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Parata fleeing education mess

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, April 24th, 2017 - 37 comments
Categories: accountability, education, Hekia parata, national, useless - Tags: , , , , , ,

Goodbye Hekia Parata:

I have loved it: Hekia Parata on her 5½ years as education minister

Hekia Parata thinks legacy is a “very kind of poncy term”. “It’s not why you get into public office,” the outgoing education minister says as she prepares for her last day in the role on May 1, after 5½ years at the helm.

But she is nonetheless proud in the belief that she leaves New Zealand with a better education system than when she started.

Parata can believe whatever brings her comfort of course (it’s very fashionable these days). But the fact is that this National government has made, as usual, a mess of education. Crucially and unfortunately, NCEA is in trouble. The best analysis recently is on Newsroom:

What PISA tells us about grade inflation in NCEA

Brogan Powlesland looks at why NCEA numbers are on the rise if New Zealand’s PISA results tell a different story

COMMENT: The Government tells us that education is getting better in New Zealand. In Prime Minister Bill English’s election date announcement, he declared that National would be campaigning on their strong record in Government, including the fact that “more kids are staying at school longer and getting better qualifications”.

The NCEA numbers seem to back him up. Qualification attainment rates are higher than ever.

Yet the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a three-yearly worldwide study by the OECD of 15-year-old school students’ educational performance on mathematics, science, and reading, paints a different story. (see Figure 2)

New Zealand’s PISA scores have been declining since tests started in 2000. Despite NCEA grades improving, actual standards in maths, science and reading have declined.

This strongly suggests that the NCEA qualification is suffering from ‘grade inflation’, where the actual standard signified by a given grade is declining. As with monetary inflation, the qualification is losing value.

Figure 2: NCEA Level 2 pass rates vs PISA scores

The Figure shows our own NCEA Level 2 pass rates vs results in the independent and international PISA schools (plenty more data and discussion making similar points in the article). NCEA goes up, independent measures go down. Unfortunately, it looks a lot like grade inflation. Teachers under mad levels of micro-managed pressure to pass more students – do so.

Further reading on the “better education system” that Parata leaves behind:

Dumbing down a generation: Performance of NZ schoolchildren plummeting
NZ 10-year-olds worst at maths in English-speaking world
NCEA pass rates increases ‘don’t reflect genuine increase in learning’
Rodney Hide: Education win not worth cheering (cross party consensus!)
The trouble with NZ’s primary schools
Primary schools in NZ: Is the $250m policy working?
Qualifications in doubt at big school for international students: NZQA
Student cheated three times and still passed: Lecturer
The Big Read: The $25 million student funding scandal
Student visa fraud: ‘It’s not about education’
More tertiary providers under investigation by Serious Fraud Office
Foreign student intake suspended
Private school rorts revealed
Huge $330m under-spend in flagship education policy
Ministry says charter schools “over-funding” is $888,000
School cash flows to owners’ pockets

As far as success stories go, education is right up there with National’s record on housing and the environment. The Brighter Future is a disaster.

37 comments on “Parata fleeing education mess”

  1. red-blooded 1

    Parata’s contribution to the school sector?
    1) Demands for higher pass rates, with schools shamed if they don’t “pump it up”.
    2) Ever-decreasing resources for special education.
    3) Professional development opportunities – slash and burn.
    4) Charter schools – no accountability, no requirement for trained/registered teachers, but plenty of cash.
    5) The Teachers’ Council (which used to include elected sector representatives) morphed into Teach NZ (no representation, but fees increasing by more than 100% – after “consultation” of course).
    6) To be fair, the Communities of Interest system might have some long-term benefits, but it seems quite clunky and isn’t getting much take-up, at least amongst the schools here in Dunedin.

    I don’t think she’s been quite as bad as Anne Tolley, but then Tolley was a dreadful Min of Ed.

    • Yeah, although I struggle to think of any ministry Tolley would run competently, she’s somewhat like Brownlee in that regard IMO. It will be interesting to see if Kaye actually improves things at all or simply caretakes Parata’s careful erosion of the education sector. I mean, it’s not like she isn’t going to stick with the exact same funding levels of course, but it’s possible she might actually realise some of the policies were problematic if she’s actually sincere in her rhetoric about policy in the past. I’m not THAT optimistic yet though.

  2. NZJester 2

    Imagine what all the public schools could have done if they got similar funding to all those charter schools. That was Nationals biggest kick in the teeth to the education system. And they kept kicking it with ever decreasing weaker kicks. Only a small amount of that charter school money went on educating the students who got more unqualified teachers to look after them. Those running the schools stuffed all the money in their pockets in management fees. The idea of a charter school is meant to be it is part-funded by the government and part by private funding, but nearly all the money has been coming from the government, with no sign of anyone putting up anything but small amounts of seed money that they soon got back with lots of interest.
    Charter schools have just been a waste of public money with a lot failing and those that are doing well doing no better than most public schools.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Those linkies make sobering reading. Those PISA results just appalling.

    Any nation that fucks up the STEM subjects like this is destined for abysmal failure.

  4. The Fairy Godmother 4

    Education has been totally taken over and controlled by the bureaucrats. What matters is the paper-work and that it tells the right story. The paper-work can’t measure a lot of very valuable things like creativity, enagaement and the interest and relevance of the learning to students. Its just as bad in ECE with the popular means of assessment being the learning story which takes lots of unpaid teacher time and is done to fulfil the right amount of learning stories for the child. Teachers are in service to the bureacrats who demand paperwork to prove they are doing a good job.

    • JanM 4.1

      Learning Stories are marvellous if done properly, though in my years as a teacher/lecturer I have seen very few I would regard as effective. And they certainly shouldn’t be done in the teacher’s own time!!

      • The Fairy Godmother 4.1.1

        Absolutely agree here JanM. They can be marvellous. There also needs to be enough time to work with the children and build relationships with them have conversations and so on. Somehow these things seem to be regarded as less important when it becomes all about the paperwork.

        • JanM 4.1.1.1

          Indeed – the most important part of teaching is to work with the children and build effective relationships with them to support their learning. And that’s where the beauty of properly written Learning Stories lies. Children love stories, and especially stories about themselves that they can read and treasure. We can show we have appreciated and tried to understand what learning has taken place and give them a story about themselves to treasure.
          One of my favourites was a little boy struggling with making friends because his approach tended to be in the ‘me first’ category. One day he was sitting with a group who were patting the rabbit. He got a turn. I took a photo and wrote a story about how kind and gentle he was to the rabbit and about how people like kindness too. He loved that story – he carried around for days and it really was the start of a new approach for him. His mother read it too, of course, and burst into tears of happiness.
          The problem is there are too many people who neither know or care how we work effectively, with too much influence

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Education has been totally taken over and controlled by the bureaucrats.

      It’s been taken over and controlled by the capitalists who actually need a very narrowly educated populace so that they can continue ripping them off.

  5. RightWingAndProud 5

    “This strongly suggests that the NCEA qualification is suffering from ‘grade inflation’, where the actual standard signified by a given grade is declining. ”

    Excuse me! “Basket weaving” has just as much value as teaching science or math!

    THIS is why we need to get education back to the basics and get rid of all “vocational” crap.

    “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
    We eject the people who violate our rules.”

    • peterlepaysan 5.1

      I do not see any reference to basket weaving above.
      If you knew anything about education basket weaving offers huge teaching opportunities in all sorts of disciplines. Try Maths, Science, Engineering, History, just for starters. Go back to your (pre – basket weaving) paleolithic cave.

      Believe it or not this is the 21st century. Time you grew up.

      • mac1 5.1.1

        Agreed, Peter. I remember with fondness my sewing and crafts at primary school. I learnt as a boy to handle a needle, do cross-stitch, knit a scarf, woodwork skills. These taught usable skills, coordination, dexterity, and some artistic expression.

        They taught how to design, follow a pattern, to persevere and take care, counting, measuring, the domestic virtues, social skills.

        They even taught that boys could do “women’s work”!

        • RightWingAndProud 5.1.1.1

          So um, teaching “sewing”, or say how to make coffee, as an NCEA subject, has the same value as teaching maths, science or reading. Hell, according to your buddy Pete they may even offer “huge teaching opportunities in all sorts of disciplines. Try Maths, Science, Engineering, History, just for starters.”

          Well I guess that’s why according to PISA NZ’s scores in maths, science and reading have been rocketing up.

          Oh wait.

          =============================================
          “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
          We eject the people who violate our rules.”

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.1.1.1

            Actually, sewing is one of the classes that we were all forced to take at intermediate level that I have found very useful later in life. Like cooking, some basic ability to mend holes in clothes is a practical life skill for everyone. I agree it shouldn’t be core at NCEA level, but only because I think kids should already have attained the critical skills well before that time.

            • BM 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I remember making a damn fine apple strudel back in intermediate as well as a very useful pillow made from a stylish electric blue nylon.

              • Indeed. Cooking never helped me particularly that much as I was already interested, but I would never have learned sewing if I weren’t forced into it. Starting earlier with those two might be pretty beneficial.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.2

            rocketing up

            [citation needed]

            No, wait, I found one: Someone has you believing porkies.

            New Zealand’s rise in the rankings was largely because countries previously ranked above it declined, Craig Jones, deputy secretary for evidence, data and knowledge said.

            Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins said the figures showed student performance was dropping across all three subject areas.

            “The biggest drop was between 2009 and 2012, but it’s continued to decline,” he said.

            The average score for New Zealand kids had gone from 516 to 513 in science, from 512 to 509 in reading, and from 500 to 495 in maths between 2012 and 2015.

            My bold. Where do you get your “information” from? Will you name the person who lied to you? 😈

            • RightWingAndProud 5.1.1.1.2.1

              I was being sarcastic. As can be seen by the graph that the thread author thoughtfully provided PISA scores have been going down while the NCEA scores have been going to up.

              I agree with the thread author. NCEA is a mess. Actually it’s worse than that – it’s a corrupt mess. And from your reply it seems we’re on the same page. Correct?

              Whether we can blame solely National, I don’t know. But if I was Parata I certainly wouldn’t be crowing.

              ===================================
              “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
              We eject the people who violate our rules.”

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Grade inflation is a well-studied phenomenon with a number of causes. I suspect your haste to lay the blame at NCEA’s door may be politically motivated.

                National set out to attack teachers before they were even elected, with Key lying to Parliament about literacy and numeracy rates well before the 2008 election. The National Party is a blight on children and adults alike.

                Whatever Finland is doing, we should copy it. That means teaching being one of the highest paid professions. And to do that, the National Party has to be kicked until it breaks.

                • RightWingAndProud

                  I blame the schools who push students into soft subjects just to inflate the school’s NCEA average instead of pushing the student to study and work harder.

                  ===================================
                  “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
                  We eject the people who violate our rules.”

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yes, I figured you for part of the problem.

                  • Pete

                    I don’t blame schools who push students into soft subjects just to inflate the school’s NCEA average instead of pushing the student to study and work harder.

                    Isn’t the point of schools to have high NCEA averages so they look good in the stats? The point of schools is to have high NCEA averages so the Minister can crow in Parliament?

                    The qualification on teachers being ‘professional’ is not to be based on the quality of kids’ learning and kids learning what is important, it is on churning out stats which look good. Any teacher with their head screwed on will get rid of highfalutin notions like altruism and doing what is important.

                    The irony is that those making the loudest calls for teachers to be professional, improved professionalism and improving professional qualifications, are those who most steadfastly have sought (and got) a system which encourages paint-by-numbers approaches and the meeting of minimum standards. The least informed about learning and teaching and the importance of quality in those things, are those who have set the tune. The lunatics like Tolley and Parata were organising and conducting the asylum and the baying cretins who purportedly are the products of more enlightened educational times, have happily and whole-heartedly sung along and are turning the page onto the next verse.

                    • RightWingAndProud

                      “I don’t blame schools who push students into soft subjects just to inflate the school’s NCEA average instead of pushing the student to study and work harder.

                      Isn’t the point of schools to have high NCEA averages so they look good in the stats? The point of schools is to have high NCEA averages so the Minister can crow in Parliament?”

                      Well yes, at the top of the totem pole sits the government telling schools to get their NCEA averages up or else. So I acknowledge ultimate blame lies at the feet of the government.

                      What I’d like to see is schools wiling to stand up to the government and say we’re not going to make it easy for our students just to inflate our NCEA average. We’re going to challenge them and get them to study and work hard even if our NCEA scores end up being lower. Surely you can’t disagree with that.

                      ==============================
                      “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
                      We eject the people who violate our rules.”

                      [lprent: Why exactly are you quoting something I said last week? It just makes me suspicious about you wanting to waste my time at some point in finessing some kind of a legal point. Can I point now as warning, that my usual responses are to either use decades of experience in tying personal knots in your ego as you try to explain yourself and/or just dumping them because they are wasting my valuable time. Read the policy and you will see what I mean. ]

                    • Pete

                      RightWingAndProud@ 5:39 pm

                      I’d like to see schools stand up to the government too. The easiest path though is to just go along with things. The professional thing would be to fight every inch of the way to achieve what is best for kids and their learning. Fighting the good fight would mean less energy to play the game as it is stipulated by the Government and demanded by the cretins I’ve referred to.

                      The professional thing isn’t to do what you know is right, the professional thing is to do what know-littles expect.

                      Anyone with real intelligence should not become a teacher.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …except in Finland and other places that can do education without National Party values ruining everything.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Surely you can’t disagree with that.

                      It looks like ignorance or malice if you ask me. Your narrative of blame has no foundation other than the one between your ears.

                      In order for teachers to properly educate their students, first we have to get you out of the way.

                    • RightWingAndProud

                      @lprent

                      I’m just posting as someone on the right wing side of politics and posting what I hope are on-topic and relevant replies. I can assure you that I have no plans to “waste [your] time at some point in finessing some kind of a legal point”, and you can quote me on that.

                      I have read the policy and can also assure you that nothing I post here is for the purpose of wasting anybody’s time, lest of all moderators.

                      This is all I have to say on this topic and, seeing as it makes you suspicious, will refrain from including the quote in future posts.

          • mac1 5.1.1.1.3

            I appreciate your concern is about NCEA quals, but I couldn’t let pass a denigrating of ‘basket weaving’ as not being worthwhile. I see below that you acknowledge that the crafts have their educational worth.

            At that level we agree, I believe.

            As for the worth of qualifications as they now are, I fear that the university system which I knew where bachelor degrees comprised some 5% of the population and masters were about 1.5%, now we have masters being awarded at the old bachelor’s level, and bachelors at the 11% mark.

            Now I acknowledge that many more are now reaching university which was the privilege of the middle class in my day. One NZ History tutorial I attended canvassed the group of 20 and only one was of working class origins. But I fear that the worth/value/attainment of these degrees has been lowered.

            I hope I am wrong.

            • RightWingAndProud 5.1.1.1.3.1

              For the record I believe they have worth – just not at the NCEA level at the expense of the core subjects. I have no problems with them being taught at primary school and intermediate or even what was third and fourth form levels. And I certainly have no problem with them being taught at vocational training institutes. Definitely there’s nothing wrong with basket weaving for example being taught at a vocational institute as a craft to build confidence and give students something from which they can make a living.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      Students used to learn all these vocational subjects well before 2004, when NZ scored a bit higher in PISA scores than today. Your just raising this ‘point’ to try to deflect from what is being raised here. To give some focus the point is that, the NCEA results are diverging from the PISA results which are thought to be a more stable level of educational achievement. It seems quite plausible this is due to NCEA becoming teach the test, while PISA remains a test of the subject.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1

        Looks like right wing pride, like any other sort, comes before a fall. See 5.1.1.1.2

      • RightWingAndProud 5.2.2

        Sure, you could learn cooking, woodworking, etc but those sort of “technical” subjects were never taught at the expense of core subjects like math and science.

        ===================================
        “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
        We eject the people who violate our rules.”

        • peterlepaysan 5.2.2.1

          Are you really saying that some time spent on domestic skills detracts from time spent on your favoured subjects? Perhaps all sports activities should be abolished.

          All those wealthy parents taking their kids out of school for overseas trips, ski trips in term time are detracting from your favoured subjects.

          When was the last time you sewed a button on your shirt?
          When was the last time you cooked a meal?

          You sound like a male chauvinist relic from the last century in you denigration of domestic and artisanal skills.

          I suggest you read
          “Storm in a teacup, the physics of everyday life.”
          Bantam Press 2016
          ISBN 0593075420
          Author Dr Helen Czernski
          Research Fellow
          Department of mechanical engineerin
          University of London.

          Obtw where did you get you degree in education from?
          Or are you really a troll from the National ACT spin room?

  6. The Chairman 6

    “As far as success stories go, education is right up there with National’s record on housing and the environment.”

    And I see (TV1 news at 6) the new education minister plans to build upon Parata’s legacy.

  7. millsy 7

    The problem goes deeper than Parata.

    NCEA and the Unit Standards were developed by National back in the 1990’s to create ‘mix and match’ qualifications that would be delivered by any provider, including people working out the back of their garden shed.

    They were trialling NCEA in some schools as early as 1996/97. I know, I was one of the guinea pigs. All it did was confused me and I just about flunked out, Literally handed in 90% of the years work on the last day of school to pass.

    • Pete 7.1

      In contrast to doing and exam on the nearly last day of school which would have been 100% of your years work?

      • mac1 7.1.1

        I remember the campaign in the late Sixties at university level to try and draw away from the old exam system, pass or fail, end of term three. That move met with much approval then. We saw the failings of three hours takes all.

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    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    4 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    5 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    6 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 day ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
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