that trashes our country, our economy and our democracy.

      • Daveosaurus 5.1.3

        “the Minister has ultimate responsibility to the taxpayers.”

        And the boards of trustees have ultimate responsibility to the parents. As it’s the parents whose children’s education are at stake here, perhaps they should be listened to, for a change?

  6. Jim Nald 6

    The public service, or civil service, is staffed by public servants who are there to advise the Ministers of the Crown and to serve the people.
    Under this NACT Government, an element of their function to serve the public has been gradually eroded. We are now witnessing greater politicisation of the public service and we see more of the side of public servants where they are being turned into ministerial slaves.
    The NACTs just do not respect the appropriate roles of government and people should be rightly pissed off.

    • Swampy 6.1

      Rubbish. The role of the public service is to implement government policy. The government decides what the policy is. This is not “Yes Minister”.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Teachers are not the “public service”. They are employees of their schools. Their schools get grants to provide a service to the public. They are rather like an organisation like Womans Refuge which has much the same grant-board-employee structure. About the only thing that makes them ‘civil servants’ is that through a very round about approach they are paid for by taxes.

        The particular type of public servant you are thinking of are known as the core public service. It is a quite small group of about 3000 (from vague recollection) who are covered by some quite specific laws and guidelines, including restrictions against criticizing government policy in public. Teachers are not in that group.

        Teachers are not employed to implement “public policy”. They are actually employed to implement the policy of the boards of trustees – usually specifically to teach children.

        I think that you’ve been watching too much TV (or staring into your navel far too much) because you’re getting more simplistic the more I read your comment streams.. You seem to think that everyone apart from yourself should be a slave. You seem to think of yourself as a slave owner?

  7. Anne 7

    The senior ministry official is indeed a very brave person. In due course, I look forward to hearing what ‘punishment’ is meted out to him for his subversive behaviour. As a former whistle blower (of sorts) from the 90s, I can imagine his present discomfort. I hope I’m wrong but if my own experience is an indication, fear of reprisal against them will ensure he doesn’t get a lot of support from his colleagues.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Damn, people have forgotten the lessons of solidarity too quickly.

      These timid, indebted people. The capitalists really know what they are doing in hamstringing people huh.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      EDUCATION, SOCIAL CHANGE, AND THE FUTURE
      Same link, easier to read format.

      • Garth 8.1.1

        THanks.

        • ianmac 8.1.1.1

          Fantastic thanks Garth. It is a lot easier and more convincing to argue from a behavioural belief. Thus if you standardise the steps and the testing with it, it follows that the learners will come out at the right level. Obvious they say, hence the National Standards.

          But to explain a constructivist way of learning where the learner learns at his own pace and by a variety of means and who is involved in setting and answering his own questions, and developing connectivity is much harder. Yet it is exactly the way that kids learn especially in the first five years. And should continue to do so.
          Kelvin Smythe is vocal and well informed though he thinks that Prof Hattie has sold out. Me too.

          • df 8.1.1.1.1

            My children’s school uses inquiry learning and choice theory as central to their teaching and learning philosophy. This is in line with the divergent approach mentioned in this video. Our school is also using NS in a positive way to reinforce the underpinning literacy and numeracy skills people need to participate in the community to their full potential. Looking good, in theory 🙂

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.1

              No, too cheery and unrealistic an outlook, which school are you referring to please. And what is your background in education, you obviously have involvement with the sector.

              df = david farrar fan?

              • df

                Ha ha, yes I chose my user name based on a blogger and have a t-shirt to boot plus his photo on my wall. No, they are my initials which just happen to be the same as a whole lot of other people.

                Sorry, I won’t name the school as I don’t think that is appropriate. My opinions are just that and you can take them at face value or otherwise. Completely up to you.

                I have been involved in education in a variety of capacities over a 20 year period both here and overseas.

  8. Fisiani 9

    National standards are like a thermometer. They give an indication. In them-self they are neither negative nor positive. They simply indicate educational progress or not.
    What scares unionised incompetent teachers is that national standards may make apparent to some parents that their children are ‘febrile’ and they will then demand treatment of their child’s illiteracy or numeracy deficits.
    Ignorance is NOT bliss. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
    Those who have something to hide are in for a shock.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      National standards are like a thermometer.

      *Gufffaw*

      Those who have something to hide are in for a shock.

      Tolley’s attempt to control and divide schools by stealth has been found out and I think she is the one shocked now.

      What scares unionised incompetent teachers is that national standards may make apparent to some parents that their children are ‘febrile’

      Who is feeding you this fevered shite?

      One major problem with National Standards, and you have implied it in your post, is that it will is sucking up school resources but yet will do nothing to boost the academic performance of children even as it tries to enforce some kind of artificial conformity on children. And NS seems more primarily a scheme – as you have apparently accepted – to discredit and control teachers more than anything else.

    • D14 9.2

      Nice anaolgy. Fisi.
      BUT how do you measure the temperature? Buy a thermometer.

      What does the temperature mean. Do people agree what is meant by temperature.
      How do you make sure the temperature you record is the same by all measurers and all place.
      On the centigrade scale the 0 point is defined as the melting of water and the boiling point of water is 100, and then the scale is divided to 100 parts.

      But there is more – If the water is not pure there will be a variation in the mp and the bp. The other factor is the air pressure. So if the 100 point is made in Tibet the scale will be different.
      So the standard has to include the air pressure and purity of the water.
      That was achieved by agreement of the community of scientists quite a long time ago.

      So the temperature that you record on the thermometer has to be valid – measure what you think it is measuring by agreement.
      It has to be reliable- Repeated measurement have to be the same.
      And the results to be consistent between measurers has to be moderated, so they are recording the the same thing.
      Temperature is relatively easy.

      Now where can I buy my National Standards ‘thermometer’ that is valid, reliable and properly moderated.

    • ianmac 9.3

      I do know that you are just a stirrer Fisini but you do know that the existing tests are used in order to put against the National Standards? Therefore it is already known where a child fits in. For example a PAT says that a child is at the 54% in Reading. PAT has been around since 1987. Take that score and fit it against NS. Catch is that the NS are so wooly they might be taken to mean anything. It shows Fisiani of course that you don’t know or have no intention of knowing.

      • Roflcopter 9.3.1

        The NS isn’t “wooly”.

        The standard clearly defines what a child should be able to achieve at their age in reading, writing and maths. They’re either at that level, below, or above it.

        • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1

          National’s standardisation for standardised production line cookie cutout kids. It will allow each child to be Quality Control stamped with a “passed” or a “failed” stamp, year after year after year.

          It a perfect system for the command and control Rightwing.

          Tolley’s poor judgement is now legendary. Her time is drawing to a close.

          • Roflcopter 9.3.1.1.1

            Where does it say “passed” or “failed”? Below the average isn’t a fail, and the reporting by the teacher gives clear guidelines on actions that can be taken to raise their level.

            • Fabregas4 9.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s not below an average but whether a child has reached “an aspirational goal’. If you don’t reach it – you have failed – the words are ‘below the Standard”. The capacity to identify groups or individuals who may have been miles below but are subsequently just below is not built into this system. Neither is there any capacity for identifying those way above the Standard. They are one of three categories- that is all.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.1.2

              OK, not ‘Failed’ then, ‘Below the Standard’ as Fabre said.

              Which pretty much = ‘Failure’ (or if you prefer, ‘Below the Standard needed to be considered a Pass’)

          • df 9.3.1.1.2

            I doubt very much that teachers will take such an approach to communicating with students. Literacy and numeracy are just part of a broad set of skills which teachers develop in students and therefore wouldn’t you agree it would be quite damaging for a teacher to use language such as “pass” or “fail”? All individuals have differing strengths and weaknesses at different times in their development so shouldn’t the language be about progress towards something? My son for instance is not particularly strong in his computer studies and is in the lower half of the class, we know this, he knows this, so he is working a bit harder in that area because we all know these skills are necessary – he is only 11 so he hasn’t “failed” at anything, however he is progressing toward some point. Yes, for sure, at some stage his teacher will make a judgement and at that time we would be looking at whether or not more work is required or or perhaps a different approach might be needed.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.2.1

              So…did National Standards help you identify that your son has weaknesses in computer studies?

              Because your description of how teachers should approach individual pupils and how they can resolve to make additional efforts, happens perfectly *without* the complication and cost of NS.

              • df

                That’s a good point…actually since our school decided to work with NS it has sharpened communication with parents across the board so, yes, I think it is reasonable to say that the introduction of NS did help, albeit indirectly, identify the low PC literacy level. A slight culture shift perhaps.

                I don’t know about other schools but I do know that prior to this year we were not given very clear feedback, next steps, or “how to” so I wouldn’t describe it as previously happening perfectly. This is our 4th year with this school (2 kids there) and the parent / teacher evenings and reporting seem to have become more focused on what that our kids need to work on. It is almost like it is now OK to talk about our kids weaknesses and what we can all do to support them (not teachers alone) which is a breath of fresh air. Easy to identify a problem…often more difficult to find a solution, right?

                Personally I don’t really care where my kids are versus other kids but I do want to know if they are on track to achieving at a level which will give them a good foundation to build on in the future. So far NS appears to have enabled this, early days but a fair start I’d say.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But what unique new educational capabilities has NS introduced?

                  The school talked to you more? Or “sharpened” as you put it, whatever that means? Thats it? They could have done that for free.

                  Personally I don’t really care where my kids are versus other kids

                  Then NS is a particularly wasteful use of teacher time and resources.

                  • df

                    When I said sharpened I meant that the information and conversations had become more focused on what my kids can and cannot do and what the next steps should be.

                    You are right, they could have done this for free but they didn’t – at least in my case they didn’t. It is still early days, I think we need to consider the long game on this one. My hope is that over time people become more aware of the type of literacy and numeracy skills needed to provide a good foundation for their futures and, most importantly, what we (collective “we” not just teachers) can do to ensure as many people as possible have those skills.

                    I don’t think that my personal view qualifies as evidence of whether the spending on NS is wasteful or not. The jury will be out on that one for some time I suspect.

        • Fabregas4 9.3.1.2

          They are woolly alright because they hinge on a concept called Overall Teacher Judgement which will vary from classroom to classroom to some degree. This doesn’t matter too much until the assessment becomes high stakes – i.e. a child or school is rated on it. Then it is a real problem because decisions will be made based on dodgy data (don’t think for one moment that this is related to teachers trying to protect themselves from criticism or review – it is not, though review based on this form of data is also problematic).

          Try to think about it this way – you get a piece of children’s writing and you try to level it based on about 15 criteria including: the message, words used, personal voice, spelling, paragraphing, structure, use of simile and metaphor, it’s opening and ending- everyone weighs these items differently and comes up with slightly (or sometimes major) differences in ‘best fit’. One will say below standard, another at standard, another above based on their view. Do this across the country and lump the data together and you can see (even you doubters I bet) that the data is fundamentally flawed.

          Better to have real in school Professional Development that lifts teachers ability to teach than to assess, approximately level kids, and do nothing. But (big sigh) this is all being cut and from 2011 Team Solutions who provide much of teacher Professional Development will, so I understand be cast adrift.

          Anyone who is anyone in education knows this stuff, and that National’s Standards simply won’t do anything that Tolley has said they would. What a laugh that the latest attack is that teachers, principals and Boards are opposed to NS on ideological grounds – the whole dam mess is on ideological grounds – the government put the children last and our world leading education system would, short of the brave and principled stand by BOT’s be at risk.

          By the way my school, so I am informed, won’t get PD funding next year because our achievement levels are too high – I for the life of me can’t understand how someone somewhere in the system can know this but not know school’s who need extra help – without the need for National’s Standards!

          Just utter rubbish from a rubbish Minister and a rubbish government.

          • Roflcopter 9.3.1.2.1

            The overall teacher judgement is based on existing testing regimes and the determination of not just 1 teacher, but a peer review process as well.

            It cannot be fudged, because the underlying existing testing supports the judgement. You can’t say a child is above average if existing testing clearly shows they are not, and vice versa.

            • Fabregas4 9.3.1.2.1.1

              You know little about assessment Rolf. It is not a moment in time or a single assessment it is a series of assessments and observations taken over a length of time. Moderation has been off the National Standards agenda for some time (since Mrs Tolley was embarrassed in the house about it)

          • ianmac 9.3.1.2.2

            ….our achievement levels are too high – I for the life of me can’t understand how someone somewhere in the system can know this but not know school’s who need extra help – without the need for National’s Standards!
            Exactly Fabregas4 ! And how come they know that there are 20% underachieving already long before National Standards were conceived? (I do not think there are 20% in the underachieving group anyway. Nearer 7% depending where you draw the line.)

    • Swampy 9.4

      Correct. Schools assess their performance using data that up until now they have not had to report to the ministry.

  9. ianmac 10

    df: Personally I don’t really care where my kids are versus other kids but I do want to know if they are on track to achieving at a level which will give them a good foundation to build on in the future. So far NS appears to have enabled this, early days but a fair start I’d say.
    Well said df. You have nailed what really matters.
    What can my kid do now?
    What progress has he made?
    Is there anything I can do to help?
    National Standards do not make this difference. Normal testing and observation does.
    It is irrelevant how he ranks with the other kids.
    Sometimes it is not in the interest of the child to be too specific with some parents especially the ones who are competing with the parents of other kids. These kids are sometimes so anxious about performing to parental expectations that it can seriously inhibit their learning. Ironic really.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I rather believe df is running the story of how very user friendly he has found National Standards personally, applied to one classroom, although the relevance of that experience to a nation wide programme is questionable.

      In theory you shouldn’t have to explain any of this to df, further up the thread he has already said he is highly experienced in the education sector in various roles.

      • df 10.1.1

        Absolutely Viper, I am sharing one person’s view of a very narrow (and early) experience so there is no way anyone could say it is reflective of the situation elsewhere. So much of the NS debate seems to be based on assumptions (kids will be damaged, teachers will be distracted from core tasks, curriculum will be narrowed, league tables will surface, teachers will be blamed, govt won’t provide funds etc etc) when we really just don’t know.

        Ianmac – yep, it is important that kids not be made too anxious about their learning – students need to be encouraged and motivated and I believe teachers are (or should be) capable of achieving this.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          So much of the NS debate seems to be based on assumptions (kids will be damaged, teachers will be distracted from core tasks, curriculum will be narrowed, league tables will surface, teachers will be blamed, govt won’t provide funds etc etc) when we really just don’t know.

          Well, down to the truth at last. Its good to have your conclusions as an experienced education sector professional that National Standards is a mass nationwide experiment.

          • df 10.1.1.1.1

            I think describing NS as a mass nationwide experiment is bit ott Viper. Would make a good tabloid headline though. This is my first time posting here so I am not sure of the lay of the land. Is this your blog?

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              “…when we really just don’t know.”

              A mass experiment conducted on the education of young NZ children. You are the experienced education professional, and this is your conclusion. Thanks again for your input.

              • df

                Gee Viper you are desperate. Way to dumb down and hijack an important discussion. Good luck in your quest although I am not sure what your objectives are.

                • Swampy

                  All the NS are doing is requiring schools to report their data to the Ministry when they didn’t before. It is not materially different from the way in which assessment is already carried out in schools.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Meh, more Rightie falsehoods. It would be SUPRE LAME if Tolley was spending so many hours fighting so hard for a central plank of her portfolio, and launching threats in all directions if indeed

                    It is not materially different from the way in which assessment is already carried out in schools

                    Did I mention National Stds would be even more lame?

  10. Garth 11

    A couple of actual facts:
    The average kid is average. Half of all kids are better learners than average, half are worse.
    Likewise the average teacher is average, with half being better than average, and half worse.
    Nothing whatever we do about raising the standards of teaching or testing the kids will ever change these facts – they are mathematically proven.
    A probable fact: NZ has one of the best performing education systems in the world.
    Question: Why don’t we ask the people who currently deliver one of the best performing education systems in the world how they would continue to improve it?
    Probable answer: Because we don’t want to (or can’t) provide what they’ll recommend – more professional development, less bureaucratic bullshit, more resources.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Half of all kids are better learners than *the median*, half are worse.

      sorry stats Nazi here. But spot on 😀

      • ianmac 11.1.1

        So therefore up to half will always be “below the Standard”. What a waste of time that will be since the median must stay regardless of the level of the bar.

        When my kids were younger the school they went to had a report booklet with a double page for each year.
        Column one Achievement in each subject 1 – 5 with 5 being in the bottom 5%, 1 being top 5%.
        Column two Effort in each subject A – D
        Places for teacher comments.
        Simple. Easy to follow year on year. Just like NS? Catch was that the means of defining each score was very uncertain way back then. And teachers felt compelled to not lower the scores from previous years. And it did not help the kids who were 4s or 5s.

      • billy fish 11.1.2

        “sorry stats Nazi here. But spot on”

        Oooohhh can I invoke Godwins?

    • Swampy 11.2

      How about less grandstanding and politicisation by the teachers unions

      Bring in bulk funding and performance pay.

  11. grumpy 12

    Back to the original post, I don’t think this guy actually qualifies as a “whistle blower” and certainly not “brave” as we don’t know their name.

    Either this is a beat up, or just some employee embarking on a career limiting exercise by not following a direction from his/her employer because of some personal political viewpoint.

  12. Tiger Mountain 13

    Good thinking 99 (aka Grump), the old reduce everything to an abstraction trick. It is truly appalling though the Chamberlain “following orders” schtick.

  13. Swampy 14

    Kelvin Smythe is a hard left extremist who left the education system he was employed in more than 20 years ago so that he could become a critic of it. How credible is that.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Hard left = cares about children’s futures as citizens and members of civil society, as opposed to treating them as low cost value adding labour units for capitalist enterprises.

      Seems ok to me.

      • Swampy 14.1.1

        No it means politics matters more. It means he opposed tomorrow’s schools. Opposed by the hard core in the education unions because they don’t like being accountable to elected boards and especially not parent communities.

  14. Garth 15

    Teachers are not government employees – Boards of Trustees are the employers of record for all teaching and non-teaching staff.
    That said, Boards must work within a set of laws and regulations, and Boards have no real role in negotiating teachers’ salaries and most of the terms of their employment.
    This is a carefully-designed structure to allow government to maintain a great deal of control over schools, but at the same time to be able to stand behind Boards of Trustees when it suits them.
    No different in principle to how District Health Boards are set up.

  15. Swampy 16

    The magazine has become a blog. I guess no one wanted to buy the magazine any more.

    • lprent 16.1

      It is a *lot* cheaper to publish on the net. Gets rid of all of those printing and distribution costs. You charge for the login, or like here don’t bother to charge at all.

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    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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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. ...
    2 days 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?" ...
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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. ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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 ...
    4 hours 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 day 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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! ...
    2 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.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks 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
    56 mins 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
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