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Joyce dumbing down education

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 pm, March 9th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: education - Tags:

So Steven Joyce’s big bright idea for tertiary education (which he recently inherited from the hopeless Anne Tolley) is to punish institutions with low pass rates by cutting their funding.

Now, I’m no big city psychologist but I think I can pick how academics will react: ‘hmm, this kid basically gets it I guess, not really up to standard but if I fail them the department will lose funding’. Can’t wait to be looked after by a doctor or a nurse who pipped through because failing them would have meant a cut to the department’s funding.

It’s basically the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. From a minister who obviously doesn’t have a clue or doesn’t care about anything other than cutting cost for the next financial year.

It reflects the typical short-term thinking of the capitalist class and its political party. All they can see is the immediate cost of education, not the future benefits.

There’s a reason we have chronic skill shortages in this country in everything from doctors to nurses to linesmen to engineers. Because the Nats cut university funding and apprenticeships in the 1990s and it took Labour a long time to fix things. We’re basically missing a good part of a generation of skilled people (drowning in BAs and BComs though), and that’s going to be real trouble as the senior workers retire and there’s too few coming up to replace them.

What we do need to do in education is ration on academic potential, not ability to pay. Even with interest-free loans, the cost of tertiary education is prohibitive for the poor.

We should look at the European systems. Limit the number of places for all those essentially useless bachelor’s degree topics, the main point of which seems to be for the student to get a piece of paper saying ‘degree’, not learn anything. Increase the places for areas where we have skills shortages.

Make a number of places (say half) are free to those with the potential (that wouldn’t just be based on marks, you’ve got to allow for the fact that people with more potential get lower marks at low decile schools because of the environment). As for the rest of the places, I wouldn’t object to those people paying a higher share of the cost of their education if they can make the academic grade. The important thing is that you don’t price people with real potential out of tertiary education.

We also need a decent student allowance so students can live above absolute poverty.

The Right love Joyce but if you ask me he’s just a more articulate version of the same foolishness that infects the rest of them. He’s willing to invest billions in motorways that will never realise benefits greater than their costs, yet unwilling to invest in education, which truly is the key to a brighter future.

28 comments on “Joyce dumbing down education”

  1. Ed 1

    “Picking winners’ by favouring selected courses is not quite as bad as effectively pushing for lower standards so that more pass, but it is still not a particularly good idea. The biggest thing many students learn is how to learn, organise, and present ideas clearly. Internal competition between NZ universities has been largely wasteful, we have too many tertiary institutions, and yes we do need more apprenticeships, but the answer is not to cut both.

    Joyce will reduce the value of a New Zealand university degree and more of our better students will go overseas. He should ask the universities – or even the TEC, how to get more value for the dollars the government is prepared to spend – there are fish-hooks in most simplistic ideas. We cannot afford thinking linked to parliamentary terms – education is a generational issue – you are spot on that we are paying now for National’s mistakes of the 90’s – just as we will pay most for the mistakes they are making now in another 10 to 20 years.

    • Marty G 1.1

      I think we should ‘pick winners’. We should be favouring teaching doctors and nurses over churning out more drop kicks with marketing degrees who don’t need to learn a thing to pass.

      Yeah, competition between the institutions is so stupid.

      I don’t want to cut the number of apprenticeships. Far from it. I would rather people were doing something that they’re actually going to find useful like that than waste 3 years on a history BA and come out the other end with no job prospects.

  2. Zepher 2

    Not to detract from a good post, but

    “you’ve got to allow for the fact that people with more potential get lower marks at low decile schools because of the environment”
    Decile ratings can be pretty misleading sometimes and may not reflect the schools enviornment, which are influenced by various factors. Having some core factors considered could be helpful though. Eg The previous school’s ERO report in that year, crime rate in the area, demographics etc.

    I do have sympathy for people coming out with certain BAs and discovering that there’s no work.

    • Richard 2.1

      I do have sympathy for people coming out with certain BAs and discovering that there’s no work.

      Perhaps.

      On the other hand, I have two engineering degrees (BE(Hons1), PhD) and a BA in English. I got good marks in both bachelor degrees, mostly As, and I graduated the BA about a decade after the BE.

      Now, certainly, it is the engineering degrees that employ me, but it was the BA that actually involved a lot more thinking and learning.

      If I had to choose to do only one, I would choose the BA. Although, I wouldn’t have chosen this before I had actually done the BA. When I started the BA I thought that the engineering degree made me a well educated thinking person, and the BA was just a nice way to amuse myself. Having done the BA I would say almost the reverse. The process of getting the BA made me a well educated, thinking person. The engineering degree is just for the money.

      I think that many people with only science and engineering education experience would be shocked by how fundamentally pitiful and narrow science-type education often is, in comparison to humanities education.

      Of course, this is not to say that all BAs are necessarily fantastic. It is certainly possible to scrape by in BA papers, learn bugger all, and end up with merely an expensive piece of paper that says ” “degree”; but the same applies for all fields.

      • IrishBill 2.1.1

        Having both a science and arts background, I agree with Richard. If you want a really pointless degree you need to look over to the BCom.

        • Marty G 2.1.1.1

          yeah, I’m not trying to be a snob about these degrees. I just know too many people who felt they needed to go to uni and did something that left them in a cul-de-sac when they left uni. I’d prefer they were learning to think critically, and learning about a useful topic.

          I actually think that getting a degree should involve more than a series of papers in a narrow field. It should to broader based than that.

          • Mark 2.1.1.1.1

            Arent you arguing against your own post with the comment about freinds going to UNI because they felt they needed to and then learning nothing useful.
            Isnt this the whole idea of Joyces proposal.
            To stop wasting taxpayers money on people who are only filling in time .

            • Marty G 2.1.1.1.1.1

              No, I don’t think that’s the idea of Joyce’s proposal at all.

              Read my post. It’s about the problem with incentivising academics to not fail students.

              • Fisiani

                It ‘s more importantly about not accepting first year students who do not have the skills to graduate. That would keep the pass rate high. It’s also about excluding from further study those who fail. It ‘s called separating the wheat from the chaff. It about winners and whingers.
                When I was at University I was in a vocational second year class of 220 people. We were told that there were 200 places available for the third year class. ie 20 would lose out. As class rep I protested to the Dean that the year group was particularly good and that such an arbitrary cut off was unfair. Surely some good people with potential would lose out. I well remember his reply. “Of course we lose some wheat with the chaff. So be it. Just ensure that you are in the top 90%. Our long standing and rigid insistence on quality is well known and means that our graduates will all get jobs.”
                Every graduate obtained a job within two weeks of graduation.

          • Ag 2.1.1.1.2

            You’re ignoring the civic function of university education. The right attack the humanities and social sciences because they teach people to think critically about ends. The right tend to either think that questions about ends have already been decided by God (the conservatives), or that they are the sort of thing that ought not to be part of political discussion because they should be left up to individual preference (the neoliberals).

            If you don’t want public debate about the direction our country is taking, then abolish the humanities and most of the social sciences. But, New Zealand is stupid enough without making it worse, so that’s probably a bad idea.

            I guess if you had been to university and done some of this stuff, you might realize how stupid your piece looks to genuinely educated people (and before you start, most of the sciences are pathetically easy compared to the humanities subject I studied at college).

            Perhaps doing something about the devaluation of degrees might be worth exploring instead. A Bachelors degree isn’t worth much. If you are serious, then you need at least a Masters.

  3. tc 3

    “It’s basically the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard…” so far but give them time and I’m sure they’ll find an even dumber idea.

    More classic Nat policies choking our skills supply just like they did in the 90’s…..a brighter future eh. Try getting a decent plumber/electrician today…..that’s another Nat legacy from the 90’s with slashing apprenticeships.

    Never mind some courses are designed to have a tough pass rate…..Joyce invites this being softened for funding purposes…..more Dr Nick Riviera’s.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    I love it, the intellectual snobbery of the post and the commentators is amazing, especially given the hypocrisy of accusing joyce of having a dumb idea then berating BCA students for not learning a thing.

    why should the taxpayer continue to fund, interest-free of course, students who don’t pass? we could provide a better level of service to those students who actually make the effort to pass their papers if we cut funding to those who can’t even achieve a c grade in half of their papers for a year. that pass rate isn’t even a 50% average, it’s a 25% average.

    BCA’s provide us with accountants and economist’s as well as marketing managers. it would be a long bow to draw to say that accountant’s and economist’s don’t learn anything to pass their courses, let alone go on to do honours or masters.

    this is just a typically shrill, anti-nat for the sake of being anti-nat, post. nothing constructive, except indulging in some feelings of superiority by suggesting the government pick winners. we’ve seen over the decades how good governments are at that.

    • Marty G 4.1

      “why should the taxpayer continue to fund, interest-free of course, students who don’t pass?”

      you’re confused. The post is about cutting funding to the institutions because students fail, not the idea of not allowing failing students to keep enrolling – which unis do already.

      reading comprehension.

      • TightyRighty 4.1.1

        are you sure marty? because when i read the article provided i see the first line is this

        “The Government is to stop funding university students who fail and will no longer give them interest-free loans.”

        now of course the second line is this,

        “Universities have been warned they face the same medicine; they too must perform or lose funding.”

        so i’m not going to be a prat like you and accuse you of not being able to understand the very first sentence.

        I get what you are saying about professors gaming the system, if they are rubbish and intellectually unethical, and says more about the ability of the professor than joyces policy. i’m also fairly certain as well that the institutions joyce is referring too are not our respected schools of medicine, who are reasonably ruthless right now about accepting mediocre students, and i think places to study medicine are limited anyway. it will probably apply to departments that attract mediocre students. that will please you, as most of them are in the arts and commerce departments.

        • Marty G 4.1.1.1

          You’re responding to my post, which is only about the second proposal.

          I can see academics doing what they need to to protect the already stretched funding of their departments so they can continue to educate.

      • Sam 4.1.2

        At least with a BA in History he’d have learned to read quickly and absorb as much information as possible, so you can’t say it’s entirely useless 😛

    • lprent 4.2

      It seems to me that you simply ignored (for political reasons) the premise of the post. That Joyce was simply inciting the academics to cheat by passing people that shouldn’t be passed. Afterall Joyce is providing the perfect incentive for the tertiary institutions to pass people in ever greater numbers regardless of their actual skill levels. Then what is the bet that to ‘correct’ his initial fuckup, he’ll want to introduce ‘national standard’ testing. Which will further distort the tertiary education in the way that that dumbass Tolley is trying to do with kids reading and writing.

      Instead of arguing the point, you are acting like a shrill little dipshit troll by trying to divert the debate in a direction attacking the author rather than discussing the authors opinions.

      • TightyRighty 4.2.1

        but i am arguing the point Lprent? is pointing out the fact that a 25% pass rate is not that much to ask in expectation of students and universities not arguing the point? or is pointing out that schools of medicine already have much more stringent pass rate requirements? or maybe it’s because i think that marty’s expectation that professors should game the system is intellectually unethical.

        or am i dipshit little troll because you know joyce is heading down the right track in his approach to funding tertiary education, and we may actually get a better standard of student leaving university, then degree’s will be worth more. that scares you and marty i think, but you just can’t admit it.

        • lprent 4.2.1.1

          It is a STUPID expectation. How do you know what in the hell a pass rate will be BEFORE a course starts….

          The pass rate is irrelevant. People running courses are expected to hit a standard and not just place bums on seats. You can get someone who can pass almost anything and yet completely fail to get one paper (in my case it was organic chemistry 🙁 ). But you frequently find that prerequisites are also almost irrelevant as well. I successfully did an entire science degree including the maths with virtually no secondary background in it (apart from crapping out in organic chemistry, which wasn’t that useful for earth sciences anyway).

          The key is to provide the opportunity to enter courses because it is pretty damn hard to predict who will be able to pass a course or not. There are no major predictors of academic success, as virtually any lecturer will tell you. If students don’t pass then they don’t pass. There are adequate mechanisms to remove people who fail too many courses.

          The government can simply close off access to courses to people who are not absolutely certain to pass (which is what I suspect this is really about – budget cutting). But that is extremely counter-productive for the country as a whole.

          You usually find that the best people in most fields just fell into that field almost by accident. The lecturers are aware of this (but apparently it appears to have escaped Joyces understanding). Given a choice between gaming the system so only people that are certain to pass a course (but have no talent for it), and gaming to let people on to the course who may have the talent but aren’t certain to pass – then I hope that the lecturers take the latter.

          Your problem is that you’re simply a small-minded dipshit who appears to have very little idea how talent arises and needs to be fostered. That appears to be the basis of your insecurities about tertiary training.. Your expectation (and Joyces) seems to be that tertairy education is there to churn out mindless (but well-educated) drones. The problem is that they aren’t that useful for driving the economy. It is a short-term strategy of little use to the longer term.

    • Richard 4.3

      Actually, personally I think that there is likely a lot of value in a BCom or equivalent. I don’t have one so, I don’t really know. But like always it depends on the actual experience of the student.

      On the other hand, it does seem to be the sort of learning that is focused on a narrow technical field rather than a broad field. So, it is probably excellent for training people to perform particular sorts of jobs, but rather less excellent at actually “educating” people.

      Education, especially university education, is about much more than mere training for a vocation.

  5. What a silly idea.

    Imagine the equivalent proposal for primary schools where some of the funding was based on results.

    Of course it could be claimed currently that the data is not available and inter school comparisons are not able to be made.

    To introduce this sort of standardisation of results would be required and individual efforts would have to be measurable against the country’s mean result.

    You would need something … like … National Standards!

    Is this why it is being introduced so that competitive funding for primary schools can be introduced? If it is good enough for the Tertiary sector then why not the Primary sector?

  6. Adrian 6

    I can feel a Cambridge High School coming on, 100% pass in everything, YAY!. That was all about the money. For all that most lecturers are a lot more ethical than that and they already put huge effort into getting less able students over the line. My wife is one ( a tutor) and I know how much work goes into a struggling student, the reasons for problems are a lot more complex than simple lack of ability or laziness, they range from money to loneliness to bereavement to childcare to everything that effects kids growing up. Tom Scotts cartoon is a cracker and its interesting to note how other cartoonists are at last turning up the screws on this bunch of clowns

  7. real reason 7

    at least we now know the real reason Tolley was pushed aside. No way would she have been able to deliver this to the public

  8. SPC 8

    Labourers don’t need a degree to build a road, but they will to have a job once the road is built.

    So in 10 years we will have all these roads and these people will be unable to afford to drive a car to get to their next work test interview at Work and Income.

    So we will bring in skilled migrants, while we have these locals unemployed, and this will exacerbate a housing shortage.

    All thanks to National’s infrastructure-planning person.

    Let us rejoice at the prospect that this Minister is the greatest economic moron to be in Cabinet since “Think Big Birch” of the 70’s/80’s and the new reformed ex governmment investment addict “the no investment Birch” of the 90’s.

    It all makes sense, if one sees roads as serving the needs of business and as for skilled workers they can get them free by hiring migrants. But this is a profile of a government that decides its policies on only two criteria – what’s good for business and can they still get re-elected.

  9. SPC 9

    If a country wants a sustainable economic recovery they invest in one before it starts.

    That means upskilling its population in advance. That means more people in education while jobs are scarce. If that means some of the people are struggling to pass while education institutions maintain standards – then so be it. It’s not clever to push people out of education onto the dole.

    One less road will fund education they way it should be through this recession.

    Joyce has chosen a billion dollar road a few years earlier over the lives of thousands of New Zealanders.

    Just like Brownlee would choose a mine over the heritage of New Zealanders over generations.

    This is a government of amoral philistines.

  10. Adrian 10

    Hot off the Press, Associate education minister Peter Sharples found out when we did from the radio and tv about all the changes . WTF, how many more insults can he take before he mans up. Grow some Peter.

  11. JD 11

    “You usually find that the best people in most fields just fell into that field almost by accident.”

    Too true Lynn. Joyce did a degree in zoology and then went on to build a broadcasting empire from scratch then selling it for millions and subsequently became a MP and minister with no political experience.

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    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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
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    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
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    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago