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Laws needs an education

Written By: - Date published: 3:32 pm, November 9th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: education, feminism, scoundrels - Tags:

I told myself I’d never do a post on pathetic publicity groupie Michael Laws, so here I am failing to live up to yet another resolution. Sigh. But really, this can’t pass without comment:

Boys are failing, and feminism is at fault

One of the great triumphs of feminism is education. It is a profession now completely dominated by women and by feminine thinking. Early childhood education and primary schooling are dominated by women nine out of 10 teachers are female. It is also a profession that aims to imbue political correctness schooling being the method by which this social imperialism is imparted. I have no difficulty with education providing alternative views, but there is something dangerously monocultural about education today: one world view that dare not be challenged.

Consequently the latest research by the Ministry of Education on university bachelors’ degrees should not surprise. Almost two-thirds of undergraduate degrees are gained by women. Even in traditional specialist fields like law, medicine, accounting and planning, the majority of graduates are women. And that trend is increasing.

It used to be the conventional wisdom that girls developed earlier in education but then that boys caught up. That is no longer true. Boys are not catching up and the gap is getting greater. Boys are failing, and then failing some more. They are having opportunity stripped away every day. … But these criticisms aside, boys should still be doing better. Something is seriously wrong when the gender achievement gap accentuates with age, rather than diminishes.

But the issue remains. The Ministry of Education accepts boys are backward with regard to reading and writing and girls stay at school longer. But that’s it no new policy or funding. At Year 6, twice as many boys as girls will be in reading recovery something of a joke these days because it is so chronically under-resourced. Education Minister Anne Tolley drew the ire of teaching unions last month for directing that any new education funding needs to go into the basics reading, writing and maths. She might have gone further and also redirected non-basic streams especially at boys. But it’s a start. In the meantime, parents will still expect their children irrespective of gender to be getting a good, basic education in the nation’s state schools. Certainly, their daughters will. Too bad about their sons.

There’s a serious issue in there of course, and it should be explored by both educational experts and in the broader context of other societal changes and issues. But Laws does this process more harm than good by casting it as the fault of “feminism” (what is “feminine thinking” exactly?). In this piece Laws has simply clouded the issue with his own prejudice and insecurity.

42 comments on “Laws needs an education”

  1. trademark 1

    There’s certainly much that could be said about Michael Laws… but instead of going on about that, why don’t we talk about the issue: why are more boys failing and what can be done about it?

  2. SHG 2

    Summary: r0b agrees with Laws, but feels guilty about it.

    • Daveski 2.1

      Not that r0b needs any defence from me, but I’d feel guilty if I agreed with Laws too!

      As paraphrase Groucho Marx, who’d want to hold any political view expressed by Michael Laws (except paid up members of Lynchmobs-R-Us).

    • Ari 2.2

      Or perhaps he agrees that he’s got the facts right, but has absolutely no evidence on what is causing the problem.

      (Personally, I think some of it might have to do with the fact that women often need to be more qualified to land a given job than men, so there are different academic incentives operating here)

      • r0b 2.2.1

        Or perhaps he agrees that he’s got the facts right, but has absolutely no evidence on what is causing the problem

        As Ari says.

        The issue of a disparity in educational outcome for boys and girls exists, no doubt about that. When we understand the causes of this we will have an idea what (if anything) could be done about it. But to blame “feminism” makes about as much sense as the rest of Laws’ peculiar publicity-seeking ravings.

        For starters, is the fact that school teachers are overwhelmingly women a result of “feminism”, or good old fashioned sexism / sex stereotyping (women over represented in low paying jobs and caring professions). Cuss and discuss.

        • mickysavage 2.2.1.1

          Or a result of the sidelining of the profession by the continual attack on wages?

          IMHO teachers should be paid twice as much as accountants or stockbrokers or real estate agents but their pay is severely challenged and getting worse.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2

          For starters, is the fact that school teachers are overwhelmingly women a result of “feminism’, or good old fashioned sexism / sex stereotyping (women over represented in low paying jobs and caring professions).

          I put it down to some old fashioned stereo typing and fear. The fear popped up in about the 1970s when everyone suddenly decided that all men were paedophiles. After that happened getting a job as a teacher for a man was pretty much a guarantee that you were going to have to defend yourself against unfounded accusations of impropriety and could also end in jail for something you didn’t actually do.

  3. Walter 3

    Mere Laws hit list seems to have grown, we now have:

    – Maori
    – Gang members
    – Beneficiaries
    – Youth
    – Anyone who disagrees with him
    – And now Women!

    So, who does that leave? – ahh…..those nice white middle aged businessmen.

    Well, as a white middle aged businessman myself, I’d like to say I’d rather spend time with any on the list above – over Mr. Laws. What a prick.

    • millsy 3.1

      No, I belive Jews will be next.

      Someone needs to start taking the fight to that piece of fascist scum. Personally I would throw a brick through his window if I could,

  4. George D 4

    The Feminist Conspiracy has also reached the heart of the Islamic Republic of Iran – 60% of university students there are female.

    • prism 4.1

      The Taleban in Afghanistan and various muslim states agree with Michael Laws! Perhaps he is bin Laden’s cousin – his appearance is rather unusual I’ve always thought. Of course states with education for girls also tend to rise up the wealth stakes – that is a regular statistic. Female school teachers may not be so good at coaching rugby though, and a bit prissy and middle class for robust boy education?

  5. Laws is attempting to be the first Kiwi “shock jock”.

    He is making as much sense as his American equivalents. For instance his claim:

    The Ministry of Education accepts boys are backward with regard to reading and writing and girls stay at school longer. But that’s it no new policy or funding. At Year 6, twice as many boys as girls will be in reading recovery something of a joke these days because it is so chronically under-resourced. Education Minister Anne Tolley drew the ire of teaching unions last month for directing that any new education funding needs to go into the basics reading, writing and maths.

    This highlights a major misunderstanding of the issue and why the teachers are so up in arms about Tolley’s proposal. The resources are being redirected away from teaching to running tests. There are absolutely no further resources to help with the kids the testing of who has shown they are lagging. And the teachers will have less time actually teaching them because they will be spending all of their time testing and marking and testing and marking and testing and marking …

    Tolley did not direct that new education funding goes into teaching. She did the exact opposite.

    • Roflcopter 5.1

      The resources are being redirected away from teaching to running tests. There are absolutely no further resources to help with the kids the testing of who has shown they are lagging. And the teachers will have less time actually teaching them because they will be spending all of their time testing and marking and testing and marking and testing and marking

      You need to go have a closer look at what teachers are complaining about. National Standards are about teachers making overall teacher judgements based on EXISTING testing already in place. It’s not about testing more.

      The teachers want more resources available to assist in making the overall teacher judgements for reading, writing & maths.

    • prism 5.2

      The Nats want a willy wonka factory system, where kids turn out square and uniform. Tolley makes much of parents not being informed but you don’t have to introduce another test to improve that.
      Kids developing their own learning after they have the basics might get us further with boys. Catching the attention of some to concentrate on the subject can be hard. I used to see a class in the school library supposedly researching for an essay. One boy spent the whole hour looking at motor magazines making engine noises. Gerald McBoing Boing? He may have been a special class student but some are not wanting to learn in the way that schools are run now.

  6. Chen 6

    “Well, as a white middle aged businessman myself, I’d like to say I’d rather spend time with any on the list above over Mr. Laws.”

    Did saying that give you a sense of smug moral superiority? Laws spends a lot of time mocking white middle aged men & their antics if you pay attention.

  7. Chen 7

    btw. I agree that blaming feminism for male underachievement is silly. Although perhaps a lack of male teachers is a factor?

    • Ari 7.1

      That, and probably a lack of kinestetic-style education where people can learn from touching and doing things without getting told they’re misbehaving.

  8. logie97 8

    Reading Recovery at Year 6. I think not Michael – they may been through the programme but it is for 6 year olds, not 10 and 11 year olds. When he is so ignorant of such facts so the rest of his argument probably fails as well. The man is not worth the read.

  9. vto 9

    I betcha Laws point about feminism being to blame has a part (a point is a point no matter how small) truth to it. Why wouldn’t it? It was a major movement some time ago and forces like that can take some time to work through a bunch of people like us. If it is a factor then whine and moan a bit and then acknowledge and get on with it.

    • Ari 9.1

      So what part of feminist philosophy is about leaving young boys behind?

      I’d have to say that any feminist I talk to about boys underachieving seems concerned, (and some of them are actually involved in solving the problem) so long as I don’t act like they’re soulless demons who are at fault for everything. 😉

  10. vto 10

    r0b, your post doesn’t say why what Laws says is dumbo jumbo, it just says it is. Why?

    • r0b 10.1

      I dunno, maybe someone dropped him on his head?

      No seriously – because:

      (1) “Feminism” addresses social, political and economic equality for women, it isn’t an educational theory and it doesn’t have a secret plan to take over and run education.

      (2) The dominance of women in teaching is not evidence of any feminist take over, it is evidence of longstanding gender based inequalities in the workforce and in pay.

      (3) There is no evidence (of which I am aware, not an expert) that female teachers damage educational outcomes for boys. (There may be evidence that male teachers as role models have other beneficial effects separate from educational outcomes, that’s a different matter).

      (4) There’s no evidence that the concepts of “feminine thinking” and “feminisation of education” are real enough to have any actual impact in the real world.

      (5) It’s not obvious (again, need to see the stats, bet Laws hasn’t) that the gender balance in the teaching profession has changed significantly in the last few decades.

      (6) Society has changed in many many ways in the last few decades that are much more significant than any slight change in teacher balance. (Perhaps video games make boys dumb.)

      (7) Right wingers love to rabbit on about individual responsibility for the poor and minorities and so on. But when their sons aren’t achieving suddenly it’s women’s fault? Phuhleaze.

      (8) Laws is a twerp.

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        There is no evidence (of which I am aware, not an expert) that female teachers damage educational outcomes for boys.

        When I was in the primary schooling system 40 years ago, there were still a substantial number of male teachers, nowadays they are a small minority.

        Over the last 30 or so years both relatively and absolutely fewer young men are achieving compared to their female peers at University level.

        These two trends may or may not be causually related, but somehow I get the feeling no-one has done the basic research that could cast some real light on this question. In the meantime I suspect that it’s an open, and still valid question to ask.

        • Zorr 10.1.1.1

          I am choosing to enter the teaching profession to my own detriment. I have many friends trying to dissuade me from such a choice due to the fact that as a male teacher I will undoubtedly, at some point, have to deal with being accused of some impropriety. Despite this, and the continuing climate of uncertainty around the future of schools in this country, I am choosing to go in to teaching.

          Why? Because I want to. Because I have a very active desire to teach and help raise the next generation. Not everyone has this and the points I mentioned previously are enough to drive off most potential male teachers. To be a male teacher in this day and age, you either have to be very brave or very stupid… or maybe a little of both.

  11. Ron 11

    Fascinating that when boys fail it’s the system’s fault but when Maori fail – it’s their own fault.

    But further to the discussion – there seems to be a bit of disagreement about the stats. Just with the single sex school myth the rel problem (isn’t it always) seems to be socioeconomic. Educationalists do agree that boys READ less than girls but stats from three years ago showed the achievement gap closing in many sections of the curriculum.

    And how Tolley’s system is going to change this is a mystery. Boys do better in experimental, hands on style learning environment in which the piece together bits of the curriculum to achieve concrete goals. They do much less well is exam and test type environments.

    So once again Laws and his cronies basically don’t know what they’re talking about.

    captcha=logical

  12. RedLogix 12

    In my own primary/intermediate school days I had three male teachers and five female ones. My very clear recollection was that I made much better progress with the male teachers… while I had nothing but a miserable time with the female ones.

    I don’t know how many other men have had similar a experience, and I don’t imagine that it’s a universal one by any means, but it does seem to me that whereas girls generally do well with teachers of either gender, boys tend to do better with male teachers.

    I don’t see this as an ideological issue, nor any slight on the competence or commitment of female teachers; but with male teachers so rare in primary/intermediate schools I cannot help but wonder about the effect it is having.

  13. Dan 13

    The lack of male role models at schools may be part of the problem, but I think a more important problem is that there are many homes with no male model at home. Mum is the only authority figure, and instead of being the protective and caring and encouraging figure of motherhood, she struggles against the peer pressure of the adolescent male, and ends up pretty ineffectual.
    Don’t blame the feminisation of teaching: rather look at the jockism, the booze culture and the inane role models the media trots out where school success is demeaned.

  14. Cal 14

    The question for me is, if girls are smarter than boys, why do we still get paid less?
    Wonder what incredibly intelligent remark Lhaws has for that?

    And I agree with many people saying the lack of male role models is a problem, especially at primary school. All but one primary school and intermediate teacher I had was a middle-aged/elderly lady. I only really began to get male teachers at highschool, and it was usually about half and half there. I guess teaching primary doesn’t appeal to blokes.

  15. Cal 15

    Well if girls are smarter, how come we get paid less??

    And I agree with people saying that there aren’t enough male role models in school. I only had one male teacher up untill I was 13, the rest were old/middle aged ladies. When I got to high school, then it evened out to about half and half.

    • Ari 15.1

      Well if girls are smarter, how come we get paid less??

      Because your qualifications are undervalued. Because even being able to see that someone is female creates a bias against a candidate- women became far better represented in orchestras after blind auditions were introduced as a hiring practice in the USA, even though the interviewers had all thought they were being fair to female musicians previously. Sadly not all sexism is obvious or conscious.

      • prism 15.1.1

        After leaving school do boys lag behind girls in getting jobs and pay levels?
        On average women are paid less, but I think that also women are a greater proportion of part-time, casual, temporary workers. Sometimes that suits if they have children but the trouble is when they are able to go back to full time work and they can’t get a job that matches their qualifications. Refresher courses don’t always help. Many are definitely under-employed.
        Perhaps boys know that they can get jobs so don’t stress on the learning, and those that didn’t get a job or a good education didn’t have the right attitudes for either. Talking about educational deficiencies has been a crisis centre with the right for years. It’s well known that you can dramatise any portfolio and create an apparent crisis, and education is tailor-made for this as apart from the basics, each youngster has a different pathway.

        • Ari 15.1.1.1

          On average women are paid less, but I think that also women are a greater proportion of part-time, casual, temporary workers.

          And are still paid less than male workers in similar conditions.

          Likewise comparing women that take maternity leave to men who take extended sickness leave results in the same conclusion- women are generally underpaid across the board, and not as a result of their employment situations.

    • Strathen 15.2

      The cultural revolution hasn’t made it all the way to the top yet. What I mean is the people receiving the high paying jobs now, are the people that started their careers 30-50 years ago. In that era, most courses were still dominated by men.

      The reports now indicate the majority of students in the professional courses (accounting, law, doctors, dentists, etc) are female. This will indicate that in 30-50 years time the majority of those earning the high levels of pay will be female, most likely causing the opposite perception of females being paid less, as males will be paid less on average.

      I have an issue about the perception of females being paid less. Overall, yes. However with the studies I’ve looked at, once you compare averages per industry, they’re very much even. I’m well aware that different industries pay different amounts. When comparing wages, I do not see it accurate to compare what men earn in the financial sector with what women earn in the education sector. It distorts in my eyes. Perhaps I’m looking at the wrong studies, so if someone can provide me with a link, I’ll re-educate myself.

      • r0b 15.2.1

        I can’t find the link to the NZ study in a hurry – but in case Rocky doesn’t step in you could just start here:

        http://www.google.com/search?&q=paid+less+than+their+male+counterparts+in+the+same+job

        • Strathen 15.2.1.1

          Cheers r0b! Will go check it out now.

          edit: Not easy to find the NZ one, maybe Rocky could step in?

          Catchpa: girl

          • Strathen 15.2.1.1.1

            It appears the pay discrimination against women is a myth. Interesting article by someone who has published many books on the topic here: http://nzmera.orconhosting.net.nz/paygapwf.html

            “The pay gap, then, is not the problem. It is a reflection largely of family decisions that we may or may not wish to change. The law can still attend to discrimination, but not by starting with the assumption the pay gap means discrimination.”

            The other links I found from r0b’s stuff, also backed up my hypothesis in my previous post. I also did an extra search and still only found statistics that supported my claim. I found plenty of other stuff about there being a pay inequality, but none were backed by actual information/statistics/facts. They were more hyperbole than anything.

            However, my search is not exhaustive, someone may be able to get me to the correct place.

            Until that time, I my perspective has still only been influenced to the point that in the next 20-30 years, Women will overtake men in their take home pay as per the cultural revolution in the yesteryear. There is a lot of change, however pay discrimination is not just comparing overall pay packets, but looking at the vocations, hours worked, sacrifices made, and life choices of both sexes gives the reasons why there is a perceived pay inequality. Once you account for these, women predominantly get paid more than men.

            Catchpa: laws
            2 on topic in a row!

  16. hitmouse 16

    No-one has reading recovery at year 6, neither boys nor girls. Perhaps you meant age 6 or perhaps you meant twice as many boys would need it if it was available. The lack of funding for older students with reading difficulties is outrageous.

  17. Jared 17

    I had a similar debate with the welfare elect and womans rights officer elect after the AUSA elections about creating an Mens Rights Officer on campus to deal specifically with Mens Mental Health Issues, Mens Sexual Health Issues, and disturbing achievement levels only to be told that it was a male society and that males on campus had more “rights” and we didn’t deserve any representation, both welfare elect (john kingi) and WRO elect (Soriaya Daud) are current Princess Street Labour members. Neither would listen to reason when I tried to say that it would compliment the WRO officer, and AVP Joe McCrory told me it just wouldn’t work, even when Massey have a Mens Rights Officer that works well.

  18. Strathen 18

    I think this is quite an important step that men need to be taking. Because the changes are so slow and are bigger than generational, we cold find that men have been left behind, but by the time we realise, it will be too late.

    It’s already happening. Look at the number of women vs men graduating in the blue chip courses at varsity. In the next generation their will be inequality again. To prevent the cycle, we need to fix the balance now.

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    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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