web analytics

Nats bullying schools again

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, November 11th, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , , ,

The Nats have a long and dishonourable history of trying to gag those who would speak out against them. This includes multiple attacks on schools — threats against principals and school boards who were exercising their rights to free speech, threats to sack dissenting boards, threats of withheld funding. And these are just the threats that we know about.

Today we see further effects of this bullying:

Third of rebel schools appear to soften stance on standards

Nearly a third of the schools that said they had no confidence in National Standards have told the Ministry of Education they do in fact plan to implement the controversial scheme.

A group called Boards Taking Action Coalition said last week that the trustees from 225 schools around the country had issued a vote of no confidence in National Standards. As a result those schools would refuse to set student achievements targets for next year until the system was reviewed.

The next day the ministry starting contacting all of the protesting schools’ boards of trustees to check the claim.

The Ministry was not “checking on the claim”, they were working through their script of escalating threats against the schools. We know this because a senior official in the Ministry resigned refused to participate in protest at the unethical bullying tactics. Fortunately the Herald piece quoted above gives at least some attention to this side of the story:

Mr Rush said it was very hard to test the veracity of the information gathered by the ministry but he did know some board members were upset with the tone of the calls they received.

“Board chairs have inundated me with calls complaining at the tone of ministry questioning in recent telephone calls. Ministry officials seem to have been instructed to put the fear of God into board members.”

Some board chairs said the ministry callers implied they would be sacked if the standards were not implemented in full.

Schools are boycotting national standards in a last ditch attempt to protect children from a flawed system which is likely to do them nothing but harm. Because they are so utterly unable to listen to expert and professional advice, because they are so utterly ideologically obsessed with “victory” over teachers, the Nats are determined to press ahead. They are desperate to contain the current boycott. The only way they can do so is to continue their campaign of bullying threats against schools. Every school board threatened in this way should speak out loud and clear.

PS:

Anne Tolley Dec 2009:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she will sack the boards of primary schools which allow teachers to boycott national standards, saying they would be refusing to obey the law.

Anne Tolley Nov 2010:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she does not intend to dismiss school boards which fail to implement the new education standards. … “That has never been my intention,” she replied.

58 comments on “Nats bullying schools again”

  1. Joe Bloggs 1

    [post moved here from open mike — r0b]

    looks like the teacher unrest fomented by a few disaffected rebels in the education system is starting to be exposed for what it really is – mischief, hypocrisy and blatant lies.

    The Herald has learned 66 of the 225 coalition boards indicated their schools planned to implement the standards in full. A further 109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full. Fifty schools are yet to be contacted.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10686820

    A group of rebel principals plotted to “quietly take over” an association representing 90 per cent of school boards in an effort to overwhelm the national standards debate, leaked emails suggest. An email exchange shows principals involved in a boycott of the standards discussed “dealing with” the New Zealand School Trustees Association. “The easiest way is for us to quietly take over regional organisations of NZSTA … Just imagine NZSTA run by principals!” an email written by Hora Hora School principal Pat Newman states.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4332146/Takeover-plot-by-rebel-principals

    That’s the same Pat Newman who aspires to be a Labour candidate for Whangarei in the next election. The words “self-serving” come to mind, and the evidence continues to grow that this boycott has been engineered by Labour. At the cost of our children’s educations.

    Great effort! That should keep Labour on the opposition benches for another 3 years.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Hey joe, where you going with that kiwiblog link in ya hand.

      I’m goin’ off to post shit at open mike

      an’ pretend I got a brain in my pan

      • Joe Bloggs 1.1.1

        can’t cope with the facts huh?

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Cope with facts fine.

          One fact I find amusing is that when I see your name in the comments list, I can predict what you have to say by looking at farrar’s blog.

          You should get some self respect son.

          • Joe Bloggs 1.1.1.1.1

            thanks Mum, I’ll be sure to listen to your advice.

            In the meantime I’ve picked up a new word today – astroturfing

            An artificially-manufactured political movement designed to give the appearance of grass roots activism… Unlike natural grassroots campaigns which are people-rich and money-poor, an astroturf campaign tends to be the opposite, well-funded but with little actual support from voters.

            Describes the PPA/Labour intervention in education to a T

            • r0b 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Congratulations on learning a new word JB. I know how hard that must have been for you.

              Now that you know the word, you should be able to work out who is astroturfing, parents in the boards of schools all over the country, or the parents of “insert region here”.

              Grass roots and astroturf

              Ooops.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I’ll be sure to listen to your advice

              You do that, it’ll make you smarter.

      • grumpy 1.1.2

        For God’s sake, have a bit of class and leave Jimi out of this. Other than that, quite clever.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    How come emails with individuals names have been released to bloggers.?

    Farragoblog blats on about the OIA?

    The OIA normally blacks individual names but even then seems like Tolley and her staff are perusing the emails of selected principals who are using Education department servers.

    The OIA is just a smokescreen of course as farrar has previously used the OIA to get names of those seeking OIA material.
    This time he hasnt bothered , they are wholesale using government information to intimidate principals

    • grumpy 2.1

      Nah, as someone else has said, the emails were leaked by a disgruntled union employee, opposed to Phil Goff’s leadership of the Labour Party.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Cant be.
        They are Education department servers which have had a fishing expedition by Tolleys henchmen contradiction to privacy rules.

        What ‘union’ member sees emails from various principals.

        Thats just a ruse

  3. dave 3

    It’s unclear how many schools are boycotting National Standards. It is conceivable that some of the stated rebel schools are implementing National Standards in its entirety. Noone knows what each school has signed up to.

    More here

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    speaking of hyperbole has anyone noticed this piece of blatant bullshit in the post?

    We know this because a senior official in the Ministry resigned in protest at the unethical bullying tactics.

    There has been no resignation. So much for coping with the facts…

    • Gosman 4.1

      Why hasn’t this senior official gone public with his/her resignation?

    • r0b 4.2

      There has been no resignation

      Well that’s your word vs Kelvin Smythe I guess. I know who I believe.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Why hasn’t this person gone public then? They resigned over a matter of principle and surely communicated that to the Education Ministry, (not to mention publicised it to Kelvin Smythe) so it therefore not a secret. This would be a great coup for the anti-National standards campaign so where is this mysterious resignee?

      • Joe Bloggs 4.2.2

        .

        Kelvin Smythe doesn’t mention anything about a resignation either. Here’s the link to Smythe’s hyperbole – check it for yourself

        http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=262

        Do you also see the word unconfirmed in there? As in My unconfirmed information is that the regional head was away, and when the instruction was relayed to the deputies, one refused to act on the instruction

        So there has been no resignation – just a bit of Uri Geller-like spoon bending and a pinch of truth twisting…

        • r0b 4.2.2.1

          Gosman and Joe Bloggs are correct, Kelvin Smythe does not say that the official resigned, just that they “refused, on moral grounds, to take instruction from Karen Sewell to organise ministry officials to ring schools about their declared stance on national standards”. I assumed resignation but that is not stated. I will update the post.

          “Unconfirmed” refers to the regional head being away, not the revolt of this official.

          • grumpy 4.2.2.1.1

            It also refers to a “brave whistleblower”. If they were really brave they would have gone public, name and all!

          • Joe Bloggs 4.2.2.1.2

            you channelling Kelvin Smythe now?

            You’ve assumed and misinterpreted quite enough not to be going around muddifying up what Smythe was bleating on about.

            • r0b 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Read Smythe’s post JB. If you think you can draw any other conclusion from it you go right ahead.

              • Joe Bloggs

                Smythe is an unreconstructed neo-liberal who has a bone in his throat over the restructuring of education twenty years ago.

                He used the word unconfirmed because he, at least, still has some vestiges of moral fibre and can’t lie through his teeth to save himself. he does however do hysterical and outraged moderately well.

                Has a reasonable grasp of English although his sentence construction could use polishing.

                Tries hard, could try harder.

  5. Gosman 5

    So let me get this straight.

    Someone refused to do their job, the job they get paid for, the job that taxpayers pay tax so that civil servants carry out their jobs as instructed, and you think this is a good thing?

    If this person truly believed in their principles then they should have resigned. This action is essentially gutless if in fact it happened as is suggested. The person should be reprimanded for non-performance of duty.

    • r0b 5.1

      Someone refused to do their job, the job they get paid for, the job that taxpayers pay tax so that civil servants carry out their jobs as instructed, and you think this is a good thing?

      Yes.

      Now let me get something straight.

      Someone was being asked to participate in an action which, according to the best expert advice, is likely to cause harm to children. If they had gone ahead and “just followed orders”, do you think this is a good thing?

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        LOL!

        Gotta love the moral justification for refusing to implement an electoral mandate that the left has.

        So following your logic if a Tax expert stated that raising taxes was going to be damaging to the economic well being of the nation, (not to mention the poor wee little children), it would be entirely justified for people to not pay this tax even though it was voted for by the majority of the population at the previous election.

        I must remember that before the next election and advise the National Party to find an appropriate expert on taxation to make this pronouncement.

        Just goes to highlight the sort of contempt certain members of the left hold for democracy.

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          You didn’t answer my question Gosman. Should officials implement actions that are likely to damage children?

          I answered your question Gosman – are you going to answer mine?

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1

            This was the opinion of a person not a FACT unless you are saying that the overwhelming consensus on this subject and EVIDENCE backs up that National Standards do actually harm children.

            Regardless of this we live in a society where policies affecting the population are generally made via the democratic process rather than imposed on us by “Experts”.

            If you want to live in a society where decisions like this are taken out of the hands of the electorate then by all means go ahead and push for this sort of society. I will have a hell of a lot of fun opposing that.

            • r0b 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re too chickenshit to answer the question aren’t you Gosman.

              Should officials implement policies that harm children – yes or no?

              Answer the question, then we can discuss the nature of the EVIDENCE.

              • Gosman

                It is bollocks question. You have evidence that National Standards “harm” children then present it and I’ll bother answering the question. I’m looking for evidence though not opinions.

                • r0b

                  I have plenty of evidence Gosman.

                  But all the evidence in the world is of no use, your kind doesn’t care about evidence.

                  You can’t even bring yourself to say that we shouldn’t harm children can you Gosman.

                  Last chance to answer the question – should we do things that harm children?

      • jcuknz 5.1.2

        It is only your opinion that it is l;ikely to harm children … true there are some others with the same opinion but … our elected representatives have made a decision and maybe, just maybe your folk can reverse it sometime in the future. Meanwhile our paid servants have a job to do and they should get on with it and stop bellyaching. … or resign.

        • r0b 5.1.2.1

          jcuknz I try to get through life without gratuitously insulting people, but in your case I’ll make an exception. You’re an idiot. You’re taking sides in a debate when you have not bothered to get yourself informed about the issues.

          Start here – follow the links. Read. Think. FFS.

          Listening to the evidence on national standards

          http://www.nzpf.ac.nz/national-standards

          • jcuknz 5.1.2.1.1

            Idiot or not I am entitled to take sides in a debate irrespective of what homework I may or may not have done and your comment Rob is about the same level as JK’s Secretary and what I read at Kiwiblog.
            It is a public servant’s job to do what they are told to do and if privately they don’t agree then they either resign or work, as I assume you are doing, for a change of government. I don’t believe for one moment that a testing system, one of many in use in schools, is going to harm children. I am sure most NZ teachers are doing a good job in a difficult situation so really have nothing to fear from NS, though maybe they can fear the media like all of us do when they get on a crusade looking for a whipping boy or girl..

            • r0b 5.1.2.1.1.1

              I am entitled to take sides in a debate irrespective of what homework

              Yes, you are perfectly entitled to take a position that is likely to result in harm to children without knowing the first thing about the issues. Free speech is grand that way. Just don’t expect anyone to respect such behaviour.

              I don’t believe for one moment that a testing system, one of many in use in schools, is going to harm children.

              You haven’t read the information in the pages linked to have you. And you won’t either, in case you have to deal with facts that upset you.

              • Pascal's bookie

                But r0b! He reckons!

                Shirley, that’s enough.

                And anyways, nice attempt with the distraction tactic, but the important point in this dispute is that Some People aren’t Doing As They’re Told! It’s outrage, and danger. This sort of thing can quite easily get out of hand you know. It starts of with small things like this but they snowball and grow, an asteroid on a slippery slope of rebel. And do you know what’s at the bottom of that slope? Care to guess? This is a play that has been played before you know. People not doing as they’re told and the next thing you know it’s men, men with their hair grown out! Right past the collar! People not giving Policemen their due. Ladies buying cakes. Disgusting. Black people. Children voicing opinions.

                It’s all the result of that music they listen to. It’s the drums and those jungle rhythms. It’s not right for civilised folk. Primal. I’ve seen them. Rooting in the bushes. Didn’t used to happen in my day. They need to bring back compulsory military training. And greco-roman wrestling in schools.

                • r0b

                  As Friday evening rants go — that’s a good ‘un!

                  • jcuknz

                    PB you forgot to mention corporal punishment. Which I experienced justly and ‘for the encouragement of others’, unjustly, in my youth. Regretably missing from the NZ Educational system.
                    But Rob is so pre-occupied with countering my feelings that NS will not hurt children he misses the main point of the NS debate. This is that teachers are afraid that league tables will upset their cosy situation where competence doesn’t get reward and as they serve their time so they move up the pay scale … or could that be another false impression I have got from Kiwiblog or my 30 years in the public service? That teachers are quite happy with NS but not with the results being published so they can keep parents in the dark. Otherwise they might vote for ACT and the voucher system. Is this right wing propaganda or the crux of the matter? Who is Rob to advise me? Or anyone else for that matter.

                    • r0b

                      he misses the main point of the NS debate. This is that teachers are afraid that league tables will upset

                      In your mind that’s the main point of the debate is it. Not whether or not national standards are good or bad for the welfare and education of children. Instead it’s some Kiwiblog domination fantasy about teachers.

                      Well that explains a lot.

          • jcuknz 5.1.2.1.2

            .I have visited the sites and without indulging myself by reading them, they look like the same message being regurgitated by many, an organised campaign of questionable merit by way of its seeming completeness.
            Your final para at 5.45 is grossly insulting … and typical of the desparation you obviously feel at people who appear to disagree with your firmly held views. Personally I have no position on the matter but sick of the bellyaching and name calling which gets us nowhere fast..

            • r0b 5.1.2.1.2.1

              an organised campaign of questionable merit by way of its seeming completeness.

              The experts are all in agreement so they must be wrong? Just listen to yourself.

              Your final para at 5.45 is grossly insulting

              It is completely accurate. Whether you are insulted, or instead moved to some kind of remedial action, is now up to you.

              • jcuknz

                Are they experts, a questionable title at best, or simply a chorus singing the union mantra? I simply do not know who to believe on this matter and I am put off by the antics of what I guess you would call the expert sources.
                Harping on a perceived danger to children strikes me as pushing a sob story because we all want to protect our children … highly suspect I think.

                • r0b

                  I’m persisting with this conversation because you have not previously struck me as an idiot, and therefore despite your totally blinkered views on this issue so far, I’m hopeful that your mind is open to new ideas.

                  Are they experts, a questionable title at best, or simply a chorus singing the union mantra?

                  Yes, a lot of people speaking out in this debate are educational experts. To deny that is simply to deny reality because you can’t face it. Are they singing a “union mantra”? Well let’s see, let’s look at just one expert. Prof John Hattie. He is Key’s hand picked education policy advisor. Do you think he’d sing a union mantra? Consider:

                  Hattie – Auckland University professor, student assessment expert and the man top politicians in this country see for advice about education … Ten days ago he was summoned to Prime Minister John Key’s Beehive office to explain what was going wrong with the Government’s grand plans for national standards in reading, writing and maths for all primary school children.

                  Education Minister Anne Tolley, stripped of her tertiary responsibilities the day before, attended the private meeting but it was Hattie that Key wanted to hear.

                  Both National and Labour have paid close attention over the last decade to this internationally recognised expertise on how to improve children’s learning. Bill English sought Hattie’s views when he originally developed the party’s national standards policy and Key took the same route, drawing inspiration from Hattie’s advice that a standards-based approach could work wonders in even the poorest schools. …

                  So it came as a shock when Hattie returned from a six-month study tour in the United States last July to tell the Herald that he was deeply concerned about the direction the Government’s policy had taken and worried that it could set back education 50 years.

                  In November he repeated his criticism, warning of a potential disaster with no improvement in children’s learning. A few weeks later he joined three other education academics in writing an open letter to Tolley, which pleaded with the Government to delay the introduction of the new system.

                  So what went wrong and where exactly does National’s education guru stand on the issue? Hattie says the Government didn’t consult him about the details, which were developed while he was out of the country. He adds that Key is right to say that he supports the idea but has concerns about its implementation.

                  But listening to his concerns (see story below), a different picture emerges. Hattie insists the system can work but admits if he had the choice, he’d drop it and start again from scratch. …

                  JOHN HATTIE’S ASSESSMENT

                  So does the Government’s favourite education adviser support national standards or not? Prime Minister John Key and many of Professor John Hattie’s ideological opponents claim he does, despite his strong public criticism.

                  Hattie replies that he supports the concept of standards-based learning but not the system the Government has introduced – in fact, given the chance, he’d scrap it and start again. These are his biggest concerns.

                  If it ain’t broke…

                  Hattie’s first point is that, despite sweeping claims of failure by Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley, the New Zealand school system is in good shape, especially compared with the rest of the world.

                  National standards, he argues, are usually the catchcry of countries where the education system is in serious trouble. They have been introduced in the US, Britain and Australia but none of these countries have been able to show any overall improvement in student achievement.

                  Hattie believes national standards may lift the performance of a few children at the bottom of the educational heap but says the average will not change because bright children will be neglected. He thinks the policy threatens to destroy one of the great strengths of New Zealand’s education system, which recognises that children of the same age have different academic abilities and allows them to learn at the level of their current ability.

                  Hattie is the Nats own education advisor, and he actually believes in standards (even though they haven’t worked in US, Britain and Australia). So he’s about as committed to standards as they come, and it’s simply ludicrous to suggest that he’s singing a union song. But even he says that National have fucked it up. They could set education in this country back 50 years.

                  Now, Hattie above was reporting in the American experience. Let’s look at what happened in the UK:

                  Tests blamed for blighting children’s lives

                  Landmark study of primary schools calls for teachers to be freed of targets

                  Children’s lives are being impoverished by the government’s insistence that schools focus on literacy and numeracy at the expense of creative teaching, the biggest review of the primary school curriculum in 40 years finds today. …

                  Children are leaving school lacking knowledge about the arts and humanities having spent too many years “tied to a desk” learning times tables, the head of the review, Robin Alexander, said.

                  “Our argument is that their education, and to some degree their lives, are impoverished if they have received an education that is so fundamentally deficient,” he said.

                  The report says schools should be freed of Sats and league tables to allow them to make more decisions about what and how they teach. …

                  Independent of the government and funded through charitable donations, the review is based on three years of academic research, 29 research papers and dozens of public meetings around the country. It marks 40 years since the last wholesale review of primary education and presents a blueprint for a curriculum that would give teachers control of 30% of their time to teach what they want.

                  Evidence, jc, evidence, from the UK and from America. Advice from Key’s own education advisor (not the unions). It’s all there if you can see it. Stop supporting the side that could set education in this country back by 50 years.

                  Harping on a perceived danger to children strikes me as pushing a sob story because we all want to protect our children … highly suspect I think.

                  Unless it’s true.

                  • jcuknz

                    The perceived danger, from reading your message, seems to be to the few gifted and bright students who will be neglected. While if the scheme is dropped the few ‘dumb asses’ will suffer.

                    It seems to me a case of throwing a few babies out with the bathwater so if we keep NS then special attention needs to be paid so that despite the tests the gifted will be encouraged. On the other hand if NS is scrapped then that attention needs to be devoted to the ‘dumb asses’.
                    It seems to be a ‘frying pan and fire’ situation.

                    ‘Setting back education 50 years’ strikes me as one of those hyper statements made for the media to trumpet. Actually it could partly correct how education has gone wrong since I was in school but that is not for discussion here.
                    If you know of a problem you can take measures to counter it, without throwing any of the babies out with the bath water, so common with political stances from both sides.

                    Thank you for making the effort to present some arguments for discussion.

                    I’m left still sitting on the fence because it seems to me that it doesn’t really matter which way we go so long as we take the necessary steps to avoid the perceived pitfalls and are prepared to take further steps as unperceived pitfalls arise. I know that is a hard ask in a nationwide beaurocracy but one can hope..
                    I think the idiots in this situation are those who are getting so hot and bothered, making rash and extreme statements, but that is common with the younger enthusiasts of society…

  6. grumpy 6

    Lesson here for the lefties. If you want to plot against the boss, don’t use his time, money or his computer.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      grumpy I think you have missed your calling, you should have been an advisor for that bloke Brash, he use to lead some brethren group I think?

    • Vicky32 6.2

      Cos bosses are always he and him, right?

    • jcuknz 6.3

      Very true Grumpy but these f’wits, to use a currently popular phrase, simply haven’t a clue it seems.

  7. KINTO 7

    I’m not so sure about todays electrol mandate line that the right have been instructed to run. We heard lots about how 1 in 5 kids leave school with no qualification (National voters), but not very much (if anything?) about national standards.

    See: http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22National+Standards%22&geo=nzl&sa=N

    • Gosman 7.1

      What???

      Are you trying to claim that National Standards were not part of the National party election manifesto in 2008?

      • Fabregas4 7.1.1

        I think he is saying that there has been a lot of rhetoric and sloganeering around standards but little actual information about them. This is important because simply asking if people ‘want standards’ of course leads to the inevitable positive response. But if the policy was more closely looked at (I’ve done this) and people see the flaws and lies then the answer changes. The mandate question is not really fair because the policy had (and many would say still does not) no substance. It is only when the actual policy is developed that the problems and bullshit become evident to people.

  8. Fabregas4 8

    By the way the Herald data simply cannot be accurate. They state:of the 225 original Boards who are opposed:

    66 plan to implement if full
    109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full.
    50 schools are yet to be contacted.

    Thats 225 schools. I can tell you my school who is on the list will not set targets against the standards (but will continue to use reliable assessments and set appropriate targets)

    And I can tell you that many schools have already committed to not implement any part of the standards.

    Sounds like Ministry playing tricks with numbers in an attempt to dissuade other school Boards from signing up.

  9. Pat 9

    Actully Ms Tolley is not my boss I am employed by my Board of Trustees who are elected by their community who totally are opposed to Nat Stds. As far as conspiracy theories, I am not trolling private facebook pages etc….

    Just as well cause Toilley in the House last week when under questioning to say she didnt understand… that she wasnt a teacher as a response to a fairly basic question…. great response from a Minister of Education!!!!! Some of us have been telling her she doesn’t understand fopr a long tme now…..

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago