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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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    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    4 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    4 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    5 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    6 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    6 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago