Open mike 14/05/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 14th, 2024 - 114 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

114 comments on “Open mike 14/05/2024 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Ridiculous ideology driven project from a silly little man , I'm yet to see evidence these work.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1

      For sure. And IMO, there was no "hidden" agenda (maybe the naive and/or gullible didnt see ? )

      Also…the Consultants are now being readied..Charter school fans?

      Education Ministry staff being made redundant are being asked by consultancy firms to work for them, meaning they would be doing the same work, but for firms that would charge double what they were being paid

      • Rodel 1.1.1

        Luxon's comment that he was 'not aware of anyone being made redundant and then. rehired as a consultant, '…'I'm not aware of that. all I can just say …..' is classic sociopathic CEO behaviour- denying facts and evading responsibility.

    • Nic the NZer 1.2

      I think David Seymour will have assessed his previous iteration of charter schools a complete success.

      • tc 1.2.1

        Transferred public money to private hands so thats a win for ACT.

      • Ad 1.2.2

        More than 50% of our secondary school students don't attend school in terms 2 and 3.

        We've thrown volumes of cash at teachers, and at school buildings, during the Ardern years.

        I don't envy teachers for the curriculum whiplash they are going through in reading and comprehension, and in history.

        But the public system should get challenged for results.

        Seymour's people will be a disruption that will test themselves for results as well as public schools nearby to Charter ones. They need at least a parliamentary term to deliver those results.

        I also hope it strips out pretentions to covering up white flight in the Auckland and Wellington and Hamilton suburbs, which is what the private schools we already have encourage simply through expensive fees. The class markers of secondary school allegiance in Christchurch and Dunedin are already legendary.

        We need to name the corrosion that white flight is generating within the current system. Let's not dance around charter schools like they're inherently evil. The system is overdue for serious challenge.

        • SPC

          Surely you realise that charter schools are simply a Trojan horse for voucher education.

          A parliamentary term to deliver results – you are aware they ran 2014-2017.

          • SPC

            The short story of charter schools is that they enable people to travel out of a state school zone and still get a free education.

            The New Zealand school system

            Privilege – private school.

            Privilege – real estate plus "grammar school zone" value – all middle class school for free (also known as the gated class community).

            Integrated independent schools (mostly Catholic, but now incorporating others via the charter school transition phase)

            Charter schools – which become integrated independent schools when Labour returns to government. These cater to flight out of low decile school zones by parents ambitious for their own children.

            State schools – school zones based (subject to white flight out of zone).

            The ACT MP for Epsom once believed in school choice – but came up against the grammar zone privilege and redacted himself to the charter school option.

            His next project will be home schooled people who connect to international online provides – vouchers for them.

            • SPC

              The real value of a charter school is in its teachers (motivated parents would achieve the same for their children in a state school if there was no choice) and whatever support for the school they can arrange (local and international support networks).

              • tWig

                Charter schools are for-profit education businesses, which suck up state education funds to pay for the lifestyle of directors. Look to the UK and Australia to see the damage that a for-profit model in education produces, where charter/private schools suck a disproportionate subsidy from the state, and state education suffers as a result. Charter and private schools can pick and choose their students, and are less accountable financially than state schools.

                The UK had a big debate when charter schools were brought in.

                This from a comment from a teacher in the US charter system:

                "If you could prove that charter schools were more successful than public schools, you could make a case for simply running all public schools in the same way – which boils down to giving all students many more classroom hours and making short shrift of hopeless teachers. But a survey conducted in 2009 by Stanford University found that, on average, charter schools hardly do better than public schools, and some do worse. There is always the trumpeted, successful charter that achieves close on 100% student graduation and college acceptance (the gold standard in American education) but then, isn't there always the exceptional public school?"

                • Traveller

                  "Charter schools are for-profit education businesses, which suck up state education funds to pay for the lifestyle of directors."

                  Does that include Te Kura Maori o Waatea, an initiative of the Manukau Urban Māori Authority?

                  Or the South Auckland Middle School and Middle School West Auckland that are part of the Villa Education Trust?

                  Or the Te Aratika Academy, that is sponsored by the Te Aratika Charitable Trust?

                  Or the Rise Up Academy, founded by the not-for-profit Rise Up Trust?

                  You may want to focus more on what's happening here in NZ.

        • SPC

          A lot more would have to be spent on education to match that of other nations – for primary and secondary education.

          • Phillip ure

            SPC has nailed what all you others are dancing around..

            Go and look at the provided link…

            We spend about half of what the u.s. spends per student..and one third of what the country (Luxembourg) that spends the most per student..

            So…what we need to do is to arrive at that place so hallowed by the right..'the level playing field'..

            ..before any dismantling of the state education system..

          • Dolomedes III

            Further evidence that NZ is not really a 1st world country, and yet another reason why 6.5 % cuts across the board are a bad idea. Some areas like education and health need strengthening, not cutting.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            yes But our CoC govt can't spend that much more on education and get landLord wealth back on track – in NAct's priorities Kiwis certainly can trust(s).

        • Nic the NZer

          "More than 50% of our secondary school students don't attend school in terms 2 and 3."

          How did you get to be so credulous?

      • Rodel 1.2.3

        I hope the leader of Labour will have the guts to announce that when Labour is again the government, Seymour's absurd private charter schools will be closed and disestablished without compensation to the owners.

    • Belladonna 1.3

      What evidence would you accept? There is little point in providing any evidence for those people who have the default mantra of 'charter bad'

      Have a look at Vanguard – which was initially a charter school and has now transitioned (as required by the last government) to being a state integrated school. Their NCEA results are substantially above the average.

      For a longer baseline – you could try looking at the achievements of the faith-based (largely Catholic) state integrated schools in NZ. Virtually all of which outperform their decile peers – some by a very large margin.

      • David 1.3.1

        As someone who’s “neurodivergent” My experience of state schools was horrendous. The treatment I received from the state school teachers was child abuse. Going to a integrated Catholic school I was for the first time treated like a human..

        • Obtrectator

          Curious. My experience was the complete opposite. The Catholic school I attended at the start of my education "was newly-built and full of light and air" but "the teachers clipped the ears of any idle kids" and the headmaster patrolled the aisles at lunch-time on the lookout for malefactors, sometimes toting a cane. Mind you, it was a good many decades ago, and things might have changed since.

          The non-religiously-affiliated school I transferred to after four terms had a far gentler regime, even though the buildings were a grim-looking late-Victorian pile.

          • Traveller

            If they "clipped the ears of any idle kids" it must have been a while ago. Corporal punishment in schools was banned in 1990, 34 years ago. smiley

        • joe90

          Going to a integrated Catholic school I was for the first time treated like a human..

          The start of my wretched experience at a Catholic school was as a new entrant sitting on the steps trying to tie my shoe laces and an impatient nun grabbed me by the arm, hoisted me to my feet and laid into me with a yard ruler.

          >Thirty years on a bone scan showed clear evidence of a long-healed radial fracture of the humerus.

          A common mechanism for those types of fractures is being held near the elbow and hoisted to your feet.

          • Belladonna

            So, has to be 30 years or longer ago. There haven't been nuns actively teaching in schools for quite some time.
            And, corporal punishment was equally as common in State schools during that period.

            Meanwhile, the current crop of Catholic schools are overachieving in virtually every educational metric. Just compare the results for the girls at McAuley with other similar deciles.

      • Nic the NZer 1.3.2

        Seems to be the bi-partisan way the country produces new schools these days. Would probably work better to just plan and implement new state schools to begin with, but instead this is the way it works. Or if the government really wanted to boost education results they could reduce the class sizes per teacher across the board (or even starting in the lowest result schools first) at some cost. Everybody who knows anything about education knows that would work (though hiring new teachers may not be that simple).

        I'd be more happy with the statistics if they came directly from the MoE rankings and there was no possibility of the school discouraging grading of pupils to benefit their ranking. I know first hand that state schools have discouraged some students from sitting something they would reasonably likely fail to bolster their overall grades and I don't know how the overall assessment deals with that these days.

      • bwaghorn 1.3.3

        So it's achieving top results as state school?? ,

        • Belladonna

          Nope. It's achieving top results as a special character integrated school.
          I struggle to think of any State schools which are achieving above average decile level results. Perhaps you can contribute some.

          • Nic the NZer

            Seems to depend what you mean by "above average decile level". I mean effectively half the schools in any decile level achieve above average decile level results by definition and there are probably some deciles with only state schools in them.

            • Belladonna

              I mean comparing a Decile 3 school against results from other Decile 3 schools.

              • Nic the NZer

                There were two state schools in the top 10 in NZ in 2023, (with the top results all going to high decile 8 or above schools), does that not simply refute your claim by example anyway?


                If its specifically about low decile schools outperforming their decile in results, we really ought to start by identifying the number of actual low decile non-state schools, because if there are none then all the percentiles of performance in that decile go to state schools.

                • Belladonna

                  Quote from your article

                  This year’s top 10 was made up of six private, two state and two state-integrated schools – the highest number of state schools in the rankings so far.

                  Hardly a ringing endorsement for state education – given that the number of State schools massively outweighs the numbers of either private or integrated schools.

                  Also note that this is the result of a report produced by Crimson Education (a for profit firm – not based on NCEA results). How much credence you choose to give to it….

                  Yes, there are plenty of lower decile schools integrated schools which consistently outperform their state decile peers. Have a look at McAuley in Auckland – decile one – but getting better results than schools 5 or more deciles above them.

                  There is a link to a Herald article – covering all of the NCEA results from NZ schools- but it's pay-walled.


                  • Of the 3000 private school students, 79 per cent achieved NCEA Level 3, while for the 6000 students leaving integrated schools (a special character or former private school that’s been integrated into the state school system), it’s 70.8 per cent.
                  • The national average is 52.8 per cent, while only 48.8 per cent of the 52,000 state high school students left school with NCEA Level 3.
                  • A stronger correlation exists for UE, though the national average is much lower (38.9 per cent).
                  • The proportion leaving private schools with UE was almost twice that, at 76 per cent, while for integrated school leavers it was 58.9 per cent.
                  • For state school leavers, it was a shade over one in three (34 per cent).

                  Acknowledging that private schools automatically have students from the wealthiest demographic – so should be expected to be doing considerably better in educational results to comparable schools – you may choose to discount those results.

                  However, the average results from the integrated schools – which operate in the same deciles and with the same student profiles as state schools – are significantly better than the average results from state schools. This is true within deciles, as well as overall.

                  This is not one off. The results have been evident for decades.

                  • Traveller

                    To add to that:

                    Research-Note-The-State-of-Schooling (6).pdf

                    This report also raises concerns about the quality of public schools in New Zealand. While 15.5% of state schools perform in the top 25%, we show 31.8% of state schools perform in the bottom 25% even after adjusting for the different communities they serve. In comparison, only 6.5% and 8.3% of state-integrated and private schools fall in the bottom 25%, respectively.5 In absolute terms, New Zealand’s 330 state schools include 51 high-performers; 93 state-integrated schools include 42 high performers; and 36 private schools include 24 high-performers.6

                    [Link is not working, i.e., “File is missing.” Please provide working link and some comment to your copy-pasta for discussion – Incognito]

                    • Incognito

                      Mod note

                    • Traveller

                      Weird, sorry. It is a PDF linked to from:

                      Research Note: The State of Schooling | The New Zealand Initiative (

                      It refers to research published in 2020 that compares outcome from the three school 'types' in NZ, private, integrated and state. I posted the link and quote specifically in relation to Belladonna's post, but I also claims to seperate out "the contribution of the family socioeconomic background using data from Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI)." in response to their comment "Acknowledging that private schools automatically have students from the wealthiest demographic ".

                      I hope that's what you were looking for?


                    • Incognito []

                      Not so weird when you consider that you’ve done this before ( with the exact same link (you seem quite fond of it, for some reason) that is not actually a/the PDF but a summary of it.

                      Given that most of us are not mind readers, from now on add some of your own words by way of debating point(s), for example, to your copy-pastas.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Not sure this makes the picture better for integrated or private schools. Having any in the bottom 25% percentile demonstrates pretty clearly what ever they are doing which differentiates them it doesn't have to work.

                • Belladonna

                  It certainly doesn't make things better for the state schools. Since most of what they're doing doesn't 'work'.

                  When you have 2/3 of the kids graduating within the state school system who are not qualified to go onto tertiary education (UE) – it's an admission of dismal failure.

                  Yes, of course university isn't the goal for all kids. There are plenty who choose alternative career pathways. But the admission that they are not qualified to go, if they chose to do so – indicates a basic educational failure.

                  Are all integrated schools perfect. Well, obviously not. Are they significantly better (on average) to the state schools. Unquestionably.

                  This is not news.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    You are aware that for some schools to be at the top of the distribution some do need to be at the bottom, aren't you? I'm really wondering because you seemed at first to claim no state schools would perform above the mean which is basically wrong by definition.

                    The issue is its not even clear from the statistics that similar results would not be achieved at a similarly funded state school with the same pupils.

                    Or to put it another way what is the suggested state school reform which apparently replicates these results?

                    • Belladonna

                      Well, absent a time machine, it will never be clear that the same pupils would achieve similar results at different schools.

                      However, the overwhelming statistical reality is that – on average – students perform much more poorly at state schools than in alternative education.

                      Unless you're claiming that (except for the decile 9-10, which are wealth selected equivalents of private schools) all the smart kids leave to go to other schools, and only the stupid remain.

                      There are lots of suggestions about how low-performing state schools could learn from the success stories of other schools. But neither the MoE, nor the teachers unions are (demonstrably) at all interested in implementing the changes.

                      Have a look at this article – somewhat dated now, from 2015, but it’s clear what works. Community, discipline, high expectations, family involvement.
                      None of that is rocket science.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Seems from the article the actual secret sauce is Catholicism though.

                    Many state school staff and principals are equally as dedicated as the article portrays in those schools of course. They tend to be found at highly successful state schools. But the state school system also needs to manage many schools which don't have such dedicated staff.

                    The statistical evidence doesn't actually present any line below which integrated schools never fall below making it at best weak evidence. This doesn't speak well about the utility of applying this approach to improve schools with poor results.

                    • Belladonna

                      The article was about Catholic schools – of course the catholicism was front and centre! There are other integrated schools, which are not religious – perhaps you might like to go and read up on them.

                      However the points I took from the article: Community, discipline, high expectations, family involvement – apply to any school (religious or otherwise).

                      The point is that many, many state schools are badly failing their students (as we see from the educational outcomes). If the issue is with dedicated staff – then that is absolutely on the Ministry to deal with [note: I think it's the educational environment, not the quality of the staff – but your opinion obviously varies]

                      Regardless of whether you regard the results from the integrated schools as 'weak evidence' or not – it's the only evidence we have. Something is working. Something is not. Statistically, unless you live in a decile 9-10 state school area, your kids will be markedly better off at an integrated school.
                      As I said, it isn't rocket science.

                      My pick is that Seymour has determined that the MoE and Teacher unions have zero interest in actually implementing required changes (because they're antithetical to their philosophy), and is using Charter schools as an end-run around the Ministry and Unions.

                      I'm on the fence over Charter schools as an option. My preference would be that they were not necessary. However, a monolithic school system just doesn't work for all kids (for example, if you're a kid who needs to be in a smaller school, with more pastoral care – you're not going to thrive at Rangitoto (3.5K students) – which is the only state school option if you live in that zone.)

                  • Nic the NZer

                    In case you missed it, the point about Catholicism is that its your own assumptions about what is important for these schools doing the work there. In making the comparison between these schools there are a number of assumptions about how they function and why some might be successful and others not so successful. Not all these differences are properties of the school, such as the students who enroll and their particular backgrounds.

                    So when I say its weak evidence the meaning should be taken that its not evidence via a study which is able to control for these factors which may be most relevant to the differences in school performance here. Frequently this means studies which do control for such factors do not re-produce any advantage for private over public schooling. It follows that introducing related strategies to public education doesn't achieve the improvements expected.

                    Such weakness in the evidence might be easily overcome if there was something like an obvious boundary which no integrated schools fell below, but there is not and as a result its at best weak evidence which we should not put too much weight on.

                    On the other hand there is very good evidence that funding a reduced class size will work in most school contexts, with the main difficulty for the MoE being the number of teachers available to do that. We are not so bankrupt for evidence of what is good practice in education actually.

                    • Belladonna

                      Suggest you implement a study, which will meet your exacting requirements. Or link to one from the NZ context which proves (or even illustrates) your point.

                      In the meantime, the rest of us will continue to observe the obvious. Integrated schools (which are not all Catholic – or even religious) continue, on average, to significantly outperform state schools from the same decile.

                      Note: there is zero evidence that they all have smaller class sizes.

                      Wriggle as you please – you can't get around this fact.

                      Perhaps you can link the evidence that smaller class sizes, alone, have a significant impact on student achievement.

                      My belief is that it is one factor (and a particular reason why the MoE drive to implement MLE was a disaster for NZ education) – but not the only, or even the most significant one.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Even a very simple study attempting to correct for these things undermines your assumptions of a benefit.


                      "The papers showed the Ministry of Education estimated the schools might deliver a benefit equivalent to up to $1250 per student per year – but only if they were 10 percent more efficient at delivering education than state schools.

                      "We consider it unlikely that changing to a charter school model could improve efficiency by more than about 10 percent," they said."

                      "However, it was unclear if the model had an impact on the academic achievement for these specific learner groups."

                      They consider a 10% improvement implausible is the point being highlighted here. The supposed benefit your assuming to exist is mostly a statistical mirage down to comparing better funded non-state schools in with state schools. The obvious implication being you could almost certainly get better results out of state schools with more funding which was allocated in a sensible manner to improving education, but that is ultimately a government budget decision and not likely to happen in a term of this government.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Lol. Your seriously suggesting the international evidence on class sizes is out of date?

                      The point about class sizes is not that they are necessarily smaller in integrated schools, they are typically smaller in private schools as is well known (which is one of the reasons parents often prefer them to the point on paying quite significant tuition). In fact, as you seem to be having trouble grasping, I'm not convinced that these are getting better results. The point is just there are well known obvious ways that additional education funding could be put to effective use, but the actual policy looks more like an ideological boon dongle favoring donors making it completely compatible with effectively all the other National policies.

                  • Nic the NZer


                    There are a range of referenced studies and discussion on class size as it was researched circa 2007.

                    • Belladonna

                      I somehow don't find a puff piece by the PPTA from 2007 very convincing.
                      Since you've demanded quality research on the NZ situation above – surely you should be prepared to link something recent with even a vague connection to the NZ education environment.

                      Nor does class size have anything to do with the educational-outcome differential between integrated and state education. You've provided zero evidence that integrated schools routinely have smaller class sizes. Although, it's an often-touted benefit of charter schools – so you should be welcoming them with open arms.

                  • Traveller

                    "I somehow don't find a puff piece by the PPTA from 2007 very convincing."

                    Here is something more recent – Small class sizes for improving student achievement in primary and secondary schools: a systematic review – Filges – 2018 – Campbell Systematic Reviews – Wiley Online Library

                    The context of this review is that they took 127 studies, from 55 populations across 41 countries. Of those, 10 studies were included in the meta-analysis.

                    You really need to read the document as a whole, however the summarised findings of the review found:

                    Overall, the evidence suggests at best a small effect on reading achievement. There is a negative, but statistically insignificant, effect on mathematics.

                    For the non-STAR studies the primary study effect sizes for reading were close to zero but the weighted average was positive and statistically significant. There was some inconsistency in the direction of the primary study effect sizes for mathematics and the weighted average effect was negative and statistically non-significant.

                    The STAR results are more positive, but do not change the overall finding. All reported results from the studies analysing STAR data indicated a positive effect of smaller class sizes for both reading and maths, but the average effects are small.

                    Despite those findings, smaller class sizes just seem like a good idea. That isn't very scientific, it's just my opinion as a parent. However, as with any educational outcome, they rely on the quality of the teachers, and a larger pool of quality teachers at that.

                • Traveller

                  "Not sure this makes the picture better for integrated or private schools. Having any in the bottom 25% percentile demonstrates pretty clearly what ever they are doing which differentiates them it doesn't have to work."

                  I don't think anyone's arguing that all individual private schools work better than all public schools. I'm certainly not. Individuals making decisions for their families make decisions based on specific schools, but in a general conversation like this we don't have the luxury of time to analyse that granular level of data. So we look to work such as the NZ Initiative (Research Note: The State of Schooling | The New Zealand Initiative ( that (quote) "looks at individual school performance across each school authority, particularly the percentage of state, state-integrated and private schools in the top 25% (high-performing), middle 50% (average-performing), and bottom 25% (low-performing) of all secondary schools in the country".

                  What I found interesting about that particular work was this:

                  "However, this report shows for the first time that students on average have a greater chance of attaining UE at a state-integrated school than at a private school (after separating out the contribution of family socioeconomic background)."

                  Given the (at least superficially apparent) advantages of private schools over integrated schools, that is surprising.

      • Traveller 1.3.4

        My view is it's a shame partnership schools were not given more time, because there is sufficient evidence they were achieving for students. Unfortunately Labour were ideologically trapped. It is funny looking back on some of the eommentary at the time though. In July 2017, one Willie Jackson said this:

        "Andrew Little, Chris Hipkins, they're very supportive of our schools. They've been clear to me about that right from the start, otherwise I wouldn't have joined," he told The AM Show on Friday. "They support Maori trying to do their own thing. But what they're saying is look, we can't go with a policy that perhaps could lead to widespread privatisation. We can't have big corporations coming in and running schools. That's what Andrew and Chris are saying."

        Supportive enough to force Te Kura Maori o Waatea to become a state integrated school in September 2018.

    • Traveller 1.4

      It's interesting, because when Labour chose to integrate these schools by force, two senior Maori educationalists, Sir Toby Curtis and Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi lodged a Treaty claim "alleging the Crown's actions in closing partnership schools will have a disproportionately detrimental effect on Māori".

      Maori educationist Sir Toby Curtis calls on PM to show some 'aroha' to charter schools – NZ Herald

      "The rights of these students to make that choice and the rights of parents and whanau to choose and support what's best for their children are being taken away," Curtis said. Tawhiwhirangi said there had been a "total lack of consultation" with the schools and their students' whanau. "This Government has ridden roughshod over the futures of these young people in spite of claiming that they are placing a priority on helping our most vulnerable children. "The evidence shows that Kura Hourua have been delivering very positive results for Māori students who for decades have been falling through the gaps," she said.

      The claim was later joined by Dame Tariana Turia (Dame Turia opposes the closure of charter schools – Te Ao Māori News (

  2. Phillip ure 2

    This unholy trinity of a gummint is using the Trump playbook..of divide and rule…

    Rather than pretending to be there for everyone..they will plug into the ugly nz'ers…the racists…those who couldn't give a flying fuck about wrecking the environment..children in poverty..the homeless etc..etc..

    Just as long as they are ok…they are more than happy to see the boot being put into those who in their ugliness they see as 'deserving it'..

    Trump has proved that about half of the the American people are arseholes…that they are his arseholes..

    Luxon and Seymour are banking on NZ having the same arsehole-proportion…

    ..who will cheer on their predations on the poorest/environment etc ..

    ..and will vote them back into power…

    This is their masterplan..

    • Kay 2.1

      Until that day when suddenly they're 'not' OK, and find themselves at the mercy of the state system they encouraged. It's hilarious meeting these people- and I've met a fair few over the years. Boy do they suddenly have a change of heart, but no sympathy from me. My ability to feel empathy and compassion towards certain groups went a long time ago.

      • Obtrectator 2.1.1

        As someone so graphically put it after Trump's election victory: "you s**t the bed, you clean it up".

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      Well said Phillip.

  3. SPC 3

    I've been considering the nature of organisational systems that require a less than "fully human" personnel to operate as they do – shall we say those either known to be, or willing to be, "ethically compromised".

    It is at the heart of most nationalism's and groupism's because they first require solidarity "right or wrong" and their cause itself may involve seeking supremacy or dominance of others.

    In the USA the government contract virtually require it. Here we have a looser standard – we simply expect those in public service to operate as unconcerned about what the government is doing and say nothing – a classic of late was how MBIE was telling staff concerned about the fast processing without adequate checks of migrants 2022-2023 to just do what they were told.

    Given the interface of smaller scale public service alongside the ever-growing capacity of government to exert authority over the people (aided by technology that the public has little knowledge of) the chance of democracy becoming fascist – even without figures such as Trump – is not negligible. It only takes a small number of people prepared to participate in the development and application of domestic population control systems for this to occur.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      I know someone who is an education consultant, teaching teachers, 6 years ago billing at $375 an hour, I'd hate to know what it is now

  4. Ffloyd 5

    Seymour in a hurry to establish his previously failed Charter schools. Why is this I wonder?

    • mpledger 5.1

      The private ECE sector wants to get into baby-sitting school age kids. Seymour is throwing money their way every chance he can get.

  5. Reality 6

    Didn't take long for consultants to be busy putting redundant public servants on well paid contracts! Am pleased those people will have an income again but how ridiculous to lay them off in the first place. Some will have been paid nice redundancies.

  6. Phillip ure 7

    JLuxon on rnz morning report did his usual trick of having one answer prepared…and repeating that answer ad matter the content of any follow up questions ..

    Tho' he did add another wrinkle .. which is a double whammy acts as a tool to close the line of questioning down and to throw the onus back on the questioner..

    After multiple repeats of his default answer ..

    He said in his answer:.'i don't know what else to say'..

    So true more ways than he imagines ..

  7. SPC 8

    The charter school plan is not the same as last time.

    1. 10 year contracts to prevent being integrated independent schools when Labour returns to government – and with two rights of renewal for 10 years each.
    2. funding for converting 35 state schools into charter schools (see above).

    Seymour is promoting them as places of work where there is no (teachers) union.

    Schools would be managed separately and be placed on a per pupil funding (vouchers).

    A charter school is a school that receives government funding but operates independently of the established state school system. In the UK, 40 percent of primary schools and 80 percent of secondary schools are charter schools, Seymour said.

    He said the charter schools can, with some restrictions, set their own curriculum, hours and days of operation, and governance structure. They also have greater flexibility in how they spend their funding as long as they reach the agreed performance outcomes.

    Is this change based on evidence of great success in the UK?

    In 2010 the UK schools were rated way below our own in terms of achievement.

    So what is it today?

    Comparison 2022

    New Zealand

    United Kingdom

    New Zealand remains above the OECD average despite a very low rate of education spending.

    We had big declines 2010-2016 though and if this happens under this National government we may fall below the OECD average.

    One can note that the OECD average is declining and this is worldwide issue (devices …less reading, less of the mind doing the work …)

    • Traveller 8.1

      Looking at the mean performance for 2022, NZ achieved 479, 501 and 504, compared to the UK 489, 494 and 500. If, as you say, "In 2010 the UK schools were rated way below our own in terms of achievement", then your data seems to suggest that the UK education system has narrowed the gap on NZ between 2010 and 2022. Is that correct?

      • SPC 8.1.1

        Yes and most of that 2010-2016 was our relative decline under the former National government.

        The UK performance declined 2000 to 2022 under charter schools.

        The problem is many nations in the OECD are in educational decline. Possibly because of time on programming-IT activity/skilling or not.

        We can identify class size in state schools as a reason for our decline – related to our low level of education spending. We get what we deserve – charter schools are a diversion from this reality.

        • SPC

          We seem to have had a problem with growing school rolls (migration inflows) larger class sizes (also trials with larger open plan areas).

          And otherwise less secure housing – school area changes.

        • Traveller

          "The UK performance declined 2000 to 2022 under charter schools."

          But NZ's performance also declined with almost all schooling public?

      • bwaghorn 8.1.2

        Would you trust private providers to truthfully report their students achievement?

        • Traveller

          They are all subject to ERO and MoE oversight, and risk losing their licences if they don't.

          • Descendant Of Smith


            Ministry of Education documents reveal there were major gaps in the monitoring of charter schools and their owners between 2013-18 – some of which the government of the day declined to fix.

            They included no independent measurement of student achievement, no close analysis to ensure the schools were attracting the priority learners they were intended to serve, inadequate financial monitoring and sub-standard properties.

            The reports indicate the schools' reporting of their students' academic results was not reliable.

            "It remains possible that performance may have been inaccurately or deliberately misreported. Very few elements of the reporting regime were subject to independent checks."

            "Even positive assessment results are not equivalent to good performance – the standards at best were proxies."

            The documents show the ministry recommended, but the government did not adopt, specific measurement of priority learners' achievement at charter schools even though the ministry considered such a measure was critical.


            • Traveller

              There are monitoring gaps across the entire education system, yet we don't go around shutting public schools. For that matter, our public education system has taken our literacy rates backwards at a rate of knots in recent times (, but we don't go around shutting schools as a result.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                So not really a risk then as you proudly announced.

                Noting also that the failing literacy rates of those students are those who came through national standards…………

                I’d also argue a lot that poverty (both financial and time) has a negative effect on education and if we fixed those things we would see an increase. I’ve paid peoples power bills in winter so the kids can do their homework for instance.

                Not just me either but lots of others as well.

                The impact of childhood poverty on life course outcomes Overall, the evidence base on the causal impact of childhood poverty on life course outcomes is still limited, but it does indicate that:  Children and adolescents who experience poverty have worse cognitive, socialbehavioural and health outcomes, in part because they have lower family incomes and not only because having a lower family income is correlated with other household and parental characteristics.  The strongest evidence relates to cognitive development and school achievement and the next strongest relates to social and behavioural development.  Poverty affects multiple outcomes for children at the same time.  Evidence shows both the lack of ability to purchase resources for children and stress on parents and children resulting from low income are pathways influencing negative outcomes.


                • Traveller

                  "So not really a risk then as you proudly announced."

                  Yes, it's a significant risk.

                  "Noting also that the failing literacy rates of those students are those who came through national standards…………"

                  National standards were not introduced until 2010.

                  "…the most noticeable drop in international achievement occurred from 2009 to around 2012 in reading, mathematics and science literacy needs a more specific explanation. It is seen in both country ranking and in terms of overall scores. The 2012 15-year-old cohort would have entered school in 2002 and would have been the first of later cohorts to experience conditions associated with the drop."

                  Deciphering the decline – The University of Auckland

        • Belladonna

          Would you trust State schools to truthfully report their students achievement?

    • AB 8.2

      One can note that the OECD average is declining and this is worldwide issue

      Thanks for touching on a point that is irritating as hell. Education seems vulnerable to pedagogic fads and fashions, the cultivation of moral panics, and bogus white knights with ulterior motives (e.g. Seymour) promising 'solutions'. All this when the things that really affect educational performance, apart from short-term blips like a pandemic or operational failures like under-staffing, seem to be long-term and multi-generational.

    • Bearded Git 8.3

      Yes Seymour is trying to make it impossible to disestablish the charter schools with the 10 years contract plus two options to extend.

      But I am not sure about this. The charter schools will still be largely state funded. Surely an incoming government (in 3 years time hopefully) would be in control of the purse strings and so could legislate to financially favour the non-charter public schools?

      There will likely be other legislation they could put in place to favour non-charter public schools too.

      • Nic the NZer 8.3.1

        It should be unacceptable to white ant out any schools in NZ which the government is still funding. They should either be closed, or moved fully into the public system as they were previously.

      • bwaghorn 8.3.2

        It shows what a greasy little ideological turd seymour is teti g to lock the government into privatization by stealth for 30 years, fuck him fuck his school, don't reinvent the wheel just fix the one you have

        • mac1

          Stuff have a poll running which has 68% currently against charter schools and 32% supporting.

          Even Seymour can read and understand these numbers. Been there 2014-17. Reject that.

        • joe90

          An elitist greasy little ideological turd.



          Party put into govt by 9% of voters announces special treatment for 2% of schools

          Govt picking winners, and establishing preferential regulatory and funding regime to make sure they appear to be winners

          Meanwhile, public school infrastructure investment remains under review

          The National and ACT experiment with charter schools that ran from 2014 to 2018 cost up to $48,421 per student annually, more than six times the average funding spent on students in state schools, new OIA documents released to NZEI Te Riu Roa show.

          When adjusted for inflation, that is more than $60,000 per student in today’s money. In comparison today, public schools are funded at around $9,000 per student.

          The total cost to taxpayers of the failed charter school experiment was more than $125 million.

          • newsense

            By god we need satirists.

            I remember in Australia the Chasers running around public schools collecting for private schools for the reason above.

            Perhaps we could get some cigarette sponsorship into schools? Benson and Hedges Collegiate.

            The David Seymour Cancer Stick Intermediate.

  8. SPC 9

    Some good news. Bad news for Vox fascists in Spain.

    The Socialists have won in the regional election in Catalonia. The Socialist PM of Spain is more secure – his tolerance for separatist movement unifying the nation without the fascist authoritarianism of the right. Policies in support of the people winning out.

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Brillliant…Vox are like ACT with knobs on. Sanchez is good value.

      However, the very conservative PP (Partido Popular) made “substantial gains” so it is far from unalloyed good news.

      And looking at the results now, Vox didn’t lose any seats, though I guess that they were hoping for big gains because of the deal Sanchez struck with the separatists.

  9. SPC 10

    50,000 net outflow of citizens in the past year.

    It is unlikely to change within the next year – unemployment rising and rents harder to afford.

    • bwaghorn 10.1

      National cancelled all the big projects and sacked all the professionals , driving nz straight into depression then recession, idiots.

      • Traveller 10.1.1

        A depression "may be defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or which leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10% in a given year." Depression in the Economy: Definition and Example (

        NZ is not in a depression.

        NZ was in a recession as at March 2023 (New Zealand is officially in a recession. These charts show how Australia compares – ABC News).

        NZ was then again in a recession at December 2023 (GDP: It’s official – we’re in recession – NZ Herald).

        So no, National didn't drive NZ into a depression or a recession.

        • bwaghorn

          More the people 6 Years od nationals relentless negativity, bring the whole cou tet down capped off by the fools going austerity on the place, a failed scheme.

          • Traveller

            An oppositions 'relentless negativity' doesn't put an economy into recession. Good try thoughsmiley

          • Nic the NZer

            Traveller is correct. The negative GDP in Sep 2021 is probably down to a fall in property turnover (flipping houses between people on growing private debt is income to some people) which occurred in 2021. The RBNZ rate hikes began in October of 2021 at earliest so could not have impacted that outcome. I think more recently the RBNZ interest rate hikes which cut into peoples savings buffers and spending would be the culprit for the recession beginning. The RBNZ has very little control over the timing of how the OCR impacts the economy however as many people fix mortgage rates for a number of years.

            Austerity in the face of a recession is the worst possible kind of economic policy, and goes against even what Treasury would suggest as good advice. National are surely going to extend and deepen the recession NZ faces, but ultimately it had already begun before the election.

        • adam

          NZ is not in a depression.

          Under you limited analysis of economics. Moreover, ideological purity.

          Try applying other models, and you will find NZ has been in a very long depression. Recently, made worse by idiots who think economics is this narrow set of measures and outcomes.

    • AB 10.2

      It is likely to get worse with our self-inflicted experiment in Trussonomics. What would NZ look like if the Australian bolt-hole wasn't there?

  10. Hunter Thompson II 11

    Greenpeace has organised a march to protest against the Fast-track Approvals Bill.

    It will be on Saturday 8 June, at Aotea Square, Queen St, Auckland at 1 pm.

    Attend if you can.

  11. joe90 12

    Ms Irma is a dissembling POS.


    So … Brooke van Velden was kept fully appraised of a young DJ being helped by DIA to take up a great opportunity and was "stoked" about it. Then when it became news she was "asking questions" and it was "not appropriate".

  12. SPC 13


    On the budget situation

    First, to decrease spending through “centrally directed savings exercises”. These would kill specific programmes or impose “top-down reductions to agency baselines

    The second suggestion was to constrain new spending through “sequencing manifesto commitments across multiple Budgets” and adopting what Treasury calls its “Fiscal Management Approach”, which is to force departments to make trade-offs by curtailing the allocation of new spending.

    The third suggestion was to increase revenue through “structural reform of the tax system

    On funding infrastructure

    It said that more “active management”, meaning selling assets that there was little rationale for owning, could support the Government’s fiscal strategy by freeing up capital. Treasury argued for “capital recycling, reducing net capital expenditure” because the money raised from asset sales would be used to fund capital spending in things like infrastructure, instead of having that spending funded by borrowing.

    This could be similar to the Future Investment Fund, which was created by the Key Government to invest money raised from asset sales back into capital investment

    One little thing, if it involves land that rises in value, then future debt to assets will be higher as a result of the sale. And thus impact on debt cost.

  13. tWig 14

    And here we have the rapacious mining lobby quietly just starting on work on an opencast gold mine alongside the Otago Gold Cycleway, extending the site with no consent, looking to retrospective agreement by Otago councils. Obviously one of the firms that the Coalition government feel will do wonders for the NZ economy, without bothering with what the locals think, or the environmental effects.

  14. alwyn 15

    Now that the requirement that the Cabinet Minister's are required to step up when the Waitangi Tribunal tell them to I would like to know if it is going to work the other way.

    There is a law relating to the necessary conditions for claiming customary marine title that basically requires that the people making the claim "exclusively used and occupied it from 1840 to the present day without substantial interruption", or received it after 1840 from someone who had that situation.

    The Bill appeared to be pretty clear on that. However the various Judges in New Zealand seem to have decided that this is far too restrictive and that long term usage is not required and that neither is the exclusivity requirement.

    With the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that a Minister of the Crown must turn up when summoned does the reciprocal situation apply. Could a Parliamentary Select Committee summon the Chief Justice to appear and explain why the Judiciary are ignoring the words of the Act and require an agreement from the Chief Justice to follow the letter of the law or quit?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  15. mac1 16

    Radio NZ reports today on a survey on the Treaty of Waitangi.

    I am very hearted by the article on the survey which says this-"Pākehā respondents who named the Treaty as the most important event were likely to support a broader definition of what it means to be a New Zealander. Specifically, they understood national identity to be inclusive of Māori culture and values, rather than insisting on a narrow, monocultural understanding.

    Pākehā who identified the Treaty as the most important historical event showed a significant tendency to support redress for historical injustices to Māori."

    The major division in NZ society is, I believe, this coalition government.

    Wide opposition is beginning to be expressed to many to its divisive policies.

  16. newsense 17

    This is terrifying.

    I listened to what was going on in Afghanistan on Kim Hill. It was an absolute nightmare. It was Apocalypse Now in plain sight, with medals on living a double life.

  17. newsense 18

    And what equivalently vital strategic infrastructure are we getting in return? Auckland Airport should be a nationally significant piece of infrastructure, with New Zealand and Auckland local interests represented.

    Jesson and co. kept them out for so long. The neoliberals are winning. The US is selling us on defense and education and surely their rapacious medical industry won’t be so far behind. We had moderates from Clark to Ardern and we forgot the damage f-wit idealogues can trickle down on us.

    • Phillip ure 18.1

      When you talk of 'moderates' (like it's a good thing) like Clark and ardern…

      ..others speak of Clark/ the context of neoliberalism….as the two labour leaders who did s.f.a. to overturn that poxy ideology…failed to return us to a form of democratic socialism..(which is what labour were ..way back when)..when they had the opportunities/power to do just that…(especially in the case of ardern…absolute majority..and all that..but also in the case of Clark..neoliberal to her roots .)

      In that context 'moderate' is a bye-word for political cowardice/incrementalism…it defines what they didn't do .. all our costs…

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