web analytics

ImperatorFish: Teacher Development and Smaller Class Sizes: We Can Have Both

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, June 18th, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: education, newspapers, schools, tertiary education - Tags: ,

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here.

It’s not often that I get grumpy enough to take a Herald on Sunday columnist to task over their opinion piece.  I would certainly never be spoiled for choice. I don’t mind that a newspaper presents a range of opinions, from left to right, so long as they’re not of the barking-mad variety (e.g. Paul Holmes on an off day, Michael Laws every Sunday), and so long as there’s some attempt at balance overall.

Of late, however, the Herald group of newspapers seems to have taken a frenzied approach towards the hiring of curmudgeons, Actoids and libertarians to write opinion pieces. Have they spotted a hole in the right-wing opinion market that others (Roughan, O’Sullivan, Hopkins, Holmes. Woodham etc) aren’t filling?

The column by one such opinionator, Damien Grant, in the HOS got my blood boiling. I don’t know much about Grant, except that he’s a liquidator and a libertarian. I’m not sure if he’s a full-blooded objectivist, but he does appear to contribute regularly on Lindsay Perigo’s odd Solo Passion site, including on discussions regarding their prophet, the somewhat batty Ayn Rand. And when I say “odd” I’m actually being charitable.

So it stood to reason that Grant would hold views somewhat outside the political mainstream, I was not disappointed.

Bill English mocked the demonstrating post-graduates and suggested they take lessons in rioting from the Greeks. They do not need to look that far; New Zealand’s teacher unions have provided a fine lesson in how vested self-interest groups can defend their entitlements.

That these teachers dared to defend themselves when the government tried to sack a bunch of them! The shame! The shame! Presumably they should have just rolled over and agreed to the loss of their livelihoods so that people like Damien Grant would feel better about the tax cut he got.

What has been lost in the debacle is that the Treasury Secretary pointed to hard evidence that showed class sizes made little difference. What mattered was teacher quality. John Key made the point that in the past 10 years the teacher roll had increased 12.5 per cent to 50,000 and student numbers had risen by 2.5 per cent. Rebalancing was in order.

“Rebalancing” is one of those terrible euphemisms, like “collateral damage”, that means something much more unpleasant that it sounds. In this case it means firing teachers and sending them to the scrapheap.

The “hard evidence” Grant refers to doesn’t say what he thinks it does. There is evidence that marginal changes in class sizes are not as critical a factor to a child’s education as the quality of the teacher, but the argument does not follow that we can therefore just increase the average class size without any impact. There will be some impact, however minor.

Otherwise, why wouldn’t we just create classes of 100 kids per student? If you think that’s an absurd argument to use, bear in mind that it’s pretty much the same argument John Key used in the 2011 election campaign to attack Labour’s minimum wage increase policy: if a marginal change has no effect on employers, why not make the minimum wage $20 or $30 an hour? Allow me then to beat Mr Key with the same stick, since he’s no longer using it.

There is a larger problem with Grant’s overall argument. It relies on with the assumption that we have a general problem with teacher performance. I would argue the opposite. Sure there are some rubbish teachers (I have also met some terrible, terrible liquidators in my time), but New Zealand’s education system is admired around the world. I would guess this is in no small part down to the motivation, enthusiasm and dedication of teachers. For many teachers it isn’t the money that motivates them, because if it was all about the cash most of them would have found another career by now. Sure they want to be remunerated fairly, but if you paid them a bit more it wouldn’t necessarily result in better quality teachers.

In a tight economic environment, a policy was devised to cut the teacher roll marginally and introduce performance pay to attract and retain quality teachers. How hard a political sell is that?

The problem with such a sell is that voters can usually sniff out bullshit when it’s served up to them. As for “marginally”, when the policy was first announced some schools said they were going to lose up to 10 or 11 teachers. Intermediate schools were going to have to drop or severely curtail metalwork, woodwork and other technical subjects.

Would you rather have little Johnny in a room of 30 kids being taught by a competent, energetic pedagogue or in a class of 28 being taught by an unmotivated dullard?

Where are these dullards? Which schools are they currently teaching in? How would the proposed policy have got rid of them?

This, however, was not the question that was asked in the mindless vox pop quiz to the “man in the street”.

