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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    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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