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National standards aren’t

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, March 16th, 2012 - 34 comments
Categories: education, national, schools - Tags: ,

National standards have been imposed on schools against expert advice, against international experience, and against considerable opposition. The government can bully schools into the appearance of compliance. But they can’t make a flawed and unworkable scheme workable. They can’t stop the perverse and damaging incentives that standardised testing creates. And they can’t stop some teachers from doing what they think is best for the education of their kids.

So the news is breaking that national “standards” are nothing of the kind:

Study finds schools are setting own standards

A report looking at six diverse schools from around the country has revealed schools are struggling to keep up with demands under the system. It also shows at least one school has lowered its students’ achievement target so that it did not look bad if the set target was not reached.

The Research, Analysis and Insight into National Standards project – commissioned by the education sector union, the Educational Institute – is a three-year study led by Waikato University professor Martin Thrupp. It showed schools were interpreting National Standards in different ways, taking into account factors within their own community such as socio-economic status, location and curriculum development.

One school had refused to use the category “below” when informing parents of their child’s progress because, it said, it unfairly labelled them as failures. Another school had gone to the extreme measure of lowering its school achievement target. …

In contrast to “Seagull School”, staff at another school, dubbed “Cicada School”, were cutting back its curriculum in order to get students up to National Standards levels. … In a newsletter, the school told parents: “The curriculum is going to become very narrow. If everybody’s jobs are now dependent on making significant improvement in achievement … people are going to focus only on reading, writing and maths.

“Curriculum areas such as PE, music and art are likely to be squeezed out. Those things that many students enjoy and most of us see as important in an education system will be given a reduced status.” …

Perry Rush, chairman of the Boards Taking Action Coalition which believes there are numerous flaws in National Standards, said the study confirmed that National Standards was a policy of forced compliance.

“Last year, the ministry decided to ignore the clamour from the education sector regarding these flawed standards and I think it’s no surprise that this study shows that schools are conforming in name only,” he said.

There is other reporting of the Thrupp report here and here.

Hey National – time to put an end to this fiasco and an end to the standards before they do any more damage. Use the perfectly adequate existing methods of assessment and reporting. Have confidence in our world-class primary education system and the (remarkably cost-effective) results that it produces. Stop damaging kids – just because you don’t want to be seen to back down.

34 comments on “National standards aren’t”

  1. Hate to say we told you so.
    Actually I love to say it.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      Yes, add this to the long list of National policies that were predicted to be total and abject failures by everyone credible, and lo and behold, the predictions came true.

      You’d think they’d be embarrassed by the utter incompetence of everything they have ever done.

      • shreddakj 1.1.1

        I think their actual end-game is being achieved. It’s just the lines they sell to the public that are failures. Unless they are actually incompetent and think these policies are actually going to help regular citizens.

        • bbfloyd 1.1.1.1

          embarrassment is for everyone else, not sociopaths…..

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            Now now, not all of them are evil sociopaths. Some are fucking morons who possibly genuinely believed their own bullshit. Tolley could well go to her grave convinced that National Standards would have been brilliant, but the teachers’ unions sabotaged them.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The National Party’s long, long tale of underachievement.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                There are morons and sociopaths on both ends of the spectrum which is why we shouldn’t let any of them control something so important. I remember the rural school reform under Trevor Mallard being pretty unpopular and unsuccessful.

  2. happynz 2

    In contrast to “Seagull School”, staff at another school, dubbed “Cicada School”, were cutting back its curriculum in order to get students up to National Standards levels. … In a newsletter, the school told parents: “The curriculum is going to become very narrow. If everybody’s jobs are now dependent on making significant improvement in achievement … people are going to focus only on reading, writing and maths.

    This is what happens. I’ve seen it in schools in countries that are mad keen on ‘standards’. If a teacher’s job security is dependent on students’ performance in certain areas, the curriculum indeed would become narrow. In the worst case, students could be fed the answers to exams so as to maintain the illusion of ‘standards’ being met.

    • shreddakj 2.1

      That’s exactly what happens in a lot of schools around the states with Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”.

      • Maggie May 2.1.1

        Presidenrt Obama has already officially disbanded the “No child left behind” national standards in America as it has proven to be a failure in children’s education.

        In fact I watched a clip on CNN where school children were themselves starting a partition against 40 children in each classroom as they feel their education has suffered greatly since it’s introduction of “no child left behind” national standards.

        But then again it is very clear John Key is not interested in educating all our young, he seems to think only “rich bitch” kids should get an education so they can be the ruling class over the surfs.

        They do not seem to have asked themselves yet, why on earth would these surfs want to create wealth for these educated people when there is nothing in it for them other than a below the cost of living wage.

        Wonder what will happen when they finally realise the surfs arn’t interested in creating their wealth for them.

    • Shane Gallagher 2.2

      “students could be fed the answers to exams so as to maintain the illusion of ‘standards’ being met.”

      That is, in fact, what happens in the US and the UK. You impose a set of “rules” and “targets” and people game the system in order to win. It is bloody-mionded game-theory based neo-liberalism.

    • Rusty Shackleford 2.3

      This is certainly my experience in the standards mad Republic Of Korea. Every eight weeks around mid and end term exams my classes are canceled so the students can have ‘test prep’ with their subject teachers. It isn’t a covert thing. It’s pretty explicit that they are being fed the answers.

      All of the exams are multi-choice as well. They do zero project work. I taught essay writing to a large group of teachers during the winter vacation. The ability to write a simple precis of a short article was nigh on non-existent. They admitted that it was the case in their native language as well.

      Moral of the story; it’s safe to ignore Korea’s supposed superiority in educational attainment.

  3. Roger 3

    Not exactly a surprise, even John Hattie warned that this was going to happen as well as various groups interested in childrens education that actually have any expertise. This is a sad time to say I told you so since a world class education system is under attack and children are being used as collateral in what is effectively an ego trip by a few idiots with their hands on the levers.

  4. Wouldn’t it be better, given N.C.E.A. doesn’t work terribly well either – I never could see the need for it – if New Zealand were to go back to the old tried and true School Certificate/Sixth Form Certificate/University Bursary, with a few modifications?

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Agreed.
           
        Three consecutive years of “one shot to pass in 3 hours or ruin your life” stress should be left in the dustbin of history, along with the 11+

        • shreddakj 4.1.1.1

          I did NCEA, I think I was in the second or third group of students to do it, and while I had some criticisms of the system there is no way I would have been happy with being shaped to a bell-curve.

        • RobertM 4.1.1.2

          Even for a nervous little nerd like me, SC in the 1970s wasn’t so bad. But in reality SC like NCEA was too easy for the bright who in many cases had to make little effort and impossible in English and Maths for the bottom 40%. My parent’s were in many ways not as conservative as me and my father believed the SC English syllabus in the 1970s was inapproprite and impossible for the low streams and had to be replaced by something else and in reality that SC, English was little more than an intelligence test in which the teachers effort made little or no difference, I would say that wa true for half the pupils.
          In terms of my own English which some criticise on the Standard , I would say both my parents were secondary school English teachers, my mother a specialist reading teacher. My father had a first in English from Victoria, Wgtn, by mother a good second. When I was at primary school in the l960s look and say was at its height and in that period and 70s there was the least emphasis on grammar and spelling. In my case over the last decade the issues have been magnified by poor eyesight problems and often composing on time or pay limited computers.
          Essentially my mother used whatever method of reading teaching would get the best results for a pupil be in phonics or look and say. But in my case,, my mother and other teachers in the early l960s used look and say to the maximum degree, with only a very minimal phonics correction ability, to maximise a certain type of intelligence with a very considerable trade off in less gramatical or spelling ability. This in some ways gave me an advantage , but it became less so in the 21C with more emphasis on what mid level employers wanted and the growing importance of the internet and computing which being middle aged I never achieved more than the ability to get thru on even as an honours student in 2006. Also the professional journalsim and commentary I did in the 1980s was often edited by four or five editors and family members with IQs in the 130s and a great deal of my work also went thru word processing and correction by professional secretaries and professional secretaries , and this ceased to by the case in the 21C.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.3

          Yeah easy to say McFlock, except males are adversely affected in situations where the sole focus is internal assessment.

          Ask any law or medical faculty, since the change in high school exam systems a few years back the boys have a much harder time being competitive with the girls and have a much reduced confidence in academic settings than even 10 years ago.

          • McFlock 4.1.1.3.1

            I tend to exam better than internals. But I also burned out in school and didn’t make the cut for UE (although did very well in SC).
                  
            My impression of male students at university (and recollection from when I was doing educ stats) is that many of them were less focused and less prepared than their female colleagues. A significant block of female students seem to arrive in town earlier, focus on classes earlier, and often have caregivers in town in the first few days to help them settle in. They also tend to hold a grudge against disciplinarians longer than male students, as an aside (but sly bottle-throwing at the source of their displeasure was less common than from male students). Personally I think that part of the issue is that education of females transitioned to empowerment and collaborative encouragement several years ago, whereas I think a few of the boys’ schools and teachers are still in the rugby-and-entitlement mentality. A significant block of male students haven’t yet figured out that they now have to work for some stuff in life, and there’s some shit that dad can’t get them out of. 
                 
            But gender disparities in educational achievement could even be down to the lack of male role models in education faculty since Peter Ellis. Blaming it on a lack of exams seems to be a bit precious.
                  
             

          • Vicky32 4.1.1.3.2

            Yeah easy to say McFlock, except males are adversely affected in situations where the sole focus is internal assessment.

            My son would disagree with you about that! He and his guy friends all did as well as the girls around them. He knew boys who didn’t do as well, but told me that they were simply lazy – and I believe him – he knows much more about that than I do (I went to an all-girls school in the days of School C., and I did well, and I had uneducated parents, RobertM.)

        • Bored 4.1.1.4

          Fekk Macker, I excelled at both of those: here I am as living proof that they look impressive at the time but mean Fanny Adams (especially if you are a non conformist)….

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      NCEA works fine – it’s why we have a world class education system. If we went back to the old system our education system would get worse and our children would suffer.

    • Vicky32 4.3

      Wouldn’t it be better, given N.C.E.A. doesn’t work terribly well either –

      I beg to differ, it works perfectly well.  My son sat NCEA level 3 a few years ago, and now is working as a nurse after successfully completing his degree course. No problems at all!

  5. The modifications I was thinking of would be to ensure all courses have a component of internal assessment so that it does not come down to three hours in November. I was thinking courses could all have tests at the end of each subject or mid year exams that account for everything done up to say, June.
    The only reason why I got my mediocre marks in this format was that I did not do enough study. You can’t blame the system for that.

    • Dv 5.1

      Oh, like Ncea then.

      • Simon Poole 5.1.1

        Not necessarily. When I took Bursary Biology I believe 35% of the grade was internal assessment, with the remainder coming from the exam. Friends of mine did Physical Education at the bursary level, and again there was a not-insignificant internal component.

        Of course, other classes I took (Chemistry, Calculus, Classical Studies, English) were all 100% external. And NCEA certainly can’t be worse than 6th form cert, where your pool of available grades is set by the performance of the school in School Cert the year before. That was a clusterfuck.

  6. Bored 6

    My shot as an employer: more tech courses where I can hire good keen 18 year olds with a few skills that I can hone and reward. Hired a guy with a little skill set recently who has great attitude, worth his weight in gold already.

    Big thing to me is demonstrable aptitude (the tech course at school helps here) and attitude (school can do that too)…NCEA L3 in whatever, or BCom just does not give me anywhere to go.

    Having said that pretty much every 18 – 25 year old I see wants the job and would make a fist of it, we employers (and the economy in general) are letting down a whole generation. They all want to work and contribute, and we serve up crap as a future to them from day one.

    • seeker 6.1

      @Bored

      “Having said that pretty much every 18 – 25 year old I see wants the job and would make a fist of it, we employers (and the economy in general) are letting down a whole generation. They all want to work and contribute, and we serve up crap as a future to them from day one.”

      I agree with your wise and perceptive comment on this issue. We should really try to put our heads together to try and come up with some answers to this problem that you have pertinently exposed. Maybe this is where the business community could show some creativity outside their own bubble?

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    7 days 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
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    14 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    1 day 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
  • 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago