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“Dumbing down a generation”

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, March 21st, 2017 - 137 comments
Categories: education, national, schools, useless - Tags: , , , , ,

“Dumbing down a generation”. That’s the challenging title of an excellent piece by Simon Collins in the weekend Herald:

Dumbing down a generation: Performance of NZ schoolchildren plummeting

International tests reveal the performance of our schoolchildren is plummeting despite years of education reform designed to create brighter futures for the next generation. …

When Elley chaired the international steering committee for one of the first world literacy surveys, in 1990, Kiwi students came fourth.

A decade later, when the Programme for International Students Assessment (Pisa) started testing 15-year-olds, NZ students came second only to Finland in reading, third in maths, and sixth-equal in science.

But it has been downhill ever since. In six three-yearly Pisa surveys, the most recent (2015) reported last December, each group of NZ students has scored lower than the group that went before them in both reading and maths.

Over Pisa’s 15-year history New Zealand’s average score for maths has dropped by more than any other country (down 42 points), closely followed by Australia (down 39 points).

Our average for reading has dropped by 20 points, a steeper fall than in all except three countries (Britain, Australia and Iceland).

Even in science, where we have had ups as well as downs, our average is down 15 points since 2000, although eight other countries including Australia declined more. …

It’s a long piece, full of information, well worth a read. In general the graphs show a fall to 2003, level to 2009, and falling again since (tests are every three years). We have to ask ourselves why NZ’s educational scores in international comparisons are locked in a downward spiral.

There is some suggestion in the piece that the problem is streaming. (I personally doubt it, schools were streamed for decades and NZ did all right.) More significant, however:

In our case, the two biggest changes since Pisa started have been the introduction of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) in secondary schools from 2002, and of National Standards in primary schools from 2010.

Elley points to declining Pisa scores in all five OECD nations that have standards-based assessments with “high stakes”, with results published in league tables: New Zealand, Australia, Britain, the United States and Sweden.

“The majority of OECD countries don’t allow league tables,” he says.

Both NCEA and national standards were born with good intentions – to close our shamefully wide gaps by focusing schools on ensuring that every child achieves the standards.

But Elley believes they have actually dragged most students down. …

Read on for the problems. Those relating to national “standards” at least have been frequently raised, and those relating to NCEA need to be seriously considered at the least.

Changes in teacher training may also be a factor, along with the increasing stress and workload that under-resourced teachers are under, and the increasing difficulty in attracting teachers (especially in Auckland where a teacher’s salary is increasingly unlivable). Then there’s the problems created for families by the housing / rental crisis, where frequent moves disrupt education.

If we were actually interested in educational outcomes as a country, if we believed in evidence based policy, if Bill English was actually serious about “social investment”, we would be modelling our education system on what actually works (etc, etc). But no, instead we get National’s failed ideology.

137 comments on ““Dumbing down a generation” ”

  1. tc 1

    Dumbing down enough so they can hold low wage jobs and not indulge in too much critical analytical thought.

    Thats working as designed, you forget who it’s designed by. Rip George carlin, that’s from his rant ‘rigged system’

    • Cinny 1.1

      Heaven forbid we taught the kids financial management, ethics, media and advertising manipulation among other things at school.

      I teach those things to my kids, all kids should be taught those things, in school.

      Funny story… the other day my mum took my girls to a mayoral function. My youngest during the event decided to tell the Mayor that John Key was a liar. Which he is, the mayor replied ‘that is very interesting’, their grandmother revealed to the girls later on that the Mayor was friends with Key.

      Almost split my sides when mum filled me in on that.

  2. Antoine 2

    +1

    Although i think the bad ideas come from the MoE rather than the pollies, in the main

    • tc 2.1

      Easy when you have your elves all over the public service on large daily rates….remember that women from the UK Nats parachuted in.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      Then you think wrong.

      Right wing education policy comes from right wingers. Key started lying about student abilities, manufacturing a crisis, well before the 2008 election. His lies were debunked within days, but he just kept on telling them.

      Notional Standards are having exactly the impact they were predicted, some would say designed to have. Hurting children is a National Party hobby.

      • Antoine 2.2.1

        For sure, I don’t think National’s done much good for education

        A.

      • SpaceMonkey 2.2.2

        I have done work inside MoE and I can tell you that in the main, the dumb ideas all come from the politicians at the top. Their ideas frequently run counter to the advice of the educationalists, whose advice is regularly backed by evidence.

    • Tricldrown 2.3

      Antoine what rubbish this testing endless testing came from the right wing.
      1 to dumb down education
      2 to demoralize teachers by bogging them down with paper work taking away teaching time dumbing down again

      • Antoine 2.3.1

        Yes, it’s not the whole of the problem, though.

        • Cinny 2.3.1.1

          Education is possibly the most important factor in life.
          If one does not agree with how the outgoing government is running our education system, then the wise thing to do is vote for change.

          • Antoine 2.3.1.1.1

            Yes, on the other hand, how can one have confidence that the other lot would be significantly better?

            A.

            • Muttonbird 2.3.1.1.1.1

              An airy-fairy response. It’s as if you are not interested in the decision making process.

              • Antoine

                Its just hard to make an informed decision

                (Not that one person’s vote counts for much, anyway)

                • Muttonbird

                  I’ll help by spelling it out for you.

                  The opposition will address the two main factors in a child’s performance at school. They will reduce class sizes, and they will support housing security in low income communities.

                  So there you go, vote for change.

                  • Antoine

                    Smaller class sizes is great, but at what cost? Will the money come from somewhere else?

                    A.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And here he is telling us it’s all too hard – again.

                  Are you a National Party Spokesman?

    • D'Esterre 2.4

      Antoine: “Although i think the bad ideas come from the MoE rather than the pollies, in the main”

      A lot of years ago, I attended a conference at which the guest speaker was the then-chief statistician Len Cook.

      He talked about the vast amount of data collected by the stats department on every aspect of NZ society. With regard to policy development, government officials and advisors worked hard to put relevant data before ministers and MPs generally, he said, but it was mostly ignored. Pollies generally put much more weight on anecdotes, he said: what their constituents told them down at the dairy or the takeaway shop.

      I very much doubt that anything at all has changed in that regard.

  3. Tamati Tautuhi 3

    Sounds like we can’t even teach the basics these days, reading, writing and arithmetic.

    These are the basic skills a person needs to function in society, however everyone today is obsessed with technology which has actually sped things up with many people working or engaged 24/7?

    A lot of learning comes within the home however we have a lot of dysfunctional families these days and stress in the lower socio economic sectors due to low wages and inflated living costs especially housing which puts added stress on families/households.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The single most influential predictor of educational achievement is household income.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 3.1.1

        … and with the neoliberal experiment with trickle up economics the lower socio economic sectors of society have been hammered further.

        Goods and services tax is another example of a tax on the lower socio economic groups, it is an additional 15% tax on the tax payers net income.

        Have a think about that, and Governments over the last 30-40 years still can’t balance the books, they have had to rely of the sale of State Assets to fund their operations?

      • Muttonbird 3.1.2

        This. We are fast becoming a two tier country thanks to National. Could take a generation of proper social governance to repair.

      • Mordecai 3.1.3

        As shown by the declining educational outcomes during the depression…oh wait…

    • Mordecai 3.2

      Declining educational standards goes back decades. The core learning priorities you mention have been diluted with a variety of poorly conceived theories of learning (eg the numeracy project) that have been the work of Ministry pointy heads, and which have had disastrous results in our children’s education.

      • Tricldrown 3.2.1

        Your argument is full of hole’s.
        We have had very good periods in that During the last Labour govt we climbed from 18th under Shipley Bolger govt.
        To 4th under Clark govt in international education achievements.
        Clark focussed on smaller class sizes and better trained and qualified teacher’s.
        Increasing funding as well.
        National have focussed on turning education into a business model.
        Continuous testing cutting funding rote learning teacher bashing demoralising the education sector across the board .

      • Antoine 3.2.2

        > The core learning priorities you mention have been diluted with a variety of poorly conceived theories of learning (eg the numeracy project) that have been the work of Ministry pointy heads, and which have had disastrous results in our children’s education.

        That’s what I was thinking, although you expressed it better.

        A change of govt may not do much to change the state of affairs, as long as the same pointy heads are still in the Ministry.

        A.

    • Tricldrown 3.3

      Your argument is full of hole’s.
      We have had very good periods in that During the last Labour govt we climbed from 18th under Shipley Bolger govt.
      To 4th under Clark govt in international education achievements.
      Clark focussed on smaller class sizes and better trained and qualified teacher’s.
      Increasing funding as well.
      National have focussed on turning education into a business model.
      Continuous testing cutting funding rote learning teacher bashing demoralising the education sector across the board.

      • Mordecai 3.3.1

        Much of the money the Clark government introduced was in ECE, and that mostly went private providers. Most of your final comments are demonstrably false. Education funding has not been cut, it has risen under successive governments. And having more qualified teachers does not, in and of itself, guarantee better outcomes. I’ve encountered many ‘qualified’ teachers who were dead set useless.

    • Tricldrown 3.4

      Itinerancy is one of the biggest problems broken families poor families not having stable accommodation and functional family life.

  4. BM 4

    The lack of ability to retain information is a huge issue.

  5. Al 5

    Fancy thinking that removing teachers from the loop will actually improve student outcomes – not to mention the chartered schools debarcle which, at best, shows mixed results overseas. But oh no – push on with internet learning etc – what a load of old plonkers. Talk about not learning from the mistakes of others.

  6. Gosman 6

    Why are standardised tests okay when done at an international level but not at a national one?

    • Tricldrown 6.1

      Because the local testing is a continuous burden on teacher time and reduces teacher time also demoralising teachers who become govt statisticians.
      World surveys are done on a small scale of cohort’s.
      Your still a product of dumbing down Gooseman trying to spin your demoralizing propaganda BS.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        So you are happy if we have standardised testing once a year then?

        • Tricldrown 6.1.1.1

          No I like the Finish model where have well trained teachers teaching.
          Gooseman you want to put children’s learning into a business model of bean counting.
          Which is a complete failure where ever in the world it is used.

          • SpaceMonkey 6.1.1.1.1

            Speaking of Finland… this article gives an excellent overview of why (I believe) the Finns are on the right track.

            https://fillingmymap.com/2015/04/15/11-ways-finlands-education-system-shows-us-that-less-is-more/

            The “more” thing is a feature of our education system as well. The number of initiatives that are implemented by the Ministry and that require teachers to monitor, assess and report on keeps going up. As a result we have a very high spend per student but a low direct spend on the students themselves (and that includes teacher remuneration), i.e. money for education is being sucked up into initiative after initiative, monitoring of standards, etc.

            The other thing about Finland is that teachers themselves are seen as professionals as important as doctors, for example, and trained accordingly.

          • Mordecai 6.1.1.1.2

            Are you suggesting we don’t have well trained teachers in NZ?

          • Mordecai 6.1.1.1.3

            What ignorance that is. A ‘business model’ in education delivery has been a successful part of the educational landscape for eons. it’s called private education, and families cue up for it, and have done for a very long time.

            • adam 6.1.1.1.3.1

              ROFL Mordecai, if they so successful why did they come cap in hand to beg for hand outs from this government?

              • Mordecai

                What hand outs? You mean like every school does when they need capital or operational funding?

                • adam

                  LOL, really. Typical Tory. Privatise the profit, socialise the cost. Learn some economics then we can have a debate.

                  • Mordecai

                    You made a comment about hand outs. Partnership Scholols costs are funded because they provide a service the the government. Perhaps you should take some time to learn how they work before commenting?

                    • adam

                      4 days and that all you got, classic. You said a model for charter schools was private schools, and I said they came begging to national in it’s first term for money. Which they got by the way – public record and all that.

                      So 4 days for you to try and twist what I sad – sad man. Just sad – you need to work on your rhetoric, like this government – it’s total garbage.

                    • Mordecai

                      “You said a model for charter schools was private schools, ”

                      This is the second time you’ve attributed a claim to me I didn’t make.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.2

          No, let’s employ education models that work instead. You’ve had your face rubbed in this topic enough times to know better.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.2.1

            How do you know they work?

            • adam 6.1.1.2.1.1

              One thing we do know is the libtard model does not work. I mean apart from them coming begging to the state to bail them out. Funny how you lot love welfare for business, but when ordinary people need a hand not to fall over – you lot reach for the hate card.

      • The Fairy Godmother 6.1.2

        +111 Trcldrown. Testing wastes time that could be spent on teaching and learning and I think this waste of time is the main reason for the drop on pisa scores. I posted on this waste of time below.

  7. Tricldrown 7

    Gooseman Texas where this right wing BS testing began is dropping standardized testing
    They have found it doesn’t work.

  8. The Fairy Godmother 8

    I think student and teacher time wasted in accountability processes and assessment is a huge factor. My year thirteen daughter at the moment has internals due for all her subjects. From about September most of her school time will be devoted to practise exams, revision and then final NCEA exams. Imagine if this time was actually spent on teaching and learning!

    I teach in Early childhood and teachers spend a lot of time often their own time writing learning stories and putting lots of written stuff and planning up on the wall. This is all accountability stuff to prove that learning and teaching is happening. It is sometimes justified that all this written stuff on the walls will promote literacy. Perhaps, but the main literacy young children need to learn is people literacy, that is how to get along with others and oral literacy. They also need lots of play to make sense of the world and develop people literacy and oral literacy. I really despair at all the time teachers are spending on this written stuff when they could be supporting children in what they really need to learn. Imagine what it would be like if teachers didn’t write lots of learning stories when they could be working with the children and if their home time was spent on work stuff it was on say getting some free wood for construction activities from the local hardware, and if their own time was really their own so they came to work refreshed and ready to work with the children. I suspect our pisa scores would rise big time.

    This would take an understanding at all levels that school should be about learning not ranking students for their place in society and that teachers were trusted professionals with a similar status to the medical profession as it is in Finland.

    • Mordecai 8.1

      Your last comment is, sadly, illinformed. Teachers in Finland are relatively poorly paid, and by comparison with Dictors, very poorly.

  9. One Two 9

    It will be multiple generations of damaged children abused by the state and governments wedded to abusive ideology

    Politicians are the representatives of the abusers, and are responsible for delivering the ‘reforms’…

    How much longer adults will allow the abuse to continue is uncertain, but the abuse will continue until it is stopped

    The abuse is delivered in a myriad of forms. Education is a single piece of a larger puzzle

    Can the adults mount the necessary actions to halt current and future NZ government agendas?

    At present time, the answer is…No

  10. mpledger 10

    I don’t agree with any of the educational policy that National have introduced **BUT**
    I would take the PISA data with a grain of salt.

    The PISA exams don’t test the NZ curriculum and doesn’t test knowledge in the way we test knowledge. Written, multi-choice questions tend to test the lowest cognitive abilities – memory and basic manipulations. NCEA has a lot of practical tests – e.g. giving speeches in English and other languages – it’s not just about the narrow, book-learning, academics.

    Also, the PISA table tends to be a political football in countries’ internal politics so there is quite a lot of manipulation going on in some countries to game the system for political benefit. For example China restricts who can enter. And countries have diverse educational policies – I believe Japan educates their children with disabilities through their health system so those kids are never included in PISA/TIMSS.

    And then their is motivation – I know some kids who have taken PISA/TIMSS and because they don’t find out their score and their score has no effect on them anyway, they don’t bother with the exam once the questions start getting a bit hard.

    To get better at PISA/TIMSS we’d have to go down a pathway in our education system that would be a throwback to a time when learning facts was all that mattered.

    • BM 10.1

      Why do teachers put no value on memory?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Who said that teachers put no value on memory?

        The problem, IMO, with memorisation is that it the builds belief that those things memorised are true factual when they may not be and will need to be changed as new information is learned by the scientific community. Beliefs, as we know, are very hard to change.

        Much better to teach people to think and to do research.

        • Poission 10.1.1.1

          What is the age of the universe?

          How do you know?

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1

            What is the age of the universe?

            Old.

            How do you know?

            Because I’m not stupid and looked it up some time and don’t believe in creationism because it goes against all the research.

        • ropata 10.1.1.2

          I think the modern curriculum includes *both* traditional concrete facts and skills/strategies for young learners. Both are needed

        • BM 10.1.1.3

          Memorisation is incredibly important in the trades, maybe that’s why so many young kiwis struggle in a trade environment?

          When you’re attached to a computer all day having a good memory doesn’t really matter, you can jump on the internets and find what you need, when you’re out on the job site or underneath a car you don’t have that option.

          Who said that teachers put no value on memory

          From the post I first replied to

          The PISA exams don’t test the NZ curriculum and doesn’t test knowledge in the way we test knowledge. Written, multi-choice questions tend to test the lowest cognitive abilities – memory and basic manipulations.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.3.1

            Memorisation is incredibly important in the trades,

            No, I’d say that being able to think is more important. My nephew, a builder, gets the fixup jobs because he can think of how to fix them.

            And he carries his phone with him so he can look stuff up on the internets.

            From the post I first replied to

            But that’s just the opinion of one person – not ‘teachers’.

            • BM 10.1.1.3.1.1


              No, I’d say that being able to think is more important. My nephew, a builder, gets the fixup jobs because he can think of how to fix them.

              Most Trades are about systems and procedures you’ve got to be able to retain that knowledge in your head and be able to extract and use it when necessary.

              How’s your nephew going to get on whens he’s in an area with no internet coverage?

              • Draco T Bastard

                How’s your nephew going to get on whens he’s in an area with no internet coverage?

                Probably pretty well.

                Most Trades are about systems and procedures you’ve got to be able to retain that knowledge in your head and be able to extract and use it when necessary.

                And if you use them all the time you’ll remember them but if you can think you can replace them. Those memories don’t become a belief.

                That seems to be the biggest problem with RWNJs – they believe that what they learned as a child still holds sway when most of it doesn’t but they won’t replace the outdated BS. They can’t because they can’t think.

                • BM

                  And if you use them all the time you’ll remember them but if you can think you can replace them. Those memories don’t become a belief.

                  This is the problem a lot of employers are facing ,you can repeatedly demonstrate how to do a task but it doesn’t seem to sink in and be retained by many young employees.

                  Current teaching methods don’t lend themselves to knowledge retention.

                  No idea what you’re babbling on about with “Those memories don’t become a belief.”.?

                  • McFlock

                    Or it could be that a lot of employers today are untrained, unskilled, and unfit to manage staff.

                    That’s the trouble when the sole criterion for a position is money.

                    • BM

                      How about you pull your flabby carcass out from behind that public servant’s desk and get out there and show them how it’s done.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      What, like when I was supervising half a dozen people under 25? That was pretty cushy work, if you knew how to A)manage staff, and B)deal with people.

                      And keep your mind off my flabby carcass, please.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No idea what you’re babbling on about with “Those memories don’t become a belief.”.?

                    I mean that people who just memorize things and don’t think about them turn those memories into beliefs that they won’t change no matter what the facts are. This is seen extensively in RWNJs.

      • adam 10.1.2

        Wow BM you got anything to back up that stupid comment? Or are you going all bill english, and going with the vibe you been told?

        Come on man, I know you lot are failing, but do you need to flail about as well?

  11. SpaceMonkey 11

    Maybe it was always there but it seems to me that an ideological divide has opened up in NZ and it is evident at all levels of our education system. It comes down to the purpose of education.

    Broadly speaking, on one side sit those who believe that the purpose of education is to develop well-rounded human beings who have the capacity and ability to think for themselves.

    On the other sit those who believe that the purpose of education is simply to provide qualifications and skills for people to get a job. This view has been the sole focus of this National Government with its education policies.

    • BM 11.1

      On the other sit those who believe that the purpose of education is simply to provide qualifications and skills for people to get a job. This view has been the sole focus of this National Government with its education policies.

      Getting a job and a career are rather important, you’re a bit fucked without any means to make a living.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        But should it be your sole focus?
        All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy, BM…

        …hang on!!

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.2

        Getting a job and a career are rather important…

        Very. But they’re not the purpose of the school system, or shouldn’t be. The public education system exists to educate children, not to train them to do a job. I get why National’s members and donors would want it to re-jig public schools as a delivery system for work-ready employees, but there’s no reason the rest of us should be happy to see that happening.

        • ropata 11.1.2.1

          The other purpose of the school system, since the Industrial Revolution, was to “free” the parents to go work in factories (and train a new batch of workers). Seems a little outdated given the future of work is robots.

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    It was Aotearoa’s first national day of action in over ten years, the first since 2010, when Prime Minister John Key tried to inspire us to clean up our nation’s berms. It didn’t work. Today, New Zealand’s berms are worse than ever. But history is not destiny, and other cliches. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Worried about getting your vaccine or want a simple explanation?
    Worried about getting your vaccine? Let me tell you a secret. No-one likes getting a vaccine. People do it because they know they’re better off to. Let me tell you another secret, a weird one: the vaccine doesn’t really “do” anything. Confusing? Let me explain… Vaccines are a face at ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • Delta puts workers’ power under the spotlight
    by Don Franks Foremost fighting the Delta virus are workers, especially in health, distribution, service and education sectors. Unionised members of these groups are centrally represented by the New Zealand Council of trade unions ( NZCTU). Political journalist Richard Harman recently noted:“Businesses are caught in a legal tangle if they ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Faster transitions to clean energy are also cheaper
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Several clean energy technologies like solar panels have become consistently cheaper year after year as the industries have benefited from learning, experience and economies of scale. Falling solar costs are described by “Swanson’s Law,” much like Moore’s Law described the rapid and consistent ...
    4 days ago
  • Abstraction and Reality in Economics
    Sometimes high theory loses the human point of the exercise.One of the joys of teaching is you learn from your students. When fifty-odd years ago, I was at the University of Sussex, a student doing our first-year economics course, Jim, came to me, saying he was pulling out because it ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    5 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
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    5 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
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    6 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
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    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
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    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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