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Open mike 01.02.2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 1st, 2012 - 105 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…


History

105 comments on “Open mike 01.02.2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    The smell of death is in the air.

    The wharfies go into their 6th strike in a vain attempt to get the company to negotiate over it’s plans to outsource their jobs.

    The company on the other hand continues with its plans for redundancies for all union members.

    The management have made it clear, that this stoppage, will not deter them from their decision to contract out all the union jobs and crush the union.

    Already a lot of the work on the Ports is done by contractors and casuals, and the Ports of Auckland have said that they will be running a near to normal service.

    If an employer can provide a near to normal service during a strike, then a strike has lost all it’s impact and the end is near.

    The wharfies can’t even impede the the entry of their own colleagues who have decided to keep working from entering.

    Already a delegate has been sacked just because on hearsay evidence it was reported that in the last strike he called to a worker entering the gates “a scab”.

    For this he was sacked, and will not be allowed to return to his place of work.

    This delegate is one of the long stayers and would have got a big redundancy.

    Three delegates have been gotten for similar and even lesser offences.

    The Auckland Maritime Union is slowly bleeding to death in front of our eyes.

    The Ports of Auckland Management are well within their three month schedule of removing the union from the wharves.

    Without the support of the the Labour Party dominated trade union movement the end is sad and inevitable.

    In Australia in similar circumstances and against all odds the Patricks Dispute was won when the wharfies got mass support from the rest of the union movement and wider community against plans to contract out their jobs.

    If that doesn’t happen here, it won’t be hard to determine who is to blame, and working people won’t forget.

    The workers who have left the union and continue to work are not the real scabs, they rightly sense the union is playing with an empty hand, and just want to be on the winning side.

    The real scabs are those on the left and in the union movement who are trying to isolate the wharfies by with holding their support and also urging others to withhold their support.

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      No worries, Jenny, I’m sure your relentless positivity will win the day for the wharfies.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Oddly, it seems to me that your attitude is the one of relentless positivity and sunny optimisim.

        • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1.1

          Possibly that’s because I have faith in the workers, their union and the righteous nature of their dispute, CV! I always find workers determined to set their own agenda and claim their own future extremely uplifting. Sectarian point scoring and unwarranted abuse from individuals with other loony left agendas less so.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            Righteous faith is very good, but where’s the winning strategy which will force POAL to capitulate?

            • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s not my place to say. It’s up to MUNZ to choose the strategy and tactics that best suit them. It’s their blue, after all.

              • Colonial Viper

                Well, you have expressed explicit faith in them.

                So I’ll check in with you in 6 months, when I hope to be able to say to you TVoR that you were 100% right and I was 100% wrong to be a doubting Thomas.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Good call, comrade. Hope it doesn’t take twelve months though!

                  • Jenny

                    Voice of Reason, as I am sure you are cynically aware. Without wider union support, they will beaten in less than three.

      • Jenny 1.1.2

        VOR, I call it as I see it.

        Twice I have asked you, “as a Labour Party supporter and a union official, both. Will you be calling on your members to support the wharfies, or not?”

        Both times you have refused to answer the question.

        So I will ask you a third time.

        As a Labour Party supporter and a union official, both. Will you be calling on your members to support the wharfies, or not?

        Let our readers draw their own conclusion from the nature of your response, or lack there of.

        • The Voice of Reason 1.1.2.1

          Ooooh, stalker alert! My response is the same as before, Jenny. You can take a flying one, because my identity is none of your beeswax.
           
           

    • millsy 1.2

      As in 1991, the union movement essentially turns out to be a paper tiger.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        As in 1991 people are scared of losing their jobs and so are giving power to the capitalists (who want to pay them less) by not standing up to them.

        • millsy 1.2.1.1

          Thats what I mean, when push comes to shove, the unions fold up like a paper bag, just like in 1991, when a general strike could have killed the ECA (from what I understand, the National government was prepeared to soften the bill significantly). Its no different here, now MUNZ has essentially been broken at POA, it is essentially open season on the workforce.

          • The Voice of Reason 1.2.1.1.1

            The only thing a general strike in 1991 would have killed would have been organised labour. The tide had turned, the Nat’s had the country in their grip and a futile display of petulance would have been a reason for the dry right in the Nat caucus to push for the de-recognition of all unions, except yellow company ones.
             
            If it the general stike had been called, most workers would have ignored it and the unions would have been smashed. Industrial disputes (and political ones) are all about timing and strength. Get either aspect wrong and its yet another noble defeat.

            • Jenny 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for that, VOR, that is the clearest exposition I have ever read from a Labour Party union official on why the struggle against the ECA was strangled.

              I don’t often talk about these shameful events, because I feel that the Labour Party has moved on, and is not as right wing as it was during this period.
              However since you have raised the issue, and in regards to present issue at hand of contracting out union jobs.

              I fear we are about to witness a repeat of history.

              If contracting out union jobs can be achieved on the wharves against one of the strongest unions in the country, this tactic will be used against the rest of the union movement. As in 1991, if no concerted organised fight back is led, every unionist will be in the gun.

              In 1991 in what was described at the time as the biggest protests in New Zealand’s history, tens of thousands of workers spontaneously protested against the Employment Contracts Act in every city and town in the country.

              The two main chants and slogans of these massed workers was “General Strike” and “Kill the Bill” which was painted on hundreds of hand made signs and banners. In response the Labour Party dominated union hierarchy paid to have thousands of placards preprinted and professionally made up and distributed with the lesser slogan “Oppose The Bill”.

              “Oppose The Bill” was a call to protest against, but not defeat the ECA. Understandably in the mood of the time this call to just “Oppose The Bill” was not very popular. Though some workers did carry them as historic photos can attest, many were often left stacked on the footpath, most workers preferring their home made signs and chants “Kill The Bill”. (Which also had a better ring to it than the Labour Party imposed slogan).

              Because of the controversy raised by the new ‘official slogan’ of the campaign. A public debate was called in the Auckland Trades Hall chaired by the head of the benificiaries union President on the subject on why this lesser demand was being imposed onto the movement by the union hierarchy. Joe Tonner a leading Labour Party figure of the time and head of the Labour Party dominated PSA argued for the lesser demand to be adopted.

              However, the lesser demand never became popular amongst workers who in their tens of thousands, kept calling for a general strike. The call for a general strike was bitterly opposed from the top table of union officials at stopwork meetings all around the country. In at least two cases during this tumultuous period, worker delegates that tried to raise a motion for general strike from the floor of the meetings were phyisically assaulted by Labour Party union officials. In the most infamous incident, At the final big protest march and mass meeting in Auckland, Peter Hughes a shop floor delegate for the PSA, representing meat inspectors, following chanted demands from the crowd to put the motion for a general strike was assaulted by the Labour Party Union officials who had ringed the stage to prevent the motion being put.

              These open and many more behind the scenes methods were taken by the Labour Party to prevent workers taking militant industrial action to defend themselves from National Government and employer attacks.

              I had hoped that those days were over.

              I am dissapointed to discover that the Labour Party and Labour Party affiliated union leaders are still acting in the same way for the same motives.

              VOR you may argue that if a union fight back had been allowed this, “would have been a reason for the dry right in the Nat caucus to push for the de-recognition of all unions, except yellow company ones.”

              I would argue the opposite, that by not fighting back the employers and the Nats were emboldened to increase their attacks on working people and their unions. (Which subsequent events actually show.)

              I will repeat again:

              If contracting out union jobs can be achieved on the wharves against one of the strongest unions in the country, this tactic will be used against the rest of the union movement.

              As in 1991, if no concerted organised fight back is led, every unionist will be in the gun.

              • The Voice of Reason

                Good times, Jenny, good times! You’ve fingered the wrong party entirely there, and promoted Joe Tonner to a position he never held. And this should really make you really happy; I was among those union delegates doing security that day and I’m proud to say it was me that prevented Hughes from getting on stage. No assault at all, unless him trying to push past me counts. We had been told that the CP intended rushing the stage and indeed that is what happened. Or at least, that was what was attempted, but, happily prevented.
                 