The question was “do you want larger class sizes” and not “do you want your kids taught by unmotivated dullards?”

Perhaps because that would have been a really stupid, dishonest thing to ask people. Most teachers are not unmotivated dullards, so how would not increasing class sizes make them so?

Teacher unions were always going to react to a cull. Overstaffing benefits them significantly but the burden of this is spread over all taxpayers.

Clearly this is untrue, considering that some taxpayers got rather handsome tax cuts, and that a large number of our super-wealthy continue to use every trick under the sun to minimise their taxpaying obligations. To Rand-worshipping objectivists those avoiders are probably heroes, but to the rest of society they are the real bludgers.

The “burden” as Grant describes it, is a world-class education system that other countries admire. It should also be remembered that in most private schools the average number of students per class is even smaller. Clearly those who choose to pay for private education (including our Prime Minister and a significant proportion of his cabinet) understand the importance of small class sizes, even if some of them refuse to countenance the same ratios in public schools.  New Zealand schools are not overstaffed.

We remain passive while the unions successfully exert enough pressure to keep their snouts in the Government’s trough.

No we don’t remain passive at all, as the debacle over classroom sizes shows. Grant is one of a small minority who don’t get the genuine anger most parents of school-age children felt over this issue. It wasn’t something the unions just whipped up. If it was it would gone nowhere, just as union protests over National Standards have.

Presumably Grant thinks those unions with their “snouts in the Government’s trough” should just disestablish themselves on the basis that our wise and benevolent government will do the right thing by our kids. However, this fiasco shows that teachers and parents know more abut what’s good for kids than Treasury officials.

We can only assume that Grant has never himself sipped from the Government’s trough. Presumably he has a firm policy of never acting for Government agencies, and has never claimed any sort of benefit or entitlement from the Government.

Key talks about economic growth like farmers talk about summer. It will arrive; we just have to wait long enough. If only that were true.

Well we agree on something at least.

Improving the standard of education was something real he could have achieved and it would have had a positive impact on economic growth. It is an opportunity missed.

Grant appears to think that if he repeats this line about improving the quality of our education it might become true. I fear his hopes will be disappointed.

If Grant wants more money spent on teacher development (and that’s a big “if”; I suspect his frustration over National’s backdown comes from watching an opportunity to slash teacher numbers go by, rather than a desire to increase the quality of our education system), then he should argue for the government to still spend that money. There’s plenty of money to pay for it, and we wouldn’t have to increase class sizes, if we reversed some of National’s tax cuts or re-prioritised some of National’s other spending.

Following the unions’ example, the demonstrating postgraduates must feel confident about overturning the Budget change that prevents them being able to claim student allowances. They can, however, borrow money from the taxpayer at the very attractive interest rate of zero. They can still apply to tutor undergraduates, seek sponsorship, do private teaching work or, heaven forbid, get their hands dirty working at McDonald’s, assuming McDonald’s will take them.

Many students already work part-time to supplement their measly student allowances. I would confidently predict that students work much harder in general than they did when Mr Grant was at University (I am making an assumption that Grant was university educated). Such is the cost of accommodation and transport that many students still struggle to survive.

Let’s keep in mind that student fees do not cover the total cost of a university education. The budget provides $1.1 billion for universities (presumably including renamed technical institutions like AUT) to cater for 118,000 students. This comes out at more than $9000 a year per student, or $29,000 per degree. Plus student allowances.

The Government still subsidises the cost of postgraduate education. Expecting students to do some work is not a cause for rioting.

This boils down to Grant saying that by investing more in the development of teachers we will keep them motivated and performing, and by investing less in university students we will achieve the same result. Can anyone else see a problem with that argument?

The government tried to sell this policy as a trade-off between smaller class sizes and better teachers, as if we cannot have both of these things. If teacher development is so important to the government they should find the money for it. There’s plenty of money for motorways. Let’s put some of it into education.

60 comments on “ImperatorFish: Teacher Development and Smaller Class Sizes: We Can Have Both ”

  1. quartz 1

    Presumably he has a firm policy of never acting for Government agencies, and has never claimed any sort of benefit or entitlement from the Government.

    Damien has spent some time at the taxpayers’ expense: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10731661

    Helpfully, the National Business Review this week detailed in technicolour some of those mistakes, specifically that in my early-20s I spent just over a year in prison for dishonesty.

  2. Adrian 2

    ” liquidator is the wrong nomenclture, dude ( apologies to the Big Lebowski ) it’s White-Collar- Looter.
    The best thing a leftist government could to for this country is the abolishment of all private liquidators and form a Management service. Liquidators are a seething nest of corrupt, lying, thieving arseholes.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Not easy to get much background on this guy who is apparently impersonating a journalist. How is it that the HOS took such a person on as a columnist?? He even admits “My failure was one of character and personal integrity”. Well, that seems to be what he is charging our fine teachers with! (Projection, in a word!) Fortunately very few teachers lack character and personal integrity but are above reproach, professionally and personally. Possibly Grant attended university, I know not, but even if he did, that does not tell us whether or not he graduated, and is not a guarantee that he learned anything (of value).
    Does anybody know more about him? Maybe there is something worth knowing?
    Grant does not offer an “argument” you will notice, rather, he is “telling us” through a heap of spurious rhetoric. I have been hoping the Herald might at last depart from employing very little other than extreme opinions of the Right, but it is not looking promising. (John Armstrong does make some endeavours at impartiality. Matt McCarten, deserving of attention, gets a bit at the bottom of a page. Bernard Hickey is certainly worth a look).
    The offering above from the Standard is first class, and makes the points most calling for strong emphasis.

  4. ianmac 4

    No word on just how are “they” going to improve teacher quality?

  5. Murray Olsen 5

    “Solo Passion” is such a great name for a libertarian site.

  6. Adrian 6

    I wrote my comments about liquidators before I found out that this particular CLTA had done time. I rest my case.
    P.s, how the hell did he get a job like that with dishonesty offences. I suppose his employers recognised a kindred spirit.
    Oh, Murray it just sounds like a euphenism for “wanker”.

  7. Adrian 7

    Oh Murray, its just a euphenism for “wanker”. I’m surprised at his self realisation.

  8. Georgy 8

    NZ consistently comes out in the top few countries ranked by OECD for educational achievement. If this is the case is there actually an issue around teacher quality? What is the real issue the nats are trying to ‘deal to’ ?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      If this is the case is there actually an issue around teacher quality?

      Nope.

      What is the real issue the nats are trying to ‘deal to’ ?

      There’s two issues:
      1.) They want to cut taxes for themselves and their rich mates and that means cutting public services and
      2.) They don’t want the majority of people to be educated well enough to think and thus realise that the policies that NACT espouse are bad for the country.

    • Murray Olsen 8.2

      They don’t see a need for universal education, but they do see an opportunity to shovel more wealth into their mates’ snouts via charter schools. The only issue for them is that there are still a few crumbs left that they haven’t got their thieving hands on yet.

  9. Logie97 9

    Seems we are not the only country discussing the issue

  10. Damien grant 10

    The issue, folks, is that class rolls went up 2.5%, teacher rolls went up ten percent.

    The idea proposed was to pay better teachers more and pay for this by dropping poor performers.

    This would result in better education for children, that was what Heika Parata wanted.

    The teacher unions killed this off, as they should, they are there to protect their members. That is what us libertarians think a union should do.

    As for my past, yep. Knock yourself out. If you cannot play the ball play the man.

    • millsy 10.1

      So you think that overcrowded classrooms are acceptable then?

    • felix 10.2

      “The idea proposed was to pay better teachers more and pay for this by dropping poor performers.”

      Really? The govt, especially Key and Parata, have been very keen to note that they were only adjusting the funding and any decisions on how that (smaller amount of) funding was spent would be up to the schools.

    • Murray Olsen 10.3

      Personally, I don’t give a stuff about your past. I do care about our kids’ futures though, and in a way that would be completely foreign to anyone who thinks Ayn Rand was a goddess.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.4

      The issue, folks, is that class rolls went up 2.5%, teacher rolls went up ten percent.

      Yeah, probably has something to do with maths and the fact that both numbers start off quite considerably different.

      The idea proposed was to pay better teachers more and pay for this by dropping poor performers.

      This would result in better education for children, that was what Heika Parata wanted.

      Except that’s not what would happen – we’d lose the best teachers because they couldn’t be bothered putting up with the BS that the government was dishing out. Teachers don’t do teaching because of the money but because they want to do it. Put more stress on them and they won’t want to do it.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.4.1

        Yeah, probably has something to do with maths and the fact that both numbers start off quite considerably different.

        100,000 pupils with 1 teacher per 26 = 3847 teachers
        102500 pupils with 1 teacher per 26 = 3942 teachers

        Do the sums and that’s a 2.5% increase in students and a 5% increase in teachers while keeping the ratio the same.

        Fuck, you RWNJs are idiots. Can’t even do basic maths.

  11. Damien grant 11

    Millsy, no. I think that good teachers do not get paid enough and leave the industry. You get what you pay for.

    If the state wants to teach children and has limited money, it is better to a smaller number of good teachers than a larger number of poor ones.

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      If a state has limited money, why the tax cuts for the top income earners? How will the good teachers be evaluated? As with the poor, will we see categories of deserving and undeserving teachers? Why was the Moerewa school attacked when it was succeeding in teaching kids whose needs weren’t otherwise being met? If the teachers killed off this enlargement of class sizes, did the parents play no role at all? If the union is so powerful, why haven’t they been able to overturn nactional standards? Which teachers have left the profession (not industry) because they did not get paid enough?

      • Damien grant 11.1.1

        Murray, lots of questions. The government is runing a deficit equal to four percent of GDP, so we are borrowing, there is limited funds.

        Performance ranking of teachers, not that hard. The unions say it cannot be done. Really? There is now way to tell if a teacher is useless? Nonsense.

        • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.1

          Lots of questions, maybe, but a real paucity of answers from you. Try answering them one at a time if it’s easier.
          1. If the state has limited money, why the tax cuts for the top income earners?

          • Damien grant 11.1.1.1.1

            Because if you tax the highly productive they work less, swapping time at work for time watching television.

            It is also important to note that the top two percent of tax payers pay seventeen percent of all tax (or close to, I’m going from memory), fairness dictates they get a break.

            • felix 11.1.1.1.1.1

              “Because if you tax the highly productive they work less, swapping time at work for time watching television.”

              lolz, not a chance. Highly productive people are highly productive people. They don’t quit being highly productive because they. get paid 2% less on the top 10% of an enormous amount of money.

              Pure fantasy, never demonstrated in a real life situation.

              “It is also important to note that the top two percent of tax payers pay seventeen percent of all tax “

              Wow, I wonder why that is. Any ideas? Maybe, I don’t know, they get paid, like, 17% of the money or something…

            • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.1.1.2

              My idea of fairness dictates that children have clothing, housing and food. Your idea seems to lead to the idea that the tax evasion uncovered recently should be rewarded by knighthoods. After all, if the poor things hadn’t been busy hiding this taxable income from the IRD they might have had to watch television instead.

    • McFlock 11.2

      Your assumption is that teachers are just mercenaries. What about the possibility that good teachers are leaving because they can’t do a good job with National Standards or other constraints imposed by national? The old “vocational pride” coming into play?

      • Damien grant 11.2.1

        No. I am assuming that teachers, like everyone else, respond to incentives. Teachers are not angels. They are people. You need to praise and reward success and manage the performance of those not doing well and fire the no hopers

        • McFlock 11.2.1.1

          Cash is not the only incentive. ” I think that good teachers do not get paid enough and leave the industry.” leaves no space for vocational incentives.

          • Damien grant 11.2.1.1.1

            I agree, but cash is both an incentive and a just reward for good performance.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.1

              But not enough of one to counter the fact that NACT were making it impossible to do a good job.

            • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1.2

              But not the only incentive, so it’s not just about money. It’s also about being under constant threat of the latest budget cuts, worse conditions, and being servants of barbarians who think that the only things schools should produce are peons who can perform the 3 Rs just enough to be exploited in the workforce by people who got tax cuts in times of austerity.
               
               
               

              • Damien grant

                The private sector is very good at doing just this. The idea that teachers are the only profession whose performance cannot be measured is nonsense.

                I agree money is not the only incentive that matters but it does matter.

                • McFlock

                  Indeed money matters.
                         
                  Which is why those who benefit most from our economy should pay a greater proportionof their income for the privilege. Otherwise we can’t afford class sizes of 35, let alone 28 students.

  12. Damien grant 12

    Felix, Parata has been very clear on linking performance pay with this policy.

  13. Damien grant 13

    Murray, Ayn Rand has nothing to do with this. As a libertarian, however, I think unions should support their members, I am most surely not anti union. But this is a narrow issue of how to allocate limited education money for best effect.

    • felix 13.1

      “Limited” only by the govt’s willingness to prioritise education higher than some of the other bullshit they’ve wasted money on.

      They didn’t have any trouble finding 1.7 billion to cover bad investments including paying interest (!!!!) in the SCF scam.

      This policy was pennies in comparison. “Limited education money” my arse.

      • Damien grant 13.1.1

        Yes. Well. You will not find me supporting the scf bailout. Nor the AMI bailout. I’m pretty consistent there.

        • felix 13.1.1.1

          Yes I suspected you would be.

          And what about education? Why is that money “limited”?

          • Damien grant 13.1.1.1.1

            Because all capital is limited. The government does not have unlimited resources. If smaller classes were better, ok, but there is not enough money or competent teachers to teach kids one to one. There is a trade off to be made. Who says 28 is the optimal level?

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              If smaller classes were better, ok, but there is not enough money or competent teachers to teach kids one to one.

              We aren’t looking for one to one – just a reasonable ratio and there’s enough money for that if the government cancelled useless roading projects and/or put taxes back up.

              • Damien grant

                Or charged parents for the cost of sending their kids to school.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We already do – it’s called taxes and it’s far cheaper and more efficient than charging individually. That’s why we do it that way.

                  • Damien grant

                    No. Actually. State run outfits usually work less effectively than private run ones. This is why wealthy parents like to send their children to private schools.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      If that were true, you would have to demonstrate it by comparing apples with apples. So let’s do that. Before public education was introduced, private schools manifestly did not work more “effectively” – they simply didn’t educate the majority at all.

                      In fact, they still don’t – not in NZ anyway. Show me some private schools that educate all deciles and make your case.

                      Then explain how it is that the best education in the world can currently be had in Finland, with NZ five places behind that.

                      Put up or shut up.

            • felix 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Who said anything about one to one ratios?

              You must have done your research – how much was the proposed education clusterfuck supposed to save?

              • Damien grant

                Enough to pay good teachers more, to attract and retain them, so the students get a better education.

                • felix

                  You must know the numbers though – you wrote an article about it.

                  How much?

                  • Damien grant

                    Felix, I did when I wrote it a week ago it has been a long week and it is tomorrow already. What does it matter?

                    • felix

                      It matters because you said there were limits.

                      I’m asking you to define them, in a round about way.

                      How much exactly was too much to spend on improving teaching, such a burden that it had to be cut from elsewhere (from teaching, as it happens)?

            • ianmac 13.1.1.1.1.3

              Pay the “good” teachers more.
              This rewards those who are already good.
              It does nothing for the bulk of teachers who do not fit the good.
              It discourages the sharing of innovation which NZ Education has previously flourished in.
              Many studies have been done on just what a “good” teacher might be. So far there is no consistent criteria. Good teaching has been measured for strict and for liberal and everywhere in between. Some kids flourish with one teacher but in the same class others do not. How would you measure Primary teachers as they teach in 7 subject areas, and do not have pass/fail exams to measure by. And what a dumb way to assess teaching anyway.

              Damien Grant. There is nothing that you have written which would stand inspection by any informed reality. Nothing.

        • ianmac 13.1.1.2

          Teacher pupil ratios increasing faster than pupil growth because it was a catch up on international figures. Still way behind OECD figures.

    • millsy 13.2

      Damien, now that you are outed as a libertarian, this discussion is moot, as the ultimate libertarian goal is to close down the public education system.

  14. Damien grant 14

    Bed time.

    Good night Standard Readers, maybe I’ll see you in two weeks.

    Nice to drop by,

    Damien.

    • felix 14.1

      Bye bye. Next time bring some facts to go with your beliefs.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 14.2

      Swapping criminal dishonesty for journalistic dishonesty doesn’t seem like a particularly long journey to me.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago