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Local Bodies: NZ Charter Schools Defined

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, August 2nd, 2012 - 62 comments
Categories: Privatisation, schools - Tags: ,

Reprinted with permission from bsprout at Local Bodies


NZ Charter Schools Defined

Despite the fact that education is one of the few sectors in New Zealand that is performing well in international terms this National led Government have spent a good amount of time, money and angst to force through comprehensive systemic change. Rather than have a high quality public system that has been built on a culture of collaboration and research, they want to introduce a more competitive culture where schools will be compared and ranked by targeted criteria. The fact that there has been no support for this approach in research and that no high performing eduction system uses this model has been deliberately ignored.

Martin Thrupp’s research into how National Standards have had an impact on the learning culture of schools has already come up with clear indications that concerning changes have occurred. Our narrow focus on literacy and numeracy has seen other learning areas suffer and a decline in science achievement and engagement has already been noted.

Even though the Prime Minister has admitted that their National Standards system has produced ropey data and Hekia Parata’s attempt at increasing class sizes was comprehensively rejected, National are determined to push through with their ideological agenda. Today we had an announcement regarding the final details of their version of Charter Schools, that they have named “Partnership Schools”. These are essentially private schools supported by public money that do not have to follow the same criteria and regulations as public schools and have had mixed successelsewhere.

National has always supported the private model over comprehensive public education and their $35 million increase in funding to private schooling when they first took power was an indication of their priorities. Their new Partnership Schools will not only have the security of government funding but they can also receive sponsorship from outside organisations and Brian Tamaki has indicate an interest in opening a school. While these schools will need to provide National Standards data they do not have to follow our National Curriculum and they are also not required to employ registered teachers.

The strengths of a strong public education system is that whatever the socio economic background of a child, there is an expectation that they can attend a local school that is funded appropriately to the needs of the community; be taught by registered teachers (who are required to meet prescribed professional standards); and have their learning occur within in a national curriculum so that there is consistency between all schools (especially helpful for our many transient children).

National do not value professionalism, which was clear when they lowered the 100% qualified teacher target for early childhood education to 80% to save money on teacher salaries. Since being in government, National have been determined to shut out professional involvement when establishing National Standards and any collaboration that has occurred it has been under the understanding that policy can’t be questioned. What they don’t appear to understand is that it is the quality of the teacher in the classroom that determines the quality of the teaching and learning and raising the status and improving the professional support for teachers would make the most positive difference. Allowing the likes of Brian Tamaki to receive government support to establish his own school, using his own curriculum and employing teachers who will only have to pass police vetting rings alarm bells for me.

I guess it is ironic that the Minister leading the introduction of Partnership Schools and extolling their quality and accountability is one John Banks.

62 comments on “Local Bodies: NZ Charter Schools Defined”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    Ironic all right! Tamaki, Banks, and Key – what a trio! That is “partnership” for sure!! And God help the rest of us.

  2. lprent 2

    You can usually see a screwup coming with this government. It will have a Act party minister involved. In this case John Banks is extolling the value of charter schools, where the government for reasons of ideological stupidity give public tax money to private organisations to produce an education without any standards.

    Yep – that sounds like a Act party rort to me. Just like the supershitty, 3 strikes, etc etc…. I’m sure that there will be a lot of consultation and advice being offered by Actoids to those wanting to sup at the trough.

  3. Dv 3

    What could go possibly go wrong?

    I heard? Parata say that the charter schools would be closed if they failed.
    Leaving aside what is mean’t by failure who is going to pick up and sort out the pupils from the closed schools.

    They also don’t know about buildings yet.

    • tracey 3.1

      a prison only met 50% of its kpi but the company still has the contract. Accordingly what amounts to failure needs to be very clear. We have a world class system and we should not be experimenting on our children.

  4. Dv 4

    And if the school does not meet targets set by the Government?

    “They will be closed,” Ms Parata said.

    She said it was important there were consequences for schools that do not meet the standards set in their contract.

    SCHOOLs wil face consequences.

    WHAT about effects on the children?

    • bad12 4.1

      Children do not figure in charter schools, education is also only a means to an end in the charter schools scheme of things,

      Think the socialization of the losses of Capitalism and charter schools just being the means to front foot the large ugly snout of capitalist profit taking into an area of the economy from which they have largely been unable to fatten themselves at the public purse of such a large taxpayer cache as the education budget,

      They, charter schools are nothing except get rich quick schemes of,for,and, by a capitalist system that itself can and has scored a comprehensive F for itself, as in f**ked and failed…

      • Carol 4.1.1

        And a wedge between public and private education, with education of the elite gaining at the expense of education of the masses.

    • Dv-Closing schools that do not meet the “standards” is hardly reassuring when this can happen: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/lesley-longstone-management-style.html
      When National and their English import, Longstone, have no idea what makes a good new Zealand school I can imagine schools being hit for all sorts of random stuff. We have well and truly lost the wonderful potential that exists in the New Zealand Curriculum http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-documents/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum
      and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa http://tmoa.tki.org.nz/

    • mike e 5.1

      Brain Tamaki religious pyramid schemer.Natural partner to Shonkey financial pyramid schemer

  5. captain hook 6

    NZ is rapidly becoming the country that lost its head.
    key and banks and parata are dysfunctional personalities seeking to impose their will on a populace mesmerised by the facile, febrile glitter of lunatics.

  6. Gosman 7

    Closing failing Charter Schools is vital to ensure their success

    http://www.economist.com/node/21558265

    • Macro 7.1

      “Closing failing Charter Schools is vital to ensure their success”

      How can a failing school be successful? and how does closing it, ensure it’s success?

      • Carol 7.1.1

        This shows the failure of the business model for public services. A company producing low quality baked beans ay go out of business, with some wastage of beans. Better food businesses may subsequently be developed. But children are not expendable cans of beans.

    • mike e 7.2

      so thats why the US is 16th ranked.
      Other evidence shows charter schools are largely a failure.
      Dodgy figures leaving out under performing kids

    • In which case 83% of them should have been closed by now, Gosman. That’s how many have either not performed better, or have performed worse, than mainstream schools in the US.

      Source (not that you’ll bother to read this): http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/MULTIPLE_CHOICE_CREDO.pdf

      Unfortunately, it is children who will end up paying for your ACT Party’s little experiment.

      Another example of ordinary people paying dearly for nutty experiments.

  7. Anne 8

    But… but… but… John Banks said these charter schools will be of the very highest standard even though half of the teachers in them will have no teaching qualifications…

    Can someone please explain to this dunderhead how that actually works?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      It’s not supposed to, it’s supposed to make education worse and make a profit for the ticket clippers.

    • Just imagine a curriculum written by Bishop Tamaki and taught by a bunch of enthusiastic bible in schools teachers, one very real scenario.

  8. bad12 9

    Now you have seen the ‘blue-print’ for charter schools i bet you all will be hanging out for the next snout’n’trough act from the Slippery National Government,

    Charter hospitals where the Doctors and Nurses won’t need to have qualifications,(but will undergo rigorous checks to ensure they have consistently voted National),

    Hell i am a dab hand with a skill-saw, surgery anyone…

  9. Just heard John Banks on Radio NZ statimng that Charter Schhools are a “success” in the United states.

    The lying little bastard.

    The only study in the US, conducted by Stanford University, concluded that only 17% of charter schools do better than mainstream schools. The rest either fail, or achieve no better, than mainstream schools.

    Banks seems to be unable to tell the truth.

    • Dv 10.1

      When asked of an example, he quoted hisq son who was failing at school who went through apre army school on the North Shore.
      I have always wondered where the idea came from and i think that is it. the failure of his child was the stresor.

      I was also facinated by his harping on accountiblity. ACCOUNTIBILITY that is word Banks does not know the meaning of.

      • Dv 10.1.1

        And off course the army school was set up and run under current rules, so why do we need this new system.

        • Carol 10.1.1.1

          Well, I guess what Banks was talking about was this kind of vocationally-oriented school, for 16 yr+ people
          http://www.advancetraining.co.nz/

          The S.M.A.R.T. Course.

          Is this the course for me?

          Students should have a keen intererst in joining the Army, Air Force, Navy, Fire Service or Police

          Be prepared for some hard work both physically and academically.

          Gain NCEA Level 1 & Level 2.

          http://www.advancetraining.co.nz/index.php?p=1_5_SMART-Course

          Really? This is Banks’ model? [sigh]

          I have taught in vocationally-oriented courses for 16+ students in further education colleges in the UK, and TAFE in NSW, Aussie. These are state funded institutions, and regarded as a “second chance” education for students who have failed in the school system.

          I see no reason why some of the best aspects of these can’t be incorporated within the present state education system, including for students younger than 16 yrs. I have often thought this would be beneficial.

          The reason why such institutions don’t necessarily require teaching qualifications, is partly because they are in a “cinderella” sector, which is under-funded by the relevant governments. It doesn’t mean that teaching qualifications for all teachers are not the best option. Also, when the course is offering vocational or pre-vocational training, someone with knowledge and experience in that work area can be suitable.

          But is this what would be best for all students who have failed in the current school system, whatever their age? Really…. Banks shows his total lack of knowledge about education.

          • KJT 10.1.1.1.1

            This can be done within the present system. Such as the “trades academies” that some high schools already offer.

            The problem is lack of funding for the extra teachers and resources required.

            Of course if the extra funding is applied to the current schools they will have as good, or better outcomes than charter schools.

    • Carol 10.2

      And his 20% of students fail in the present system? And still he hasn’t answered why, if initiatives such as the pre-military school are so good, why can they be incorporated within the present state system. Why set up something totally different to improve things?

    • Gosman 10.3

      You obviously did’t read that Economist article Frank. You should really do so if you want to spout statistics.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1

        Why would he be reading an Economist article when he can read peer reviewed research?

        • Frank Macskasy 10.3.1.1

          Draco, Gosman was so eager to voice his muddled thinking that didn’t read the Economist article correctly. The piece actually supported the CREDO study (which, as you correctly state was peer-reviewed research) conducted by Stanford University.

          Once again,. Gosman ends up with one foot in his mouth, and shooting himself in the other.

          One the plus side, that Economist article may be useful. But not as Gosman intended.

      • Gosman, you’re a greater fool than I first thought

        That Economist article stated,

        … Much political capital has been made of a 2009 study of 16 states that found that only 17% of charter schools were better than public schools, 37% were worse and the rest were about the same. The work was done by the Centre for Research on Education Outcomes (Credo) at Stanford University.

        The Credo study has been criticised for not comparing the results of children who have won charter-school lotteries with those who have not—a natural experiment in which the only difference between winners and losers should be the schooling they receive. Such studies suggest that charters are better. For example, a lottery study in New York City found that by eighth grade (around 13), charter-school pupils were 30 points ahead in maths.

        However, recent work by Mathematica, an independent policy group, suggests that the Credo study is sound. The bigger problem is that its findings have been misinterpreted….

        If you’re going to quote articles, do it context you uneducated ass.

        • Gosman 10.3.2.1

          Ummmm…. I think you are selectively quoting Frank. The article goes on to state the the Credo study was in fact suggestive that Charter schools work at improving performance for the kids who are failed by the current public school system.. Try and learn a little comprehension.

          • Frank Macskasy 10.3.2.1.1

            I’ve quoted you the relevant part.

            It’s not my fault you don’t read your own source material properly. What part of “However, recent work by Mathematica, an independent policy group, suggests that the Credo study is sound. The bigger problem is that its findings have been misinterpreted” do you not comprehend?

            So if anyone needs to “learn a little comprehension”, it’s you. You’re making a total fool of yourself.

            • Macro 10.3.2.1.1.1

              Frank – Gosman has long since finished “making himself a total fool” he has been a complete total fool for quite some time now.

            • Gosman 10.3.2.1.1.2

              Did you stop at that point in the article Frank? Did you not read on about what it goes to state about the benefits to the most vulnerable kids that Charter Schools provide which the Credo study seems to support?

    • tracey 10.4

      didnt the main voice piece for charter schools in the usa change her mind about them? Is banks saying that charter schools will only enrol the under performing 1 in 5?????

    • muzza 10.5

      “Banks seems to be unable to tell the truth.”

      –Once an individual has been corrupted or lied just once, unless they admit to that lie or corrupt action, then every utterence and or action from that time forth, becomes a lie or corrupt activity, each linked to the original.

      People like Banks have not one truthful factor about them other than that they are pure evil!

      Paying for their working life and their retirement, is the fault of people who sit back and allow this to continue!

  10. Carol 11

    Maybe we should get registered teachers, doctors, nurses etc to run some of the big businesses, private entities in PPPs banks, investment services, etc.? After all, many of those businesses have failed being run by experienced business people.

  11. Herodotus 12

    What a great idea this is
    Allow private enterprise to have lower staff standards that than state and to make profit. Perhaps that is how they will achieve this profit, save on the wage bill. And does not National wish to have all teachers posses a post grad qualification.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10810713
    And JK is willing to send his kiddies to such a school. But doesn’t he live in the AGS & EGGS zones and still send his children to Kings ? Somehow by his actions I doubt that he believes in state education 🙁

    • tracey 12.1

      he can say that because he never has to front, with one finished and the other finishing. Hes never said he would send them to a decile one school

    • Good point, Herodotus… in fact, if you don’t mind, I’ll ‘borrow’ your comments for a blog piece I’m working on…

  12. Rodel 13

    I await the response of Labour politicians. I’d love to hear Shearer announce that these ridiculous, idiotic Banks inspired so called schools with unqualified ‘ teachers’ sponsored by corporates and fundamentalists will be closed the day Labour becomes the government, without recompense. Has anyone in Labour or the Greens got any leadership grit?

  13. BEFORE THE 2011 ELECTION – ACT DO NOT MENTION CHARTER SCHOOLS IN THEIR EDUCATION POLICY.

    http://www.act.org.nz/policies/education

    While education for many children is among the best in the world, we have a well-known “long-tail” of underachievers, who become the next generation of under skilled, unemployed, disengaged citizens. After 70 years of state controlled and mandated education, we have a situation where around 20% of our children left school last year unable to read or write sufficiently to fill out a job application.

    ACT believes that if we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will continue to get the same results that we’ve always had. The education system must do better for these New Zealanders. What we have done for too long is run education as a centrally planned, Wellington-dictated bureaucracy that gives little autonomy to schools and little choice to parents.

    Meanwhile, education policy in Australia, Sweden, parts of Canada and the United States, and Great Britain is showing the benefits of making education more market-like and entrepreneurial. Such policies lead to a wider range of education opportunities being available. ACT supports decentralisation in education, giving more autonomy to principals and teachers and more choice to students and parents.

    In the last parliamentary term, with ACT’s pressure and support, the government:

    • Introduced Aspire Scholarships, allowing disadvantaged children to access any school of their choice, public or private;

    • Undertake a review of education in New Zealand, leading to the ACT Party’s minority report Free to Learn, a comprehensive roadmap for reforming education towards a more market-like and entrepreneurial service;
    • Increase the subsidy for private schools, to reduce the extent to which those who send their children pay twice (once in taxes and once in school fees);
    • Value the special education sector more, with a special education review resulting in new directions described in the report Success for All: Every school, every child.

    ACT will keep working for a more vibrant and dynamic education system. A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to:

    • Continue awarding Aspire scholarships to underprivileged children;
    • Increase the autonomy that local principals and staff have in running their school. Boards and principals should be able, for example, to set teacher remuneration at their discretion like any other employer, rather than having a rigid, seniority based pay scale;
    • Further increase the subsidy for independent schools so that parents who choose independent schools for their children do not lose so much of their child’s share of education funding;
    • Encourage choice in assessment systems, whether they be NCEA, Cambridge International Examination, International Baccalaureate, or other qualifications.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    AFTER THE 2011 ELECTION CHARTER SCHOOLS (CONVENIENTLY) BECOME PART OF THE NATIONAL/ACT CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY AGREEMENT:

    http://www.act.org.nz/national-act-confidence-and-supply-agreement

    5. Education

    National and ACT acknowledge that many New Zealand children are not achieving their potential in education and are leaving school ill-equipped to enter the workforce and with limited choices for their future. Underachievement in education often compounds the disadvantages already faced by children in vulnerable, at-risk communities, and can contribute to intergenerational disadvantage, poor health, poverty, joblessness, welfare dependence, criminal offending and social dysfunction. It is one of the reasons for New Zealand’s very high rate of youth unemployment.

    Both parties agree that to break this cycle a range of mutually-supporting reforms is required in the areas of welfare, primary health, education, youth transition and employment law.

    With respect to education, the parties have, in particular, agreed to implement a system, enabled under either sections 155 (Kura Kaupapa Maori) or 156 (Designated character schools), or another section if appropriate, of the Education Act, whereby school charters can be allocated in areas where educational underachievement is most entrenched. A series of charters would initially be allocated in areas such as South Auckland and Christchurch. Iwi, private and community (including Pacific Island) groups and existing educational providers would compete to operate a local school or start up a new one. Schools would be externally accountable and have a clearly-defined, ambitious mission. Public funding would continue to be on a per-child basis. (Details are included in the attached Annex).

    National and ACT agree to establish an implementation group comprising a private sector chair, and private sector, business, iwi and community representatives along with government officials to develop the proposal. They also agree to ensure it is implemented within this Parliamentary term. The terms of reference and composition of the group would be agreed by National and ACT and be supported by the Ministry of Education and external resources. (Details are included in the attached Annex.)

    National and ACT also agree to set up a task force to produce a comprehensive report on governance issues relating to policy towards state, integrated and independent schools.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  14. Georgecom 15

    Banks speech on Radio NZ after 5.30 pm tonight was essentially a series of sound bites and catch phrases.

    He talked about 20% of students failing NCEA level 2 and how something had to be done about this. If Banks bothered to look at the data NCEA rates have been rising over the past decade, without Charter Schools.

    The best way to lift achievement levels is trained teachers and quality professional development. Charter Schools can employ untrained people as teachers and the government has cancelled most quality professional development. Most PD available to teachers has to do with its dodgy National Standards programme.

    The leader of the school does not need to be a trained teacher either. Professional leadership could be seriously lacking.

    He complained about 25% of “our youth” being on the dole. Not sure how Charter Schools will address that. Maybe some jobs could help but we needent look to him or his Government to contribute much in that area eh.

    If Banks wants to encourage alternative education he could properly fund existing alternative education programmes and given them some certainty. No need for Charter Schools, just start to give some certainty to existing programmes and make their existence more secure.

    If he wants to make a dent in the ‘20% who education isn’t working for’, why does he import failed policies from countries with longer tails than NZ. That is, in countries with greater underachievement than ours charter schools haven’t worked, so why should they be any different here. Failure simply replicates failure.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Neither Banks nor National give a shit about education. All they’re interested in is government guaranteed profit for their rich mates and it’s that profit chasing which brings about charter schools.

    • Carol 15.2

      That was a despicable performance by Dishonest John. A sad day when someone like him is in government, let alone a minister with responsibility for subverting our education system.

      And still he avoided explaining why any good measures being carried out in private establishments couldn’t be incorporated into the system we have now.

      • Dv 15.2.1

        He said his own kid went through a school like a charter school under the CURRENT system.

        The real problem is he does not have any idea about how the current system works.

        AND i guess they will troll the malls of south auckland and Poriria for students, just like HULLICH did touting the dodgy kiwisaver scheme. WHO signed that off? Oh yes Banks.

  15. The fact that 50% of our children experience poverty at some stage in their childhood doesn’t seem to figure in this government’s thinking. Children living in substandard housing and coming to school in Winter without shoes and breakfast must have some bearing on learning achievement. I guess this means raising minimum wages and cutting profits for their mates. Better to blame the teachers, raise class sizes, introduce league tables, sack advisors…that should fix it!

  16. Logie97 17

    Banks made a big play on the 20 per cent who are failing.
    “And the charter schools are going to go to all existing schools with failing pupils and
    offer them positions in the charter schools so that they can get a better chance in life…?”
    Nah, those “failing” pupils will stay in the public system while a “wacky” rag bag of others will go to the charter schools (probably achievers academically) and the public schools will be left with higher ratios of failing pupils and won’t the figures look good then.

    • rosy 17.1

      Some of the failing will go to the Charter Schools – the education that’s failing them won’t be measured though.

      • tracey 17.1.1

        a prominent private school in auckland doesnt publish its results. Last year an alarming number of year 13 failed cambridge and without ncea are doing six month courses at unis to get to degree courses. Ive suggested they sue the school under the fta for misleading and deceptive conduct, promising quality education but hiding failures… Ask for fees back. 😉

        • Gosman 17.1.1.1

          That will be up to the parents of the kids to decide. If they decide to pay for an education for their children which is failing them then more fool them. However I suspect this isn’t really the case and you are either mistaken or making this up.

  17. tracey 18

    It is real and my suggestion to sue was tongue in cheek.

    • Gosman 18.1

      Name the School and also specify their failing rate then.

      • tracey 18.1.1

        The school is in a auckland. I wont name it as i was using it to make a tongue in cheek comment. I dont understand how we partially fund them but cant get their annual figures. Can you show me the national and act pre election statements which give them a mandate for charter schools? I

  18. BillODrees 19

    In a poll now on xtra  http://Nz.yahoo.com. 60% see charter schools as a dangerous experiment and 20% see it as an improvement. 

     

  19. Fortran 20

    Currently 2% of Primary School Teachers have no qualification, and 6% of Secondary, according to the Education Department.

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    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
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    14 hours ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
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    17 hours ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
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    1 day ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
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    2 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
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    3 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
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    3 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
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    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
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    4 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
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    4 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
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    5 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
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    5 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
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    6 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
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    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    1 week ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
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    1 week ago