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Arise, Sir Lynton

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, May 8th, 2016 - 28 comments

Lynton Crosby on his knees receiving a knighthood for services to conservative politics. To me, this really signals who is running the show, who is still running the show, and what their values are.

More blood on its hands as National Ltd™cuts mental health funding in Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 16th, 2016 - 101 comments

‘ In between slurping simpers during his most recent session of MediaWorks virtual fellatio, John ‘The Liar’ Key managed to express concern for the emotional well being of Cantabrians after yet another earthquake rattled their region. Whether John Key is actually concerned is moot,  but he is certainly in a position to know there is real […]

Buying Awaroa beach

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, February 10th, 2016 - 50 comments

“There is a pristine piece of beach and bush in the heart of the Abel Tasman up for private sale. Together we can buy it and gift it to NZ.”

Private group sells tickets to Prime Minister’s official speech

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 10th, 2016 - 56 comments

It has become clear that John Key’s recent SOTN speech was delivered to an audience that paid for the privilege of attending.

The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 27th, 2016 - 76 comments

How many more lies will John Key tell today in his so-called State of the Nation address? Virtual chocolate fish to whomever guesses the closest number.

Sayonara Serco

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, December 9th, 2015 - 80 comments

Serco’s contract to run the Mt Eden Corrections Facility will not be renewed when it expires next year.

John Key’s hedge fund mate behind Teach First (NZ)

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, December 9th, 2015 - 195 comments

Julian Robertston, a US billionaire who made his money with hedge fund Tiger Management, Merryl Lynch’s largest customer when John Key was working there, is the man behind privatisation trojan horse Teach First (NZ).

Groser flips the bird to the Judiciary and NZ Laws

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, November 13th, 2015 - 13 comments

The Law? That’s not for Cabinet Members, the Law is for the lazy malcontents who don’t want to work hard.

Where is Peseta Sam?

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, October 3rd, 2015 - 13 comments

This week we have had the release of the Priestley Report into the escape of Phillip Smith which details a litany of problems within Corrections and overnight there have been reports of rape and assault on a person moved from segregation in Serco managed South Auckland Correctional Facility.  But no sign of Corrections Minister Sam Lotu Iiga.  Where is he?

250 to 300 Job Losses at Unitec in Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, August 8th, 2015 - 84 comments

Under Unitec’s new vision students will be known as Customers. Student services will be outsourced (overseas)

Aspiration statement
To be a world leader in contemporary applied learning and an agent of positive economic and social change
.

It’s not just Serco, it’s state operated prisons

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, July 25th, 2015 - 72 comments

Recent focus has been on the tragedy and incompetence of a Serco run private prison. But problems extend further than that, into the entire way NZ views its prison system. We need fundamental penal reform.

Failing Charter School punished by increase in funding

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, July 24th, 2015 - 31 comments

The Friday afternoon bad news dump is on with news that Education Minister was recommended to close a poorly performing charter school.  She has elected not to do so and to instead give the school extra money.

Serco, Lotu-Iiga and the death of Nick Evans

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, July 23rd, 2015 - 69 comments

Nick Evans was alleged to have been dropped from a height while being supervised in a Serco run prison.  He was transferred to another prison and shortly after this died from injuries apparently inflicted from the dropping.  Yet there is no police investigation and Minister in charge Lotu-Iiga says the allegations are “unproven” without making the most basic of inquiries.

The stupidest idea this Government has had yet

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, June 1st, 2015 - 92 comments

One News has reported that the Government is on the verge of introducing Social Bonds whereby investors in social services will be rewarded if targets are met.

Sky City redux – the house still wins

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, May 27th, 2015 - 101 comments

Sky City has managed to persuade the Government to allow it to build a cheaper building while retaining the same valuable gambling regulatory concessions.  Update: and the Government appears to have made further contractual concessions to Sky City.

Human Synergistics, Richard Prebble, and the end of government

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, May 17th, 2015 - 64 comments

Back in March 1988 David Lange had a clear idea about what lay ahead for New Zealanders as the long-term consequences of Roger Douglas’ psychopathic worshipping of the metaphysical Invisible Hand gradually materialised.

The Sky City Convention Centre

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, December 23rd, 2014 - 81 comments

Sky City is doing what Rio Tinto and Warner Brothers have done in the past.  Threaten to walk away from a deal unless the Government writes you a big cheque …

Thumbs down for Joyce’s ministerial domain

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, December 22nd, 2014 - 33 comments

A new report shows that Steven Joyce’s MBIE fiefdom is failing miserably.  Meanwhile the MBIE is under fire for the major cost blow out of the Sky City Casino deal – another deal with Joyce’s imprints all over it.

First they sold Auckland, then the rest of NZ…?

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, October 3rd, 2014 - 28 comments

A quiet shift in a dodgy Key govt-SkyCity deal: TVNZ land, sold to SkyCity for its convention centre, is to be used for a new hotel.  Plus: non-mandated deal between Auckland Transport Authority & a US corporate – intense surveillance of Aucklanders’ diverse activities.

The real aims of National’s “Education” policy.

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, July 8th, 2014 - 149 comments

If the aims of National/ACT’s education policy were, genuinely, to to improve the learning, education and career choices for our children, including the ones that are failing at present, they would not be following policies which have signally failed to achieve any of these goals, anywhere else they have been tried.

National’s proposed public spending to GDP ratio – the election’s clear blue line

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 15th, 2014 - 71 comments

The real story of the coming election is what was revealed in Bill English’s reported pre-budget speech to the National Party’s Southern Region conference at the weekend. He signalled an intention to reduce the proportion of government spending to 26% of GDP over the next 6 to 7 years. The current level at 30% already places NZ in the lowest quartile of OECD countries, having fallen from 35% of GDP in 2008. Most developed nations spend a significantly higher proportion of GDP on government goods and services.

Key Govt asset stripping state housing

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, April 25th, 2014 - 54 comments

Phil Twyford has exposed the government’s asset-stripping approach to running down state housing, while  favouring of private & overseas entities.  The Greens & Mana have strong policies for increasing the amount of state housing. Still waiting for a commitment from Labour.

Closing the Gaps – Education & work

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, March 17th, 2014 - 8 comments

Simon Collins article on reducing inequalities for Māori & Pacific people. Māori and Pacific youth have become significantly disadvantaged in employment.  However, the article supports charter schools, without examining how such neoliberal intitatives are ultimately damaging for Māori & Pacific people.

Militarism and the NZ Left?

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 31 comments

Two uncritical articles in Auckland’s local press, raise questions about the role of the NZ military, and the educational and cultural impact of a military charter school.  Unstated and unquestioned, is the nature of NZ’s relationship with that of militaristic US imperialism.

John Key’s patchwork ‘job machine’: user pays

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, December 28th, 2013 - 47 comments

John Key’s great idea for job creation – his cycleway project – has produced some benefits, but is a patchwork production.  Some sections will be user pays to fund maintenance.  Meanwhile the job creation benefits have been limited.

‘That’s what the fuss is all about’

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 16th, 2013 - 20 comments

Hone Harawira challenged the Maori Party for its support of charter schools, at the expense of Maori and public education. He challenged Sharples to resign if today’s budget fails to adequately support kura kaupapa and the Manaaki Tauira programme.

Sky City, pokies and corruption

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, May 13th, 2013 - 50 comments

Key and Joyce made sure Gilmore was out of the way before they announced their dubious Sky City for (more) pokies deal.  The pokies system in NZ is rife with dubious goings on. It’s bad for low income families, communities and their children. [update: responses]

Will the real David Shearer please stand up?

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 28th, 2012 - 103 comments

Many want Shearer to break with neoliberalism, clearly state his politics and a new political direction.   He became leader with a compelling, but worryingly selective, back-story.  Party members want democratic participation. What of consensus-building, coercion, public services, social security, TPP, PPPs, state assets, sustainability?

Housing crisis day of action today

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 7th, 2012 - 17 comments

Today is Housing Crisis Day of Action with a march on parliament in Wellington (see Facebook page).  The government’s plan will benefit private developers and property speculators, and involves risks of “cutting red tape”.  Instead, they should be building more state houses. Updates: General Debate.   John Banks heckled by protesters.

Children of Men: money or our lives

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 18th, 2012 - 26 comments

Paid Parental Leave, Charter schools, compulsory early childhood education for beneficiaries: for NAct it’s all about money, and they use ‘shonky’ figures to justify their ‘shonkey’ policies and vetos.  This is ostrich and patriarchal behaviour, ignoring the evidence of the wider benefits to communities and society of good quality child care, education and Paid Parental Leave.

Affordable Housing: the way forward?

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, October 7th, 2012 - 28 comments

There is increasing concern about New Zealand’s housing situation, with an escalation in homelesssness, people living in totally unacceptable conditions,  and the lack of sufficient affordable housing stock.Update: Government close to unveiling plans for “cheap” housing on city fringe and ‘brownfield’ sites.

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