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Key announces new schools – again

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 17th, 2015 - 35 comments
Categories: john key, making shit up, national, paula bennett, Politics, same old national, slippery, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

National has this habit of announcing and then reannouncing new policies and capital projects.  Why bask in the limelight once only when you can do so again and again?

Paula Bennett is a master at this behaviour.  Key has previous form for it too.

In Key’s recent pre budget speech he said this:

Today I can confirm that the Budget next month will provide another $244 million over the next four years to meet growing school rolls and to improve the quality of learning environments.

Four new state schools will be built and these are:

–  Rototuna Senior High School in Hamilton.

–  A primary school in Rolleston, near Christchurch.

–  Two primary schools in Auckland – one at Kumeu and the other at Scott Point.

But what is this?  Is Rolleston school already being built?

Concrete foundations are in place for the new West Rolleston Primary School, with the last of the pours taking place on Saturday.  The Ministry of Education head of education infrastructure, Kim Shannon, says the school, which is due to open in February 2016, will initially cater for 450 students.

[Source 15 Apr 2015 Central Canterbury News digital paper page 5]

It was very trusting of the Ministry to start construction of this school before budget had been confirmed, presuming this was the case.

And the Rototuna Senior High School looks like it was already in the pipeline.  From a Waikato Times editorial [not online yet]:

Actually, it was one of two new state schools that had previously been announced. Preliminary design plans for the new junior and senior high schools were signed off by the school’s establishment board and put out for tender in August last year. The first sod was turned on the junior section of the school early in February. Associate Education Minister Nikki Key [hehe] was among the 90 people who attended the ceremony. Announcing and reannouncing the spending of millions of dollars on schools is one thing. Delivering is another.

 Local MP David Bennett certainly thought it was a done deal.  He announced this particular school back in May 2014, just in time for the last election.  Imagine the embarrassment if the Government had failed to include funding for the school in this year’s budget.

Talk about tricky …

35 comments on “Key announces new schools – again”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with this, especially if these schools didn’t get significant publicity at the time they were first signed-off on and announced.

    Of course, it would be better if Key had said “this includes two schools that construction has already started on”, but really how is adding that piece of information useful to the message he’s giving? The message is that this government is investing in new schools. Does it matter if one of them started being built 3 months ago?

    What is far worse is when National were announcing Labour’s previous spending ideas, as if they were National’s and in response to the GFC, when they weren’t at all.

    • Atiawa 1.1

      West Rolleston was probably going to be a road. Possibly a bridge.
      But seriously it sounds like an act of desperation to make the same announcement twice for the same spend. Just goes to show how gullible he thinks we all are.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      What about the damage to the English language when the Government confirms that the schools are going to be built? He may as well confirm that MPs salaries are going to be paid.

      One aspect I did not touch on is that the funding for these schools is coming from the Fast Future fund. It should be coming out of the general consolidated fund. Building schools is business as usual or it should be.

    • The building timetable isn’t the problem. The problem is saying “look, new schools!” as though they’re all previously-unheard-of projects. Even if they were already under construction, it would be fine as long as they were actually new projects.

      Most people aren’t going through the government’s press releases with a fine-tooth comb. So if they hear David Bennett say “a new school for Hamilton!” in May 2014 and then John Key say “four new schools!” in April 2015 it’s only natural to assume they’re talking about four additional new schools on top of the ones already announced.

      This is a tried and true National Party strategy: just keep re-announcing the same policy or project at roughly annual intervals. Paula Bennett’s been particularly bad for it.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        Like I said, does it make any material difference to the message, if Key had said “$244M in spending on schools, including these 2 schools that are already underway”?

        $244M is still being spent. Schools are still being built.

        • mickysavage 1.3.1.1

          But at least of the money must have been appropriated. Actually it is almost impossible for all of the money to not have been appropriated. How else could they pour the foundations?

          • Nic the+NZer 1.3.1.1.1

            “But at least of the money must have been appropriated.”

            No, that’s not the way that budget spending works. By convention the government will typically borrow back some of their previous spending just before they need that ‘cash’ for current spending. Its a simple borrow and spend back operation which purportedly keeps the governments cash accounts in positive figures. They certainly don’t have all of that sum presently ‘in the bank’ however, the fact that its in the budget just means that they are intending to spend that much and that much spending will either be collected in tax, or borrowed as its spent adding to the deficit.

            If they wanted to however they could change the reserve bank act to allow the government to spend (as they budgeted) by notionally running their government account into overdraft. That is they can emit additional money as they spend.

            • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Hi my statement is missing the word “some” which makes it difficult to interpret …

              If they are pouring the concrete for the foundations I would presume there was an existing appropriation for construction of the new school in Mined’s budget?

              • Nic the NZer

                Yes, they almost certainly already paid some of the funds by that stage of construction. But I think its important to point out that the actual sum of budgeted spending (and of course tax collection) is highly fluid. The resulting deficit (or surplus) at the end of next year, or several years hence can at best be forecast (frequently far from accurately). When looking at the budget we should look at what the government is spending on, and not worry about how they are going to ‘pay for it’ (which they always can).

                • mickysavage

                  I agree it is fluid but I expect there is a contract and a price and allocated funds somewhere. Would Mined authorise the pouring of the concrete and not have the money to finish it off?

                  • Nic the+NZer

                    Mined would not authorise the pouring of the concrete without it being in the budget, but that’s the only place the funds need to be allocated.

        • But he didn’t say “$244M in spending on schools”, he said “another $244 million” along with “Four new state schools will be built”.

          The simplest interpretation of his words is that this is additional spending. You can decide for yourself whether you think it was sloppy copyediting or deliberately spinning a “new” investment in education out of already-announced projects. I judge the government on their record of doing exactly that.

          • Lanthanide 1.3.1.2.1

            They are new schools. Just the start date is in the past, not the future. But they aren’t yet built, so they are ‘new’ schools.

            Now, the “another” part is somewhat misleading; and I see it is in the original post.

            Still, I doubt any of the people you suggested heard David Bennet say “a new school for Hamilton” would come to any particularly different conclusion if Key had simply said “$244M for new schools, including 2 schools whose construction are already underway”. Details like that simply don’t make an impression on the vast bulk of the public, because they aren’t paying attention and/or don’t care.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 1.3.1.2.1.1

              if Key had simply said

              But that’s not what he said, Lanthanide. You can split as many hairs as you like with hypothetical situations to make Key’s statement not patently misleading. But what he actually said is misleading, and given his government’s form, deliberately so.

              • Lanthanide

                And yet I, someone who doesn’t support this government, simply don’t find this particularly galling or even worthy of comment.

                Sure, it is misleading on many levels (not all, as I’ve outlined) and others here find it annoying, but to me it really is just a shrug and carry on moment.

                • simply don’t find this particularly galling or even worthy of comment.

                  Good for you, I guess? Someone else did find it worthy of comment, and you found that worthy of multiple “but if he’d said it differently it would be different” comments.

                  Unless you’re really just trying to badger people into agreeing with you, I’m not sure what the point is.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Why does anyone say anything on the internet?

                    Aren’t I entitled to post my opinion that this topic isn’t important?

    • tracey 1.4

      it is bad if they are telling people all the budgetted money for those schools is in this new figure cos it makes it seem they are doing more than they are.

      • Lanthanide 1.4.1

        But all of the budgeted money for those schools is in this new figure. This $244M is the total cost of those 4 schools.

        • tracey 1.4.1.1

          but some of the schools have been started so the figure is lower. it is an untruth.

  2. Merlene Chambers 2

    “John Key making shit up”
    Totally!

  3. fisiani 3

    John Key spreading the good news

  4. Greg 4

    I think you men reannouncing, not renouncing. Quite different meanings. [damn autocorrect. Fixed – MS]

  5. BruceTheMoose 5

    Key and his favorite henchman, Brownlee, pull the same stunt in Christchurch time and time again. Every election, or when the news starts getting really bad in regards to the city’s rebuild progress, Key and his Dumb Chump start trumpeting the same old lines about the central city plan. It’s conference center this, stadium that, arts precinct here, justice precinct there. But three years after the initial big announcement and fanfare of Key’s central city plan was first revealed, there is absolutely bugger all to show for it. They are still buying land for their projects and changing their minds on the details. Either that, or continually pushing out the dates for even starting the bloody things. The next election will turn up again and we well still be getting the same rehashed BS lines and promises from these frauds

    • b waghorn 5.1

      The slow rate of progress down there makes me wonder if the nats Havn’t raided the funds for the rebuild to cover there lack of financial ability.

  6. McFlock 6

    I guess that tories think reannouncing the same thing 15 times is the same as announcing 16 good ideas.

  7. repateet 7

    Key keeps saying things like “People aren’t stupid,” and keeps treating us like we’re stupid. Maybe in the big, big, big pre-budget announcement he’ll proclaim he’s going to widen 10 one lane bridges in Northland!

  8. Agreed.

    In the aftermath of the earthquake the state should have acted in the way it is meant to act after a natural disaster – like a rock, especially for relatively powerless ordinary people.

    Instead, the state acted not like a rock but like a huge boulder catapulted from Wellington and aimed at the heart of Christchurch. When it ‘landed’ it created a massive crater in the central city and, by fiat, kept everyone else away from it and unable to respond. It sidelined the council to an irrelevance and has operated in a fashion that is hard to interpret in any other way than cronyism – favouring some, ignoring others in a manner that follows no particular principle.

    A kind of unethical, narrowly-focused pragmatism.

    • Sorry, was meant to be a reply to BruceThe Moose at comment 5.

    • ropata 8.2

      yep they might as well have kept the army there with a big fence around the CBD.
      at least they succeeded in smashing down as many buildings as possible (with intact valuables inside) in the shortest space of time. shock and awe.

  9. millsy 9

    Bet you they will be behind a paywall — donations, activity fees and BYOD.

  10. david 10

    Many of us have never trusted Key but more and more this government is being exposed as all sizzle and no sausage.

    What actually have they achieved in their 6_years? You’ll find that the positives were either due to world markets, Kiwisaver (introduced by Labour), high construction activity due to leaky buildings and chch.

    Style over substance.

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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
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    3 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
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    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
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    3 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
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    3 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
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    3 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
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    4 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
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    5 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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    7 days ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
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    1 week ago