Open mike 01/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 1st, 2015 - 99 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

99 comments on “Open mike 01/07/2015 ”

  1. Ffloyd 1

    Was the purchase of the 41million dollar apartment in NY brought up in the house yesterday?

    • Charles 2.1

      IronMaori co-founder and Hawkes Bay District Health Board member Heather Skipworth, QSM, commended Anela for saying not all teachers taught poorly.

      “Our education system is failing many of our kids, not because they are rebellious, but purely because one size does not fit all.”

      Big big topic that… who is a “good teacher” and who isn’t. I’d agree with Anela at one level, but disagree about the only purpose of education being so you know how to get a mortgage etc. A lot of important information is “witheld” at school that’s for sure – or perhaps offered within the same circle of privilege that continues to shut people out in adult life. The problem with one-size-fits-all thinking is that the teachers Anela can’t connect with do actually connect with someone else. It’s one of those things that requires a total rethink of society rather than just tinkering in education.
      I remember the teachers that taught me the most were hated by the surrounding staff. Can’t be like that nowadays – you’ll get pushed out or not even graduate.

      • northshoreguynz 2.1.1

        As a teacher, we know that one size doesn’t fit all. That is why devices in classes are brilliant. Students can learn at their own rate. As far as the curriculum itself goes, that comes from the Ministry. Previously with much consultation. Now, not so much. One of the aspects that students find hard is “why do we have to learn this?”
        Most of us try and explain that the knowledge and skills students are learning will be of use no matter what they do in life.

        • Molly

          Devices are a tool, and can be utilised well and appropriately – or – used badly and ineffectively.

          There is a good Ted Talk by Sugata Mitra, showing how providing children with access to computers and they will teach themselves and each other.

          However, the relevant point here is that those children have a cooperative approach to learning, and that their existing relationships with one another will enhance their progress and learning experience.

          I believe that the quality of the relationship between those who possess knowledge and those they wish to share it with is of importance. And this does not have to be affectionate, but it does have to be mutually respectful in terms of working together.

          (The exception will be the auto-didacts, who have the skills and the internal motivation to obtain knowledge and learn independently, but the majority of our school system is not set up to support those kind of learners.)

          As much as I love technology, I don’t think the answer is devices. A child sitting quietly working by themselves, in a classroom where a number of other “teachers” are available, misses out on so much. There are many ways to learn, and schools have the time and resources to do so in a very innovative and competent way utilising the resources of the students themselves.

      • Smilin 2.1.2

        It was a very poignant piece written almost profound as it leads one to think of the greater problem of tertiary streaming of education for corporate compliance in the workplace – the very thing the Countercultural movement of the sixties tried to enlighten the world about being subjected to by who were known as the “straights” selling their souls for a paycheck or ratting on those who didnt believe in the great military eco complex.
        Now we have a country run by too big to fail- the system is greater than God cos we own the bombs and we will use them becos we are white and right and we want your oil and your country
        So we all are forced starting with kids at school carroted and sticked into a future that we are uneducated in being able to control our futures properly because there is no union power for the masses and the corporate swipe card can make or break you
        Pity people didnt see what this girl saw when fucking Key started bullshiting this country about the fact that hes here for the ripoff Austerity “screw everbodys idea about what they think the power of their money is Im the new boss and Im here to let you know you dont fuck with the fed ”
        Get out of my country Key and stop fucking up our kids right to freedom of speech you bloody FASCIST

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      These teenage opinions certainly make for good headlines, don’t they. The best way to get out of the one size fits all mentality is to abandon the one-size-fits-all Notional Standard vandalism and get back to following international best practice.

      Not that that will do a damn thing to change the fact that the single most influential factor in education outcomes is household income, any more than it would turn the National Party into an ethical competent government.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        the fact that the single most influential factor in education outcomes is household income

        That and the household attitude. I suspect that young person has been learning how to blame someone else from her father.

    • BM 2.3

      I do believe more emphasis needs to be put on life skills.

      High school shouldn’t just be a stepping stone to higher education.

      • Molly 2.3.1

        Agree +100

      • Tracey 2.3.2

        Then you supported the work on the NZ Curriculum that Mr Mallard led and which got halted by NS and the National Government’s 1950’s fixation on the 3 R’s? Or have you been voting national anyway and helping inflict this system on the children?

        • BM

          Every one should be able to read, write and do basic arithmetic.

          By the time I left primary school, I could read, I could write and could do multiplication, division , subtraction and addition.(left in the early 1980’s)

          As for high school, I’m not sure how much knowledge I gained, most of the stuff you tended to learn didn’t seem to have any relevancy so wasn’t maintained.

          I think part of the issue was that teachers during my high school education didn’t do a particularity good job at explaining the reasoning behind what we were learning.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I think part of the issue was that teachers during my high school education didn’t do a particularity good job at explaining the reasoning behind what we were learning.

            And I think the big problem there was that you just didn’t go looking for yourself expecting the teachers to hand it to you on a plate instead.

            One of the changes that happened to schooling after you and I left was that the teachers started teaching the children how to learn which is a hell of a lot better than the wrote learning that you and I got and National seems determined to bring back.

            • BM

              Remember we’re talking high school kids here, it really was the job of the teacher to inspire the kids to learn and spark an enthusiasm to seek knowledge.

              I think instead of inspiring kids to learn, many just went through the motions.

              Which I can sort of understand, teaching the same topic for 30 years would sap the life from any one.

              • Draco T Bastard

                it really was the job of the teacher to inspire the kids to learn and spark an enthusiasm to seek knowledge.

                And here’s me thinking that that was actually the job of the parents. Which brings me back to the idea I have that parents don’t actually have enough experience to pass on to their children. This wasn’t too much of a problem in the 50s/60s/70s but it started to become a problem in the 80s and it’s actually got worse since.

                That girls father is an orchard worker*, where the hell is she ever going to get the chance to find something that actually interests her which drives her to learn? And that can be asked of many children of the low paid.

                We probably need to add work experience to high school.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.3.3

        There did seem to be a massive change in High School around the time I was in (87-91) and earlier and i don’t think it was for the best

      • McFlock 2.3.4

        Looking back on it, the purpose of high school was more about providing a glimpse of the different opportunities and careers for further training, not just uni but also practical skills. I doubt anybody was expected to carry every single piece of information for the rest of their lives, but most students left school with at least some idea of what things they had an aptitude for and what things… not so much.

        Not even to the degree of “I want to be a …”, but just things like “not good at math, but science ok, or tech drawing really good”.

    • Tracey 2.4

      Except on my reading the Herald took the wrong angle and then used a misjudged poll .

      Leaving aside the horrible grammatical/spelling error int he article by the journalist it annoyed me because

      1. Mostly this student is addressing exactly what the teachers have to do and are told to do under our new NS system. The teachers (on the whole, cos every profession has bad average and good) would have loved to deliver Mr Mallard’s curriculum but were stopped. She veers into un-based opinion about pay checks etc. had she included some research/stats in her speech (although having decided to do the topic only the night before this would have been hard to achieve) it could have flown.

      2. The Herald chose to take the line that teachers are bad (albeit posting supportive/explanatory messages from teachers/relatives of teachers) and then feed it with the ridiculous poll. In fact the student brought up a great discussion point BUT the Herald mischieviously turned it into “see teachers are bad”, rather than “GOvernment’s NS failing students” (which is equally interpretable from the girl’s speech).

      3. The student, no matter how well intended is young, and it shows. She is not an 80 year old stuck in the body of a 16 year old with all the attendant wisdom. Good on her for speaking out but it doesn’t mean what she wrote was all factually based, relevant or “true”.

      4. If it were my school, I would have called her and her parents in. I would have asked Dad (and mum?) to read the speech before they came in. Then I would have acknowledged what she was feeling, acknowledged her experience and then given she and her parents some context and perspective about directives from Ministry etc on what is to be delivered, how, time frames and so on. I wouldn’t have suspended her.

      5. Now she and the teacher and the school can all learn together about the consequences of all their actions. That’s what I call real world learning.

      She and her Dad will now mobilised and write to the Minster of education about how HER system is failing her. her Dad will help her to hold the Ministry and Minister and Government to account hat through NS has brought this down upon our children. Right?

      • b waghorn 2.4.1

        So her age makes her opinion less valid and age = wiseness ? I think you’re type of thinking is part of the problem .
        The Mum died years ago according to the article.

        • Tracey

          read it again. i absolutely belive she is entitled to an opinion. but dont mistake all she said for fact.

        • Tracey

          Almost all lof my criticism was at the Herald for how it chose to frame it and the system that lets the students and teachers down.

          • Macro

            Actually having spent 40 odd years in education (in Primary secondary and tertiary levels), I concur with a lot of the sentiment she expresses. I too believe that too much emphasis is placed on homework – in most part as a result of pressures by unthinking parents who demand that teachers set endless homework. Teachers are judged by parents on the amount of homework they set – believe me!
            I spent some time in teaching Mathematics, Computing, and Physics. There used to be lee way in the curriculum for more life skills orientated topics – particularly at what was the old 6th Form Certificate level. I developed 6 week modules on compounding interest (including – loans of various types – buying a house) – the mathematics of gambling – running a tote and sky city roulette – the consequences plainly obvious that the only people to win being the tote and sky city; and being able to calculate just how much they would gather from a fixed starting amount after a number of bets then carrying out “experiments” to gain much the same result! Very enlightening for the students. Another was a module on surveying and navigation – then problem solving, and a host of other context related topics that had important mathematical principles as their basis. Such modules were able to be developed under the old curriculum which was a very good document . But the best years of teaching were at a Steiner School where the curriculum lends itself to a more holistic treatment and modules are introduced from the standpoint of humanity and human history and development.
            So in general I share some sympathy with the young woman who has bared her angst at the education she has received, I think however that the teaching she has received has been tainted over recent years by cutbacks in state spending, unwise amendments to the curriculum, demands on “accountability” of teachers, greater emphasis on testing and recording of “students progress”, the loss of collegiality as a result of the continuous assault of the ECA on all working conditions (and the promotion of individual greed) across the board.

            • Tracey

              i also have sympathy but she is blaming teachers not the system or the government and the herald doesnt point it out. mallards curriculum was partly designed to allow flexibility to let teachers use real world examples to teach math etc… but not this government and the parents…

              i have been in tertiary for 14 years. today many students believe as they pay some dosh they had have bought a course… our bosses want the efts/money so they ake us pass peoe who might otherwise drop out… even students who dont attend class… dont complete or attempt online tasks and seek extensions for all their assessments.

              this model of sorts is now in our shools but its parents demanding the product

              • Macro

                Yes – that is how many young people react. They do not see the bigger picture – that teachers have to comply within a system as well.

                “today many students believe as they pay some dosh they had have bought a courseI”

                I know full well… Having taught in a “posh” private school for a while – one was constantly having the cheque book waved under one’s nose! That, I think, was the worst school I ever taught in. It has a this magnificent image – but that is all it is. Educationally, it was also the most backward of all. Another private school was the best (alongside a group of home schoolers). wow what a fascinating and fun time we had! And the learning.. I don’t think I ever learnt so much. And if the teacher is learning – you can bet the students are too. And they did – I know I am still in contact with them all.

                ps – Just been watching “The Rise and Fall of Rome” a BBC documentary in 6 episodes featuring 6 separate emperors from Ceasar to the sack of Rome by Alaric in 410 AD
                If people think humanity is wiser now – they should watch this… The hubris, double dealing, inhumanity to fellow humans, and lies of those who seek power, are much the same now, as 2000 years ago.

                • Tracey

                  Re Rome

                  I agree we may, only may, be less bloody than then but everything else is at it was.

                  I now see that the student wasn’t suspended, is leaving for Australia and doesn’t have as much student support as Herald suggested.

                  My partner saw that it was a headline story on the offline herald yesterday while getting coffee. She said she kept scanning down to see the quote/response from the Principal and Board but it seemed the Herald didn’t seek it out.

                  My partner who is NOT political said to me last night. It just lacked “balance”. She told me this story after we watched prime news to see that all was not quite as Herald pumped it on their front page.

                  “Front Page!”

                  Was my partner’s scoff.

      • Ron 2.4.2

        Why involve parents at that stage. Much better would have been the teacher acknowledging the students comments and having a discussion with the class to examine the subject. Not with the intent of embarrassing the student but with intent to get all the class thinking and talking.
        Possible questions to class
        Do others feel this is correct if so why.
        What would they like to see done in class that they would approve of
        Is every teacher in school the same are some better/worse
        Maybe do a project on good schools/teachers in world and why are they good

        • Tracey

          IF they were thinking of suspending, then that is why I would have involved the parents.

          The rest of what you suggest would be great but I wonder, how much time do you think that would take? Most teachers i know would love to do that kind of exploration BUT then no one else would have time to do their speech, and the class would get behind what they need to “know” and so on… and so on and so on.

          • Ron

            I accept that might be the case but all subjects have room for teachers to explore a little. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. It could be 10 minutes per lesson over a week.
            BTW for anyone that has real Netflix watch the programme Rita which is set in a Danish School system. Friends that are from Denmark assure me that the programme is very real

            • Tracey

              It turns out the facts were not all quite as they seemed… not suspended, leaving for Australia… and so on.

              Thanks for the tip about the Danish programme.

    • I thought her criticism of teachers was ott. And when she wrote that she as over hearing and understanding the Treaty, plus what she thought she should be taught my head dropped and I sighed sadly. I don’t think she should be excluded from school because of her essay.

      • Molly 2.5.1

        Her criticism of the teacher was personal, from a point of self and likely flawed and immature – but hard to tell without reading or hearing it.

        From a purely marking perspective, the content of the speech is irrelevant. It can still be marked on clarity, delivery and accuracy. And it should be.

        Teachers are in a position to judge their students work everyday. And the students – who are less able to view with objectivity their critiques – have to wrestle with their own emotions in submitting their work.

        After reading the comments in the article, I don’t think anything was completely OTT – coming as it does from a teenage angst perspective. It should not result in the request for an apology from the student, unless it was personal in direction at a particular teacher.

        (As for content, it sounds like the result of listening to too much talk back radio, or the not unexpected effect of the amount of vitriol and bashing that has been promoted by the MSM towards both the teaching profession and the treaty).

        • marty mars

          I have read the whole piece on facebook. I agree with much of what you have written Molly.

        • Tracey

          I agree no apology should be requested or required, no suspension either. I agree with your assessment.

          I would note though that lots of people, students and adults, need to learn that critical thinking does not mean having an opinion.

          • Molly

            “I would note though that lots of people, students and adults, need to learn that critical thinking does not mean having an opinion.”.

            Vice versa? Critical thinking should inform opinions. It is a skill that is improved by constant practice.

            • Lanthanide

              I think Tracey meant to say “need to learn that critical thinking does not stop at merely having an opinion”.

              • Tracey

                thanks Lanth, Indeed that was my point.

                opinions are like arseholes… everyone has one. but critical thinking….

    • Draco T Bastard 2.6

      Sounds remarkably like she’s been listening to her father far too much and her teachers not nearly enough.

    • “In high school we should be learning about the real world- how to pay my taxes, apply for jobs, mortgage my house, buy a car- things that we will actually use in the future.”

      So, a 14-year-old school pupil doesn’t understand what education’s for and has a big mouth. Forgive my yawns, NZ Herald.

    • Paul 2.8

      Why is this front page news?
      On the day Greece bails.

      The Herald has an agenda people.
      You need to wake up.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.9

      Here’s her speech

      I’m a decently smart kid, with some decently good grades. But sometimes I believe that, with the essays, worksheets and endless amount of study assigned to me each day, that teachers secretly hate me, rather than actually wanting to help me do better. They most likely, if anything really, just do it for the pay check. I’m not saying all teachers do, but the majority of them appear to be that way. I always think about how I do believe school is important however I don’t believe most of the stuff taught there, is. Do I honestly need to know what a= 1+rn to the 2nd power is, go over the treaty Waitangi every year since I was literally 5 or memorize the periodic table in order to get somewhere in life? Do I honestly need to know the structure of a seed and how it works and whatnot? No, I don’t think so. I believe school should, instead, teach us more valuable information that we’ll actually need for our futures.

      In High School, we should be learning about the real world, how to pay my taxes, apply for jobs, mortgage my house, buy a car, things that we will actually use in the future. So far, I’ve only learned that whatever I manage to get done in a short amount of time isn’t enough. What’s that? You did your homework, but didn’t do one question because you found it difficult and you were struggling? Well, there’s a unsatisfactory for homework on your mid term report! Now, that’s just not ok.

      What my point is, we all struggle, and work, and stress our selves over things that aren’t important in the long run. Two years after High School, and the majority of the students who’ve graduated have already forgotten anything they’ve learned in the last four years of their school career. Stressing myself over end of year exams, because if I fail, I have my parents on my back, asking me why I didn’t try hard enough, my teacher telling me I could have focused harder in class and my peers simply telling me that I’m stupid? Ridiculous.

      I honestly used to love going to school. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it made me happy to go to school, to meet friends, to learn things that I never knew. But the minute High School starts, it’s either you fly, or you fall. Now I strongly dislike it, and want nothing to do with it.

      Some teachers are nice, there are a good few who are genuinely nice and want to help us but it seems that the teachers that are not willing to encourage and help me are all teachers of the subjects I’m not good at and it also happens to be that I don’t enjoy them. It’s unbelievable how some teachers play favorites. They believe you can do better than your best? If they wanted me to do better, wouldn’t they actually help me to understand? they wouldn’t shove more work down my throat and expect me not to have any trouble with it. I’m not saying to treat me special because I struggle in the subject but because I’m a student who would like to learn things by a teacher, and not a book. Actually do the teaching that you were taught and you are paid to do. Don’t just give me worksheets to do and expect me to take a test on the topic 2 days later.

      you know….the school system is really screwed up …. We have all these teachers that dont enjoy their jobs and are all angry about the cut backs in their paychecks. Making us feel like complete idiots and making us feel useless. Like it’s our fault that we don’t understand the work! Maybe some of us have just don’t understand it! Or maybe the teacher didn’t teach it very well, but we’re the ones dealing with the consequences of failure.

      It’s teachers like this that make us students want to skip class and not go to school because we think we arent good enough for the certain subject. Like we are stupid and will never understand it…. Teachers are PAID to TEACH us.. not paid to hand out a piece of paper with words on it and sit around and do nothing!!!!!!! I’m not saying all teachers are bad, and I understand that us as students need to make an effort. But our teachers chose this career and need to try to cater for each individuals education.

      We spend 7 hours, 5 days a week, plus extra hours on top of that going over the days work, revision, studying, completing unfinished work and also homework give, working to please every single teacher, the least the could do is have some understanding and simply teach.

      The ignorance and self-righteousness is truly astounding even for a 15 year old.

      • Tracey 2.9.1

        worst is the herald pounced on her as some kind of poster child with which to bash teachers…

    • Rawsharkosaurus 2.10

      On Checkpoint tonight the truth finally emerged: she had not been stood down; she had not been suspended. It sound a lot like she had been asked to a meeting with the Principal and had ragequit in protest instead of attending.

      • In Vino 2.10.1

        It now turns out that she is leaving for Australia soon, and will therefore not return to the school at all. Interesting… She also says that some other students have reacted badly to her speech… interesting too. I would not be surprised if that were a majority of students, but I doubt that the Herald will give coverage to that aspect. I agree with Tracy – a slanted beat-up by the Herald in particular.

    • b waghorn 2.11

      I find it interesting that in general the response from most of the “lefties ” here has been to divert and excuse the system. This girl was brave enough to voice her view that she had been let down buy the school and I have a lot of sympathy for her as my own collage days where shit .
      I also wonder if she would of got the same reaction here if she had of been brown and from flaxmere.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.11.1

        I find it interesting that in general the response from most of the “lefties ” here has been to divert and excuse the system.

        The system’s not perfect, no system is, and a few will always be let down by it.

        This girl was brave enough to voice her view that she had been let down buy the school and I have a lot of sympathy for her as my own collage days where shit .

        I’m sorry your college days were shit but I get a distinct impression that she’s more parroting what her father says than being brave voicing her opinion.

        Most of what she says is useless I use everyday in my life. I can budget because I learned mathematics and understand compounding interest. I clean the toilet, bathroom and kitchen because I learned science and not because I did my chores as a child.

        In fact, what it comes right down to is the fact that what she’s saying is useless is something that someone who hasn’t got a clue as to what they’re talking about says and what she says is useful is what someone who’s been badly burned by the financial system says and all of that points to her orchard worker father. Somebody who’s pig ignorant and likely to stay that way because they’ve already determined that they know everything that needs to be known.

        • TheContrarian

          Why do you keep pointing out the fact he was an orchard worker? Does that make him stupid in your eyes? Pig ignorant you say? Based on what? The fact he is an orchard worker?

          Bold words from the guy who frequently mentions his career at McDonalds. Not to mention it makes you sound like an utter cock.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Why do you keep pointing out the fact he was an orchard worker?

            Because he’s a man in his forties doing the job of someone in their teens.

            Does that make him stupid in your eyes?

            Pretty much.

            Pig ignorant you say? Based on what?

            Based upon the BS that his daughter is spouting. She got that crap from somewhere and it wasn’t school.

            Bold words from the guy who frequently mentions his career at McDonalds.

            I’ve never had a career in my life but I was a manager at McDs for awhile. I usually mention it to show that I have the experience and knowledge to back up what I’m saying.

            • TheContrarian

              Very classless comments from you there. Firstly you don’t know what his job is outside of “orchard worker”. secondly you have no intimate knowledge of the family, the teen, how her views were informed, what role her father played etc.

              And calling someone stupid based on what you think they do? What a fucking asshole position to take. Even if he was an orchard worker who cares? My uncle picks grapes for a living but he has a double degree and his wife is very well known in the science community. You are being a judgemental dick.

              Manager at McDonald’s doesn’t mean anything Draco. Yay! Your experience is also that of someone in their late teens/early 20’s. Well done sir.

              So yeah – your a fucking asshole.

      • In Vino 2.11.2

        The slant of the article was to damn most teachers and the system as well, so what reaction would you expect? Even many of the students seem to be reacting badly to her rant.
        I agree that in some ways the system we have is appalling. Our schools could well be seen as large holding-pens designed mainly to keep off the streets the despicable offspring of parents who both just happen to be required to work all day to survive…
        To improve, both the overloaded teachers (work overload forces many teachers into survival tactics) and the system need better resourcing and funding. But rants about laziness reveal only the mentality of the ranter.
        Teachers are human. What was your attitude to teachers when you were a student? (Probably a stroppy one, I would guess.)

      • Tracey 2.11.3

        Turns out she wasn’t suspended and is leaving for Australia.

        WHO has “diverted and excused the system”? Do you mean teachers?

        Of course she has the right to speak out but the only person suggesting anyone didn’t want her to speak out just because some of us say much of what she says is factually wrong, is you. As for her colour, you are off the mark but I understand from your comment that this has some emotional tie to your experiences so I understand why you are viewing us as you are.

    • millsy 2.12

      IMO this is just a case of a power crazy principal who is a fan of those zero-tolerance policies in US schools. We have seen it with hair cuts, dress codes, etc and so on. Our schools are turning into minature prisons , and charter schools will only be a million times worse.

      The supreme irony is that these zero tolerance policies are seldom used in cases of bullying and harrasment.

      • b waghorn 2.12.1

        Yes I bet she was one of those kids that didn’t fit the mold ,maybe was a little difficult but she’s a kid who is dropping out and that means its the system that failed not the girl.

      • Tracey 2.12.2

        except the girl was NOT suspended as she told the Herald. And is on her way to live in Australia.

        It seems odd to me millsy that suddenly your regard the Herald as the bearer of truth and wisdom? especially when the article lacked balance, was badly editted and provided no opportunity for a response from the Principal?

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Aww! Look at the little Market! It tries so hard, yet fails and fails and fails.

    It’s a good example of the fragmented nature of how work is done in the industry.

    • adam 3.1

      SO the people who brought us leaky homes with bad work practices – (yes, I know it was across the board – council to architects) are at it again.

      Sheesh so they may get houses built – but people can’t live in them.

      Gotta love the free market – it’s more worshipping of the golden cow.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      McCormick did not believe the problem was systemic, however.


      Yeah it is.

      We’ve been taught over the last few decades that the correct price of anything is the amount we wish to pay and not the amount it actually costs. This has resulted in people not wanting to pay the full amount to get the job done properly.

      This is major problem in the building industry where all the costs and responsibilities have been taken off of the main contractors and put on the sub-contractors. The main contractors get the job and then demand that the sub-contractors cut costs so that they can still make a profit. That contractor then has to cut corners and the result of that, as we saw with the Leaky Buildings fiasco, is poor and declining workmanship.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Many of the issues were because the sector was trying to fill skills gaps in any way it could.

      Just, you know, without actually paying for them.

      The industry’s been telling anybody who would listen that we’ve got a skills shortage in Auckland.

      Not really, we’ve got a bunch of developers and main contractors that don’t want to pay for the skills that they need. Big difference. I know of at least three people getting out of the construction industry because there’s no money in it for them and I’m not in the construction industry.

      “That would have been a great vehicle to try and help with this, and really that hasn’t had lot of effort put into it by central government,” Florence said.

      And out comes the let’s blame government line to excuse their own practices.

  3. Save NZ 4

    Take the F-ers to court like the Netherlands on behalf of the people (and not just on climate change but all the corruption!

    Climate change: Taking it to court

    The Netherlands is one of the countries most at risk from climate change, but its government isn’t doing enough to stop it. So a group of Dutch citizens went to court to get a tougher emissions-reduction target, and won:
    A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020, in a case environmentalists hope will set a precedent for other countries.

    Campaigners brought the case on behalf of almost 900 Dutch citizens.

    They argued the government had a legal obligation to protect its citizens from the dangers of climate change.

    The case was a straight-out tort, made possible by the clear and obvious harm the plaintiffs would suffer if emissions continue: sea levels would rise and they would be under water. That’s not going to be possible everywhere. OTOH, a case from people in low-lying regions, or areas affected by flooding or drought, might be an interesting option in New Zealand.
    Posted by Idiot/Savant at 6/25/2015 11:55:00 AM Links to this post

  4. Skinny 5

    I can not believe how stupid National are by putting some of Northland’s bridges on the back burner. It just shows proof of an election bribe.

    I guess they are more concerned about chasing the darling Auckland vote with multi billion dollar spend on Roading. Not a sausage for the city rail link to help stem motorway gridlock.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Blenheim was promised a new bridge on Highway 1 just out of town heading north. This promise was made at the 2011 election. But surprise! It has been taken off the list. So bribe for the election then after the votes are counted, withdraw the bribe. What does this tell us?

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        I think I can visualise that bridge. I think it’s hardly wide enough for two trucks to pass or for a bicycle and a car to be side by side in a lane. There is no pedestrian lane so they can cross the river. It must be wider than the criteria for a give-way priority direction bridge. But that is what is needed a lot of the time.

        And it is more important to have good dual lane State highway roads around the country, and serviced roads providing a suitable standard for regions, than have showplace motorways to impress the wealthy and tourists around Auckland.

        • ianmac

          Yes it is one of those with high scalloped sides and almost like a one way in that trucks take unofficial right of way as they overlap the centre line. Built nearly 100 years ago. Promised, bribed and discarded.

          • freedom

            “This place has been recognised by Heritage New Zealand as a Category 1 historic place”

            So what’s happening about making this historic place safer for modern traffic volumes? Not much apparently and talk of a heavy traffic bypass which would largely alleviate the need for a new bridge seems to be a distant murmur.

            It seems many Truckies are largely in favour of a by-pass
            but this has as much to do with the high number of Blenheim roundabouts as the inadequacies of the current bridge in handling heavy/wide vehicles.

            So what has been happening with the Opawa River Bridge project investigations? Latest public update was in May and was predictably non-committal. If things get moving soon, it might have new construction going ahead before its centenary in 2017.
            “Marlborough Roads Manager Frank Porter said this week the investigation was nearly finished.

            Further geotechnical and structural work needed to be done before any recommendations were finalised, Porter said.

            The work would help identify potential costs of the options, and would also form the proposals that would go to the community for feedback.”

            The thing is, a few years ago, when the Future Investment Fund was first discussed as a source for funding of a new bridge there is this interesting passage from a 2012 Tasman Regional Transport Committee Agenda pg30/61
            “The Opawa River and Wairau River bridge replacements in Marlborough District and the Southern Link investigation, design and consenting in Nelson City have been separated from Table 3 above because they will be funded through the Government’s ‘Future Investment Fund’.(subject to election outcome)” (bold mine)

            Didn’t the people promising the build, the same people who have this magical fund of everlasting dollars called the Future Investment Fund, actually win the next election? So where’s the new bridge?

            Even in the Marlborough Regional Land Transport Plan 2015-2021
            there is only a single mention of the issue
            “Attention is already being paid to SH1 Opawa River Bridge and SH1 Wairau River Bridge through the Government’s Future Investment Fund. ” pg 20/93

            • ianmac

              A great piece of research Freedom. I believe that in the press (Herald?) yesterday that the Opawa River Bridge had been dropped from the list of bridge rebuilds. The bit that bothers me is not that the new bridge is being delayed now, but that National can get away with a promise at the 2011 election, then renege.

      • Sacha 5.1.2

        “bribe for the election then after the votes are counted, withdraw the bribe. What does this tell us?”

        Don’t keep voting for unethical scoundrels.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      According to Labour National are trying it with the second Waitemata Harbour crossing in Auckland as well:

      Auckland MP and Labour’s transport spokesman Phil Twyford said he had been leaked information that Prime Minister John Key will make an announcement on the second crossing on August 12 – and it will be roads-only, with no rail option.

      “It’s a $5 billion project, a major piece of transport infrastructure. They’re going to announce that they’re going to bring it forward.

      If they do and they make it roads only at a guess I figure only about 20% of Auckland will vote for them. We want public transport and we want it now. Fuck having more roads and the congestion that comes with them.

  5. Penny Bright 6

    Never under-estimate the power of a Parliamentary petition?

    Seen this?

    Paula Bennett30 JUNE, 2015
    New Local Government Commissioners

    New appointments to the Local Government Commission will continue to foster strong and effective local democracy, Local Government Minister Paula Bennett says.

    Sir Wira Gardiner has been appointed as Chair, and Mr Leigh Auton has been appointed as a member. They join Commissioner Janie Annear, who has been reappointed. The appointments are for a three year term, commencing 1 August 2015.

    “I’m thrilled with these appointments, and believe that Sir Wira, Mr Auton and Ms Annear have the right knowledge and expertise to help communities focus on the issues that matter,” Mrs Bennett says.

    “Fundamentally, we need local government to focus on delivering sustainable infrastructure, making sensible spending decisions, and listening to its citizens.

    “It is the Commission’s role to look at the structure of local government and ensure we have a strong regional focus to promote job growth and increased social wellbeing.

    “For too long the argument has been on how many mayors we have, instead of looking at key infrastructure and economic growth.

    “I will be asking the Commission to be creative and think seriously about the different kind of local government structures that will help our communities continue to prosper.”

    Sir Wira has a long and distinguished public service career. He was a founding director of the Waitangi Tribunal and the founding Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri.

    Leigh Auton has extensive local government experience with a particular background in planning, infrastructure and transport, and is former Chief Executive of Manukau City Council.

    Janie Annear has been a member of the Commission since 1 July 2014 and served three terms as the Mayor of Timaru from 2004 to 2013.

    “I’d like to thank outgoing Chair Basil Morrison and member Anne Carter for their service and significant contribution to the Commission’s work since 2011.”

    Mr Morrison and Ms Carter complete their terms on the Commission on 31 July 2015.

    Editors Note: The Local Government Commission is an independent statutory body. Its main roles are to make decisions about the structure and boundaries of councils and the representation arrangements for local authorities.


    Penny Bright

  6. wyndham 7

    “Harmful Digital Communications”. Lyn, will this new Act affect contributors to TS? Will you have to move “offshore” to counter this gross abuse of democracy?

    • Not likely to be a problem, wyndham. The basic ‘free speech’ defences remain and there has to be proof of both harm and the intent to harm. However, there could be abuse of the provisions, where sites like TS are spammed with bogus complaints and ‘take down’ notices.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        And, of course, the slippery slope idea counts in this instance, because the police always end up pushing their new powers as far as possible. I live in a city where the cops tried to prosecute a publican with sedition (to be fair, he sure as shit deserved the worry, because he was deliberately skirting incitement and nuisance laws imo).

        A bit like the proceeds of crime act – the poster sticker was for drug millionaires, the practise is police attempting to take farms off people based on evidence previously proved incorrect.

  7. Penny Bright 8

    Seen this?

    Submissions today in the Whangarei District Court – 10am.

    This is a REALLY important ‘test case’ for citizens trying to hold Councils accountable to the ‘rule of LAW’.
    Northern Advocate 30 June 2015

    Bruce Rogan is in court today challenging the right of Kaipara District Council to recoup $1 million. Photo / File
    By Imran Ali

    A Kaipara ratepayer refusing to pay his rates is challenging in court his territorial authority’s decision to legally recoup nearly $1 million in land and water rates as well as penalties.

    Bruce Rogan, chairman of the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents’ Association (MRRA), has taken a test case in Whangarei District Court against the Kaipara District Court and a hearing will take place today.

    “This is an extremely important case of local government and anybody’s who is concerned about the power of councils to set rates should attend the hearing,” he said.

    The council is taking to court about 100 defaulting ratepayers, including Mr Rogan, who owe nearly $1 million in rates and penalties from 2012 in protest against Parliament passing the Kaipara Validation Act. The Act validated irregularities in the setting and assessing of Kaipara District rates from the 2006/07 financial year to 2011/12 in respect of a wastewater scheme.

    One defaulting ratepayer owes the council more than $100,000 while others are being asked to pay five-figure sums. The council is seeking $14,946 from Mr Rogan and his wife Heather for their Mangawhai Heads’ property. In his statement of defence, Mr Rogan claimed he was not liable to pay rates because they have been unlawfully set, assessed and invoiced. He said the council had no statutory power to start legal proceeding against defaulting ratepayers in October last year.

    The rates’ assessment notice for the 2013/14 and 2014/15, he said, did not clearly identify the statutory information that must be stipulated according to the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. In an affidavit filed in support of the statement of defence, Mr Rogan said he and his wife would only pay once the council delivered compliant rates’ assessment notices and invoices.

    In June last year, he said association members agreed to pay up if the commissioners running the council were willing to rescind all penalties on the validated rates.

    “This offer was not only rejected, but it was followed a matter of just three days later by a letter from the council to those whose rates were in arrears, threatening additional penalties if full payment was not made by July 1, 2014.”

    He said instead of approaching association members with a view to negotiating a deal, the council decided to rely upon the courts to enforce collection of amounts if claimed were owed. The Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents’ Association (MRRA) took the council to the High Court to seek a declaration that the rates were invalid. However, Justice Paul Heath said that, since the Act was passed by Parliament, he didn’t have powers to declare it unlawful.

  8. Sable 9

    Sounds like Australian politicians are unhappy with TPP. As well they should be:

    • greywarshark 9.1

      That makes me feel warm and neighbourly towards Oz – we both are completely useless at running our countries successfully with a proper balance in business, wages and welfare, and environmental conservation. Or to get politicians in power that have the wide intelligence, integrity, and inspiration to get us out of our morass caused by past actions. Unfortunately all those in’s needed are out’s and we descend surely down the plughole to become the b..hole of the region.

  9. Skinny 10

    Chinese appetite for New Zealand as a holiday destination grows 30 % in a year. A new daily flight service comes into effect January next year.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      Yeah that;s looking backwards though; what do you think will happen now that their financial markets are crashing and the middle class is wondering where their wealth is going

      • Skinny 10.1.1

        I guess it’s a numbers game and they have more millionaire’s than we have in population. The American fight back with the TPPA getting closer looks likely to have an impact on China, however the Chinese have always been the end game thinkers opposed to the Yanks who’s empire is crumbling. Time will tell I guess how we fair under the TPPA?

  10. Sirenia 11

    Helen Clark is in town and what does she do? Go to jail to present literacy certificates to women prisoners. The contrast is stark with the priorities of the present government and their care for vulnerable people.

    • Siirenia

      Thats why she was such a good PM.
      how the hell did people vote her out in favour of the disasted we have now??

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Tax cuts!

        • Save NZ

          MSM had it in for her. Remember ‘nanny state’, painter gate, etc etc.

          Media screaming hysterically.

          Now we just hear about what’s on TV in our news, nothing much on the Nats apart from our ‘rock star’ economy and first hand reports prepared by Nats presented as ‘news’.

      • vaughan little 11.1.2

        she weakened the labour party considerably by forcing out people who weren’t of her ideological stripe.

        she and her government were much better for nz than the current toxic muppet show.

        but still, it was a fairly right wing government, relying on the property bubble and property owners.

  11. Molly 12

    AT does it again. Takes an innovation from a truly progressive mayor and copies it, without following up with the rest of the progressive and innovative moves.

    AT launch real life Green Man – Herald.

    A similar initiative was done by mimes in the city of Bogota, by the existing mayor, Antanas Mockus. and this had a marked impact on the number of pedestrians killed. But he also paved the way for progressive actions of following mayors, such as Enrique Penalosa – who appropriated a private golf course in the middle of the city and made it into a public park. He also invested in a public transport system, and spent money on providing good cycleways and footpaths to impoverished communities rather than roads. Those are the actions that make a significant difference to the residents of Bogota, and that unfortunately will not be followed up by AT.

    Similar to the Pocket Park that Auckland Council and AT did last year. The inspiration was a form of protest by grassroots community groups in the US, who were sick of the focus on providing for cars at the expense of people, and so paid the carpark fees and set up their own parks for the day.

    While good intentioned, and very good PR, they miss the point that the public is still not involved in having a say in the environment in which they live and work.

    This impacts on their quality of experience in those places.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Focus to get Auckland Moving

      One segment of Auckland Transports latest business report highlights AT’s latest Pedestrian Safety Shaming campaign.

      Auckland Transport Blogs’ take on ATs’ Green Man.

      • Molly 12.1.1

        Thanks. Good read.

        (The original mimes in Bogota actually did reduce the high fatality statistics there, but the city they operated in was very different to present day Auckland – and I expect their presence was experienced by pedestrians and motorists alike.)

  12. Barbara 13

    Interesting conversation on Radio Live with Mark Sainsbury this morning. A “well spoken” older lady phoned in challenging was it an “open line” radio station or not? She had wanted to talk about John Campbell and the cancelling of his programme. The Producer Jeremy had told her prior to getting through that the topic of JC was not available to be talked about and she was requesting that Mark S go back to the management of Radio Live and ask if it is an open line station, why were the topics being filtered/censored before being talked about on air? Mark S fluffed and told he understood etc, thanked her for her contribution and cut her off. Incidently the topic being discussed was car driver’s and their bad/good habits – go figure – nothing that could rock the boat and take the establishment to task.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Good on that woman bringing this to the foreground. And thanks for the heads-up Barbara.

    • John Shears 13.2

      Typical Radio Live bias, the only difference today was that it was Mark S, who is a little more understanding than the usual host.

      • Gangnam Style 13.2.1

        Jeremy has spoken publicly about his love for all things John Banks. I stopped listening years ago, but when Sainsbury is on I usually have a quick listen, heard him a few months ago utterly baffled because he thought if you were on the dole & were a bit short you could just pop into the WINZ office & they would hand over some extra money for you. So yeah, he’s a little bit of touch with reality I think.

  13. greywarshark 14

    Radio nz 9 to Noon good items this a.m.
    09:05 Not ‘Just Another Climate Change Action Group’
    Leading scientists and academics are calling on the government for a national risk assessment of the country’s long term risks. The Wise Response Society say they don’t want to be cast as just another climate change action group, but scientists, doctors, engineers, and researchers at the coal face who are already seeing the unintended consequences of past and current economic decisions piling up.

    Dr. Susan Krumdieck is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury. For information on Professor Krumdieck‘s work on sustainability, visit the AEMS Lab website.

    Useful comment from Australian correspondent on election bribery through large donations and what they think about this.
    9:45 Australia correspondent Bernard Keane – reports from Australia with the latest on the revelations about Mafia donations to the Liberal Party.

    • Tracey 14.1

      thanks grey will listen when i am back at a computer.

    • greywarshark 14.2

      Radio nz 9 to Noon good items this a.m.

      Further to the info on this morning Radionz comment by this Professor –
      (For older commenters – it relates to the futures group briefly set up to help with scenarios of the future so we can be prepared for likely outcomes. Soon disbanded, as it didn’t help electionability, and was outside the three-year sheep pen for ideas.)

      Dr. Susan Krumdieck is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury. For information on Professor Krumdieck‘s work on sustainability, visit the AEMS Lab website.

  14. Barbara 15

    Forgot to add – gagging like your leader post in today’s T.S. about the Cyber Bullying Bill is well and truly alive in NZ – not only with online content.

  15. From facebook

    Urgency Applications to the Waitangi Tribunal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
    On 23 June 2015, two Waitangi Tribunal claims were filed alleging that the Crown’s negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement were in breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
    Wai 2522: a claim lodged by Papaarangi M J Reid, Moana Jackson, Angeline Greensill, Hone Harawira, Rikirangi Gage and Moana Maniapoto, concerning the Crown’s actions and omissions in its negotiations over the TPPA; and
    Wai 2523: a claim by Natalie Kay Baker, Hone Tiatoa, Maia (Connie) Pitman, Ani Taniwha, Pouri Harris, Owen Kingi, Justyne Te Tana and Lorraine Norris, that alleges that without consultation with or consent from the hapū of Ngāpuhi, the Crown is ceding elements of NZ’s sovereignty before considering what effect this will have on hapū in light of the conclusions of the Wai 1040 Stage 1 Report He Whakaputanga me te Tiriti – The Declaration and The Treaty.
    The Tribunal has classified Wai 2522/2523 as claims that concern issues of national significance.
    Our lawyers have asked that both claims be heard urgently, before events take place that overtake the necessity of the claims.
    Judge Savage has directed the Crown to respond to Wai 2522/2523 by this Friday 3 July 2015, which suggests the Tribunal understands how fast events are moving, and how quickly these claims must be heard if the Tribunal is to make findings and recommendations before the Crown signs off on the TPPA.
    Once the Tribunal has received the Crown’s response the Judge will set us a deadline to reply.
    The Tribunal will then make a decision on whether to hold a fixture to hear the claims urgently.
    More to come …

    Keep the pressure on until the threat is over.

    • Molly 16.1

      Good news, and always heartening to see the protection the treaty offers us all.

    • ianmac 16.2

      And today at QT Q6 :”MARAMA FOX to the Minister of Trade: How many Māori organisations have been consulted during the last 5 years of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?”

  16. Morrissey 19

    Urgent request to a tech-savvy Standardista

    Is there anyone out there who is able to post a link to yesterday’s (i.e., Tuesday 30 June) edition of The Huddle on NewstalkZB? It featured Larry Williams, Barry Soper and Cameron Slater discussing the situation in Gaza.

    As anyone who had the misfortune to hear it will attest, it was not exactly the most learned or serious discussion, but I would like to make a transcript of it if someone can post up the actual audio.

    I’ve looked and looked but can’t find it online yet.

    Thanks in anticipation,


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