                A lucky thing too, because if the maddies had won the day, the NZ union movement would have been smashed within a matter of weeks.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  Jenny is substantially correct on the fact that rank and file unionists across NZ were calling for direct action on a national scale. Years later Bill Birch admitted that he had been prepared to make concessions on the EC Bill. It was the abject failure of CTU leader KG Douglas and Joe Tonner, and the Engineers heads at the time to provide positive leadership that lead to a narrow vote at the CTU executive not to proceed with a national stoppage. The engineers and PSA leaderships indulged in ‘technical’ democracy at a higher forum that went against the wishes of substantial numbers of their union members as expressed on the streets and at meetings.

                  Organised labour has been paying for that capitulation ever since. Tri partism can only operate in the environment of a social democratic government, Douglas was deluded or the SIS best plant ever to think a hostile tory government would buy into partnership and ‘compacts’.

                  Re the Auckland meeting at Aotea Sq. It was Socialist Unity Party members and supporters who provided ‘security’ that day that prevented people at the meeting from putting motions. In retrospect Bill Andersen, chair, should have accepted Hughes motion whatever party he may have represented. Particularly given that Bill Andersen and his union the NDU supported a national stoppage.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    Good summary, TM. The crux of the issue, as I remember it, wasn’t the depth of feeling held by rank and filers, it was whether we could take the wider workforce with us. Given that we had just seen a right wing Government rejected in favour of an even more right wing one, I remain convinced that it would have been a failure and it would have been a green light for Birch et al to finish us off. I certainly wouldn’t trust anything Birch said after the event, by the way, that sounds more like him twisting the knife.
                     

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      NZ has long been a nation divided, with the post colonial rural sector and SMEs as far as the eye can see, so with the rough composition of NZ–40% dark tending to tory kiwis, 40% ok folks and 20% swingers. “Uniting all who can be united” was not the priority in 91 imo. It was the survival of the union movements credibility and organisational capacity.

                      The majority of unions today despite their claims are servicing organisations. I would except FIRST, MUNZ and the education unions, with pockets here and there such as the EPMU telcos and airline members (e.g. Zeal), though workplaces can change quickly. There has only ever been a small number of workers and unions that one could call class conscious, which is why the 99% movement has such potential. Class issues can be dealt with without people having to belong to a union or be otherwise classified.

                      Am currently reading “Unions Common Cause, a history of the NZ Federation of Labour” edited by Peter Franks and it is interesting the stats on union membership nos. are surprisingly similar to today. Of course during the FOL years the poplulation was smaller and membership compulsory so it does not directly equate.

                      Long answer to your contention, but we should have gone for broke in 91.

                    • Jenny

                      Given that we had just seen a right wing Government rejected in favour of an even more right wing one, I remain convinced that it would have been a failure, I remain convinced that it would have been a failure and it would have been a green light for Birch et al to finish us off.

                      The Voice of Reason

                      What a smelly and old, load of self justifying rubbish.

                      I have heard this argument before from Labour Party union officials. That the workers had voted for a right wing government.

                      The truth is not that clear cut.

                      In 1990 the hated Mike Moore Labour Government was so right wing that they had stolen all National’s policies, leaving National nothing to campaign on.

                      So National campaigned on policies to the left of Labour.

                      And it was those policies that people voted for.

                      The top two policies* that National campaigned on in the 1990 election were:

                      1) Stop state asset sales

                      2) Remove the Superannuation Surcharge imposed by Labour.

                      Of course being tories, on gaining office National immediately broke these left commitments to the electorate and carried on where Labour had left off.

                      One of the remaining legacies of the Nats breaking all their (left) election promises was the birth of the New Zealand First Party. National Stalwart had Winston Peters had stormed into power in Tauranga with a campaign based largely on the National Party Promise of removing The Super Surcharge.

                      Tauranga being an acknowledged mecca for retirees, the electorate was livid!

                      It was clear that any National MP would be dumped by the electorate for the Nats treachery as soon as possible.

                      Already being a two time loser, if Peters had of stuck with National he would have been just a footnote in history. Peters though being a died in the wool tory had no choice if we wanted to continue having a career in politics, but to form a new tory offshoot.

                      Despite Labour’s right wing trajectory, And National’s apparent more left one, “normally left voters” repulsed by Labour and rightfully as it turned out distrustful of the Nats, as you yourself admit VoR , “stayed away from the polls (as they have done in the last two elections)”

                      The electorate had been betrayed, people were angry and ready to fight.

                      Of course this was not the judgement of the top Labour Party union officials who dominated the Trade union movement at the time. Like the Labour Party itself, they were demoralised and confused. Union officials at the time had told me that they faced open revolt at stopwork meetings if they tried to urge workers to vote Labour.

                      In your words VoR, you say; “The crux of the issue, as I remember it, wasn’t the depth of feeling held by rank and filers, it was whether we could take the wider workforce with us.”

                      This demoralisation and confusion and anger with workers, for rejecting Labour, led in my opinion for these loyal to Labour union leaders to misjudge the mood and make the wrong call. Confusing workers rejection with Labour as a rejection of the left. In fact I think the grass roots were more astute at the time than the leadership. Unfortunately VoR, this is an example of where “tribal”sectarianism can let you down.

                      Please VoR don’t let this sectarian blind spot get in your way again. And do all you can to support the wharfies. That is, if you don’t want a repeat of history.

                      *(From memory, National also promised something to tertiary students to get their vote. As students had been viciously savaged by Labour with user pays for tertiary education. What was particularly irking to student activists of the time was the people who were attacking them at the time like Goff had all had the benefit of free tertiary education. Never being a student or having gone to university I can’t remember exactly what the Nats. promised the students. But I do know they broke that promise)

                • KJT

                  You should be ashamed of yourself.

                  If you were in the group that prevented a general strike.

                  All the unionists were ready for a general strike until the ECA was abandoned.

                  Then the sellouts in the Labour party and the union leadership calmed things down for the Neo-Liberal takeover.

                  Why Labour is still MIA. Now reverting to NACT light.

                  Which means they will keep losing votes.

                  Why vote for Labour unless they offer clear choices and difference from National.
                  After some signs of returning to being a Labour party under Goff for two months it likes like we have returned to “business as usual”. With the same old guard.

              • just saying

                I’m coming in the middle here.

                Just wanted to thank the contributers discussing what actually went on during this crucial point in the history of the Labour movement. It’s something I’ve always been interested in, and as you point out Jenny, so goddam relevent to the juncture we now find ourselves at.

                Looking forward to reading the whole thead at a later date. Dashing off just now.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Cheers, just saying. There is probably a book to be written about 91, but it would need to take into account that the union movement, like society in general, was reeling under the most fundamental changes since the thirties.
                   
                  In particular, the shift to voluntary unionism a few years ealier had an effect that had not been anticipated, which was to demote unions to an option in the workplace, not a permanent presence. Most union leaders at the time were rightly worried about the financial impact, but didn’t see that a huge cultural change had taken place. 
                   
                  The unions in 91 had to make the call to either put everything on the line or retreat and rebuild. Admittedly, the rebuilding hasn’t really happened and there is no way to know whether a general strike would have succeeded, but I come back to the confusion, fear and loss of political direction that was shackling the labour movement at the time. Everything we knew and took for granted, was gone or going, and the election was astonishing not because normally left voters stayed away from the polls (as they have done in the last two elections), they also voted National in their droves. And reconfirmed their decision a couple of years later, too.
                   

                  • KJT

                    The removal of the right to strike, except in very limited circumstances, embodied in the ECA, was going to take away any Union power.

                    The only option was a general strike before the ECA made it illegal.

                    Fight or face the inevitable slow death.

                    The end of unionism, and ordinary NZ working people getting their fair share, was an entirely predictable result.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Some think that Ken Douglas rolled over on proposals for a General Strike in ’91, which consigned the workers movement to ever increasing irrelevancy thereafter.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  to KJT 10:59 “Really. I was there. Were you?”

                  I was there alright laddie, including the NZCTU special affiliates meeting in Wellington on the matter and the Auckland rally. Perhaps you are trying to express genuine views but your scrambled writing style makes it rather hard to discern.

                  to CV 11:13
                  “Some think that Ken Douglas rolled over on proposals for a General Strike in ’91, ”
                  Understatement of the morning CV, Douglas thundered against any national action.

                  • KJT

                    Don’t be so bloody patronising.

                    AND we all remember calling for a vote, at various meetings, only to have it blocked by the so called leaders, despite an obvious majority on the floor.

                    You are right. We were let down by Douglas and others.

                    The moment the ECA could have been resisted was lost.

                    After that, the victory of the Neo-Liberal right, including Labour party members, and the demise of workers rights was inevitable.

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      OK a spikey exchange, does your sarcasm top my alleged patronising, heh, but understand where you are coming from now. Workers rights can and must be regained is the main thing. Unionised workers are those that have actually got pay rises under Shonkey’s administration apart from CEOs of course whereas the majority of precarious and non union employees got zilch.

                      Footnote: Bill Andersen had formed SPA (Socialist Party of Aotearoa) by ’91 after Ken Douglas defected to social democracy which he (Douglas) had signalled back in 1988 by supporting the Aussie frigate build. SUP members were involved though in blocking the CPNZ members at the Auckland meeting along with SPA and supporters.

                      Veteran ’51er Jock Barnes savaged Douglas in person at Jim Knox Auckland memorial service and rightly so on his capitulation, the point of retracing all this is obvious-don’t do it again CTU, call on all unionised workers and the wider community to support MUNZ.

  2. In the week set aside to remember the founding document of our country’s creation isn’t it ironic that the Government may lose almost all of its majority because of its insistence on selling our assets overseas in breach of that document’s principles.

  3. Descendant Of Smith 3

    Big picture has a series on coal:
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/01/coal.html
    I’ve long been of the view that unless coal,oil and mining companies act responsibly with the same safety procedures we would expect, in other countries then we should not let them here at all.
    Diamond mining should just be banned – I can see no good reason for needing more diamonds.
     

    • Bored 3.1

      I use diamond tips tools. Many industrial cutting applications require diamond edges. Don’t know but suspect most diamonds are used for industrial purposes.

      I would not favour a ban on diamond mining (or any other mining). A better thing would be to ensure that miners of all types are made to pay the true human and environmental costs of their activities. They will of course pass on the costs, which is fine as the consumer will then make more informed choices before they buy.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Yeah diamond is also used in a lot of cleaning and abrasive applications.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        I use diamond tips tools. Many industrial cutting applications require diamond edges.

        And 90% of the diamonds used for that are synthetic.

        As you say though, if the costs are properly realised then we shouldn’t need to ban mining.

        • Bored 3.1.2.1

          Had not thought of synthetic, I stand corrected. Just thinking ahead couple of questions:
          * in an energy depleted world will it be possible or economic to produce synthetic diamonds?
          * will there still be the level of demand for diamond edged tools we have today?

          Who knows? It just illustrates the total uncertainty we now face, and our inability to get our heads around it.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            * in an energy depleted world will it be possible or economic to produce synthetic diamonds?

            Probably

            * will there still be the level of demand for diamond edged tools we have today?

            No but there will still be some.

            The history and methods of creating synthetic diamonds is quite interesting.

        • Ianupnorth 3.1.2.2

          I remember reading once that something like 10% of the worlds energy resources are used in diamond mining – the use of very big drills and rock crushers, something like 1 carat of diamonds is extracted from every 10 tonnes of rock.
           

          • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.2.2.1

            The point with diamonds was partly that you can make them synthetically and partly that there are massive stockpiles of diamonds anyway.
            So apart from artificial value due to stockpiling keeping the price high and vanity what purpose does mining diamonds actually have?

  4. vto 4

    Heard Pita Sharples give a rousing speech at some rally last night on te reo or maori tv. It seems he still thinks that maori have a special place apart from the rest. As has been seen throughout history this sort of mindset usually leads to trouble.

  5. Damn. They did some maintenance on the server box last night after sending this middday yesterday.

    The following upcoming scheduled event affects one or more of your
    services with us. Please read below for more information.

    Outage Time: 0000 – 0600 hours
    Outage Date: Wednesday 1st February 2012
    Expected Duration: 3 hours
    Possible Duration: 6 hour
    Impact: All services on 120.138.23.x IPv4 address space.

    As part of a number of upgrades to the service we offer you we are migrating some hardware into a new cabinet. Chirpy engineers will be onsite and will power off and move servers one logical network at a time to minimize downtime, but there is the possibility of extended downtime.

    Following this maintenance window, we recommend you test your servers

    Yeah. It has problems damnit. Trying to talk to them now as it doesn’t seem to be anything wrong as far as I can see

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Chirpy engineers will be onsite”

      Presumably that’s the name of the company, or these guys just love being up early in the morning.

  6. National is determined to destroy our quality public education system and place more stress on Christchurch communities through rushing through yet another flawed system.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/charter-schools-channel-flawed-ideology.html

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      John Banks says Catherine Odgers is perfectly suited to implementing charter schools because she was once on a Board of Trustees and is a successful business woman. Lucky children.

      • millsy 6.1.1

        Cathrine Issacs (nee Judd), not Odgers. The last thing we need is that prickly bitch running anything in this country.

        I guess we now have a fair idea about what type of charter schools will be implemented in this country.

        • Dave Kennedy 6.1.2.1

          I am really entertained by the way John Banks speaks, a stream of overused cliches and phrases that are intended to come across as assertive and in control, yet in reality express very little. His desperation to support and be supported by John Key was really quite pathetic and now his party has been given the responsibility of introducing Charter Schools (probably a surprise to him as it was definitely not high on ACT’s agenda during their campaign) he is yapping around excitedly like a Jack Russell on speed.

          Anne Tolley was bad enough when forced to answer questions about her National Standards (she once responded to a question about the meaning of one particular standard by saying she didn’t have to understand them, just implement them), but imagine Banks explaining his way through the professional merits of Charter Schools. Things could become very entertaining.

          • Bored 6.1.2.1.1

            Charter Schools failed big time in the “land of the free”….(you know, the place where the total incarcerated exceeds that of the Gulag at the height of Stalins terror).

            Now we have some ACT goons whose prescribed medicine has failed abysmally (since it’s introduction 30 years prior) insisting that the patient might recover if we give the same prescription to him harder and harder. I have to ask why?

            Two possible answers.:
            1. Ideologues and RWNJs acting more akin to Trotskyites and Born Agains in expressing faith in their apocalyptic creeds.
            2. Money, money, money….NACT types who think they might turn a bob or two on this (and fekk the rest of us…just pay pay pay).

            • Dave Kennedy 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Bored, the real reason for introducing Charter Schools is to break teacher collective agreements and diminish the power of the Union. NZEI is now the largest and more effective unions in the country (50,000 members) and National has long had the goal of cutting our power. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2011/12/government-attacks-new-zealands-highest.html
              All the supposed benefits of autonomous school management that was the selling point for Charter Schools overseas already exist in Tomorrows Schools and the only real differences are being able to employ teachers on individual contracts and set their own employment terms and not having to link learning to our National Curriculum or National Standards (bizarre). Obviously National haven’t learned their lessons from Pike River and still feel self regulation and commercial interests will provide safety and good results.
              We’re doomed!

              • Bored

                Thanks for the precise answer Dave, its not very pretty is it. Which in effect means both my reasons were correct, ideological theological idiocy aimed at Unions, and money from breaking Unions…..bastards.

          • fender 6.1.2.1.2

            Yeah its great to listen to Banks (not). Every second word is “Key”.
            If he still has a wife I bet she gets woken throughout the night with Banks saying “I love you John Key” over and over and over……

  7. randal 7

    ipredict that soemone has given them some money to put a chunk in the works?

  8. Ed 8

    Moerewa was mentioned on 9 to noon in the last couple of days, but it doesn’t seem to have been picked up by other media. The only news reference I have seen is from a while ago:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/secondary-education/news/article.cfm?c_id=315&objectid=10767478

    It seems National want to stop a success because it conflicts with their simplistic ideological preconceptions – and challenges micro management from “party central” in the ministers office – but are considering a “charter school’ initiative that at best will have a trial start towards the end of their term of office. This government is more concerned with compliance than with education success.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      This government is more concerned with compliance than with education success.

      We already knew that from their threats to fire boards and teachers if they didn’t implement National(s) Standards.

    • Hateatea 8.2

      It is sad that I am absolutely not surprised that something that works is not accepted by Anne Tolley. Unfortunately, I doubt that the school would get a better hearing from Hekia Parata.

       

    • ropata 8.3

      Also it’s in Hone Harawira’s electorate and therefore must be crushed

  9. randal 9

    just finished reading “The Victorians” by A.N. Wilson and I was lead to the co-operative movement in Wikipedia.
    why no co-operative movement in NZ. in the UK they have 4,500 shops and going strong.
    time to rethink how we create community in new zealand perhaps?

  10. Hateatea 10

    And now we are to have secondary schools league tables if Hekia gets her way

     http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6348290/Govt-eyes-secondary-school-comparison-site

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      All part of NActs plan to introduce publicly funded private schools (government guaranteed profit vehicles) and competition. It’s got nothing to do with improving education but with increasing profits for the private sector.

  11. This wonderful, intelligent passionate woman born of an American Jewish mother and an Iraqi Muslim father tells it like it is.

    Meet Dr Dahlia S. Wasfi and hear her speak:

  12. randal 12

    everything binky and co. does has an extraneous third party injected into the mix and solely to take a rake off.
    instead of a straight line there is a dogleg.
    i.e. they are bent.
    and the taxpayer has to fork out for some high faluting principle that on closer inspection just turns out to be another device for looting the public purse.
    no wonder they talk about paring expenditure.
    they just want to take it all for themselves.
    they are just greedy bastards.

  13. james 111 13

    Great to see the impact Michael Cullen has had as chairman of NZ Post their poor performance has now put Kiwi Bank on a negative watch by Standard & Poors. Just goes to show Labour People and Business just dont mix. Should never of been made a member of the board no room for his style of economics there.

    http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/NZ-Post-drags-Kiwibank-credit-businessdesk-

    • The Voice of Reason 13.1

      Ask your parents to explain the difference between governance and management, James. And how to spell ‘have’ while you’re at it.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      Just goes to show Labour People and Business just dont mix.

      And when Lehman Brothers failed those investment bankers were Labour people too, weren’t they?

    • Draco T Bastard 13.3

      I’d say that such a watch could be more attributed to the GFC that was caused by the RWNJs in Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros. and other failed and bailed banks.

    • Standard & Poor? You mean the ratbag rating agency the too big to fail banks use as a weapon in the finance wars if they want to kill of economies or banks that are not under their control? That rating agency?

  14. McFlock 14

    Seriously?
     
    NZpost is doing better than USMail.

    • james 111 14.1

      Great something for Michael Cullen to aim down towards.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        So that’s where you tories get it wrong!
        You and key think the objective in government and life is to suck! Cullen knows the true objective is to (and I’ll put it into terms that you and Derek Zoolander can understand) not–suck.
            

  15. ropata 15

    Gareth Morgan wrote a doozy the other day …
    Capital tax the best option for economy.

    Unfortunately the Herald buried it rather quickly. Possibly because it was attracting a lot of unsavoury comments from greedy property speculators and landlords. (some of whom have been spotted trolling this site)

    • cardassian 15.1

      I love how most of the top comments confuse a capital tax with a capital gains tax even though Gareth Morgan clearly explains the difference it in the article. Guess the speculators and landlords never learnt to read.

  16. Jenny 16

    Generation Zero, Rangatahi get active against climate change.

    What’s cooking for Generation Zero in Auckland in 2012

    Generation Zero, we are a mass movement taking the country by storm. Inspired by youth climate organisations in other countries, Generation Zero was founded in 2011 to represent a youth voice calling for a zero carbon future for New Zealand. To date, Generation Zero is supported by a number of organisations, including 350 Aotearoa, P3, Engineers Without Borders NZ, Medical Students for Global Awareness, the New Zealand Youth Delegation, and Gecko.

    In recent weeks, we’ve been busy – travelling the country for the various meetings and festivals that have been going on within the climate movement – and it’s making us extremely excited for the months ahead. Key to our success in building a mass movement this year will be to engage meaningfully with university students in Auckland. To achieve this, we need your help.

    We’ll be hosting a planning meeting at the University of Auckland on Saturday 11 February, from 2pm-4pm, in Room 3.401 in the School of Engineering. Here, we hope to finalise our plans for O-Week, and form the beginnings of a core team of energised campus-based volunteers.

    During this meeting, we will also hold our first AGM. We’ll be electing a new Treasurer, Secretary and President for our campus group!

    If you are passionate about climate change and youth, meeting amazing people, and finding real solutions to the challenges ahead, come along and have a chat! We’d love to have you on board. It would be awesome if you could RSVP here, on Facebook. Feel free to share our invitation to you with others.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Not a Uni student? We’ll be running a ‘Welcome to 2012’ catch-up for all Aucklanders who are interested in Generation Zero soon. And you’re more than welcome to come along to our Generation Zero on Campus planning meeting too if you have ideas and energy to contribute.

    • muzza 16.1

      And their funding comes from where, and your association to this group, or its funders, is what exactly?

  17. randal 17

    the only thing that the reagan adminsistration in the 1980’s never tried to privatise was the national aviation transport security board.
    think about that.

  18. 50 jobs to go at Te Puni Kokiri.

    Fortunately, Pita Sharples is feeling a lot of aroha for those to be made redundant and those suffering the uncertainty.

    Here’s Hone’s take on it

  19. randal 19

    what about the building in chch that wasn’t pulled down because it had a heritage sticker and collapsed killing eight people?
    it seems that many of those heritage churches and other victorian symbols of mancunian mercantilism were really jerry built in the first place.
    and.
    they wont have a mid term election in chch because the tory noo noo heads know that Jim Anderton would shit in carrying a pig as they say.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      it seems that many of those heritage churches and other victorian symbols of mancunian mercantilism were really jerry built in the first place.

      Come now. Some of those buildings lasted 120 or more years before suffering critical structural failures. That’s bloody robust compared to some of our “modern” buildings which were built 30-40 years ago that fell over.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Gisborne Council officials have already granted exploration consents to Canadian oil companies without seeking public approval – or consulting their own mayor.

      That council needs to be fired now.

      • muzza 20.1.1

        The people need to demand it – By that I mean publically get down to your council buidling and take it over!

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.2

        That council needs to be fired now.

        Too many councils have unelected officials and CEOs who think that they are lords onto themselves.

        • muzza 20.1.2.1

          So where does this leave the Local Government Act, in terms of potential breach?

        • Draco T Bastard 20.1.2.2

          And that needs to be changed to – they’re accountable to the elected representatives who are accountable to the people.

  20. Jackal 21

    A universal aberration

    It’s interesting that the $25 price per tonne of CO2 projected by the Ministry of Economic Development has halved since their $50 per tonne projection in 2010. But what’s even more indicative of the government’s incompetence is that the just released MED 2011 forecast is already 68% off the mark…

  21. Georgecom 23

    5 pm news on National Radio today. 5.17 pm.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint

    Charter Schools and Catherine Issac appointed by Banks to overseeing state funded private schools. Isaac says she is ‘not an ideologue’ but is ‘interested in policies that work’. Ok, so evidence based decisions then.

    She then goes on to state that Charter Schools ‘do work’.

    Ok, evidence based assessment goes out the window. So much for not being an ideologue. Mind already made up it seems.

    Her claim that Charter Schools ‘do work’ is, at best, highly contestable. But shes ‘not an ideologue’.

    John Banks meanwhile is well beyond any evidence based assessment. They will simply ‘happen’, he says, whether a good idea or not.

    Looks like an ideologue appointed an ideologue.

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History


History