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John Key, Edication Espert

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, October 24th, 2009 - 68 comments
Categories: education, john key - Tags:

John Key at blackboard

Key: My dont like maffs

Well what a fiasco yesterday’s launch of National’s brave new $36 million education policy was. Despite Key claiming the plan was one of the most important steps his Government would ever take, teachers and principals boycotted the event in droves. Even the government’s education policy advisor Prof John Hattie said the new policy was potentially “disastrous” and government should be ready to pull the plug immediately if if begins to show detrimental effects.

There’s at least a couple of reasons why opposition by educationalists is significant. For one, policy reforms often require a lot of good will on behalf of those charged with implementation. That’s why you involve people in the process, so they feel a part of the changes and buy-in to the process, and so go beyond the call of duty to make it work when the inevitable rocky parts of the change emerge. Without buy-in, especially in very people-based processes, you get low uptake, chain-dragging and even sabotage to ensure the changes fail.

The other significance of educationalists boycotting the launch is that it suggests they believe the changes won’t work, might be harmful or are just a plain old foolhardy waste of precious resources that’ll achieve nothing more than boost National’s polling for a while. But then I guess, what would the Principals’ Federation or the NZEI know about education compared to a retired currency trader turned politician? Being pointy-headed PC liberals and all, teachers and principals just work with actual students every day and probably don’t even appreciate National’s need for vacuous populism in education policy.

So now we have National Party politicians deciding what’s best for our kids while ignoring the expert opinions of professional educators.

In a comic parade act of exquisite unintentional irony Key commented that “The future of New Zealand does not lie with the Government, it lies with the children at school now.” Christ, ain’t that the truth. Heaven help them.

68 comments on “John Key, Edication Espert”

  1. Deemac 1

    Ludicrously, RadioNZ stopped parents outside school gates to ask if they thought these standards were a good thing, without asking if they have any idea what they will mean. The rest of the media were predictably worse. No wonder the level of political debate is so low when the media just repeat govt press releases as if they were facts.

    • agreed. but then it is a policy specifically designed to appeal to those who haven’t actually got a clue about the policy and whose views on education amount to “3Rs good, stuff i never got bad”

    • Swampy 1.2

      There is a huge amount of hypocrisy in the stance taken by the educational unions. There are already national everythings you can think of in schools. There are standardised assessments measures, there is a national curriculum, there is a national collective agreement, there is the Ministry of Education directing much of the operation of schools.

      There is also a huge amount of national fearmongering whipped up by the unions on this issue, yet they are the ones who are calling for Tomorrows Schools to be abolished and the Ministry to run the schools directly as well.

      As a senior principal said to me, this is a very reasonable requirement because schools don’t have to report any assessment data back to the government yet the government pours a huge amount of money into the educational system, there just has to be some core accountability for that money.

      It’s not hard to see where the unions are coming from with this. They want the poorly performing teachers who are tucked away in their schools to be protected as long as possible from objective assessment of their performance and abilities. When it comes down to it unions are full of people who couldn’t do a real job if they tried.

      • BLiP 1.2.1

        Here’s where the Unions are coming from.

        • Swampy 1.2.1.1

          Dead link but it is as I have described. All of a sudden these poorly performing teachers are under the national spotlight. The unions have been helping them to hide in their individual schools for decades.

          • Zorr 1.2.1.1.1

            First of all Swampy, how about you educate yourself as to what the history of National Standards have done to education systems in societies like America. It is almost universally (by teachers, psychologists and education experts) considered to be a failure as their children end up learning “to the test” and not actually learning any of the skills that schools should be teaching their pupils (critical thinking and research skills just to name a couple). National Standards effectively tell teachers what they have to cover to “succeed” at getting their pupils through the system. However, the system isn’t what we are meant to be teaching them for, we are meant to be teaching them in preparation for the real world.

            Also, in the case of the accountability of schools, they have their feet held to the fire every few years by, what is essentially, the auditing agency ERO (Education Review Office). Every teacher is investigated and worked with to determine their professional capabilities and how well they are performing within their assigned roles. Schools are held very accountable for their actions and expenses. To say you “talked to a senior principal” is to not say much as it would be interesting to know what his background was. Did he run a large school? Was it public, private or integrated? Various questions along these lines would tell us a lot as to where this quoted opinion of yours actually came from (not the least of which would be the context of the conversation).

            Before attempting to speak from a position of authority on a matter, I recommend educating yourself on the discussion at hand rather than just spewing vitriol at very hard working people in what is a very challenging job.

            • Swampy 1.2.1.1.1.1

              The standards already exist, PAT testing has been around for a long long time and is part of the education establishment in this country. Good schools use stuff like the PAT internally to assess the performance of their teachers. That type of testing is well recognised and supported (NZCER etc).

              I have many teacher friends, most of them do not support a lot of the views of the PPTA/NZEI, they recognise that these unions have a political agenda and that in some matters it is politics first, education second. The Principals Federation was very foolish to boycott the launch because they have shown it is politics first, they are employees of the government and public servants and are expected to serve at the end of the day.

  2. randal 2

    according to all the experts the present new zealand education system is among the top 5% in the world and now national wants to change it. specifically commodify it so schools can be ranked and then sold off.
    is there no limit to the craven creepiness of this government?

  3. John Dalley 3

    while i firmly believe the need for standards and reports, when has ever a new set of standards going to help the 20% that Johnkey says are failing?
    Another set of standards are going to help no one and the money wasted could be better spent on extra tuition/help needed to bring that 20% up to the level of all other pupils.
    Every day Johnkey opens his mouth, more absolute rubbish escapes.

    • Swampy 3.1

      The standards already exist, just not nationalised. Schools already use these measures in house, at least the good ones do.

      The unions simply don’t want bad teachers coming to the attention of the ministry, they as usual are defending people’s rights to a job for life no matter how useless they are.

      • Zorr 3.1.1

        “No Child Left Behind” – the worst education policy in recent times. Now we have our own version. It is best to let the people who are experts in their field to actually help shape the policy that will affect everyone’s future rather than let politicians form the policy in a reactionary manner to score cheap points with voters.

        When it becomes obvious that Decile 1 schools around the country are universally worse than Decile 10 schools, might it become more apparent to you that the success of our children is dependent on more than just the teachers?

        And as a final note, where was the Select Committee on this? I certainly don’t remember one.

        • Swampy 3.1.1.1

          When I read on NCLB I find there is about equal views for and against, there are going to be some changes to improve it but Obama is not going to dump it.

          You see the NCLB was not a Bush push at all costs, it attracted widespread bipartisan support in the political era it was created in. It was taken through the legislative process by no lesser a leftie than Ted Kennedy. The number of votes in favour in both Houses was around 90%. It is rare to find that kind of unanimity in NZ for any kind of major policy like that.

          So if this is our version then it can’t be so bad as all the naysayers here make out. Professor Hattie, well he has said that it could be an incredible opportunity if it works out.

          The government has spent nearly a year talking to the teachers unions about this policy, even if Tolley has stuffed it up a bit, they have talked.

      • the sprout 3.1.2

        what tired bollocks you peddle swampy. when was the last time you read anything, the early 80s?

        i suggest you save yourself further embarrassment and defer to Zorr’s informed position.

        • Swampy 3.1.2.1

          I have an informed position also, it just happens not to be the position of the left wing unions who are campaigning against the Government, and a policy they see as hostile to their political interests.

    • Yep, “back to the 3 r’s” really is just another step in Nationals “back in the good old days” anti intellectualism, its rubbish, and i’ll be not one bit surprised if it fails.

      Any one notice Anne Tolley on close up I think it was. “Teachers have been telling us that 4 reports a year is too many to write, so we have set the minimum at 2” ermm conclusion doesn’t follow from premise?

  4. BLiP 5

    There are all sorts of reason to oppose this vast National Ltd® social engineering experiment, not the least of them being the fact that it doesn’t work, as Ron has pointed out above and the UK media is reporting. The empirical evidence is abundant and clear, so what is National Ltd® really up to with this so called “one of the most important steps (the) Government would ever take “?

    Is it too much to consider this latest piece of legislation in light of the increasingly frightening surveillance state being imposed via rafts of increasingly draconian and intrusive legislation being pushed through a parliament increasingly spending its time in urgency?

    Each and every individual student will be tracked through primary school by the Government (or whatever private enterprise it contracts this function out to) and reports on any deviation from some contrived “norm” will be noted at least 16 times before that child reaches college. What other uses, I wonder, can this data be put to?

    • i agree BLiP, when you have the Privacy Commissioner describing National’s plans as “chilling” while the media blithely reports about cats in freezers, you know things will only get worse.

      just wait till they start cross-matching the data with DNA samples from the Guthrie tests. of course it’ll all be to stop the terrists.

    • Swampy 5.2

      Whoops, the Guardian is a left wing paper. And the unions are left wing. And National is a right wing government. Is there a pattern here? Don’t be silly. The lefties would never, never, never attack a right wing government’s policy, would they? LOL

      If people don’t really want national standards then what do they really want? There are a couple of things that come to mind:

      1. They want bad teachers to keep their jobs, so they need to make sure that nothing that shows up these teachers, like assessment data from their classrooms, ever comes to the attention of the government or the education ministry.

      2. They want pupils not to compete against each other for the best marks.

      When old school educationalists campaign for the basics (the 3 Rs) what they are really asking for is for all the PC nonsense that is being put into schools these days to be put on the back burner. You can have art and music taught as long as they are not detracting from the 3 Rs.

      • BLiP 5.2.1

        Attack the messenger, eh Swampy? Well, here you go, here’s the link to the Cambride University report – yes, Cambridge – that last bastion of upper class privilegde. Probably still not good enough for you, eh Swampy?

        • Swampy 5.2.1.1

          Probably not, plenty of nonsense comes out of ivory towers these days.

          Get with it. There are already nationalised assessments. The only difference is that schools up until now don’t have to report the individual teachers’ results back. That is in a nutshell why there is such a huge song and dance from the unions, who see it as their mission in life to defend the “underdogs” of bad teachers who couldn’t get a job in the real world.

          If you want to know why schools are failing, it will start with bad leadership, usually at the level of the principal and there will also be a number of poorly performing teachers as well. In a bad school the mediocrity gets perpetuated and even rewarded. But the unions will always defend them until the bitter end. Some of them even become union organisers and leaders.

          • BLiP 5.2.1.1.1

            As I thought – even when confronted with the empirical evidence you still deny reality.

            • Swampy 5.2.1.1.1.1

              One study says one thing. If you can provide ten studies that all say the same thing you might be more convincing. The UK education system is significantly different. As the report makes clear the government has significantly more day to day involvement in the running of schools than is the case here. It is a different ballgame by a long way.

              It’s disappointing that the report you quote proposes a huge liberalisation of their curriculum when what has to be done really is to stop the political manipulation of their schools by the government. We don’t have that here and it is an important difference. Strangely the unions here are calling for schools to come under greater central control. They must think local boards are really some sort of threat to principals and teachers.

    • Swampy 5.3

      The Labour Party is far more in tune with this, we should remember that they pushed through a lot more legislation and social engineering because that is what they do.

      There is no Surveillance Bill before Parliament, there is a proposal written by the left wing legal elite in the Law Commission for a law, which I think is stupid.

      • BLiP 5.3.1

        Tell me this, if there is no such thing as the Search and Surveillance Bill then why is there a Parliamentary Committee hearing submissions on it?

        Is it just another union-inspired piece of defiance in the face of a National Ltd® government?

    • Swampy 5.4

      This Bill is before a select committee. It is not being pushed through under urgency. You are a dishonest scaremongerer.

      • BLiP 5.4.1

        Oh, now it does exist? What, the booze wearing off is it?

        • Swampy 5.4.1.1

          Ooops. (The moderators can delete a few posts for me if they think this is getting out of hand)

          • the sprout 5.4.1.1.1

            slow learner swampy, that does explain a fair bit mind.

            • Swampy 5.4.1.1.1.1

              How about sticking to the politics and leaving the character assassination out of it (which as written above is all a load of rubbish anyway).

              I work in the education system and it is plain, this is just another front for union whingers to attack the National government. They all seem to have forgotten they are public servants. Buutveld boycotting the launch makes him look like a politician, would he be so brave if he were still leading a school.

  5. CuriO 6

    Haha this is such crap. Teachers are the hired help, . They aren’t the masters of the universe. If so many kids can’t read and write with the current system, and so many don’t get NCEA level 2 and 3 when it is easy to get, then the system needs to be changed. Parents support their kids and schools having some accountability. I hope that this issue dominates the next election. The parents versus the unions and scared mediocre teachers. Great. This is why Labour is at 25% or whatever it is. ‘Lets just teach kids to feel good’. The unions and the principals need to get in behind this or get the sack. They misunderstand their role. I have some sympathy for the teachers, but not the teachers union.

    • Sam 6.1

      How many is so many?

    • BLiP 6.2

      That data is being collected by the Ministry for government use. Its just a simple tweak of the legislation, if it doesn’t exist already, for this data to be shared by other departments. Given the latest raft of legislation, there’s nothing to stop the police having a rummage through the data to identify citizens requiring some pre-emptive “intervention”. Smirk all you like, those are the facts.

      • Swampy 6.2.1

        Educational data has always been collected, you are scaremongering. It is also proposed by Labour that there be increased “early intervention” in families which brings us closer to a surveillance state

  6. mike 7

    What are you guys so scared of – accountability?
    As a father of 3 ankle biters I’m rapt that I’ll get a snapshot of their progress in the basics.
    These precious teachers that are crying about this need to remember who pays them and what their actual job is

    • lprent 7.1

      And you’re not doing the job of teaching them – why? Probably because you’d be inadequate to the task? Should you disqualify yourself from being a parent? After all your kids are relying on you…

      This policy on education has been made with no significant consultation or agreement with the people who actually do the task, by someone who appears to be educationally illiterate. For some reason she lacks the respect of the people she is trying to tell how to do their job. Moreover rather than finding new money for an untried, untested, and in the opinion of the educators – seriously flawed and meaningless populist policy, the government is removing money from courses that are tested and have proved to be effective.

      But fuck and dang it – ya’ll just have to have faith that the moronic fuckwits have got it right first time (and for the first time as well)…

      Personally, I’d suggest that you might want to look at hitting John Key up for getting a better qualified minister

      • mike 7.1.1

        FYI we invest a great deal of time in our kids – its our job to get them prepared for school and the teachers job to inform us how they are performing. Simple really – just need to get the ego’s under control

        • logie97 7.1.1.1

          Mike. Great expression “we invest so much time in our kids.” People who claim they do, probably don’t. Most of your contributions on this site are generally flame or trolling and usually poorly informed. My experience of most school reporting is that in 3R’s there is a comprehensive section on Reading, Writing and Mathematics. (Remember that portfolios complement the written report and include samples of analysed work, an age levelled running record of reading behaviours, and a Numeracy level based on the Mathematics Curriculum.

          Your energies should be addressed to your beloved leaders to commit to reducing classroom sizes dramatically so that your children can receive greater attention. Given that each child is entitled to the same amount of teacher instructional time as your children – consider that a class of 30 children, each child would be entitled to 12.1/2 minutes of teacher time per day (if they were being taught one to one).

      • CuriO 7.1.2

        I think that the reason that she lacks the respect of (some) teachers is because she is in the National party, not the Labour party, and that is disgraceful. She is actually doing a very good job. As I say I hope that this is the issue that defines the 2011 election. Parents versus teachers in the Union whose main man is now in the Labour party.

        • The Voice of Reason 7.1.2.1

          Bad luck, CuriO. The issue that defines the next election is going to be corruption. Or incompetence. Or the ETS. In fact, any number of things that piss Kiwis off about this Daddy State government.

          Tolley’s off her trolley and she is certainly going to help bring a Labour led Government back, but education is not a defining issue, just part of the death of a thousand cuts.

          BTW, care to explain the following sentence?

          “Parents versus teachers in the Union whose main man is now in the Labour party.”

          No standard for you. Fail.

        • Swampy 7.1.2.2

          I think she is struggling to turn in a better performance than her predecessor Chris Carter, for sure.

          Your union comments are spot on, they all campaigned for Labour and told their members who to vote for.

      • Swampy 7.1.3

        There is nothing new in this policy, these standardised assessments already exist and are being used by the better schools.

        I would take anything the union leadership says with a grain of salt. As usual, they have a predetermined position of opposition to National. Whilst some of what they say and do is done with the true intent of education at heart, a lot of what the unions exist for is to oppose right wing policies and to push their left wing agenda. You won’t hear any acknowledgement from the unions of a divergence in views in these matters across the schools of NZ. They make a lot of noise about the negatives, just like any politician.

        • the sprout 7.1.3.1

          There is nothing new in this policy, these standardised assessments already exist and are being used

          and yet National are blowing $36M and claim it’s “one of the most important steps this government will take”. odd don’t you think swampy?

          • Swampy 7.1.3.1.1

            $36 million is a piffling amount, really just enough to pay a few bureacrats to collect the data and make sure the schools have all the resources to report it. What they are doing is making it compulsory for the schools to report these assessments which only some schools actually use now and don’t have to report.

      • Swampy 7.1.4

        Rubbish, the government and unions have been talking about this policy for nearly a year.

        This is the educational establishment seeking to defend their own agenda and their way of organising their political campaigning and social engineering agenda from electoral accountability.

        • sk 7.1.4.1

          Swampy, this is rubbish reasoning. It has nothing to do with the educational establishment or unions. It is about international best practise, and these tests are not that . ..

          • Swampy 7.1.4.1.1

            The schools get billions from the government each year. They don’t have to report anything back in return. Getting them to report their data is a pretty small demand for accountability’s sake. As the tests for the most part already exist there is nothing new except the centralised collection.

            The schools have to have some kinds of assessments, the PAT tests and the like are all well developed and supported in the educational community so the basic principles are sound. I expect the standards will be based on the PAT and the other standardised assessments like STAR etc which schools already use to determine their performance in house. They report those results to their boards, if they are a good school.

  7. Shona 8

    Mike, you are clearly ignorant of how the NZ state education works.I have successfully raised and educated 3 children. All of them reaching tertiary level youngest is still completing her tertiary studies. Every state school my children attended provided clear data on their scholastic progress at the end of each term . Primary Intermediate and Secondary level. I never had any difficulty at any time with any of the schools they attended,rural and urban,boarding as well when asking for progress reports or meetings with teachers on any issue regarding my offspring.The prejudice implicit in your remarks displays an unwarranted amount of disrespect for an embattled and grossly under resourced profession and sector.
    Do your time as a member of a school Board of Trustees as my partner and I have . Then see if you have the same ill informed opinion of our seriously and inexcusably underfunded education system!

    • CuriO 8.1

      1.0 Currently in New York amazing work is being done in public schools far worse off then our own through Bloomberg electing Joel Klein and Carmen Farina to reform 1200 public schools. What they have done is broadly similar, instigating national standards, bulk funding, and focusing on the 3 R’s. The UK is certainly not the full story.

      1.1 New York is dealing with 1.1 million students, analagous to New Zealand’s national secondary student population. Another point of interest is to read up on the KIPP schools in California that bring what Malcolm Gladwell calls an ethos of ‘the chinese rice paddy’ to education. This is where public education should be heading, and the only reason it won’t is because of union politics getting in the way of student benefit. Read Outliers and Gladwells chapter on the KIPP schools. What our students really need more then flash new computers is time.

      2.0 One question I have is why is it NZ teachers will not accept a merit-based payrate system? At my secondary school there were some excellent teachers who I would gladly pay more tax for if I knew my money was going to go to them specifically. Equally there were some excellently mediocre teachers who were passengers and I imagine are terrified at this new turn of political events. I would not want my money to go to them because they don’t deserve it.

      3.0 I look at the statistics on level 2 and 3 NCEA especially, never mind tertiary education at this juncture, and I ponder how it is that a large swathe of teachers and the union can believe that there is no problem. If we are doing okay relatively speaking, it is more an indictment on the state of education internationally then a testament to our own excellence.

      4.0 Make no mistake there are many very good teachers in New Zealand, but a lot of the criticism being made against this policy arises from a basic shameful premise. Fear of accountablility.

      • logie97 8.1.1

        CuriO – another National party hack. He quotes readings to enhance his argument. But uses then for than twice within a couple of paragraphs…. back to basics for you, CuriO. Odd that you already had the ability to assess a teacher’s abilities (Mrs Jones spends all day looking out of her kitchen window – I can see her from my bedroom).

        CuriO there is no argument about measuring progress. It would appear to be the methodology that is in question.

        And for your information, accountability in the education system has been in existence for years.

        • Swampy 8.1.1.1

          Accountability by and large only exists in individual schools, where bad schools can perpetuate mediocrity. It is hard to escape the conclusion that this nationalised reporting will pick out the bad teachers and bring more pressure to bear on local schools to get rid of them.

          The methodology is just the same as it has always been except for national reporting.

    • Swampy 8.2

      There is a huge difference between the reports you receive, and the raw assessment data. The important thing to consider is you just receive a report on what your kids have done. Unless and even if you talk to other parents it is hard to get a full picture of what is happening in the school.

      The data for a whole class could show that there is a class wide problem which falls back on the poor performance of individual teachers. This process already happens in house in the better schools. The unions are opposing the idea that this should become a national reporting standard because they want to protect the jobs of poorly performing teachers and it is easier to hide their results in individual schools. Look at what happened when the ministry set up its enrolment database, all of a sudden they discovered hundreds of kids falling between the cracks not being enrolled. That is what will happen with these national standards, teachers will be under the spotlight like they never have been before.

  8. Swampy 9

    “Even the government’s education policy advisor Prof John Hattie said the new policy was potentially “disastrous’ and government should be ready to pull the plug immediately if if begins to show detrimental effects.”

    This is dishonest quoting. Hattie actually said
    “There is an incredible opportunity here if we get it right, there is a disaster if we get it wrong.”

    In other words, unlike you, the educational expert professor Hattie CAN SEE THAT NATIONAL STANDARDS COULD DO A LOT OF GOOD FOR EDUCATION IN NZ SCHOOLS.

    This is a huge storm in a teacup. It is primarily about the left wing union leadership campaigning against and opposing the National Government. Since this government was democratically elected to represent us, the leadership of these unions is guilty of hijacking the NZ education system for political purposes and should hang their heads in shame.

    • BLiP 9.1

      If teachers and principals were to remain silent and simply cower in the face of National Ltd® and carry out what they know will be a failure then they should hang their heads in shame. It is you who is insisting on force-feeding a fundamentally flawed policy down the throats of future generations that should hang her head in shame.

      • Swampy 9.1.1

        So, so sad. There is nothing new in these standards. National assessments have existed for decades. It is a load of rubbish what is being put out there by the opposition to this policy. Professor Hattie says “There is an incredible opportunity here if we get it right”.

        The fact is the unions don’t know this will be a failure. They know it will threaten what they stand for and believe in. However the Governmment is elected to make the policy, not the educational establishment and teachers’ political lobby groups. When you look at it the unions are opposed to a lot of things in defence of their own position. That is hardly unusual but it is unreasonable to expect the educational system to be set up as a breeding ground and pillar of union activism and left wing political campaigning.

  9. Armchair Critic 10

    And more red tape from the party that promised less red tape. Good one, National.

  10. sk 11

    The trolling on this thread shows how anxious NACT is on this issue. It was just not Principals who declined to attend the launch. Leading internationally recognised academics / educationalists declined, and I hear JK noted their absence. The message the minnions sent out was that we ignored your advice on this issue, but we will listen in future, yeah right. Hattie a’int the only expert in NZ.

    CuriO, your datapoints from the US have no relevance here. US education is in crisis, Bloomberg or no Bloomberg.

    We already have National Standards, and have had them since we were kids. PAT it is called. Mike, when your kids actually attend school your may want to track their PAT results, which teachers are more than happy to share with you already.

    National Standards are a crap campaign promise that does nothing to further our kids education. All the international evidence shows that this is a retrograde step.

    We are failing 20% of kids in our schools, but they are easily recognised now, disproportionately Maori and Pacific Island boys. We do not need tests to tell us that . ..

    • the sprout 11.1

      agreed on all counts, especially the reason for the fervor of the trolls.

    • Swampy 11.2

      NACT trolling, LOL. I have nothing to do with any political party. But Labour has their dirty hands stamped all over the negative campaigning attacks by the unions for sure. The Principals Federation is complicit in this, there was at least one principal who attended and supported it as it was launched at his school. Buutveld is toeing the NZEI line as a former branch president, sadly predictable.

      The truth about this policy is that it is a storm in a teacup that has been shamefully hijacked for political ends by the teachers unions. It is a piffling amount of money being expended in a very minor change that will not have the negative impact that is being hyped up by the Labour party’s union friends the way it has. National is not spending hundreds of millions in social engineering the way Labour does (think about much bigger Clark policies like the useless TEC) and the result is not going to be anything like as far reaching as all the scaremongering makes out.

      • felix 11.2.1

        NACT trolling, LOL. I have nothing to do with any political party

        And yet you knew exactly who sk and sprout were referring to, eh Swampy?

        Slow clap for you.

  11. Roberto Smithsky 12

    You guys are laughable.

    Mr Key credited Auckland University professor John Hattie as one of his main inspirations for the scheme, but Mr Hattie has put the Government on two years’ notice to prove it is using the system correctly.

    “There is an incredible opportunity here if we get it right”

    So you guys are against trying to improve the schooling system, nice one.

    Or is it more of a case of your just lick spittling to teacher union members?

    • the sprout 12.1

      Roberto, clearly you’re not in the habit of arguing from an informed position, but perhaps you should listen to the interview with Prof Hattie in the 3rd link of the above post, it’ll give you a clearer picture of just how concerned he is with this lunatic grab for populist votes at the expense of children’s best educational interests.

  12. Jasper 13

    Read the full thing here

    I had a read, and this whole scenario brings to mind a scene from Torchwood where the ministers are discussing what children to give to the invaders. They use the excuse “If we can’t identify the worst kids, the ones that will go on to cost the state, the ones that will turn to crime, then what on earth are school league tables for?”

    When you’ve got teachers being advised to give A’s to students that write such “the san and the nite rise n the eaf” it’s no wonder that this next generation are going to be dumber than the last when it comes to literacy.

    Then there’s this photo which quite clearly tells us just where John Key thinks the poorly performing kids belong.

  13. Daveosaurus 14

    “it’s no wonder that this next generation are going to be dumber than the last when it comes to literacy”

    Not that the last is all that much better: try telling a certain semi-literate late middle-aged civic administrator the correct spelling of “Whanganui” and watch the sparks fly…

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  • Gun nuts say they’re criminals
    The government gun buyback ends this week. One problem with the buyback is that, thanks to our previously lax gun laws, the police have no idea how many soon-to-be-illegal guns are actually out there. And the gun-nuts are keen to paint it as a failure by claiming that most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Why do people criticise emergency services and their decisions following a disaster?
    Why we have seen some criticisms of the emergency response to the decision to delay recovery rather than take immediate action? Why do some people think they can make better decisions that the Police and other authorities? To understand this better, we need to think about how and why we ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    8 hours ago
  • Sleep disorders and fluoride: dredging data to confirm a bias
    Sleep disorders are common and have many causes. But anti-fluoride activists will now be blaming them on community fluoridation. Image credit: Sleep Disorders and Problems There is a pattern to the recent research aimed ...
    10 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Wasting our time again
    For the past two weeks delegates were meeting at the UN climate change talks in Madrid. The meeting finally ended, having achieved... nothing. The IPCC has made it clear that we need to halve emissions by 2030 if we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, so countries needed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • From sewing machinist to software programmer
    Amelia Sharman I’m sure you’ve heard some version of this popular prediction – about two-thirds of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t exist yet.1 This prediction assumes rapid or accelerating technological change. But looking at historical trends and current data, rates of technological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    12 hours ago
  • Some fluoride-IQ researchers seem to be taking in each other’s laundry
    Image credit: Publish Peer Reviews. Illustration by David Parkins Scientific peer-review is often touted as a guarantee of the quality of published research. But how good is peer-review? Does it guarantee poor ...
    1 day ago
  • Spread the Word
    If you like any article please help promote it (and the blog). Link to it on facebook and other social media, write about it anywhere or re-blog it. We’re very happy to have other people re-blog our material, all we ask is that you mention the original source and put ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Pronouns etc
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   John Fenaughty is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. In a recent column Fenaughty suggested that school teachers should use students’ “correct names and pronouns (e.g., he, him, they, them, she, her, etc.)” ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • “People’s Faces” by Kate Tempest
    Heard this on Radio NZ this afternoon. Perfectly captures how I'm feeling just now.It's always good to find new music, though it would be nice to be hearing something celebratory. Even "Things Can Only Get Better" would be welcome, if it was accompanied by a thumping Labour victory. ...
    2 days ago
  • A reflection on the British general election
    by Don Franks Like New Zealand, Britain is officially a country of equal opportunity under the rule of law, with increasing hardship for those at the bottom. When there’s an election, and the party most obviously callous towards poor people wins, decent folks are dismayed and bewildered. “What the hell ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Well, crap
    UKanians went to the polls yesterday in early elections aimed at resolving the Brexit impasse. And they certainly have, delivering a huge majority to the Tories, and (barring internal rebellions of the sort which delayed Brexit) giving them the power to do whatever they want. And thanks to the UK's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Austerity meets fresh resistance in Iran
      by Karim Pourhamzavi Mass protests are occurring across Iran, taking place in over 100 cities.  The protests have been sparked by the government’s cutting of fuel subsidies, a measure which caused fuel prices to double overnight. Mass protests are hardly new in Iran, but there is an important difference ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Oh No! It’s a …..
    What other song could we play as the UK's political rule book gets torn up and thrown away?Video courtesy of YouTubeThis post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Election 2019 – The Legendary Liveblog
    Legendary in my own mind, I mean.  All times are NZ, which is an hour10.00am (NZ) There's about an hour to go until the exit poll is released.  At that point, half of the British voting public will devastated, and the other half celebrating wildly.  Unless everyone is simply confused.Turnout seems ...
    4 days ago
  • Some Thoughts On Socialism As Jeremy Corbyn Loses The UK General Election.
    Forlorn Hope: When the call came down to make Corbyn unelectable, the Establishment's journalists and columnists rose to the challenge. Antisemitism was only the most imaginative of the charges levelled against the old democratic-socialist. There were many more and, sadly, they appear to have worked. Boris Johnson may not be much ...
    4 days ago
  • Cartoonist David Low’s Radical Sympathy.
    "Rendezvous" by David Low, September 1939.DUNEDIN IS THE BIRTHPLACE of, for my money, the world’s greatest cartoonist, David Low. At the height of his powers, in 1930s London, Low’s cartoons represented the visual conscience of the civilised world. His most famous cartoon, “Rendezvous”, penned a few weeks into the Second ...
    4 days ago
  • The UK has a choice as to whether it chooses to be manipulated… or not.
    If you want to study propagandist techniques, you are typically told to study Dictatorships. Not unfair, but what’s always been more interesting to me is so-called “democratic” countries and their broader information systems. Why? Because people opt for it, even as they decry “totalitarian regimes!”.. It’s quite an eye ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Today’s secrecy legislation
    Introducing legislation which shits on the public's right to know seems to have become a daily occurrence for this government. Today's example is the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The bill establishes a framework for the establishment of "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs) to hide debt from local government balance sheets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Time to vote!
    Below is the longlist of words and phrases generated in the korero phase of Public Address Word of the Year 2019, with some editorial moderation. Now it's time to vote. As you'll doubtless be able to see, you get three ranked choices. Use your power wisely. Or frivolously, whatever.As usual, ...
    4 days ago
  • Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination
    The University of Waikato and New Zealand Law Foundation have released a report today on the law around encryption in New Zealand. There's stuff in there about principles and values, and how proposed government policies to provide for "lawful access" by creating backdoors would destroy the trust which makes encryption ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill (Stuart Smith) Social Security (Exemption for Ex Gratia and Compensation Payments) Amendment Bill (Willow-Jean Prime) Neither bill seems likely to be particularly controversial. This is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bougainville votes for independence
    Earlier in the month, Bougainvilleans went to the polls in a landmark referendum to decide on whether they would remain part of Papua New Guinea or become independent. Yesterday, the results came in, with over 97% support for independence. The referendum wasn't binding - instead it means negotiations with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bus strikes, suspensions and solidarity
    by Daphna Whitmore This week 800 unionised bus drivers in Auckland were suspended from work after they refused to collect fares as part of a campaign of industrial action. Drivers working for Auckland’s largest bus company NZ Bus are asking for more pay and better working conditions after being offered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • How to support after the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption
    As details emerge about what unfolded on Whakaari / White Island two days ago, my thoughts go out to all the families affected by this terrible event. My thoughts are also with the first responders who worked in perilous circumstances to assist and protect those affected. Both local and ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    5 days ago
  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    5 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    5 days ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    5 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    6 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    7 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    7 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    7 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand will continue to showcase ambitious climate action
    With the global climate change talks closing overnight, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said New Zealand will continue to show the world what meaningful, ambitious and lasting climate action looks like. “Lasting action on climate change demands that we keep working every single day. This is the only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • More progress in delivering te reo Māori in schools
    600 new te reo advocates are being sought following the success of a programme that supports the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Registrations for Te Ahu o te Reo Māori 2020 are now open, with courses starting from February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Maori voice to help shape tertiary education
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced the members of Te Taumata Aronui, a group to work with Government on tertiary education policy from a Māori community and employer perspective. “Te Taumata Aronui is an opportunity for Māori and the Crown to work more closely on changes to the tertiary education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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