web analytics

“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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Foreign Minister announces two diplomatic appointments
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced two diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Consul-General to Hong Kong. “As New Zealand recovers from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever. That is ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Recover and rebuild
    We started the week by announcing free apprenticeships to support Kiwis into work and to help get New Zealand moving again - and we ended the week by extending the wage subsidy to 40,000 more businesses, helping to protect businesses and workers alike.  ...
    2 days ago
  • How Budget 2020 is backing businesses
    We’re confident in the ability of Kiwi businesses to succeed in the face of COVID-19, and our Government is committed to doing our bit to enable that success. Kiwi businesses have always been innovative and resilient, and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven this yet again. Many businesses are finding new, creative ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First confirms its first tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its first tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. The includes all sitting New Zealand First Members of Parliament except Clayton Mitchell MP who earlier today announced he will not be seeking re-election. In alphabetical order they are: MP ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell not seeking re-election
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First List MP based in Tauranga New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell has decided not to seek re-election in this year’s General Election.  “After serious consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to pursue other passions in my life and spend a lot ...
    2 days ago
  • Five new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft to replace ageing fleet
    Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced that new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft would replace the outdated and costly 1960s Hercules fleet. The $1.521b project will include a flight simulator for staff training and other supporting infrastructure. "This fleet will ensure the Defence Force can continue to support New Zealand's ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens urge police to rule out armed police patrols following George Floyd’s death
    The Green Party is urging the New Zealand Police to rule out the use of Armed Response Teams, following their recent trial in communities around Aotearoa. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ First fought for changes to “poorly-targeted” rent dispute policy
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Labour's original COVID-19 commercial rent dispute proposal as "poorly targeted". Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced a temporary law change to force commercial landlords and renters to consider COVID-19 in disputes over rent issues, almost two months after the Government first floated the idea.  But ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First ensures commercial rent dispute clause fairly applied
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First acknowledges that some small businesses have been struggling to meet fixed costs due to the loss of revenue by COVID-19. We also know some businesses are at greater risk of insolvency when they cannot come to a reasonable ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First disappointed that Section 70 spouses won’t get relief
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First is disappointed that the removal of the spousal deductions has had to be delayed by the Ministry fo Social Development, due to COVID19 workload pressures. “New Zealand First has always stood for fairness when it comes to superannuation ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters receives petition demanding more protection for nurses
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Getting our economy moving
    It's been a busy seven days as we start to rebuild New Zealand together. From delivering extra support for small businesses, to investing in our artists and arts organisations, to cutting red tape on home DIY projects, we're rolling out our plan to get the economy and New Zealand moving ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    5 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    6 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    Hon Tracey Martin, Minister for Children A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago