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Game over Tolley

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, November 5th, 2010 - 161 comments
Categories: dpf, education, national - Tags: ,

As a measure of how completely Anne Tolley has lost the debate on national standards, consider these two editorials in The Herald. First this utterly disgraceful effort from December 2009:

Teachers must learn to obey Govt’s orders

Three years ago, when the National Party announced its plan to make all primary schools test pupils’ ability in reading, writing and mathematics, teachers were scornful. … The union, in league with the Principals Federation, says the standards are being rushed … Mrs Tolley is surely right to suggest the unions’ arguments are now purely philosophical. This has underpinned their resistance from the start. It has endured despite the Government concessions and despite the public support for national standards. It is the only reasonable explanation for the dragging of feet and the increasingly radical demeanour.

Compare and contrast with yesterday’s editorial:

Parents heed teachers for good reasons

When 225 school boards of trustees declare they will not adopt the Government’s National Standards it is time to take stock. Boards of trustees are representatives of parents, the very people in whose interests the Government has been pressing teachers to report children’s progress more rigorously and clearly.

The 225 boards comprise just over 10 per cent of the national total. Most of them may be strongly influenced by the school principal and staff representatives, but elected parents are not likely to be swayed by political antagonism or professional jealousy. They have listened to teachers’ concerns and taken them seriously. It may be time we all did.

Well some of us have been saying so since the start. But welcome to the sanity party Granny — better late than never I guess. In other news yesterday:

Researchers back National Standards boycott

Two Massey University education researchers are supporting the actions of more than 225 school boards who are refusing to introduce national standards at their primary schools.

The pair, professor of teacher education John O’Neill and associate professor John Clark from the university’s College of Education, said concerns expressed by school trustees over national standards in primary schools were warranted because of the risk of harm to students inappropriately labelled as “below standard”. …

“It is a great pity however, that the Government is insisting that an untested policy be implemented in spite of independent research evidence of its potential harm to pupils. …

“If there had been a proper trial of the standards, none of these concerns need have arisen,” he said. “Parents wouldn’t allow their children to take an unproven drug or medical therapy. Why should they allow their children to be experimented on with education policy?” …

Why indeed? But wait – there’s more!

More schools may boycott National Standards

More schools are signalling they will boycott the government’s controversial national standards programme. And parents are also joining teaching specialists in a revolt against the education policy. …

And so on and so on. The few remaining hacks still trying to defend the standards fiasco, like National’s pet blogger DPF, are desperately trying to spin opposition to standards as “playing politics”. The very opposite is true. It is those shilling for standards who are doing so for purely political reasons. They have precisely NO evidence to support the efficacy or even safety of the scheme. And they are trying to ram it down our throats in the face of all contrary evidence, expert opinion, and now broad based community action.

Well. The events of the last few days have shown that the political hacks and shills have failed. The tide has clearly turned against standards. Game over Tolley.

Bunji – the number of schools boycotting has already risen to 240.

161 comments on “Game over Tolley”

  1. jcuknz 1

    Newspapers usually have a panel of editorialists so it is simply somebody else’s opinion. The original made sense to me, if teachers don’t like it they should hope for a change of government but in the meantime stop belly aching and put government policy into place.

    • lprent 1.1

      Personally I’m into resistance against stupid ideas that aren’t explained and appear to have not functional basis apart from politicians egos.

      If the politicians screw up then you slow things down until the policy gets looked at. They aren’t our masters, they’re our frigging servants.

      The list of stupid legislation that has been passed to implement boneheaded unworkable policies and quietly dropped later is pretty damn large.

    • handle 1.2

      Teachers, principals and boards also have a legal duty of care for their students. Educational experts without any conflicting interests say there is no evidence that these new standards will improve results. Yet an ideological fool like Tolley is meant to be followed without question?

  2. lprent 2

    Nationals standards were pretty damn poor when they pushed this legislation through without bothering to think through what they were intended to achieve. Two years after the election we still have as little an idea about what the measures are supposed to achieve, how they are meant to work and why they are superior to the existing systems already bring done in the targeted schools.

    So far the only substantive reason for their existence is that it fulfills a ill thought through election pledge. That makes them purely political and of f*kcal use to anyone apart from national party hacks

  3. jackp 3

    Listening to Paul Henry one morning who had 2 principals on discussing this debate. One was in favor of the standards the other, a principal in Christchurch, was against it. The principal in Christchurch made a very poor argument and constantly blurting bureaucratic nonsense. The other principal for the standards sounded bright, energetic, positive and full of energy…. she said that now her teachers have a goal to stick to and was very excited about the standards. Obviously I would want my child to go to the latter’s school. The standards will expose the poor schools and teachers. IT’s really there to help but the teachers and the schools shy away from ” RESULTS”…. a fear that bureaucrats and unions have.

    • r0b 3.1

      I don’t care which principal sounds all preppy. I care which principal has the educational evidence on their side. And the evidence is all against standards. Or hadn’t you heard?

    • Good empirical study there jackp.

      Any other stuff to back up your conclusion like data or analysis?

    • William 3.3

      jackp 3 wrote;

      “The other principal for the standards sounded bright, energetic, positive and full of energy…. she said that now her teachers have a goal to stick to and was very excited about the standards.”

      Sheesh, what do you think the role of the principal of a school is? It is her job to work with staff to develop goals.
      If she’s relying on Tolley’s sorry excuse called standards then her school would be better off if she resigned. That would allow someone competent to be appointed.

    • Shane Gallagher 3.4

      Genius jackp – just genius. Damn empirical evidence, just go with the preppy sounding soundbites!!! Science, reason and rational thought are all SOOOO boring!!!!
      Yay! Lets all be happy and chirpy! Yay! Lets go with the slogan!
      (See how that rhymes, kinda? Huh? Yay!)

    • fermionic_interference 3.5

      Unfortunately for your friendly Principal was quite wrong about how “RESULTS” are obtained in schools.
      The best way a school or individual teacher can improve the results in a class or school is when professional development programs and initiatives are run for the TEACHERS so they can learn new and better methods of providing the information to/for students.
      I hope you know that
      I; Funding was removed from professional development to fund the National standards.
      II; National standards only provide “aspirational standards of achievement”. National standards don’t provide any ways to help students achieve a standard they are aspiring to, or provide teachers with new/better methods to help students achieve the standards.

      Dictionary definition:
      aspiration |ˌaspəˈrā sh ən|
      noun
      1 ( usu. aspirations ) a hope or ambition of achieving something : he had nothing tangible to back up his literary aspirations | the yawning gulf between aspiration and reality.
      • the object of such an ambition; a goal : fabrics and oriental rugs were my aspirations.

      Uses / other meanings of aspiration
      aspiration
      noun
      his greatest aspiration is to win an Olympic gold medal: desire, hope, dream, wish, longing, yearning; aim, ambition, expectation, goal, target.

      Also please note that funding has been at least reduced and in cases removed completely for special needs teachers, which provide support for Down syndrome or Autistic students among others.
      How does having a full spectrum Autistic student in your class of 20 odd students, so in this situation how does a teacher find time for the required constant supervision of the Autistic child whilst still teaching every other student in the class?
      With teacher to student ratios which are meant to be set at
      1:18 at new entrant level
      1:23 at yr 2&3
      although by this time of year the ratios at higher levels approach 1:30
      and new entrants are at 1:20+.
      Can someone explain to me how this constant supervision of children with special needs can be achieved whilst aspirational standards for all other students are being met?

  4. burt 4

    The teachers who don’t like the changes could always resign. please….

    • Bunji 4.1

      Because you’d like it if our schools were empty, and our education system ground to a halt?
      That’d be good for the future of the country.

    • illuminatedtiger 4.2

      Or Tolley could be replaced by a minister who has a clue?

    • Armchair Critic 4.3

      Aha, the nuclear option. How could that go wrong? Let me see:
      Less teachers = bigger class sizes = worse education for students
      Less teachers = more demand for teachers = wages for teachers must rise
      Ex-teachers looking for jobs in other sectors when unemployment is already high = increased unemployment.
      I’d stick with your day job, burt

    • bbfloyd 4.4

      yet another round of reactionary bigotry from,, you guessed it,,,, Burt!!!!! what a surprise! he’s normally so balanced in his approach…

    • Colonial Viper 4.5

      Actually only one needs to resign to resolve the issue satisfactorily, TOLLEY

    • burt 4.6

      I’m sorry I seem to have missed something. I though the govt passed laws and set policy and that part of living in a democracy was that like it or lump it we need to comply (or leave the country). Shit it’s a pity I didn’t know that when I was required to make KiwiSaver contributions for my employees….

      Hell I can just say “NO” – I don’t like the policy so I don’t need to comply… Hell here was me thinking the govt made the policies and all the time I’ve been able to just pick and choose which policies I comply with… Man – I need to convert to being a lefty so I can decide which govt policies I like and which ones I comply with.

      OK, no KiwiSaver deductions for my employees and you union chaps had better get behind me because it’s my right to choose how I comply with govt…..

      • r0b 4.6.1

        I’m sorry I seem to have missed something.

        Many a true word burt.

        I though the govt passed laws and set policy and that part of living in a democracy was that like it or lump it we need to comply (or leave the country).

        Which is why when Labour passed laws that burt didn’t like he didn’t complain at all. Not a squeak, just good old stiff upper lip democratic compliance. Oh – wait…

        • burt 4.6.1.1

          I didn’t say they can’t complain – but they need to comply.

          • r0b 4.6.1.1.1

            So you’ve never supported anyone breaking any law burt? The EFA perhaps? Never supported any campaign of civil disobedience? Not once?

            • burt 4.6.1.1.1.1

              Well yes I have, but I have always done so knowing that the consequences might be that I get charged, lose my job or otherwise pay the penalty for standing up. I was a real rebel during the EFA time actually rOb. I rode to work one day with a “Don’t vote Labour” sign on my backpack and I didn’t have my full name and residential address printed on it.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I though the govt passed laws and set policy and that part of living in a democracy was that like it or lump it we need to comply (or leave the country).

                • burt

                  Right, so not being a Labour party MP I ran the risk of being charged for doing that (because I don’t have ignorance of the law as a defence like the people who pass the laws enjoy) and I accepted that risk when I did it. If the teachers don’t comply and are sacked then they will accept that consequence – right?

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Do you think the boards will just ignore being sacked and just carry on running the schools?

                    You’re ever so dumb sometimes burt.

                    the govt has the power to do all sorts of things. Poeple are testing them to see if they think their policy is worth doing those things. That’s what civil disobedience is all about.

                    • burt

                      Excellent so the unions won’t call a strike when teachers breaking the law start getting fired then. That’s good to hear.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Who knows? They might. Afterall the govt has the power to do all sorts of things. People are testing them to see if they think their policy is worth doing those things. That’s what civil disobedience is all about.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Love to see NAT try and fire 2000 teachers. Its going to be a great election year.

              • r0b

                Well yes I have,

                So you’re only against civil disobedience when other people do it. Ok then.

                but I have always done so knowing that the consequences might be

                Seems like the teachers have decided that the consequences for them are preferable to damaging the children in their care with ill-conceived educational nonsense. Good for them.

          • Shane Gallagher 4.6.1.1.2

            No they don’t – we do not live in a periodically democratic dictatorship. If the government brings in a law which the people, whom the politicians serve, do not like then they can resist that law. That is what a living, reactive, responsive, inclusive and vibrant democracy entails. If you want to live in the system you describe you may find it hard to find people to support your cause – elected dictatorships are not in vogue at the moment.

          • Akldnut 4.6.1.1.3

            Geez Burt – Do you think we live in a coummunist state or something? “You must comply with our laws or face the wrath of the state.”

            I though your crew were trying to get away from that yet thats exactly the mantra you’re expecting us to live by?

      • burt 4.6.2

        The other thing I need to change is union access to my workplace. Here was me thinking that because the employment laws said I needed to provide access that I needed to provide access… Great – I don’t like it when people I don’t know just turn up and start wondering around in my office and talking to my employees so I can stop them from entering right? It’s my right to say I don’t like this govt policy – right ?

        Oh, what was that you said – the unions get to say which policies I must comply with and which ones I don’t… OK.. so when did the people of NZ elect the teachers union to represent them?

      • freedom 4.6.3

        idiot!

        why do you bother saying such fascile comments.

        it is a citizen’s responsibilty to respond to Government Policy. It is a two way street. It is how a democracy develops (in theory anyway) A fitting example is the Anti-Nuclear Policy that got adopted because of citizens standing up to the authority of government.

        They do something, we let them know how it looks on the ground, and we find compromise.

        you may need a dictionary for that last word Burt, A dictionary is a big book with other useful words like freedom, tolerance, education, repsonsibility to your fellow man etc There are numerous actions a person can take to disagree with a policy Burt, immediately leaving the country is a tad hasty, but don’t let us stop you.

    • KJT 4.7

      You want all the good teachers who stand up to keep a quality education system, against idiot politicians, to leave do you?

      • burt 4.7.1

        No not at all, the good teachers should be paid more than the average ones and the useless ones should go on gardening leave.

        • bbfloyd 4.7.1.1

          i now have the proof that burt can’t read. he used this line weeks ago (good teachers should get paid more than useless ones)… had several knowledgeable people waste valuable time trying to get him to understand why that was unrealistic at best, and now we’re treated to an echo..

          i am assuming he has a ghost writer doing the actual typing. one that’s not getting paid enough obviously..

        • burt 4.7.1.2

          Perhaps if I allowed my ghost writers to be measured I could choose which ones are worth keeping on my payrol. But sadly they are all the same under a collective agreement and I can’t possibly tell the good ones from the bad ones…

          But I remember what you are talking about – because you couldn’t think of how it could be done you concluded it was impossible. What a winner.

          • Vicky32 4.7.1.2.1

            Face. Palm. Burt.

          • bbfloyd 4.7.1.2.2

            don’t be silly burt… i’ve never wasted any time explaining anything complicated to you… all you are to me is a slightly amusing target… it’s a rare talent you have…

          • Colonial Viper 4.7.1.2.3

            But sadly they are all the same under a collective agreement and I can’t possibly tell the good ones from the bad ones…

            You signed up to a collective agreement where you aren’t allowed to do performance evaluations on your staff? Where you aren’t allowed to give them feedback on how they are doing?

            That’s idiotic.

    • Jum 4.8

      ‘Burt’

      Your teacher would have taught you that a new sentence starts with a capital letter. You didn’t listen then and you’re not listening now ‘Burt’.

      Be grateful teachers care more about our children than the people who support a globally failed educational policy and are happy or didn’t march in protest about the gutting of the ACE funding for our community of people wanting to better their prospects and education but unable to afford the new fees.

      But, you won’t be grateful, ‘Burt’ because you want educationally impoverished adults and poorly educated students from state schools to be grateful for low-paid jobs in foreign/business roundtable owned factories here. Meanwhile you step up the private school funding to religious and elitist institutions which hate women leaders and want cheap, malleable minds to control.

      Education makes people more aware, and more questioning, which is bad for rightwing agendas. That’s why you want to destroy our teachers’ position as our children’s advocate.

      Back in your box you Key-cloned clown.

  5. Fisiani 5

    The union based desperate political nihilism of the dinosaur head in the sand, hold back the tide teachers is truly disgraceful. Using taxpayer money and teaching time to fund this campaign of misintrepretation and obsession with different methods overseas is outrageous.
    This protest is just a desperate flailing attempt to avoid transparency and deny parents finally knowing the truth about their childrens progress rather than hearing glib but false reassurances.
    Every other job sets standards and monitors progress. Get into the 21st Century teachers.

    • r0b 5.1

      Fisiani you’re the current holder of the prize for most pathetic Key fanboi zealot ejaculating propaganda all over this blog. For the sake of the children – why not put it aside and look at actual evidence?

      On the one hand is a mountain of evidence and expert opinion that standards are damaging to education. What evidence do you have on the other side? Not more ranting Fisiani – evidence. Got any?

      • Fisiani 5.1.1

        There is not a single piece of evidence yet about the effect of the NZ standards system and you bloody well know that. How could there be? The NZ type of standards has never been used before. Stop quoting overseas studies that are irrelevant. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Next year we will have the evidence.

        • freedom 5.1.1.1

          Fisiani why would you want a policy that won’t tell you when your child is failing?

        • r0b 5.1.1.2

          The NZ type of standards has never been used before. Stop quoting overseas studies that are irrelevant.

          You haven’t a clue have you. National standards have been tried in many countries — this is not “irrelevant”? Why is it irrelevant that exactly the same ideas have been tried, and failed, and repudiated, in both the UK and America? Seems to me that that’s precisely as relevant as it gets.

          There is not a single piece of evidence yet about the effect of the NZ standards system and you bloody well know that. How could there be?

          There could be if we trialled them in NZ before rolling them out. A trial – which is what the teachers have always wanted. A trial, because all the overseas evidence is bad. A trial that the nats have always refused – preferring instead to damage children for political ends. You and the other apologists for damaging children disgust me Fisiani.

          • jcuknz 5.1.1.2.1

            The bigger the sample the better the trial … Tolley wants the whole of the potential sample to be seen and used …seems reasonable to me and she is the minister rather than politically biased activist cum teacher afraid that they will be proved wanting. Sorry I am yet to be convinced by the teacher/union arguments above.
            .

            • r0b 5.1.1.2.1.1

              The bigger the sample the better the trial

              No. When you’re trialling something thought to be dangerous you use a small sample first. If that goes OK you then cautiously try a bigger trial. Only an idiot trials something dangerous on the whole population.

              she is the minister rather than politically biased

              No. In fact – how wrong can you get? She’s a politician, by definition she’s politically biased and politically motivated. It is the educational researchers and practitioners (who are NOT politicians) who are the political neutrals. It is the educational researchers and practitioners who have the evidence on their side, Tolley is driven only by ideology.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.1.2

              The bigger the sample the better the trial …

              Ummmm, I’d prefer the bad tasting high risk new medicine to be trialled on a small group of victims before unleashing death and destruction on everyone thanks.

          • Fisiani 5.1.1.2.2

            Apparently treating pupils and their parents like mushrooms is ok ie. Keeping them in the dark and feeding them bullshit is causing them no harm till they learn that they cannot pass NCEA2.
            Explaining that they are not achieving basic standards of education at an early stage and then pointing out how the parents can work with the school to get improvements will scar the darlings for life. What a patronising arrogant attitude.
            Thank goodness we have a government that is finally standing up to the last bastions of trade union member protection and reforming the NZ education system so that the secret shame of the education world is exposed and addressed.

            • KJT 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Ah. here we get to the real point of NACT standards. Stop those pesky Teachers from being about the last people in NZ who can still collectively ask for first world wages.
              And stop them educating the great unwashed that they have human rights.

              A good well rounded education is a huge obstacle to having the poorly educated, scared and compliant workforce on third world wages that NACT desires.

            • r0b 5.1.1.2.2.2

              Apparently treating pupils and their parents like mushrooms is ok ie.

              No of course not – who is suggesting that?

              Explaining that they are not achieving basic standards of education at an early stage and then pointing out how the parents can work with the school to get improvements will scar the darlings for life. What a patronising arrogant attitude.

              The patronising arrogance is yours Fisiani, if you think you know better than all the educational experts, and the finding of 40 years worth experience in the UK.

              Labelling children as failures is damaging, and national standards can label the wrong children. You really don’t understand why do you, you have no idea at all.

              Helping children who need it is of course a good thing. And that happens already.

              Stop thinking that you know better than the educational experts and practitioners Fisiani, stop advocating the harming of children. Because that’s what you’re doing. And that’s what schools are fighting to prevent.

            • Irascible 5.1.1.2.2.3

              This response from Fisiani is the biggest load of faeces I’ve ever had to unload from a blog site.
              Teachers in NZ, despite being under funded and under resourced have, for decades, provided a quality education for our children that has been recognised internationally.
              The bleatings of the NACT puppets like Tolley and Fisiani are based on little substantive evidence and should be treated as such.

              • Fisiani

                A quality education for just 4 out of 5 students sadly and due to 3 out of 5 teachers . National cares for 5 out of 5 students and wants to reward the best teachers.

                • Colonial Viper

                  National cares for 5 out of 5.

                  So, John Key is going to guarantee that no child is going to leave our school system without knowing how to read and write, and without knowing how to do their sums?

                  Are you making that committment on his behalf, Fis?

                • Irascible

                  Yet another meaningless meme from Fisi. I wonder if he actually can make sense of his own logic even when he talks to himself?

                • KJT

                  The simplest way to improve school performance, and many other social indicators, as we all know, is to decrease inequality so that kids feel they can become part of society if they do well at school.

                  That is way to hard for RWNJ’s though. It may even cost them 1.5% of their income in taxes.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        For the sake of the children – why not put it aside and look at actual evidence?

        That would require him to actually think and, from what I’ve seen of what he says, he can’t.

    • Maynard J 5.2

      ‘Every other job’ doesn’t have a blithering idiot setting standards.

      Actually, some do, and as a result the talented people leave. I guess that’s what you want.

      • burt 5.2.1

        The talented people only leave when there is no mechanism to compensate them for the extra value they bring – they leave for better pay elsewhere. But in a one size fits all monopoly provider model they can’t do that… Tell me again why all teachers should be paid the same and why their performance should not be measured then think hard about the unintended consequences of this model.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          Most people value things other than financial compensation at the top of their list of job satisfiers.

          Not having the Minister in charge of your sector talk down to you like you are a frakkin idiot, that would be one of them.

          Tell me again why all teachers should be paid the same and why their performance should not be measured then think hard about the unintended consequences of this model.

          Actually because intraprofessional rivalry within an organisation where team work and trust is a key ingredient is extremely destructive Burt. You just think about that.

        • KJT 5.2.1.2

          Perfectly happy for Teachers performance to be measured. WHEN you can find a measurement system, that can actually do that, without causing a lot of activity detrimental to children’s education. The private sector also struggles with performance measurement for anything more complicated than sales targets.

          • ianmac 5.2.1.2.1

            Very true. There are very few who can agree on what a good teacher is. One common factor is enthusiasm for the teaching but the details contradict enormously. I have heard parents say that a quiet tidy room indicates success. Others say a busy activity buzzing room must be best. Another says that the kids who are out and about measuring and asking and reporting contesting is better. Researchers cannot define it. One teacher’s gift is another ones poison.

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      Would that be dinosaurs that somehow managed to create the education system receantly rated the best in the world? Fisani? You know, in the 21st Century?

      This is your problem on this issue buddy boy. We’ve got on one side one of the consistantly independently rated best education systems in the world, where all it’s teachers, experts, boards of trustees and principals say the policies of an educationally illiterate educaion minister are completely wrong.

      On the other side, we’ve got, ummm, Anne Tolley and a bunch of authoritarian online right wing trolls like yourself whose expertise in the education sector could be written on the back of a postage stamp in crayon.

      Who to believe? Oh, who to believe?

      • Fisiani 5.3.1

        where all it’s teachers, experts, boards of trustees and principals say the policies of an educationally illiterate educaion minister are completely wrong.

        Wrong Wrong Wrong. Lies Lies Lies Lies.
        You are not that thick. Have another try.

    • bbfloyd 5.4

      well hoisted fiiiiiiiiisi… that’s a petard you can feel back there…

    • mcflock 5.5

      Hmmm – I’m just imagining a dinosaur putting its head in the sand in an effort to hold back the tide.

      Damned nihilist unions, always walking a tightrope between a rock and a hard act to follow as the crow gathers no moss..

    • Jum 5.6

      What is outrageous Fisiani is your poor attempt to label teachers as 20thC, not 21stC but your whole rightwing philosophy is 18thC.

      Pre-election 2008 we were teaching all our children to be individual thinkers and global workers but your masters are pro-chimney sweep labour. National’s standards are reversing into a whirlpool of dizzying proportions – a veritable hotch-potch of Sweeney Todds cutting New Zealanders’ Samsonite hair and then cutting their throats to put into the Talley pies. Don’t Talleys make pies? Watch this space if AmeriNAct gets back in.

  6. Brett 6

    Hopefully they replace Tolley with Judith Collins.
    She would tear those teachers a new arsehole.

    • Marty G 6.2

      because that’s what we want in education – a minister that encourages every good teacher to leave the profession.

      • Brett 6.2.1

        F.I.O.F.O
        No business/organization will work if the employees are undermining the person in charge.
        MOE needs to root out the trouble makers and destroy them.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          You have no idea how the best businesses in the world work, Its not the Kenyan army mate

        • Bunji 6.2.1.2

          Yep, you’re right, they really need to get rid of that trouble-maker Tolley.

        • prism 6.2.1.3

          That MOE should be set to work on the convulvulus in my garden. It isn’t an appropriate way to deal with teachers who know a thing or two about education and have stuck at it generally because they care about doing a good job with the kids.

    • pollywog 6.3

      I can see the headline in the Herald already…

      Key tears new arsehole for teachers

      John Key has controversially decided to replace the bumbling Minister for education, Anne Tolley with the equally inept Judith Collins, citing it as part of his ‘tearing new arseholes’ policy.

      He urged the public to relax and likens the cabinet shuffle to a brutal gang rape in prison where ‘the transition between assailaints is much smoother if you just relax’.

  7. Rodel 7

    I would like to know who designed the national standards system.
    Surely no-one who is actually involved with teaching kids.
    Sometimes these ideas are just a copy of something that has been seen in another country. Anyone remember the Picot report?

    • KJT 7.1

      It is a carbon copy of national standards in the UK and USA which they are now abandoning because it did not have the results intended.

  8. What really bugs me about Tolley and her apologists is that she has blundered in and cut perfectly good programs to fund National Standards.

    What about the following passage, contained in the incoming briefing to the Minister, obviously written by the best brains in the Education sector.

    “The Numeracy Development Project was established in 2000. This ministry-led professional development programme has been introduced into 95 percent of primary, intermediate and composite schools (including 85 percent of Maori-medium schools) and 40 percent of secondary schools.

    Between 2002 and 2007:

    * the percentage of Year 6 students achieving at or above the expected level in mathematics increased from 40 percent to 61 percent.
    * the percentage classified as at risk decreased from 30 percent to 13 percent.”

    Funding was cut from this to help fund National Standards.

    And what really irks is that it was proposed that she increases the subsidy for private schools by $17.5m. She doubled this to $35m. This was enough money to continue with night classes.

    The woman is doing appalling damage to our education system.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Farrar has been hilarious over this. He does authoritarian apoplexy with all the grace and aplomb of a Belgian tram conductor with a hangover.

    First, character assassination of one person from one board at one school – with narry a word on the possible motivations of members of the other 240 (and growing) boards. Or the principals. Or the teachers.

    Today, we get the true measure of his desperation – the dirty old smear tactic of 2005-08 is back, exploiting the mentally ill to “distribute” “leaked” emails in frantic attempt at diversion and smear.

    Apparently, we are to believe it is all a communist plot conducted on office stationary.

    I’ve got news for Mr. Farrar. It ain’t working.

    • ianmac 9.1

      The e-mails were supposed to show that one Principal was running the Protest and that the BOT were only doing what that Principal told them to do.
      Fails. The e-mail sent from the Principal’s home starts with a congratulation that each BOT had decided to join the protest. It was sent AFTER the BOT had decided. It didn’t stop the Burts and Fisianis from attacking teachers, unions, the weather, sore toes, dripping noses and whatever captured their fleeting attentions. Sigh.

  10. tc 10

    Tolley on Education, Bennett on Welfare, Wilkinson on Industrial Relations, Collins on prisons, Wong on womens affairs………anyone see the pattern here with these portfolios and the outstanding individuals who hold them, no prizes.

    • Brett 10.1

      Women shouldn’t be in positions of power?
      Are you saying that their place should be in the kitchen serving their menfolk?
      I am appalled at the sexism in this post- ban this misogynist prick!

      • Sanctuary 10.1.1

        Errrr…. I think you are the only one to make their gender an issue.

        That wasn’t even a good effort. A complete shocker in fact. Perhaps, to paraphrase Churchill, the best argument against the education system is a conversation with the average right wing troll?

        I think you should go away and write 100 lines: “Diversion requires that I must try harder”

      • freedom 10.1.2

        no Brett , I think they are saying megamaniacal brainwashed ego-crazed unenlightened money-hungry mouthpieces of the right (who happen to all be female) shouldn’t be in positions of power

      • marsman 10.1.3

        The Dom-Post tried the same sexist slur in it’s stick waving Nat spin editorial yesterday. How tiresome.

        • Carol 10.1.3.1

          There’s some underlying gender patterns here that are not straightforward. They relate to traditional perceptions of gender roles, and work and political systems that originated in gendered divisions of labour. These still have an impact today, although not in a clear-cut way.

          When I lived in Aussie in the late 1990s, there were many comments about how women MPs were put into the unpopular portfolios in the Howard government, because they were expendible. This seems to be a pattern in Aussie & NZ, and often in the UK, too.

          Also, there’s another gender link, in that women tend to get the “soft” portfolios in health, education and welfare (I’ve read peer reviewed research comparing Aussie, NZ, Canada & the US, that shows this is a widespread tendency). These portfolios traditionally have relatively low status, partly because of their associations with women.

          It’s interesting also, that these women Minsiters are working in areas where welfare cut backs are being pursued by NACT. As a result, there has been a decline in the numbers of women working. It’s kind of like the male NACT hierarchy have put women ministers forward to oversea areas that will be unpopular with, and impact negatively on large numbers of women.

          • freedom 10.1.3.1.1

            it is also an unabashed perversion of the oft stated ‘maternal nature’ being used against the society by deliberately placing women in the seriously sensitive roles of education, police, justice and welfare.

            ‘how can the policy be bad if a woman is fronting it? ‘ type of bs,
            sadly too many people buy into it

          • prism 10.1.3.1.2

            Good to read of some definite research Carol. The portfolio of Minister of Defence isn’t usually female-directed, but Ruth Rich-hardson did get to be in charge of the money though.

            “the “soft” portfolios in health, education and welfare…These portfolios traditionally have relatively low status, partly because of their associations with women.” Yes, they are also not to do with making money, initiating projects which result in accreted wealth, they are directly tied to caring for people and their needs.

            The Randian individual striding into a sunset enhanced by an avenue of brilliantly lit Eiffel towers (representing modernism and master of technology) is generally male and is above such petty considerations. Many aspirational women only gain positions of power and status by following the Randian male hegemony. So we get these eager beavers willing to be foot soldiers in the fight against welfare spending that supports the lives of the general population.

            • Carol 10.1.3.1.2.1

              I’m not sure, if you’re asking for a reference/source, prism. But this is one of the articles I read:

              http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=2183560

              It focuses on how press coverage of women candidates in Aus, Canada & the US, focuses on stereotypical gender stereotypes & tends to relegate women to policy areas that are traditionally associated with women. It says that this coverage was similar across the different kinds of systems of government in the 3 countries. It also said that, the gender stereotypes were weakening, but still remained, especially for the perceptions of women in the most powerful government positions.

      • Vicky32 10.1.4

        I see it the other way… that these jobs are given to women *who haven’t got a clue* so that when they fail, it’s an excuse NACT can use for not give ministerial posts to women!

    • KJT 10.2

      Key on smile and wave.
      Brownlee on “Mining etc”.

      ooop’s they are male! Though Helen had more balls.

    • Jum 10.3

      Captcha: (ad)dresses

      NAct are cunning if nothing else. They put women in cabinet positions because they were seen to be misogynists pre-2008 election. Women were put in the positions which cause the most grief. Women are often the enemy of more vulnerable women. Women were told to deal to all female sections of society that will suffer most – Bennett/solo mothers, Tolley/teachers with more women because the wages are not high enough for men who seek the better paid but value-bereft jobs – moneytrading, e.g., Wilkinson/many more women now unemployed; I posted pre-2008 election that Key hates women leaders of any kind. So does his party and Act. It’s the usual ‘use a woman lawyer for a rapist’ routine. Not even imaginative; but certainly JKeyll behaviour. NAct will replace these women just before 2011 or just after the election if they get back in, depending upon the public mood. Women will think that Bennett, Tolley, Wilkinson hate women even more than the male politicians do so will be just as keen to get rid of them as the male misogynists among us.

      Psychological warfare in politics is bad with this NAct government. It has the backing of the Conservatives in Britain and America – these are vicious players in the world of male control. Its hatred of women was made plain pre-2008 election and for years before then against Clark. New Zealand men and women did not support Clark against the lies and vicious attacks upon her.

    • Daveosaurus 10.4

      “anyone see the pattern here with these portfolios and the outstanding individuals who hold them”

      Yes: they’re all Nats. Get rid of the Nats, and you’ve got rid of that particular bunch of incompetent buffoons.

  11. dave 11

    I think some of the debates on National Standards are politicised, and I have a long post here about it.. But it is strange that one of the schools leading the charge against National Standards has a charter that states it is going to implement National Standards.

    • KJT 11.1

      Damn right its political. Time politicians, especially ignorant right wing ones, got their noses out of education.

      You don’t tell Doctors how to take out a kidney.

      In fact the sooner we get rid of politicians power altogether and have a democracy the better.

      They are supposed to be working for us.

  12. ianmac 12

    National Standards aim to:
    1. Improve reporting to parents. Good call. Always room to improve. Most have.
    2. Help the failing kids. Great. Smaller classes, specialised help, facilities, community/parent help. (Funny that we already know that there is a group of kids who fail before NS?)
    Great aims that every teacher and BOT support.

    But wait! What if the National Standards are flawed? What if they do not come near to achieving the above aims. Worse. What say they not only cause harm to kids but bog down the staff with more bureaucracy ? What if the NS becomes bogged down as political issue. The kids?
    We benefit our kids by finding out if your school agrees with 1 & 2. (Probably Yes.)
    Then find out if the NS have the answers. If not, why not.

  13. tc 13

    Freedom wins and Brett wins the DPF award for missing the point and seeing something that wasn’t there.
    All first timers holding key portfolios with a slash n burn agenda.

  14. randal 14

    how come we come out best on international tables of academic achievement but everybody is always moaning.
    can any body answer that question?

    • ianmac 14.1

      And how come there is already enough data to hand so that we already know about the long tail of underachievers, better than any NS could possibly show?
      I wonder if those who did not enjoy school themselves relish the chance to carry out their spite against the teachers and schools.

      • prism 14.1.1

        The answer to why National Standards is because it’s a new policy that has been done ‘overseas’ which gives it lustre. It has been chosen from a smorgasbord of ‘overseas’ initiatives to be Anne Tolley’s pet program that she will impose to put her stamp on eduction. If it doesn’t work, isn’t needed, soaks up money presently used for targeted, tested and productive programs is not her handbag.

    • burt 14.2

      Look at the over representation of private schools in the international awards. There is your answer.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    240 schools boycotting now? That’s one in eight.

    Sucks to be Tolley.

  16. Well said r0b, National Standards has been a monumental and expensive fuck up in so many ways.

    The teachers’ opposition has also been an important reminder that this government can be made to cave in the face of united opposition.

  17. Hamish Gray 17

    I love this quote from the Massey researchers…

    ““It is a great pity however, that the Government is insisting that an untested policy be implemented in spite of independent research evidence of its potential harm to pupils. …”

    You mean, students that are failing might actually risk being told they are failing under these standards, and remedial action will be employed. The poor dear might be overwhelmed with the added attention of school teachers and reduced to a state of utter shock as their academic performance improves.

    God help us all!

    And if you don’t believe the government has a mandate to implement this policy (they campaigned on it, they were elected under MMP), then remind me to rebel against any old policy I find goes against my political beliefs the next time one pops up. Sorry but civilised society doesn’t work that way.

    What if an employer refused to implement minimum wages every time they were increased, on the basis that, well, he has research that says it’s not a good idea? Go on, argue the difference.

    • KJT 17.1

      What remedial action? Funding for teacher aids, child mental health, reading recovery and other remedial actions is being cut.

    • Jum 17.2

      Not the old line ‘they campaigned on it’ again. NAct campaigned on JKeyll’s smile and wave; that’s how they got in and they’ve manipulated people ever since. captcha: manipulation.

      Voters never agreed with all policies so this government cannot say that every time they force through legislation that they have a mandate.

      You can keep your god and its paedophilia and misogyny and hidden wealth to yourself.

      Civilised society my ass. Your government has just signed off for Clinton to call up our men and women for death duties.

      As for employers refusing to implement minimum wages – this government steals from the poor to pay the rich extra taxes that the rich didn’t pay anyway because of their lawyers and their accountants writing everything off or hiding it in trusts like National still does. Therefore employers are simply giving their employees money they will soon steal back.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.3

      What if an employer refused to implement minimum wages every time they were increased, on the basis that, well, he has research that says it’s not a good idea?

      I’d be fine with that if they can come up with such research…

      BTW, here’s an interview on the actual research.

    • tea 17.4

      Yes Hamish.

      I think you should get the job of going round and telling six year olds that they are failures.

      Also if the staff say at Xerox Park work for a bunch of boneheads who insist on giving Steve Jobs email, the internet and the pc etc, they at least get it in writing that they were ordered to do it.

      There is no overwhelming critical opposition to minimum wage rises. Say more people in the building industry had been against using untreated timber…

    • Blue 17.5

      Hamish, you might find this hard to believe, but schools actually already had assessments in place for their pupils. That’s kind of what they’re there for. You know those report card things that kids bring home a few times a year? Those parent-teacher meetings? Those PAT tests they do every year?

      Any of this ringing a bell?

      Teachers and schools were already doing fine identifying which kids were falling behind. What they needed was more investment in fixing what is a very complex problem. It’s easy to say ‘your kid is failing’. What’s not easy is helping them catch up.

      All teachers got was a stupid unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, and to fund this complete waste of time other stuff got cut.

      Do you understand?

      Every teacher knows which kids are at the bottom of the class. They don’t need frakin’ National Standards to tell them that.

  18. r0b 18

    You mean, students that are failing might actually risk being told they are failing

    No, national standards mean that children who are doing just fine will be told they are failing.

    remedial action will be employed.

    remedial action is already employed.

    remind me to rebel against any old policy I find goes against my political beliefs

    No. National standards are not being rejected on the basis of “political beliefs”, they are being rejected on the basis of educational evidence. On the basis of probably causing harm to children. The only people pushing their political beliefs in this debate is your team.

    What if an employer refused to implement minimum wages every time they were increased, on the basis that, well, he has research that says it’s not a good idea? Go on, argue the difference.

    The employer could do that, and suffer the consequences. Schools are doing what the evidence says they should, and are prepared to suffer the consequences. Go on, argue the difference.

    And in each case the government can take the action it sees fit, and suffer the consequences.

    • fermionic_interference 18.1

      ” National standards are not being rejected on the basis of “political beliefs”, they are being rejected on the basis of educational evidence. On the basis of probably causing harm to children. The only people pushing their political beliefs in this debate is your team.

      Not even just causing harm to our students but to our education system itself.
      By claiming that extra bureaucracy and paper work for teachers on top of what they already do (a very large amount) that doesn’t offer solutions new ideas or even a idea of how students are progressing.
      Most schools are testing using the ASTLE system or something similar so under National standards they will have to test and report to both criteria, see an earlier article on the standard for links to A. Tolley stating that schools using such systems are to continue and also report on the new standards.
      Q: So what happens when all of a teachers time becomes spent testing?
      A: Our education systems goes out with the Tolleys.

  19. ianmac 19

    Hamish: If you had genuine concern you would try and match your: “You mean, students that are failing might actually risk being told they are failing under these standards, and remedial action will be employed.” with the actual implementation of National Standards. Everyone knows that some students underachieve. Remedial action is taken.
    Reading Recovery for instance has been running successfully since 1987 but is limited to just the few worst kids through lack of money and resources. It identifies those at age 6 who qualify for intensive specialist help. Why not more than just the worst ones? Money. Imagine if the Minister was willing to fund a much wider program. Wow! But do you really want to know that Hamish? Doubt it! Political reasons for your comments?

    • Hamish Gray 19.1

      My post is not politically motivated, unlike this facade of concern for children from the Boards. It is motivated solely as a parent.

      I have three children. One was failing miserably in reading and we noticed it at home. Didn’t gel with the report cards and parent-teacher interviews, which said she was just fine. We trusted the teacher, because, well, she was a teacher. But eventually, we couldn’t stand back and watch her struggle anymore at bedtime reading and watching her confidence sink, so we took her to a private remedial class.

      Sure enough, within weeks we had signs of massive improvement and within a year she was up to scratch. The turnaround was amazing and her confidence was boosted no end. The teacher didn’t have a clue – but how was I as a parent to know this? My partner and I participated in her education as much as we could, knowing something was wrong. The teacher, and the school, failed her and we removed her to another one, fortunately nearby.

      And this is why teachers oppose the standards – they will expose them. As a parent, I have the right to know how my child is doing and speaking with other parents, we discovered similar issues with this seriously defficient teacher.

      It took active intervention by our family to remedy this problem. The system was set-up to rely entirely on the teacher’s opinion, which was seriosuly dubious. Standards ensure there is a second line of defence, so to speak, and most parents support that.

      So as hard as it is for contributors on this website to do, I suggest setting aside this ideologically driven urge to oppose everything the government puts up, just because it happens to be right-wing, and consider the real reason for the opposition – politics and power by the unions. The sexism claim is ridiculous.

      And try and justify civil servants actively disobeying their legal mandate all you like – it’s unprofessional and unbecomming. But because it suits your interests, you’re down with that. Real progressive stuff.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Hamish QUOTE1

        My post is not politically motivated…It is motivated solely as a parent.

        Hamish QUOTE 2

        just because it happens to be right-wing, and consider the real reason for the opposition – politics and power by the unions.

        As opposed to politics and power by Tolley and the NATs? Force meet force. Its the way things work with a National Government determined to force things through. Simpe physics: every force creates its own equal and opposite reaction.

        So having swept aside your stance of political neutrality, lets get to brass tacks. This Government, and particularly Tolley, are not educational experts and they are not listening to the educational experts.

        Now you may have run across a bad teacher, a negligent teacher, such people are present in every profession. Why did you not ask the question why that teacher was not applying existing systems to assess your child properly? Why, instead of dealing with a highly localised problem using available organisational solutions within the school, do you feel that the answer is to go to a costly global solution of National Standards a system which has no basis in any trials for improving children’s educational outcomes in the slightest.

        so we took her to a private remedial class.

        So, what was wrong with the reading recovery classes that the school ran? Why were there still problems after learning deficiencies discovered? How much of an active role did the school you suggest you should play in the home?

        Don’t you think that once the school was aware of the issues, they actually played a role in the solution – or had an important role in the solution?

        Are you implying that once a problem had been identified the school and its administration played deaf and dumb to adapating to the deficiencies identified?

        I suggest setting aside this ideologically driven urge to oppose everything the government puts up

        ‘Ideological’ is the catch cry of the NAT Government because it takes one to know one, simple as that. Just try asking Tolley for her evidence base backing National Standards and you will see that her evidence base = her belief systems = PURE POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

      • lprent 19.1.2

        I haven’t seen any credible evidence that programs like nationals standards do anything except cause harm and beaucratic make-work. That is what the available evidence from similar programs shows.

        Certainly Tolley hasn’t provided any evidence to counter that viewpoint, and neither have any of the rest of the National party, nor for that matter has any commentator here including yourself. What I have seen is politically driven bullshit by people like you saying piously that teachers and parents sitting in school boards should conform to a arbitrary set of rules.

        Perhaps you missed the devolution in the 1980’s with more control going to the schools? Tolley certainly seems to have done so. Teachers are paid by their schools. Schools are given grants and largely run by school boards. The MOE sets general conditions about what the grants are used for and does some of the dispersals. Schools boards and teachers aren’t ‘civil servants’ and aren’t covered by the rules for that small group of core civil servants regardless what you think. Before dribbling your bullshit, perhaps you should go and learn some basics about our education system?

        I have to conclude that implementing it is a purely political decision driven by an ideological idiot. To be precise, it looks like a stealthy attempt to demolish the basis of tomorrows schools and assert more control over school boards.

        As for your homily about your kid. You did exactly what a parent should do. You noticed a problem and shifted your kid to a much smaller class size where she would learn better. Perhaps you should have then stood for your schools board and pushed for remedial reading program in school?

        But it probably has bugger all to do with the teacher and everything to do with class size. The techniques that work well in a class of one or two are impossible to do in a class of 30. Perhaps you should concentrate on how to actually improve the school system rather than supporting Tolleys pile of politically driver ideological and ineffective crap.

      • D14 19.1.3

        >>>Hamish And this is why teachers oppose the standards – they will expose them. As a parent, I have the right to know how my child is doing and speaking with other parents, we discovered similar issues with this seriously defficient teacher.

        Who makes the judgements about the standards. THE TEACHERS.
        You argue that the teachers judgment in one school was faulty, and improved in another school. HOW will the national standards as implemented improve that situation with out moderation. How can ‘seriously deficient teachers’ have the judgement needed with out moderation

        Also I have seen little or no discussion about the validity and reliability of the assessments for the standards. If the standards are not valid or reliable and there is no moderations how can they have any meaning.

        • ianmac 19.1.3.1

          Hamish: I have a strong suspicion that your story is fabricated. Reminds me of those ads where “independent” comments are featured. “My life was tough but then I saw the light.” Can’t prove it but you have a responsibility to at least be truthful about important matters.

          “private remedial class.” Really? What would that class be?

          “And this is why teachers oppose the standards – they will expose them.” Really? If your story was genuine you would already know that the National Standards are based on the usual tests that the teachers already run. PAT, Running Records, Astle, 6 year Net and so on. If you were honest you would have asked to see the records which would confirm/deny your doubts. But you “took your hypothetical child to another school” where they would use the same battery of tyests as the school you “left.”
          There are great holes in your story and it has no connection on whether NS would make a difference let alone whether the NS have any credibility. I don’t believe you and if you fronted up in real life you would be found to be a fraud!

      • tea 19.1.4

        love how the unpolitically motivated come on political blogs. Didya know boards are made up of parents? or are you the only parent out there amongst the clone wars?

        you are a bit of a patronising chap aren’t you. Do you work for Hanover or SCF- as you are happy to dump on someone unprofessional at the bottom, but perfectly happy to accept it at the top and do what you are told.

  20. Jum 20

    We should be grateful that our teachers ran the gauntlet for us without much support except for The Standard and other objective thinkers. The teachers could have been sacked and may still be, along with Principals and parent boards. But if they are, that will be the next biggest mistake NAct makes. That will achieve a bigger backlash than the mining anger created.

    If this government really cared about the educational progress of every child and uni student, they would have put the oxymoronic ‘standards’ money towards only those children needing educational support. Labour also should have put financial and human resources into more intensive and longer programmes without cut off points which seem to happen regardless of individual progress (e.g. reading recovery). Lack of funding in those cases will never be a reasonable excuse.

    This government however has excelled itself in its shortsighted education policy. Parents who still believe this NAct government is acting in the best interests of Kiwi children are not considering a future society and the problems division in education will create.

    Perhaps they can afford to have lockable gates. Perhaps those parents who don’t think parents who make up school boards bagging the standards are clever enough. Perhaps they should write to those school boards and ask for a meeting. I would love to see the parents who can’t even be bothered to turn up to school evenings, never mind volunteering to go on school boards, telling the school board parents how dumb they are…

    This government certainly excells at dividing people.

    Parents should certainly have queried why science wasn’t seen as just as important as the other basics, unless they know NAct are planning to bring in creationist crap. Everything else NAct have done since becoming government suggests they live in a fantasy world so nothing would surprise me, except perhaps this government thinking before it acted.

    NAct had 9 years to plan some worthwhile goals – too busy stealing money off people with finance company investments I guess.

    • fermionic_interference 20.1

      Great points and well written.
      Just FYI
      Teachers are contracted to the board of trustees of any given public school so only the board can fire them.
      Thus as the board members have the implications of the national standards advised to them, be prepared to see even more boards boycotting the adoption of this national standards regime.

      So now the biggest issue to allow sanity to prevail is for the implications on/for the board members children, to be explained clearly and concisely, allowing for more schools to boycott this atrocity.
      Note: although boards are contracted to the Govt and can be fired by the Govt.
      Principals are also contracted to the Govt I believe.

      • Jum 20.1.1

        fermionic_interference 20.1
        5 November 2010 at 4:33 pm

        “Great points and well written.” It all started with Miss Plaidle in primer 4…

        • ianmac 20.1.2.1

          Interesting article. “Associate Professor John Clark said the standards were limited in their scope, were not adequately measurable and had not been tested enough – pointing to a high risk of failure.”
          and Mr McKeefy a parent at Clyde Bay School said, “For too long we’ve not had honesty in reporting from schools. We haven’t been told how our children are placed within their class and how they rate nationally and that’s all I want.”
          No problem mate. Go and ask to see the school records on your child but the NS won’t be much help.

    • Vicky32 20.2

      “should certainly have queried why science wasn’t seen as just as important as the other basics, unless they know NAct are planning to bring in creationist crap”
      They’re not that crazy, surely to goodness!

    • Fabregas4 20.3

      Yesterday was Pet Day at my school. The Board of Trustees have signed up with the other schools (after much discussion and research). This weeks newsletter informed the school community about this the day before. I was amazed by the number of people talking about the Standards boycott. Every one delighted that the Board had made this decision and vowing that they, and the teachers and me, will be supported to the hilt through this. Good luck coming to Ngapuhi country and trying to bully the local school! The irony for our school community is that next door to our flourishing and successful school is a college that by any standards is struggling, has done so for at least 10 years and 18 months ago was identified as an unsafe place for children and staff. Has the Minister or Ministry done anything about this? – You know the answer. Oh but for spending money and placing resources where they would actually do some good.

      • ianmac 20.3.1

        Fabregas4: Oh but for spending money and placing resources where they would actually do some good.”
        Oh that $30 million being spent on NS was instead spent on dealing to the problem of underachieving poor performing kids and for that matter the very bright kids!

  21. Bright Red 21

    I love this from the Herald ‘your views’, the last line of the cry of conservatives since the beginning of time:

    “Deal to Crims (Rotorua)
    10:17AM Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010
    The entire education was becoming far too PC (I know this term is overused but couldnt think of a more appropriate one)

    This government is trying to get back to basics and re-engineer the education so that students actually come out with some skills that mean something in the modern world.

    I am all for the education sector being turned upside down, along with a few other departments to get rid of unnecessary parifinalia and “get back to the knitting”
    The world has got too complicated – lets get simple again!”

    • Anne 21.1

      “parifinalia”. That says it all. Spell it how it sounds not how it’s spelt.
      How simple does he/she want us to be? I mean if he/she is serious then do we go back to the caves and rub sticks together to light a fire?

  22. popeye 22

    @ Bight Red- that is classic….my stomach is still sore from laughing…”lets get simple again”.

    Tolley will attack….nothing in the past indicates she even remotely understands the issues. This is about cold hard survival. Look at the hatchet job National’s back room is visiting on the schools mentioned. She will pick away at the group, issue glowing reports about the many schools that have contacted her to tell her they are ‘getting on with it’…she many even try to sack a couple of weak Boards. She is facing a hell of a task though. Only so long you can cover over a weeping wound…pus will keep oozing. More Boards will join this group…the staunch ones will push this to the end and in an election year at will be a hell of a punch up! I wonder if anyone has checked how many schools on the list are in blue electorates? This gets any bigger it could be an election game-breaker.

  23. freedom 23

    from Stuff Dom site today, if anyone knows this person can they explain to the individual, slowly, that the Government are public servants and as a member of local Government he should be aware of this.

    • ianmac 23.1

      Not sure what you mean??

      • freedom 23.1.1

        The tone i got from the statement he made was one of full submission to the will of the Government without question or reason. He seemed to offer a belief in full subjugation to authority. One more shadow of a democratically elected person in the long line of people who have forgotten THEY are meant to work FOR us

        “I wouldn’t want to go so far as to call for all 225 [boards to be sacked] but it is a concern when public servants can put themselves above the government of the day.”

        perhaps i am reading out of context, but he is refusing their right to question the Government in Education Policy?

        It’s a Sunny day, i am going to go sort the wood racks and worry about it all tomorrow

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          The Elite Born to Rule always wonder why it is that the Peasants are revolting.

          • ianmac 23.1.1.1.1

            CV: All the pheasants that I know are revolting . They shit all over the place!

            Actually many of the negative comments at Kiwiblog seem to be around obedience and conformity. Bloody peasants!

  24. Fabregas4 24

    This really does have the potential to change the landscape politically. A lot of people, it seems to me, have already discovered the clown has no clothes, the tax fraud is biting, finance company bail outs are more important than a decent ACC system, minimum wage increase was 25 cents extra!, etc etc.
    Bulling from Wellington takes a little while to hit – bullying your local community – well people get annoyed straight away. Bullying every local community – means everyone getting annoyed straight away. Get annoyed at this and all the other stuff gets dragged into the equation.

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  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 hours ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    17 hours ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    3 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    4 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    4 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    11 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
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