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National Standards causes decline in educational levels

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 am, December 7th, 2017 - 30 comments
Categories: accountability, education, national, Politics, same old national, schools, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

If you ask a Primary School teacher what has been the most retrograde step the last Government took in the education sector it would be National Standards.

It sounded great. Instant ranking of your kid amongst their peers so you would know if they were going to be a brain surgeon or a factory hand. Perfect opportunity for the anxious rich and middle class to make sure that their kids got ahead and if they were not getting ahead then things could be done to help.

But teachers hated it. They had to spend so much time testing and collating and inputting data. They had to deal with anxious parents who were upset their kids were not doing as well as they thought they should be doing, and kids who hated doing assessment after assessment. They complained because all this testing and assessing and data collection was stopping them from teaching which is actually the thing that teachers want to do.

They were really concerned that all this testing and assessing and stressing was affecting the quality of education their kids should have been getting. And they were right.

From Radio New Zealand:

Teachers and principals are blaming the national standards in reading, writing and maths for a sudden drop in 10-year-olds’ scores in an international reading test.

For the past 15 years, New Zealand’s average score in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study was static at about 530 points, but in the most recent round of testing it fell from 531 points to 523.

New Zealand’s ranking in the study also fell, from 23rd to 33rd out of 50 countries.

And from the coalface:

The president of the teacher union, the Educational Institute, Lynda Stuart said the standards were to blame because they took the joy out of many classes after they were introduced in 2010.

“The creativity has actually gone and we know that creativity helps children to learn within that literacy and numeracy area.”

Principals Federation president Whetu Cormick also blamed the standards for the drop.

“The profession has always been fearful that with the narrowing of the curriculum that we would see a slip,” he said.

“Many would argue that when you fixate on a particular area, kids are going to switch off and this is what has happened. Children are being relentlessly pushed in reading, writing and maths.”

And if you want a clear example showing how cynical the introduction of National Standards was then National’s early decisions when its last term of Government started provide plenty of evidence.

In 2012 I wrote this:

The Government was urged [in the 2008 Briefing to Incoming Ministers] to continue with professional development programs.  The Numeracy Development Project, established in 2000, had resulted in significant improvements. Between 2002 and 2007 the percentage of Year 6 students achieving at or above the expected level in mathematics increased from 40 percent to 61 percent while the percentage classified as at risk decreased from 30 percent to 13 percent.  The Literacy Strategy, also established in 2000, also saw significant improvements.  A 2008 evaluation showed that after taking into account expected growth and maturation, students’ gains in reading and writing were twice those that could be expected without the intervention and that schools accelerated the rate of progress for the majority of the at-risk students by four times the expected rate. 

So what happened to the recommendations?  In Budget 2009 then Minister Ann Tolley gave private schools $35 million extra funding, announced the roll out of National Standards while at the same time cut funding for the literacy and numeracy projects despite their effectiveness. If she wanted to do something for literacy and numeracy she would have not done this.  She was looking to appease National Supporters and introduce testing for PR purposes at the cost of two quality programs.

With the benefit of hindsight it is clear that the concerns of the Public Service were totally justified.  And cutting quality programmes, giving the money to private schools and then foisting National Standards on us were the wrong things to do.

Of course National Standards may have not been the only cause.  Increasing child poverty no doubt also had an effect.

Thanks National for putting political gain ahead of what is best for our kids. Again.

30 comments on “National Standards causes decline in educational levels”

  1. Cinny 1

    For years and years teachers have told the government that national standards are not working, government have refused to listen.

    Now post election data like this comes out, thank goodness we have a new Government who does listen to the teachers and the people.

    A big thanks to all who voted for change, the children of NZ will be better for it, so will the schools and our wonderful educators.

    Thanks Micky for your excellent post

  2. Incognito 2

    This poorly designed and ill-fated experiment with National Standards lasted about 7 years. It could have been a lot worse if National had again been elected into Government but luckily they were voted out. Meanwhile, thousands of children do and will suffer the consequences of these neoliberal brain farts for a very long time.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      What is more we must see that National never get back in again, and just use that possibility as a stick to wave at Labour if they don’t produce adequate policy that gets properly implemented and monitored. We know how determined the Gnats can be now, and the wealthy who on the smell of an oily rag that promises some high gains for themselves, will abandon a working system that meets most needs but requires revision and ‘reboring’ to get it working at top speed.

      You can lose all you have gained if you don’t watch what’s happening and believe some smart-talker with a cohort of shadowy figures in suits and PhDs which they wear as a badge of brotherhood (sisters allowed). 1984-2017 – have we gained our PhDs in how to be a seasoned citizen voter on all things political.

      (Listen to how The Smart One handles Lisa’s hard question about 2.30m)

  3. David Mac 3

    There are more forces at play than National Standards.

    Truancy is rising. I was surprised to read that currently 55.9% of children in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate do not meet the threshold considered to be Regular Attendance. (present for more than 75% of half days)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/93846273/national-decline-in-the-number-of-students-attending-school-regularly-report-shows

    • JanM 3.1

      Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      Unfortunately your argument has been researched overseas.
      The UK govt a Toy govt found that National Standards caused a decline in literacy as in 2008 the dropped it finding without National Standards literacy improved rather than declined.
      The Tory govt found it was an expensive waste of money.

  4. JanM 4

    I have no time whatsoever for the National Party and all who sail in her, but I still struggle with the level of uncaring cynicism that was prepared to sacrifice the education and wellbeing of our children for a deeply impaired system, even for them. It wasn’t even experimental as it had been proved to be detrimental in other countries. Besides which, it flew in the face of known best practice, as many knowledgeable people tried to tell them.
    Of all the awful things that this last government did, and there were a lot, heaven knows, this rates to me as the worst. It was deliberate, and almost, in my eyes, treasonous!

    • David Mac 4.1

      It was done for votes rather than the quality development of children. It gave parents with a cursory interest in their child’s education the opportunity to say ‘Ahhhh great, A, B and C passes, 72% in the exam , I can understand that, thanks National’.

      It’s done at the price of identifying and nurturing the dormant and special talents that dwell within all of us.

      • solkta 4.1.1

        I think as much as that it was done in an attempt to narrow the curriculum. Labour had spent several years consulting with the sector to create the New Zealand Curriculum. This had moved more to a whole person approach with focus on identity and relationships as well as broad subject content. National Standards forced teachers to focus back on the ‘core’ subjects of reading, writing and maths.

        • David Mac 4.1.1.1

          I enjoy chatting with young dedicated teachers, the education process has changed so much since I was there.

          I had information laid out for me to sponge up. Today all the information is at our fingertips and education has become sorting out what are the bombs and Bentleys on the Information Highway and more importantly, how to start grouping that information and applying critical thinking.

          Fascinates me, ignites my imagination.

      • Cinny 4.1.2

        So hearing you on that David Mac. Creativity has been left behind, talents un-nurtured, the answer has to be “X” any other answer is wrong etc etc. Worksheets and more worksheets, it’s been bullshit for all involved.

        Kids need to feel proud about something, give them that and they will excell, they will be so involved with their passion, nurtured at school, that they won’t need a crutch of social media to feel good about themselves, or to bully others. As social media often has the reverse results, and the youth suicide rates speak for themselves. Once they are feeling good about themselves life starts to flow.

        Give them more music in their curriculum and watch their maths improve. It’s all relevant, it’s all connected and it’s all important and it’s all been overshadowed by national standards.

        Some kids will never ever reach national standards, and while the focus and pressure overwhelms them to ‘pass’ the failed imported system; another invention, idea, piece of art is lost and forgotten, unacknowledged and unvalued, because of national standards.

        “X” is not always the only correct answer and there’s more than one way to find it.

        There will be some happy teachers this holidays, so excited for all the kids, for their futures. Looking forward to the next episode in education, so thrilled with the new government. There’s such a positive hum at all the primary schools in our region, rather than the end of year stress and restlessness that it has been in the past. Going to call it “Hope”, a wonderful contagious feeling

        • David Mac 4.1.2.1

          We share similar views Cinny.

        • Reality 4.1.2.2

          Great post Cinny

        • greywarshark 4.1.2.3

          Cinny
          Great news. Wishing all in education, at the ‘coalface’, a Happy Christmas and 2018.

          • greywarshark 4.1.2.3.1

            Cinny
            Here are some good quotes for Chrissie presents! I came across these on education and children and thought them excellent, so give them to you. And an extra one that is meaningful, from Frederick Douglass who had been a Negro slave, so knew what he talked of.

            The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things. Jean Piaget

            Author Profession: Psychologist
            Nationality: Swiss
            Born: August 9, 1896
            Died: September 16, 1980
            Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/jean_piaget_751077

            It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
            Frederick Douglass

            Everybody has asked the question, and they learned to ask it early of the abolitionists, ‘What shall we do with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us.
            Frederick Douglass

            Author Profession: Author
            Nationality: American
            Born: February 14, 1817
            Died: February 20, 1895
            Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/frederick_douglass_20157

      • Tricledrown 4.1.3

        David Mac.Redneck appeasment Talk back radio policy.
        Is why National turned teaching into production line pupils.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.4

        It was done for votes

        It was done as part of the long term goal of privatising all public services.

  5. Psych nurse 5

    Teachers always said that National Standards would fail, that teachers would have to teach to the narrow standard to the exclusion of all else. This is a class thing, some years ago a friend was a House Master and teacher at Christs College, he explained how that school achieved such high School Cert results, they learn’t the 5th form curriculum three years in a row, what was important was not the journey through Education but the result, nothing has changed.

    • David Mac 5.1

      Taught the 5th form curriculum 3 years in a row! Ha, that’s genius. Brilliant for passing exams, shame about life.

    • greywarshark 5.2

      Christs College, and others of that ilk which attract the so-called brightest and best students, is the seedbed where the minds and morals of advantaged people who get to be leaders and politicians are formed. Voila here are the flower of NZ’s education and advancement, the crop we have at present have all been raised in this nursery of cactus plants with unpleasant barbs which occasionally flower spectacularly and then just sit and swell up with the juice of kool-aid some to burst like Mr Creosote of Monty Python in-fame. He was very fat, very gross by the way.

      The item below on Don Brash gives a timely example of how hard it is to be an economist and a person of principle committed to acting for the good of the people, even the country, not for the most presently compelling argument.

      (cf Don Brash similar)-
      He attended Cashmere Primary School and Christchurch Boys’ High School before going to the University of Canterbury where he graduated in economics, history and political science.

      He continued his studies in economics, receiving his master’s degree in 1961 for a thesis arguing that foreign investment damaged a country’s economic development. The following year he began working towards a PhD (again in economics, at the Australian National University), which reached the opposite conclusion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Brash

      And early in 2014, Don published Incredible Luck, a book which is in part Don’s own assessment of his life –
      http://www.donbrash.com/about-don/

      • He continued his studies in economics, receiving his master’s degree in 1961 for a thesis arguing that foreign investment damaged a country’s economic development. The following year he began working towards a PhD (again in economics, at the Australian National University), which reached the opposite conclusion.

        Which should tell people just how out of touch with reality modern economics is.

        He was actually right the first time. Due to its propensity to grab the IP, close the local branch and then leave NZ foreign investment actively destroys local development.

  6. savenz 6

    National Standards has been shocking and deliberately put into place by National in my view to do five things.

    1/To destroy the Teachers union, by assessing kids and then making an argument for performance pay based on those assessments. Then to bring that in and divide the teachers into ‘good’ teachers and ‘bad’ teachers and thus drive wedges between them and reduce the teachers union power for collective bargaining.

    2/To divide children, parents and teachers who are at the coal front of teaching the slop that the ministry have forced them to teach and assess. Some kids ‘appear’ to be doing very well, while other’s don’t and are unable to, as the standards themselves were extremely flawed and without any merit. Therefore creating division between the kids doing well and the kids not doing well and the parents whose kids were doing well and the parents of kids not doing well, as well as division between the parents and teachers when the kids were not doing well or demotivated by the curriculum.

    3/ Create diversion so that the education funding could be cut and redirected into private schools, charter schools and building more schools for their desired increased population and construction industry (rather than concentrating on the education within the schools aka the children getting the funding for their education or teachers pay).

    4/Force parents to use the private sector more to ‘catch’ their kids up with special needs and assessments and pay for other private providers in all the areas now missing or very weak from the curriculum like music, arts, drama and PE. As well as catch up for literacy like reading, maths and writing.

    5/Force the schools to use the private sector for things like swimming as funding for that and the maintenance of that is cut and eventually try to get the schools to sell off land to pay for the running of the schools or actually close the schools with a view to having giant superschools and more kids being taught via video links and not actually going to a school.

    In short our precious kids are collateral damage for the National parties ideology of a unionless, privatised education sector for business profit not education.

    • JessNZ 6.1

      +100000

    • In short our precious kids are collateral damage for the National parties ideology of a unionless, privatised education sector for business profit not education.

      QFT

      And it is actions like this that destroys society and all done in the name of greed profit.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      Once again, exactly as predicted.

      If the goal is to privatise education the policy is working perfectly.

  7. patricia bremner 7

    This whole mess began with Lockwood Smith’s syllabus.He threw out creativity.

    National standards were like the National party, not fit for purpose.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago