Nats’ education plans make sense after all

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, August 11th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: education, national, schools - Tags: , ,

The apparent incoherence of National’s position on national standards has been bugging me. They claim that the standards will improve outcomes and are so crucial that schools must be forced to use them whether they want to or not. Yet strangely they aren’t crucial for charter schools at all. These schools are supposed to improve outcomes too but they’re allowed to opt out of standards. Blatantly inconsistent (how do they get away with it?).

Well I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake, but pondering a bit further it makes perfect sense after all. Here’s how it works.

The Nats claim that the good parents of [insert region here] are “desperate” for league tables. Against all advice they push ahead with providing such tables (even though they admit that the data is unreliable). Those schools that teach to the test (or juggle the books) most successfully will score well, low decile schools will score poorly, the rest in between. Some parents will be influenced by the league tables, and so of course

A Waikato education leader says parents choosing schools based on National Standards data will create “ghetto” and “magnet” schools, further widening the gap between achievers and those falling behind.

Obedient schools will be rewarded (never mind that the real quality and breadth of education has suffered). Disobedient and low decile schools, will be punished, accused of failing. What do we we do with failing schools? Why – we privatise them!

Using the charter schools “trial” programme as precedent, there will be a process of privatising large numbers of “failing” state schools. Public money will flood into the hands of private suppliers. And will these second generation charter schools do any better? That’s the real beauty of it! The Nats can claim anything they like, because charter schools don’t need to report on national standards. They cannot be compared. They can be both cash cows for the private sector and invisible ghettos for the poor…

“Clever”, isn’t it.

33 comments on “Nats’ education plans make sense after all”

  1. captain hook 1

    curioser and curioser…

  2. Tracey 2

    I’d like to see the Govt force any private school which receive a single dollar of tax payer money, publishing their statistics in particular in relation to the much touted Cambridge.

    “Using the charter schools “trial” programme as precedent, there will be a process of privatising large numbers of “failing” state schools. Public money will flood into the hands of private suppliers. And will these second generation charter schools do any better? That’s the real beauty of it! The Nats can claim anything they like, because charter schools don’t need to report on national standards. They cannot be compared. They can be both cash cows for the private sector and invisible ghettos for the poor…”

    1+++

  3. Dr Terry 3

    I dare say a lot of people are going to be taken in by the crafty strategy.

  4. Phaedrus 4

    That is indeed the model being applied in England. As that the present Secretary of Education worked on this in England in her field of expertise, who is surprised that its coming here? The plan was obviously well developed before the election, given that she was appointed last July. So much for it being part of the agreement with Banks. Don’t believe any of the spin – this is part of a much wider, long term plan to implement the disastrous schooling policies as found in the USA, and leading to the corporatisation of education to add to their profit stream.

    • seeker 4.1

      A defining comment Phaedrus. This is exactly as it is . Cannot find the link to a Guardian article about just this very thing happening in Hackney, East London a couple of months ago. Many parents were up in arms that a secondary school was about to be turned in to an “academy” (the English preferred term for ‘charter schools” ), even though it was beginning to flourish again after a poor Ofsted (ERO) report. Kiwis should be very afraid. Charter Schools are a real ‘social engineering’ scam for profit by big business/corporates imo.
      And certainly nothing to do with the good of our children .

      • seeker 4.1.1

        Lots of oopses today. The aricle I read was in The Independent (not The Guardian) in May when I was reading about the Leveson inquiry from links from The Standard. Have looked but still can’t find it. Have no more time now.

  5. Di 5

    The NAct strategy is designed to introduce bulk funding of teachers’ salaries with performance pay and individual contracts.

    First move was the introduction of National Standards to produce “data” by which teacher “performance” can be “measured”, then new teacher appraisal systems with targets related to these Standards will follow and teachers will be assessed for their “performance” and paid accordingly.(Schools will also be “measured” and possibly funded related to the league tables.)

    Charter schools are designed to short-cut the process by starting off with individual teacher contracts and therefore there is no need to bother with all the National Standards data by which to measure teacher performance.

  6. joe90 6

    Whatever could go wrong?.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t a scam that only targets the young and naive. The for-profit industry is so rife with deceit, it has been billed as the second coming of the mortgage-loan debacle. And the same people are behind it. Three-quarters of all for-profit students are enrolled at schools owned by Wall Street banks and private-equity firms.

    […]

    Consumer Fraud As a Business Model

    You might not know it, but you’re sitting on $117,000. That’s basically how much every American is potentially worth in government student aid. Want to attend grad school? Throw in another $114,000.

    […]

    The government ignores the problem at the country’s peril. Total student-loan debt, now more than $1 trillion, has surpassed credit card debt. These burdens will limit students’ ability to contribute to our consumer economy for years to come. Worse, unlike an underwater mortgage, Congress has made it illegal for people to walk away from student loans they can’t pay. The debt will follow them the rest of their lives.

    “This is basically a parasitic industry that is preying upon not just some of the most vulnerable members of our society, but the best of these most vulnerable members, people who listen to the rhetoric we feed them and who are actually attempting to better themselves,” Nassirian says. “This is an industry that takes people’s hopes and dreams and cashes them out.”

    And these people won’t stop until they’ve emptied the till.

  7. burt 7

    I’m so pleased that the hopeless teachers holding back the potential of our children will start to be identified. Hopefully we can get to a place where the good teachers are paid shit loads more than they are now and the hopeless teachers protected by the self serving unions get the message that their days of holding everyone down to their level are over.

    • Mel 7.1

      Poor Burt, you really have no idea about the realities of education and the impact of poverty that pervades the lives of our poor. If only it were as simple as you believe.

      The reality is that:

      1. Poverty is a key factor in NZs small tail (far less than the 1 in 5 spin of the Nact Govt) of educational achievement.

      2. Performance pay does not work for anything other than a simple mechanical task.

      3. The Govt is not proposing performance pay at the moment anyway.

      Burt, you might be surprised to find out that far from getting rid of any ‘inadequate’ fully trained teachers, the National Govt is proposing that charter schools are able to employ totally untrained teachers! So unfortunately your nightmare of children being taught by people who are hopeless is soon to come to fruition.

      Under the current system, fully trained and registered teachers are required to be assessed against a set of criteria each year. They have to assessed as achieving these to continue teaching. Under their new system of Charter Schools, untrained staff would be paid for doing something they are not trained to do.

      Oh, and by the way Burt, under the proposed system, education money will go to private organisations, who could hire untrained staff and lesser trained staff in order to pocket a tidy profit.

      • infused 7.1.1

        Performance pay works very well in IT.

        • KJT 7.1.1.1

          Doesn’t seem to work very well in Management.

          ENRON, Lehman bros etc. Anyone! POAL? Telecom?

          The success of most firms is in inverse proportion to management remuneration.

          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/kia-ora-corporatism-and-neo-liberalism.html
          “The corporations with the largest income gap between Directors/Managers and employees have proven to be the least functional”.

          Performance pay has proven problematic, even in business, for any tasks that cannot have one simple measure of success and require the co-operation of many.

          It seems strange that we are looking at performance pay for Teachers when top performing corporates are heading in the opposite direction.

          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2010/08/performance-pay-for-teachers.html
          “On the face of it, It seems fair to reward people who perform better than others with more pay.
          If anyone can come up with a fair and valid performance measurement. Fine.
          However even in the private sector this is fraught with difficulty.
          Unless performance has a single clear measurement business has a poor record with targeting performance pay”.

          It seems that NZ Managers, Directors and Politicians can only be motivated by paying them, a lot!
          Teachers are best motivated by making their job impossible, micro-managing them and paying peanuts?

        • Mel 7.1.1.2

          @Infused – Watch the Dan Pink TED talk about the science of motivation to discover that performance pay doesn’t work, in any job, anywhere unless it is a simple mechanical task not requiring cognition.

          http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xljaqd_ted-talk-dan-pink-on-the-surprising-science-of-motivation_lifestyle

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      burt, why do you think that following an education policy that is actually far worse than the one we have will improve our education?

      • McFlock 7.2.1

        By Burt’s logic, he must have been failed by a legion of apathetic teachers settles in their sinecure ‘jobs’. 
                 
        Either that or he’s just a moron that no teacher could imbue with basic comprehension skills.. 

  8. KJT 8

    NACT’s plans always made sense.

    When you remember that the only aim is to enrich them selves and their corporate funders/Masters at our expense.

    Everything they do is logically consistent with theft of the commons.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Everything they do is logically consistent with theft of the commons.

      QFT&E

      Which is why we should stop saying that they’re incompetent as they’re not. They actually are implementing policies that will make NZ worse off on purpose.

  9. seeker 9

    +1 KJT. This comment makes perfect sense too-unfortunately for New Zealand.

    • seeker 9.1

      Oops, this should have been a “reply” to KJT’s 8 comment @ 4.44pm . Thought I had posted in the ‘reply’ section, don’t know what happened.

  10. Georgy 10

    This plan has been observed and written about on many facebook pages since nationalstandards were introduced.

  11. Observer AKL 11

    Anthony R0bins

    You correctly say that Key is dishing out Education to profit making corporations – who have no interest or expertise in the schooling of children. Their phony schools will be staffed by people who have No qualifications in Teaching, and they will be required to meet No Standards.

    Key’s own kids attend real schools, with real teachers, meeting real standards.

    Well, every so often you have to accept that our Parliament will end up with a low class, shoddy Prime Minister – shielded by the police, and accompanied by low achieving colleagues. A dump cluster.

    What I fail to understand is why the Opposition has not simply and clearly stated that on return to Government they will require the Shitty Charter Schools to employ highly qualified experienced Teachers, and require the schools to exceed the average education Standards; also, require that their Teachers be paid 30% more than those working in higher decile schools.

    This, is to ensure that the children in their care get what they need most – a worthwhile Education. Like Key’s kids.

    As with Asset sales, neither Labour nor the Greens have put any real pressure on the Key menagerie, let alone put pressure on the gleeful wealthy who think they are going to get more easy money from kiwi suckers.

    Thanks for your quality article Anthony. Do you think there is any chance of us getting a quality Opposition together – sometime?

    • r0b 11.1

      Thanks Observer. I think we’ll have a quality opposition and a government in waiting. We had that in 2011. We’ve got the wobbles a bit at the moment, but yes I’m confident we’ll get it sorted.

    • Niky 11.2

      @Observer AKL

      Great plan… Maybe you should join the opposition as shadow education minister.

      Your first paragraph states clearly what my colleagues and I think about charter schools. As a parent, I certainly wouldn’t want my child taught by an unqualified teacher with no real standards to meet or be appraised against.

      As a teacher, I don’t give a shit about performance pay. Most, if not all of my colleagues, including myself have 27-32 reasons to perform to the best of our abilities. We certainly earn our pay. However, we are sick of being told that we incompetent or only interested in pay, etc simply because we chose the teaching profession.

      • seeker 11.2.1

        @Niky

        ” Most, if not all of my colleagues, including myself have 27-32 reasons to perform to the best of our abilities. ”

        Perfectly put! Performance pay be hanged, this is what motivates a truly professional teacher and they are worth their weight in gold. I should know as I have been teaching for 40 years now.

        This sentence should be shouted from the rooftops.

        • KJT 11.2.1.1

          National, ACT and their cronies do not understand people who work for other than greed, for money or power.

          They sense they cannot control people who have other motivations, and it scares them.

  12. Evan 12

    The theory expounded here seems senseless to me, and that is why I believe it is the strategy being driven by this particular government!

  13. it’s so clear what they are up to, and yet so many people are not getting it… we should all make it our goal to explain this to at least 2 people per week and spread the word

  14. Observer AKL 14

    Dianne Khan

    A good and straightforward idea! I would never have thought of it.

    I guess this is the value of the forum we are on here. A chance to help clarify what Parliament is actually doing; and a chance to share practical ideas to assist ourselves and others to make a difference.

    So, thanks Dianne.

  15. Observer AKL 15

    Niky

    Your comments are the distillation of your life’s Calling. Your words ring with the clarity of a timeless true Bell.

    I am not a Teacher but I know that it is the greatest and most important of all the Professions.

    We may die comfortably in the hands of a Nurse. But we live well through the knowledge passed on to us by the brigades of Teachers that have turned out faithfully for countless millennia.

    Doctors are the products not of machines, nor even of millions of money, but of Teachers. The same Teachers who give every willing child (backed by a supportive parent) a chance to make sense of the world and the skills to find a place within it.

    It is the first time in my life that I have called a Prime Minister “shoddy” and “low class”. But I have watched Key again and again label himself by needling and undermining the Teachers of New Zealand. Since his coming into power. There are no nice words to adequately describe his pitiful deconstruction. A school without Teachers and Standards is the confused outcome of a deranged mind. Nor is there an explanation as to why the Opposition is in a lifeless stupor and thereby accessories to Key’s nonsense.

    He is actively spreading an insidious poison that appears to come from deep within his troubled persona.

    If only for the worthy encouragement of graduates who are aspiring to enter your far from easy Profession, it is time that an Honourable man or woman from within Parliament stood up and put through a ringing vote of confidence in the Teachers of New Zealand. People in this country – and in many other countries – know that our Teachers are up there, individually, collegially and successfully, giving out the most vital substance a community can have.

    That “honourable” man or woman is not Mr Key.

    Niky on the good side, your work will by far out medal and out distance the brief destructive flicker of a disoriented politician. Let him and his grubby buddies on both sides of Parliament have their money. You hold the Treasure.

  16. Georgy 16

    The only purpose of national standards, charter schools and league tables is to set in motion the first steps to privatisation, with the biggest hurdle for the govt being teacher unions. Charter schools can employ who they like without regard to the collective agreement, including employing untrained personnel.

    The ultimate goal – bringing the cost of education down for the govt.

  17. Ianmac in Adulusia 17

    I have my eye on you Rob and you make sense- again. Would the grate leader be so devious? Yep!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 hours ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    14 hours ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.