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Good money after bad into the bottomless pit of charter schools

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, January 29th, 2016 - 73 comments
Categories: accountability, education, national, schools - Tags: , , , ,

Did only RNZ pick up on this yesterday?

Charter school a waste of public money – PPTA

Education Minister Hekia Parata confirmed the closure of the charter school in Northland today, saying the challenges facing its board were too great.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said the union and Ministry advisors warned the government of all those challenges and risks – but were ignored. She said state schools could have made good use of the millions spent to prop up a school that was never viable.

The Ministry of Education updated the cost of the Whangaruru school from $4.8 million to $5.2 million dollars this afternoon. It said the extra $400,000 was a payment it was obliged to make for the first quarter of this year, even though the school will not be open.

The money will be paid to the owners of the school, Nga Parirau Matauranga Trust, and the Ministry said only a portion of it will be recoverable. ….

$400,000 down the hole for a school that won’t open? The Nats must have negotiated the contract with all the skill that brought as the Sky City, Warner Bros and Rio Tinto fiascoes. Brilliant.

73 comments on “Good money after bad into the bottomless pit of charter schools”

  1. savenz 1

    +100 – Don’t worry

    “Inside NZ house of filth”
    ‘Bodies were never dumped at sea’
    Crashed out on side of the motorway
    Has anyone ever heard of a kinkajou?
    Apple recalls NZ wall plug adapters
    Don’t ask Roger Federer stupid questions
    Emirates to fly Auckland-Dubai non-stop
    Introducing the new, realistic Barbie”

    ‘Breaking’ news from our ‘business newspaper’ Granddady Herald….

    Kids education, more bad decisions from Natz, millions of taxpayers dollars wasted,
    MSM not really interested in that news obviously…..

  2. Andre 2

    $400,000 for one quarter of the year for a roll that peaked at less than 40 students? How does that compare to regular state school funding?

    • repateet 2.1

      The Minister last year intimated in the House that should the school be closed down (at that stage) the same amount of money spent on those kids until the end of February 2016 would be spent on those pupils in other (state) schools. That was a lie.

    • Molly 2.2

      Approx $7,000/yr per student a few years ago, IIRC.

      Don’t think it has changed that much. But definitely not up to the level of approx $40K/year/student.

    • Nick Nack 2.3

      You have to compare apples with apples, that is include the establishment costs. For example Rolleston Secondary (http://rollestonsec.school.nz/school-design/) is costing around $53m, and is projected to open in 2015 with 225 students. I could easily create a false impression by comparing their costs per pupil with an established charter school, but that would be dishonest. Some opponents of charter schools are doing precisely that, which doesn’t help the credibility of their position.

      • Andre 2.3.1

        Admittedly none of the articles is precisely explicit on whether the $400,000 for the first quarter of this year includes some establishment costs. But since all of them separately mention $1.4 million in establishment costs, it certainly gives the impression the $400,000 is just for ongoing operating expenses.

        • Nick Nack 2.3.1.1

          It’s not just about establishment costs, it’s also about amortising total cost over a smaller roll in the early life of a new school. That also is a dishonest way of criticising the charter school model that is frequently deployed.

          Charter schools are controversial, I accept that. And they don’t always work, but then nor do state schools. The difference is charter schools can fail, whereas state schools have money pumped into them so they can’t fail.

          • Andre 2.3.1.1.1

            “The school has received $3.2m in operational funding in the last two years and prior to its opening, the trust received $1.6m for establishment costs, which the school used to buy a farm.”

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/76334545/opposition-mps-call-for-hekia-paratas-resignation-on-back-of-charter-school-closure

            That’s $400,000 per quarter in operational funding for the last two years. Over $40,000 per year per student. Over and above establishment costs, paid by the government. And the assets bought by the charter school operators don’t revert back to the government, they are apparently kept by the failed charter school operators. Please, do explain how this is a dishonest criticism of the charter school model. I so enjoy a defence of the indefensible.

            • Nick Nack 2.3.1.1.1.1

              I’m not defending anything, I’m simply pointing out that some opponents of charter schools use misleading comparisons. You’ve actually done exactly that in your comment above. The ‘per student’ method of calculating cost is irrelevant until the school is at or near capacity. Your flawed methodology could be applied to the Rolleston example I gave above to produce an establishment cost of $235,000 per student, yet that would entirely misleading.

              Your comment about the assets and the operators is also questionable, unless you know the details of the trust that operated the school, and of the contract between the trust and the crown.

              I had doubts about the charter school model, but so far most are working well, and the take-up by Maori and Pacifica is particularly encouraging.

              • Macro

                The ‘per student’ method of calculating cost is irrelevant until the school is at or near capacity.

                🙄
                How big do you think the max roll would be? Not more than 100 tops – if that!
                And yes it is relevant – because that expenditure could have been better spent elsewhere – where the investment in each student is a fraction of the money wasted on this exercise.

                • Nick Nack

                  “How big do you think the max roll would be? Not more than 100 tops – if that!”

                  How do you know?

                  “where the investment in each student is a fraction of the money wasted on this exercise.”

                  The same could be said of state schools that get extra help…why not just convert them to charter schools?

                  You see that’s the point. You can spin numbers whichever way you want. I could argue that because Rolleston school is costing $10.2m per 200 students (assuming its roll will be full at 1040 by 2020), whereas the first 5 charter schools only cost $1.43m per 200 students, then all schools should be charter schools. You see how absurd the argument becomes when you distort the numbers?

              • Andre

                Maximum capacity roll at Whangaruru 128
                http://www.eduvac.co.nz/news/2014/05/15/nz%E2%80%99s-charter-schools-small-and-expensive Maximum roll achieved 71. If it ever achieved its maximum roll without getting an increase in operational funding, its per student funding would be about $12,500, 65% more than the average state funding for secondary school students.

                It looks to me like you’re the one trying to conflate operating and establishment costs, but anyway, taking your example, the Rolleston School is intended for a roll of 1040, and taking your word for the $53M ( I haven’t gone looking for verification), that’s $51k per student, not $235k.

                The next sentence in the stuff link above from the one quoted: “Parata said in the case of state schools the ministry owns the land and assets, but in this case the ministry would have to go into “commercial negotiations”.” I have the very strong suspicion this translates as “we couldn’t be bothered thinking about what happens if it fails, so we didn’t put anything in the contract so now we’re going to go try to beg some of the money back”. If you have another interpretation, please share.

                Please feel free to link to any credible positive news stories about success stories at charter schools. I haven’t seen any since this thread prompted to look for them. In fact, at 11:24 this morning I was only mildly annoyed about charter schools, now I’m fucking outraged at what a rort they’ve turned out to be.

                • Nick Nack

                  The data on Whangaruru is not correct. The $3.2m for the two years must have included some establishment funding, because the $1.6m was used to purchase a farm.

                  Re Rolleston, the $235k per student was based on the anticipated opening roll, not the 2020 roll, and precisely illustrates my point about how distorted such a comparison this would be. Overall state schools are costing considerably more per pupil to establish than are charter schools.

                  Re the ‘credible positive news stories’:
                  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/268702/good-ero-reports-for-two-charter-schools
                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11514077
                  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/288486/charter-school-interest-a-'vote-of-confidence

                  As I said earlier, Charter schools are controversial. Some will fail, some will succeed. Just like state schools, the only difference being we pump money into state schools to avoid them failing. At the extremes, both opposition and support for charter schools seems to be more ideological than evidence based. My support for them is tentative but based on what I see as a real possibility of helping kids who have previously slipped through the cracks.

                  • The Other Mike

                    Thanks. But can anyone explain why they are buying f’n FARM???

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’d like to know why the government is buying a farm for someone else as well.

                    • tricledrown

                      the worst thing is the farm will remain the property of the trust after the school closes.

                  • Andre

                    $800,000 was paid for the farm. Which now has an estimated sale value of $750,000. That leaves $800k for other establishment costs.
                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11581567
                    It looks to me like you’ve pre-decided things aren’t as bad as reports by reputable news organisations presenting facts are making clear, so you’ve gone out of your way to try to paint a distorted rosy picture.

                    The two nzherald items you’ve linked are puff pieces written by vested interests. Which leaves the ERO reports in the radionz as the positive news. At least one of those schools has had serious problems since the ERO reports http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11554125

                    This government isn’t shy about closing state schools.
                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10886944

                    Education isn’t my field of expertise, or much personal interest beyond the fact that it’s a big part of government and I’ve got kids in education now. So yesterday morning I only had a vague sense that charter schools weren’t the panacea they were made out to be. But now that I’ve spent a bit of time looking into them, I’ve come to the view that they are an utter waste of government money that would be better spent improving the state school system. And I’ll leave it at that.

                    • Nick Nack

                      The problem with the argument about improving state schools is that state schools don’t work for some kids. Charter schools specifically meet the needs of those kids, as the evidence is showing.

                      As for the links, you asked for positive media coverage, without qualifications. The ERO reviews are definitive. The ‘cultural’ complaints about Middle School are irrelevant to the educational outcomes of the kids. The MSM would not have even been interested in that if it wasn’t a charter school.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Charter schools specifically meet the needs of those kids, as the evidence is showing.

                      [citation needed]

                      Generally speaking, I’d call it bollocks though. To teach people of differing learning methods requires high investment which would cut into the charter schools profit.

                      And, again, it would have been easier and cheaper to just make the investment into the existing state schools.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    What you’re missing is that they’re founded on a lie. Not just the “education in crisis” lie that John Key was pushing in 2007, and was used to introduce the retrograde and self-defeating notional standards, but the entire narrative.

                    The single most influential factor in education outcomes is household income. Not the school you attend. While inequality and poverty increase, the authors of this economic disaster blame teachers for the inevitable result.

                    The only reason any of the above is at all controversial is politics. ‘Centre-right’ education policy has no validity.

                    • Nick Nack

                      Absolutely household income matters, but it is not the only factor. Some kids don’t take to conventional schooling. That’s where charter schools come into their own.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      [citation needed]

                      This is what’s happening is it? Kids are being chosen because they “don’t take to conventional schooling”, and it’s just an amazing coincidence that they all happen to come from areas of economic and social deprivation.

                      Personally I think that sounds like bullshit. No doubt you can provide supporting information? Of course you can’t, because right wing education policy has no validity.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        Sure but there’s one big difference – the charter school didn’t need to be set up at all and so it comes under the economic heading of ‘opportunity cost’. It would have been simpler and better just to spend that money directly into Northland’s existing schools.

        National lost millions of dollars on this one school. If we have a look at other charter schools around the country chances are that we’ll find even more loss. A loss that could have been spent on existing schools and improving them.

      • Psycho Milt 2.3.3

        You have to compare apples with apples, that is include the establishment costs. For example Rolleston Secondary (http://rollestonsec.school.nz/school-design/) is costing around $53m, and is projected to open in 2015 with 225 students.

        Indeed you do have to compare apples with apples. Rolleston Secondary won’t do as a comparison because the government would never establish a public school as small as Whangaruru, for the excellent reason that it’s a wastefully inefficient way to spend taxpayers’ money. Also, the people setting up Rolleston Secondary won’t get to pocket the cash themselves or buy themselves a farm with it.

        • Nick Nack 2.3.3.1

          Irrelevant. The issue is whether or not the method of cost comparison is relevant, not the merits of operating a small school. Are you advocating shutting all state schools with a roll of under 200?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.3.1.1

            The issue is that right wing education policy has no validity, and every unsupported “I reckon” comment you leave here just underlines that point.

            Can you imagine what the theory would look like?

            “Educational achievement is proportional to the number of farms owned by the educators”,

            “The success of a school is determined by donations to the National Party”.

            “The purpose of state education is to smash the unions”.

            • Nick Nack 2.3.3.1.1.1

              “Right wing education”? I’m not interested in political ideology. I want to see NZ kids who are currently falling through the cracks helped to succeed. Education is a key to that. I don’t care WHY they are in the position they are in; I don’t care WHO runs the system; I just want what works. For some kids that’s the public system, with it’s many benefits. For others it is private schooling, or the integrated hybrid. And for some, it may well be charter provision. What I find interesting is that Maori and Pacifica groups are charter schools are lining up to set up charter schools. They must see the benefits, even if you don’t.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oh, sorry, I now realise that your version of education policy is:

                “Something must be done! This is something, therefore we must do this!”

                “I want to see NZ kids who are currently falling through the cracks helped to succeed”. However, you don’t want to do a damn thing to tackle the single most influential factor in education achievement, eh. Pretending to be so concerned for the kids, except by recognising the actual problems they face. No wonder you can’t seem to find any validity.

                • Nick Nack

                  “However, you don’t want to do a damn thing to tackle the single most influential factor in education achievement, eh.”

                  How do you know I don’t want to address that? This discussion is about charter schools. Improving educational outcomes is a challenge with more than one solution. Charter schools may well be one of them.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That’s a piss-poor reason to experiment on children, especially given overseas experience of fraud and failure.

                    If the issue were pedagogical flexibility, then it would have been a lot cheaper to foster it by abandoning retrograde notional standards.

                    Sure that might interfere with plans to smash the teachers’ unions and introduce wholesale privatisation, and so what?

              • Andre

                Or maybe it’s a few predatory arseholes in those Maori and Pacifica communities that see their opportunity and are going for it. You know, the likes of Donna Grant, Brian Tamaki, Donna Awatere Huata…

                • Nick Nack

                  Or Willie Jackson?

                  Not a single operator of any of the charter schools is a ‘for-profit’ enterprise. You’re way off beam here.

                  • Andre

                    “One school, Vanguard Military School, paid $309,391 for management, over and above what it paid its principal. The money went to the Advanced Training Group. Both entities are owned by the Hyde family.”

                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11501047

                    It’s possible they are technically a non-profit. But they’re pretty fucking good at lining individual pockets.

                    • Nick Nack

                      From the same article:

                      “Vanguard chief executive Nick Hyde said the payment was for the day-to-day running of the 93-student school, allowing the principal to focus on staff, students and the curriculum. It went towards a chief executive, his staff, payroll, accounts, administration and the support from directors and board members.

                      He said splitting governance and management had led to success so far, including a 100 per cent NCEA Level 2 pass rate.”

                      You also seem to have a misconception of how charter schools are funded.

                      “The model is based on funding for state schools. Partnership Schools will also be eligible for entitlements that attach to individual students or schools such as transport assistance, Māori Language Programme Funding and an allowance for isolated schools.”

                      http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Ministry/Initiatives/Partnership-schools/FundingForPartnershipSchools.pdf

                      I would recommend you read the entire document, it will dispel your concerns.

              • Stuart Munro

                There’s a reasonably clear distinction between the kind of charter school that succeeds, and those that fail. The successful kind are started by education professionals and tend to use longer hours as well as unconventional strategies on top of their core curricula to ensure success. These are relatively rare – 5-10% of charter schools.

                The unsuccessful kind are started by ‘business’ people to secure a chunk of state funding. They hire marginal or unqualified teachers and have no freaking idea what they’re doing educationally.

                National has chosen to fund the second model.

                • Nick Nack

                  And yet 4 of the 5 schools have received excellent ERO reviews.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    And yet in 2007, the lying opposition leader told lies when he said that 20% of schools were failing, and that meant the sky was falling. A 20% failure rate has already been identified as a massive crisis.

                    Sauce for the goose? Or not?

          • Psycho Milt 2.3.3.1.2

            Are you advocating shutting all state schools with a roll of under 200?

            Nope, just pointing out that the goverment wouldn’t create a new public school of that size because it believes it to be a wastefully inefficient use of taxpayers’ money. Any cost comparison of charter schools vs public schools needs to make explicit that the former are of a type regarded by the government as wastefully inefficient.

      • In Vino 2.3.4

        Yes, but Rolleston is being established because there is a shortage of classroom space in the area, and the school is actually needed.

        Charter schools are being opened willy-nilly wherever the neo-liberal ideologues think they can make a buck, with no concern as to whether there is actually a shortage of classroom space in the area.

        So the establishment costs of Charter Schools are generally costs that would not have been needed, and far more benefit would have gone to the students if the under-resourced state schools had been given that extra funding. Your argument is rubbish – not apples and oranges, but rotten tomatoes.

        • Nick Nack 2.3.4.1

          Charter schools are certainly not being opened ‘willy nilly’. They are being opened in very small blocks, any prospective operators are put through a robust assessment, and they are being subject to greater scrutiny than are state schools. 4 out of the first 5 have been successful.

          “and far more benefit would have gone to the students if the under-resourced state schools had been given that extra funding. ”

          And you know this how? From I see charter schools are helping kids who have the state system has failed, despite all the extra assistance it has received.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.4.1.1

            Didn’t take you long to start parroting transparent lies. As I said, you won’t do shit about the actual problem: household income – remember that? You pretended to accept it as an influential factor, but perhaps I should have rubbed your face in it a bit harder.

            Why can’t right wingers propose policies without lying? What the fuck is wrong with you people?

            • Nick Nack 2.3.4.1.1.1

              Household income is a factor. I don’t know how you could rub my face in anything I’ve said. I’ve stuck with the discussion, which is charter schools. You seem stuck on an ideological bandwagon.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                the state system has failed, despite all the extra assistance it has received.

                Nothing irrational in disliking tired zombie lies. In light of the fact that household income is the single most important factor, you have no grounds to support the tired zombie lie above, because since 1984, comparing like for like, the number of children living in poverty has doubled.

                You really oughtn’t go believing the things right wing liars tell you. What’s your excuse?

                • Nick Nack

                  So you should support Charter schools, because they provide free education (that’s right, free!) to families of kids in need! They target precisely the kids of families you are pretending to be concerned about! But I suspect you won’t support them, because your opposition is not based on evidence or experience, just ideology.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That’s odd, because according to you yesterday, they teach kids who “don’t take to conventional schooling.”

                    So basically you’ll say anything, while ignoring substantive rebuttal. Why do you tell so many lies? I think it’s because you have zero personal responsibility.

                    Fix the problems (increased inequality and child poverty) liars like you created, and then tackle those (if any) who still “fall through the cracks”.

                    It ought to be possible to do that without buying farms for unregistered teachers.

                    • Nick Nack

                      “That’s odd, because according to you yesterday, they teach kids who “don’t take to conventional schooling.””

                      What’s odd? My comment is correct, and is consistent with everything else I have posted. BTW, some kids have difficulty in the state system, irrespective of family background. It’s not only poor kids who don’t fit in OAB.

                      “Fix the problems (increased inequality and child poverty) liars like you created, and then tackle those (if any) who still “fall through the cracks”.”

                      There is no absolute fix for these problems. And any progress with not be fast. Meanwhile, you consign thousands of kids to educational failure because of ideological bias. Well done.

                      “It ought to be possible to do that without buying farms for unregistered teachers.”

                      I don’t have any problem with unregistered teachers. Virtually every teacher who has been in the news over the past few years for sexual deviancy has been registered. Teaching is a gift, some people have it, some people don’t. Registration won’t change that.

                    • Nick Nack

                      BTW, I found this piece. I noticed there is a lot of support for Campbell here, so I thought you might be interested.

                      http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/charter-schools-the-future-of-education-2014091219#axzz3ysDojqZL

                    • lprent []

                      A report from 12 Sep 2014?

                      Have they failed in the mean time like so many other charter schools after sponging up millions from taxpayers like so other charter schools? Is that why you can’t source a more recent analysis about how they have been going. Or was Campbell Live the home of the only kiwi journalists?

                      You are a bit of a idiot aren’t you?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      And out comes the sick parrot.

                    • Nick Nack

                      I posted the Campbell live clip because Campbell is popular among the left. I’ve already linked to the ERO reports, and to very recent positive media coverage. But then you do know that.

  3. Dot 3

    These are all points that must be remembered in the run up to the next election
    I think that in Education we can point out clear differences between opposition parties and National,
    that hopefully New Zealanders will take note of .
    This gross mis-spending sadly is an example.

    • gsays 3.1

      no, no, no, dot.
      you see the nats are good at managing money.

      it’s not mis-spending, it’s an investment.

      reminds me of father ted.

  4. savenz 4

    Charter schools are known fraud vehicles for corporates and individuals, it’s not really hard to find out especially in the US… interestingly they never seem to recoup the money???

    “Charter schools are cheating your kids: New report reveals massive fraud, mismanagement, abuse
    Millions of dollars are being vacuumed out of public schools and into the corporate pockets — or fraudulent execs”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/05/07/CHARTER_SCHOOLS_ARE_CHEATING_YOUR_KIDS_NEW_REPORT_REVEALS_MASSIVE_FRAUD_MISMANAGEMENT_ABUSE/

    “The great charter school rip-off: Finally, the truth catches up to education “reform” phonies
    Fraud, financial mismanagement, lousy results: Reports highlight awful charter schools and people are catching on”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/10/02/the_great_charter_school_rip_off_finally_the_truth_catches_up_to_education_reform_phonies/

  5. DFool 5

    I know some people contracted to teach different activities at the school, and which required a high staff to student ratio. Every week multiple staff would travel three hours return to the school for an hours lesson and most of the time there were less students than they were staffed up and paid for, and most of the time half of those that were in attendance did not participate in the activities even though they were in attendance. I could imagine lots of money being wasted across other subjects in the same manner.

  6. reason 6

    I wonder if Nacts charter schools are part of the reason we are plummeting backwards down the world education rankings under this government ??? ………..

    Remember they are taking money from normal state schools, or closing them down ……. so they can pump more money into private and charter schools.

    Yet another door the bent Key has opened ……………..

    • Molly 6.1

      Was looking up a school closure for someone who has no access to the internet, and printed off the Excel spreadsheet that is located here for them to take.

      Interesting spreadsheet for those who want to have a look at the number of communities who have been affected.

  7. Tricledrown 7

    The worst thing about this is the land that was purchased by this charter school is not being taken back but left in this trusts hands
    Scandalous.
    Who’s on the board of this trust friends of the National Party.

    • savenz 7.1

      Don’t worry Tricledrown – the herald has their new finger on the news pulse because

      Emirates to fly Auckland-Dubai non-stop
      Introducing the new, realistic Barbie

      It’s called cross promotion and advertorials – you pay to get your company into the news! Fabulous.

      We don’t need to know who authorised IWI to get 5.2 million from the National party and gets to keep the land….. I mean you get paid to keep that stuff out of the news, right?

      If Parata keeps this up with Charter Schools she might get to be as good at negotiating as Grosser!

    • repateet 7.2

      The Minister was specifically asked about this in the House last year well before the writing was on the wall for the school. Of course the usual fudging happened with the answers.

  8. Macro 8

    They were told right from the get go that these “Dames Schools” were going to be a disaster. Everyone with any knowledge of educational history would have told them that – I certainly did. But they were never going to listen and now, a few years later, a few people are a lot richer, and the kids a lot poorer.

  9. ianmac 9

    Paul Goulter points to another real risk Education + TPPA. Set up a private school then demand taxpayer funding. Horrible thought!
    “Imagine an education system where multi-national corporations could set up a school alongside your local public school, and then demand equal access to the taxpayer purse to fund that school.

    It’s a likely scenario because global businesses are on the hunt for new ways of getting their fingers into nations’ multi-billion dollar public education purses. And here in New Zealand, the TPPA could provide that opportunity.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11581754

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.1

      Well there’s a whole lot of religious schools in New Zealand that have already done that.

      They also lie, and encourage the parents to lie, about their children’s religious status in order to breach the operating conditions of the schools.

      Got a grandmother who was Catholic – sign up here!

      Don’t know why you are using overseas examples.

      • savenz 9.1.1

        I’m using overseas examples because our MSM doesn’t report what is happening here and also because Charter schools have been going for 20 years in the USA and are openly used fraudulently and to transfer money meant for kids from the State into business and individual pockets for profit. Charter schools are lobbied by billionaire hedge funds managers who want to meddle in education as a business opportunity for their pals and to impose their ideology on kids and communities.

        The Natz and Maori party stealing from Kids in NZ is not OK!

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.1.1.1

          The last part of the comment was tongue in cheek. It was pretty obvious why you were using overseas examples. I’m just pointing out our non-tax paying religious citizens are more than happy to take tax-payers funds and commit fraud as well.

          And it is my view that it is fraud to knowingly encourage people to lie about their religious status in order to (pretend) to meet their legal requirements.

          The hypocrisy of the religious.

          Personally it’s my view that if they want tax payers money for their schools they should no longer have tax exemptions. Still paying no tax no doubt helped the brethren have plenty of money to pay for political advertising didn’t it.

          • Craig H 9.1.1.1.1

            While the tax exemption for charities includes advancement of religion, hence churches etc being exempt from income tax, the tax exemption for charities also includes advancement of education, so they would qualify for the income tax exemption anyway.

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    1 day ago
  • Coalition Government brings strong economic management
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Finance, Fletcher Tabuteau has welcomed Statistics New Zealand’s latest report as a timely reminder of the value that this Coalition Government brings to every day New Zealanders: “This Coalition Government has meant a ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Lunches in schools
    We're taking action on child poverty, getting Kiwis into the trades, and more ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ First pledge major funding support to St. John
    Today New Zealand First made a pledge to campaign at the election to fund St John Ambulance the 90 per cent it has asked for. Government funding would allow St. John’s to achieve fully funded status.   Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters publicly declared his determination to deliver ...
    5 days ago
  • Record number of fleeing driver incidents, crashes, pursuit abandonments – again
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order Newly released Police data shows once again the number of fleeing drivers have continued to skyrocket with a record 512 incidents occurring in December – almost tripling the number of incidents occurring just ten years ago, says New Zealand First Law and ...
    5 days ago
  • Shane Jones calls on Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi to work constructively in response to Northland drought
    While the Provincial Growth Fund has provided $2 million to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia, Regional Economic Minister Shane Jones said he is greatly concerned that there are “issues” in implementing the projects. The Minister said the immediate solution was to pipe water from a bore ...
    6 days ago
  • Rio Tinto must remove dross immediately
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP for Clutha-Southland NZ First is calling on Rio Tinto to accept its responsibilities to the Southland community and enable the immediate removal of the toxic Aluminium Dross from the Mataura Paper Mill site. New Zealand First List MP for Clutha-Southland, Mark Patterson ...
    6 days ago
  • Coalition Government announces further funding to help flood-hit Southland and Otago residents
    The Coalition Government has announced that a further $500,000 will be given to help residents in Southland and Otago to speed up recovery efforts from the floods. It follows prior government assistance of $200,000 earlier this month where the Southland Mayoral Relief Fund received $100,000 to support communities impacted by ...
    6 days ago
  • “This is a genuine crisis situation”: Minister Shane Jones talks about drought in Northland
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones was on RNZ’s Morning Report talking about the recent droughts in the Northland region and what the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is doing to alleviate its impact. The PGF recently announced a funding of $2 million for temporary water supplies to Kaikohe and Kaitaia, ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones defends water storage and real meat, hits out at local councils and director James Camer...
    Speaking to The Country’s Jamie Mackay, New Zealand First MP and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones talks water storage, plant-based meat imitation, and superstar Hollywood director James Cameron. While water storage may have its critics, Minister Jones defended the scheme by saying: “unless we invest and continue to invest” in this ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones: Iwi leaders are sell-outs for blocking water action
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is accusing northern iwi leaders of selling out Māori by voting for ideologically-driven court cases rather than practical steps to increase water supply. “I just think that iwi leaders who think that water issues are going to be solved by perpetually fighting in the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government-funded security system in dairies foils robbery
    A dairy owner in St Kilda, Dunedin was delighted to hear that an attempted robbery of his establishment was foiled by a government-funded security system. Sean Lee was delighted at how well the anti-theft smoke system worked. When a knife-wielding man entered the store, the shop assistant immediately pressed a ...
    1 week ago
  • Customs nabs more than 3 tonnes of drugs bound for New Zealand in 2019
    Customs says it stopped more than three tonnes of illegal drugs coming into New Zealand last year. This includes 1,180kg of methamphetamine, 329kg of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine precursors, which could have been converted into 246kg of methamphetamine, 739kg and 6469 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy and 60kg of cocaine. Offshore, ...
    1 week ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund pays for temporary water supply in Northland
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Up to $2 million will be allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to set up temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia where drought is biting hard, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Drought conditions in Northland have led to ...
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers. Christchurch leads ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: A Government of progress
    It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more... ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters calls Opposition “lemon suckers” during debate on gang numbers
    In a heated debate in Parliament, National's Deputy Leader Paula Bennett claimed that “nearly 1600 patched gang members have been added” since the Coalition Government took power. To illustrate her point, she altered a chart used by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to show her government’s progress in housing to instead ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 ‘We all Need Insurance’
    Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters at Parliament’s Opening 2020 "We all need insurance" This year New Zealanders are going to have a clear choice to make That choice is between: Optimism versus pessimism; More progress versus back to the future; Investment versus divestment; Unity versus division. New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 8 ways the Big New Zealand Upgrade will change New Zealand
    The Government has announced the biggest investment in New Zealand’s infrastructure in a generation with the New Zealand Upgrade Programme. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport’s board over runway closures
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance. Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public media business case a practical step
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Broadcasting New Zealand First supports the commissioning of a business case to assess the viability of a new public media entity. “A strong media environment is critical for a healthy democracy. New Zealand First is a strong supporter of a diverse, independent media,” New Zealand First broadcasting spokesperson ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Waitangi
    This week, the focus was on Waitangi - a great opportunity to reflect on who we are, and who we want to be as a nation. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • West Coast tech firms and iwi get Provincial Growth Fund cash boost
    Pounamou and technology industries in the West Coast region are set to receive more than $2 million in Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding. This was announced by the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau during Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika. He said $800,000 would be given to Development West ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 70 marae online through PGF
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Te Tii, the lower marae at Waitangi, is among more than 70 marae now connected to broadband internet thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund’s marae connectivity scheme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. In February 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports West Coast connectivity
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The West Coast has had a funding injection of over $1.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at Waitangi Day commemorations in Hokitika today. The PGF projects announced are: $800,000 to Development ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality
      Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  “Although our air quality is good in most places, during winter certain places have spikes in air pollution, mainly from ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Water investment in Raukokore
    The remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokere will receive a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $10.6 million for a water storage facility, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “This is great news for the rural community. The landowner, Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust, will use ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
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    23 hours ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
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    1 day ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
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    1 day ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
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    1 day ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
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    1 day ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
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    2 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
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    2 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
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    3 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
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    3 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
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    5 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
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    5 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
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    5 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
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    1 week ago