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Hekia Parata wants to punish poor schools

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, March 17th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, national, national/act government, same old national, schools - Tags:

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Like Labour, National has a strongly held view of the importance of education.  Unlike Labour National prefers that the system is tailored so that market forces operate in such a way that the children of its supporters benefit.

When it was first elected National obviously wanted to increase state support for private schools.  In the 2009 budget briefing for Education it was suggested that an increase in funding of $17.5 million per year was appropriate.  National made it $35 million while at the same time cutting funding for many worthwhile education programmes.  It was clear from the start what National’s priorities were.

National MPs have always been upset at the prospect that poorer kids should have more spent on their education.  The reason why this is the way schools are funded is obvious.  Resources should follow need but National MPs do not see it that way.  Their propaganda surrounding education is to suggest that failing educational standards are the fault of individual teachers even though it is abundantly clear that poverty is the primary cause. Many on the right would be sympathetic to the funding model being “flattened” so that support for the poorest schools was lessened to the benefit of the wealthiest.

It seems that Education Minister Hekia Parata is interested not only in flattening the funding for students across the different deciles but she wants to actually tilt things so that kids in wealthier schools tended to receive more funding per student than kids in poorer performing schools.  Because this is the only interpretation that can be given to Parata’s latest announcement.

According to the Herald:

The Government is looking to fund schools according to the progress their pupils make, the Education Minister has revealed.

In an interview with the Herald on Sunday, Hekia Parata described the existing regime, in which schools with deprived neighbourhoods are paid more, as a “blunt instrument”.

The Ministry of Education is calculating new decile rankings for the nation’s 2500 schools from last year’s quake-delayed Census. Parata agreed that schools in some gentrified areas, especially in Auckland, could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, while others would gain similar amounts.

Parata said the current funding system was unsatisfactory. “I think we need to be looking for something else.”

The Government is spending a record $9.7 billion on education, she said, but achievement levels were below the 85 to 100 per cent New Zealand needed. The most successful funding systems narrowed the gap between high-achieving rich kids and under-achieving poor kids by “strongly incentivising” pupil progress, she said.

The Government did not want to fund schools according to their raw results in National Standards or NCEA, but on how much teachers had helped students to learn over the course of six months or a year, “the consistency and the progress”.

“You’ve got to work out which school is delivering achievement, which schools are focusing on how they raise the quality of their teaching and leadership practice, and how is that translating into kids demonstrating that they’re learning more?”

Parata presents no information on what are the “most successful funding systems”. The PPTA states that overseas experience in the area is that funding is taken away from the poorest students.

There are four major concerns with Parata’s proposal. Firstly the rate of improvement in education standards tends to be lower in the poorer areas. There is just too much happening for schools to be able to provide education on top of dealing with a myriad of social problems. Secondly “white flight” will be exacerbated as pupils seek out the “better performing” schools that receive greater resources. Thirdly gaming of the system will become more pronounced as schools make decisions based on what will enhance their statistics and not on what is good for their pupils. And finally why should we tolerate a system which claims that by definition half of our schools are not up to scratch and should therefore be penalised financially because of their inability to comply with an arbitrary statistical norm?

This morning there appears to have been an effort to shut down the story. A spokesperson for Parata has said that the proposal is not currently on the table, that said it could be looked at in any future overall funding review but not before the the election.

A better reason to vote this Government out of office I cannot imagine.

46 comments on “Hekia Parata wants to punish poor schools ”

  1. Bill 1

    From the summary

    Yesterday Hekia Parata floated the idea that funding of schools should be based on measuring the periodic change in academic standards.

    If anyone still had any doubt about National introducing measurable criteria into education, in order to form a basis for generating profit so that the private sector could then operate in the education system…

  2. captain hook 2

    if the same criteria was applied to her personally then haka paratai would only be getting half a salary by now.

  3. Zorr 3

    It’s funny because this is obviously intended as a distraction to the Oravida scandal

    But it’s looking more and more like Hekia has done what she always does best – pouring petrol on to a fire. This is just fuel to strengthen the support that Labour/Greens/Mana have because it is such an obviously pro-poverty stance.

    It’s almost like National/Hekia went “hey, I see you’re going to fight the election on social inequality… here, have some ammo”

  4. ianmac 4

    Yesterday Puddlegum and Greywarbler drew attention to the Hefferman interview.
    Parata is a perfect example of the thinking that increasing competition will achieve better results. Hefferman points out that the greater the accent on results forces learners to concentrate on getting good scores at the expense of the process of learning. How you learn is far more important than what you learn. Competition is so damaging to being willing to risk and learning from mistakes.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2589144

    • Tracey 4.1

      yup. greater competition doesnt magically provide resources to assist english second language students, not r doe sit change the non speaking parents back at home come time to do reading and writing homework. Not all parents can afford tutors.

      A friend of mine has 21 students in year 1. 6 came to school this year speaking NO english. 11 have parents who speak no english.

      Last year the breakdown was similar.

      NONE of her 6 non english speakers reached the NS level for that age, but had come close. The 11 who spoke some english but whose parents did not, also largely did not meet NS. 4 did.

      That they even came close, to me, points to some good teaching, especially with the restricted resources. This needs to be put to Parata. In the above scenario, does her proposed scheme give that teacher a pay rise or not?

      If she says the school wil get more funding in those circumstances because the school and teacher will be measured from the starting poin tof each child, will she confirm that if there is a single instance where that happens she will;

      A. resign if still in parliament;
      B. personally donate $50,000 to a school that does not get so rewarded?

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      Brilliant stuff ianmac Puddlegum and Greywarbler thanks for sharing. Really worth listening to callaboration is certainly the way forward.

  5. tricledrown 5

    This is just another step in demoralizing the teaching proffession.

  6. MaxFletcher 6

    From memory when they introduced such a policy in some US states there was widespread grade inflation as teachers were desperate to secure funding.

    So all in all – a bad idea

  7. greywarbler 7

    Yesterday Hekia Parata floated the idea that funding of schools should be based on measuring the periodic change in academic standards.

    Isn’t it more that the funding will be based on observable achievement to whatever arbitrary measure is chosen?

    And let’s be practical, from NACTs viewpoint, why should they bother about endeavouring that all children should receive a wide education of a good standard that enables them to think and act logically and in a reasoned manner. Better that we should lurch along in constant crises and discontent.
    Slogan for us, ‘Don’t get lost in the shuffle – Shuffle along with the lost”.

    *They don’t want our education levels and R&D to advance, progress.
    *They don’t expect to be employing many NZ at any education level as they can choose their employees from the whole world, already trained and experienced beyond their own, so the country’s capacity for innovative thinking, and new business providing employment cannot advance, progress.
    *They don’t care about our society being able to advance, progress.
    *They don’t care if NZ falls behind in measures achieved by the rest of the advanced world, except in those measures that enhance their own pursuit of wealth and resources.

    NZ is to be their elite supermarket where they can shop for all the goodies they can imagine, no restraints. The purpose of the country is to continue existing to serve their interests. And bug.er the other beg..rs.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Isn’t it more that the funding will be based on observable achievement to whatever arbitrary measure is chosen?

      I’m not sure gw. Parata is one of the most imprecise ministers in Government!

      • greywarbler 7.1.1

        But she has been to “Sound Confident” school. Probably with Brian Edwards or his wife. And as every General from Blackadder knows, one should stand tall and say in a determined firm way, Over the top, Chaps. Do or die for the good of the – NACTs. (Because either way we have ways of coming out on top SAFELY.)

    • greywarbler 7.2

      I have decided I have been too gloomy about NZ educational possibilties and have found a bright keen willing flagbearer for those of us lagging behind Parata’s expectations.
      I present Manuel who learns – and the horse.

  8. Chooky 8

    I am repeating the obvious yet again!

    ..it means that teachers will not want to teach in pooer schools because they will be designated as under performing teachers based on grades of their students.

    ..whereas they may be the most brilliant teachers and highly morally principled …doing a difficult job with kids whose families are deprived and struggling due to NACT’s policies of punishing the poor

    ….definitely a NO WIN ‘catch 22’ situation for poor kids and their teachers

    ….worse , this failure based on grades will give NACT the spurious reason to advocate for Charter Schools ….which is an introduced American big business model for education based on profit for the
    private Charter School BUSINESS…

    ….this will have the effect of undermining New Zealand’s high quality State Education System which is free, secular and non discriminatory …when well funded

    …it will also undermine the professionalism of teachers, education and their unions

    • dw 8.1

      To expand on your last point, it seems clear that a key driver here is to actually destroy the teaching unions through divide and conquer, and hence remove a source of support and funding for the left. Following the USA right wing nut job playbook to the letter.

    • georgecom 8.2

      One of the keys to a good education is a good teacher. So you have a school where National Standards statistics (this is how the Govt would like to judge schools) are not as good as others, that school is ‘under performing’ Take some money off that school and give it to others.

      Teachers will migrate to the schools with better NS statistics, the majority will be in higher decile schools, not lower decile. One asset in their education the students in these ‘under performing’ school have, good teachers, will be denied them.

      The Govt delivers a strong message to ‘under performing students’ that they must try harder by removing 10% of their funding and passing it to another school. That’ll teach them. Learn to do more with less, if you want the money back, try harder.

      Even more so, extend the lesson. If they are not working harder, try removing 10% of their food. If they are lacking in sleep, remove their bed one night in 10. If they are not breathing properly, remove 10% of their air. All good sharp lessons that will drive them to achieve.

  9. logie97 9

    Now here is a novel idea for meeting her criteria and at the same time producing some valuable dollars for the education system.
    Sell off the likes of Auckland Grammar School and other famous public schools in New Zealand.
    These “high achieving” schools would no longer be in the draw for the “performing schools” bonuses. They would no longer draw on government funding, as we know it, full stop.
    The arguments over zoning would dissipate.
    Mmmm gets better all the time.

    Note ‘high achieving’ does not necessarily equate to ‘value added’

    • Chooky 9.1

      @ logie 97….+100

      …very good idea and very logical!…they dont need help ….but State Schools do ….especially for special needs students ….and especially those State Schools drawing on students from poorer areas

      …and as well as selling off a few of the most elite schools ….get rid of ALL funding for private schools …and if they cant survive …sell them all off as well

    • ianmac 9.2

      Note ‘high achieving’ does not necessarily equate to ‘value added.’ Exactly logie.
      I did put that to a past Minister of Education who was at the time lauding the fine example that he said Private Schools were setting.
      Did he think it possible that advantaged pupils were not getting value added?
      How would he know?
      Was it possible that advantaged pupils just floated along without being extended as much as a kid from a poor home where language is limited who learns to speak in whole sentences and become able to socialise and therefore start learning? Huge steps with clever dedicated teachers.
      The Minister seemed to be a bit uncomfortable and said, “Perhaps.”

    • tinfoilhat 9.3

      And where pray tell would the 2000 add students go to school instead ?

      • Chooky 9.3.1

        …they can go to the local State School , which will be well funded and of very high quality and secular

        • tinfoilhat 9.3.1.1

          Auckland Grammar is the local state school.

          • logie97 9.3.1.1.1

            Yes it is a state school and is believed by many to be the best school in New Zealand. Of course the in zoners are generally drawn from the well heeled professionals. The out-of-zoners are generally potential sporting reps/academics etc.

            The school sits on prime real estate and there will be many in the business round table set who would love to buy it and make it a private school. It’s “record” makes it a top sales prospect – megabucks. And the wonderful new governors could handout scholarships to the deserving peasants.

            • tinfoilhat 9.3.1.1.1.1

              So because a school is on “good real estate” and has a reputation of being a very good school you propose to punish the school and local population by selling it off….. what rubbish you talk.

              You should also note that no preference can be given to ‘talented’ academic or sporting students who are out of zone for NZ public schools

              • logie97

                Where is the punishment sunshine? The locals who scramble to live in zone, can move to cheaper areas of the city and the families can pay the fees that the school would charge.
                Or, if you have faith in your current minister, the neighbouring schools will be coming up to first class delivery of education.

                Who are you kidding when it comes to selection of out-of-zoners?

                • tinfoilhat

                  What a ridiculous proposition.

                  Auckland Grammar like many of the older schools in NZ main centres has been where it is for decades during which time it and the teachers and support staff have served its community with distinction. Just because you have a dislike for that school you propose the Ministry sell it off and make it private disadvantaging the local community…. disgraceful and just what I’d expect from a RWNJ.

                  “Who are you kidding when it comes to selection of out-of-zoners?”

                  Public school in NZ which have to run a ballot for out of zoners do so under strict rules set by the MoE … apart from siblings and occasionally children of old boys/girls everyone else goes into a ballot which is drawn under police supervision

                  • logie97

                    Not a dislike for the school at all old chap.
                    Just a bit of realism.
                    The school could stand on its own and not need to draw on the public purse. “Teachers and support staff have served its community with distinction.” Any evidence that they have been any better than at other schools, or is it just that the school has had an “easier pool” of pupils to draw from.?
                    Do you have any measures of “value added” to make such statements.

    • Plan B 9.4

      My thought is to build more Auckland Grammar Schools, at least 3-4 in Auckland. The right to build housing near them could be sold off to developers- everyone gets to be ‘in-zone’ the cost of building the school can be met by the developers of the housing estates nearby.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    Strange comment in the article about decile data being ‘seven years out of date’. Well of course it is, the census was delayed because the Christchurch earthquakes.

    The way this is indroduced means it came from Hekias office

    However decile numbers arent going to change that much even over the regular 5 year cycle. Over say 15 years maybe in some of the larger urban areas.

    • ianmac 10.1

      I thought that each school’s Decile Rating was done on a school by school basis where the occupation of parents chosen by sampling the school roll, was averaged out to the rating. Surprised that it had anything to do with the Census???

        • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1.1

          So its easy for readers heres the gist

          A major reassessment of all school deciles is undertaken following each 5-yearly Census of Population and Dwellings.
          Census information is used to calculate the decile. A school provides its student addresses and these are used to determine which areas its students come from.

          The student addresses are assigned to the smallest Census areas, called meshblocks. A meshblock contains around 50 households. However, only Census information for households with school-aged children is used. The number and percentage of students from each meshblock is determined and the meshblock is examined against five socio-economic factors.

          Note: It is not the general area around the school that is used to calculate the decile, but the specific meshblocks where students live.

          The background to the attack on ‘decile funding’ is they want to cut this money to fund their other policies like Irrational standards and charter schools.

  11. Saarbo 11

    I was recently on a Decile 9 school BOT and often the Principal plus other BOT members would complain about the amount lower decile schools were receiving. I would reply that it made perfect sense, to ensure that lower decile schools could employ additional teacher aides etc to improve their results…once this was pointed out, no one agued…most kiwi’s are fair minded I think. But one thing that is happening is that all schools including high decile schools are screaming out for more resources, its tough for all schools to make their books balance. However there is no doubt that schools in higher decile areas have the ability to find additional funds, the current school my kids are at (D7) earns over $700 per child in additional funding (only 65 kids). I think the current decile system of funding seems to make sense.

    • georgecom 11.1

      Yup, often the debate about decile funding is a fight for less than adequate total quantum of funding. Reframing the debate, each school, is saying it could do more with more funding.

      The basic funding model for schools, minus some of the ad on funding like deciles, was developed in the late 1980s or at least no later than the early 1990s. The requirement on schools was quite a bit different than today. The pace of life was slower. ICT was a banda machine-spirit duplicator, no need for expensive programme licenses or ‘connected’ classrooms. There was maybe a part time admin person in the school office and a part time teachers aide. The social pressures which mounted on schools was not as intense as today. Whilst society and societies demands on schooling had increased, the basic school funding model has not.

  12. tricledrown 12

    A report in todays news pointed out that children with disabilities in decile 10 schools claimed 10 x the number of funding than those in decile 1 schools.
    Decile 1 to 3 schools don’t have the same expertise of those in decile 10 schools.
    Fund raising is another area low decile schools loose out on .
    A low decile school is often only able to raise a few hundred or thousands of dollars.
    High decile schools in some cases can raise upwards of a million dollars.

  13. captain hook 13

    I guess thats what you call the survival of the fattest!

  14. Clemgeopin 14

    National party is a nasty outfit. This evil minister, Parata has now shown that the party is also dangerous, pretty stupid, damaging, and a little crazy too. I am sure that many people will agree that Parata has been the most stupid, most incompetent, most trouble making. most useless and the most clueless minister of education this country has ever had!

  15. ianmac 15

    Jolisa Gracewood has written a stunning piece on the Educational direction that Parata and Government are taking us. If you have kids or concern for our school system you must have a read. If the Herald really cared it would publish her work because it really should get a much wider audience – before it is too late to stop them!!!
    Jolissa’s observations fit in with Mickey’s post above.

    http://publicaddress.net/busytown/school-bully/
    Be warned though. It will make you very very angry.

    • MrSmith 15.1

      Please read ianmac’s link http://publicaddress.net/busytown/school-bully/ very well written by Jolisa Gracewood on Public address.

    • mickysavage 15.2

      Yep her post puts mine to shame. Please read it.

      • logie97 15.2.1

        Listen to Joyce every time the question of Novopay comes up.

        It’s now a call-centre-management issue and THE COMPLEXITY OF THE TEACHERS PAY STRUCTURE.
        He intends simplifying it and the easiest way will be to bulk fund schools and tear up the current agreement. (The years of contract negotiations to cover all eventualities when employed to deliver the national curriculum across the whole of New Zealand – the complexities involved to make employment fair for all involved) – just rip it up and pay an hourly rate, as if you are a clerk in the minister’s back office.

        After all, to the layman (like Joyce) who observes the profession from without, and wouldn’t have a clue what the job entails, sees all practitioners as just like clerks in his office.

        Of course, all of the government members have been through the New Zealand education system and are therefore experts in the field of education. (Which brings to mind, Michelle Boag she attended the Auckland College of Education at Epsom as a mature student in the 1990’s – did she graduate/intend teaching or did she attend to get the inside running?)

  16. red blooded 16

    This concept is an obscenity and an attack on the most vulnerable children in our country. Why, oh why do we keep on importing failed extremist experiments that diminish the focus on real learning, discourage collegiality and sharing of best practice and deprive our young of the resources they need at the time they need them?

    Because we have an elitist, extremist, arrogant bunch of buffoons in charge of our country, that’s why. Sigh…

  17. tc 17

    There is enough in education to see off the nact, people have little idea the damage and systemic stupidity they have introduced in deliberately breaking what worked.

    Higher education has taken its flogging quietly as the dark lord had that given to him early in the aya tolley era.

  18. Whateva next? 18

    Hekia dropped the ball there ( again) but by crikey, nice catch by those that were listening.

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    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
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    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    3 days ago
  • This is not kind
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
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    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    5 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
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    5 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    7 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
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