web analytics

Shearer – excellent education speech

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, September 9th, 2012 - 115 comments
Categories: david shearer, education, labour, schools - Tags: ,

David Shearer’s education speech today was excellent in every way. Core Labour values, a sound understanding of the issues, significant concrete policy, and the promise of more to come.

This is the kind of speech that I as a Labour Party supporter want to hear more of. After watching National mess up education at every level, this is the kind of speech that I as a teacher needed to hear. Here it is in a nutshell:

Under Labour, the world’s best education will be available at your local school.

It’s a big goal, and it will take time to get there, but it is the right goal. Education isn’t the short term answer to anything – but it is the long term answer to everything. By every measure better educated countries are more successful countries. Hey Labour – we could do worse than to look to Finland for direction…

Shearer set out a big policy promise, targeting one of the huge disadvantages that kids from poor families have in education:

Labour will be more hands-on, partnering with communities and voluntary organizations to put free food in all decile 1 to 3 schools that want and need it.

Excellent. Given the massive link between poverty and educational achievement this one programme alone will do far more to improve outcomes than the Nats’ misguided and discredited “national standards”. Here’s a few more highlights from the speech, including a commitment to reading recovery in all schools:

National is systematically undermining the very values that make our education system great . They are peddling tired ideas that don’t work, copied from countries that rank far below us.

We won’t agree to National’s plan to set up Charter Schools – funded with taxpayer dollars – whether they’re run by Brian Tamaki the Maharishi yogi, or whoever.

Reading recovery has an 80% success rate. It’s the gold standard. Devised by Marie Clay it’s been exported all over the world. Yet it’s not universally available here. So the starting point should be to extend Reading Recovery to every school in the country. … We also need to devise a similar maths recovery intervention.

There are ways to lift our education system and I will make it happen. We start by valuing what we have. Listening to those who know. Education is an investment in our future. It is not a cost. And in the Labour Party we take that to heart.

A good day for Labour.

115 comments on “Shearer – excellent education speech ”

  1. fabregas4 1

    I’ve struggled to like Shearer – but he just won my vote back! And even more – he is right in every way.

    • mike e 1.1

      Add Science wouldn’t be a bad idea either

      • Dr Terry 1.1.1

        Reading recovery, maths recovery, add science recovery . . . For heavens sake, what we need is TOTAL RECOVERY, full stop!! I can’t be sure that we are not hearing rhetoric from Shearer, maybe I am a cynic, but I shall need a great deal more convincing and consistency yet.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Labour will be more hands-on, partnering with communities and voluntary organizations to put free food in all decile 1 to 3 schools that want and need it.

    Better to do the simple thing and build a food hall in every school where the children can get free meals.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      And help to prepare food.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        CV said “And help to prepare food” …

        Perhaps, to that, can add: And have some hands-on learning experience about how to grow food as well.

    • mac1 2.2

      Don’t need to build a food hall which would be huge. Do as I saw the Japanese did 7 years back- free nutritious lunch served by the kids to their own class in their home room wheeled in on a trolley and then the classroom cleaned up afterwards by the kids.

      Tried two of the meals- about 700 calories- interesting, healthy, tasty.

      For every Japanese child.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Don’t need to build a food hall which would be huge.

        Only if you didn’t stagger classes through it.

        • mac1 2.2.1.1

          Hungry kids if you have a hall for say 100 seated and you have 500 kids to feed. 20 minutes per sitting. Lunchtime for some at 1.30 when used to it at 12. Could be wrong, though. Have you seen it done?

          Staggering classes around lunchtime would involve some problems for schools, I suspect.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            Hungry kids if you have a hall for say 100 seated and you have 500 kids to feed.

            You’d probably want no more than 3 sittings to fit within a lunch hour.

            Have you seen it done?

            No but it’s a logical solution to the problem you brought up.

            Lunchtime for some at 1.30 when used to it at 12.

            Kids are adaptable.

            Staggering classes around lunchtime would involve some problems for schools, I suspect.

            I’m sure that they could handle it.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I suppose we could always look at the countries where they do provide school lunches cooked on site, free or otherwise.

              • Colonial Viper

                They do in private boarding schools up and down the country for gawds sakes

                • Ed

                  Boarding Schools also do breakfast – but only for boarders. I suspect free breakfast is at least as important as lunch for many children.

                  The caveat of providing this “that want and need it” is important – but equally there are some in need that go to schools that are not decile 1 to 3 – there need to be ways schools can arrange assistance wherever need is identified.

                  A good Labour initiative – with better income distribution hopefully reducing the need for such assistance over time.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.2

            Couldn’t they just have a cup of soup in a cup to have outside or in their classroom on a raining day, or a box handed out at lunchtime to have outside or in their classroom when
            raining?

    • Fisiani 2.3

      Typical Labour.
      We will give your kids food and force the parents who do feed their kids and pay tax pay for it.
      We will expect you to vote for us in return.
      Nothing that Labour ever does is for the betterment of New Zealand.
      Every policy is measured by “How many votes will this gain for Labour”
      Absolutely typical Labour. Not a word about growing the economy or the responsibility of parents.

      • mike e 2.3.1

        Fisanal leaving the $ 6 billion drag on our economy fizzing away is dunb but not as dumb as your thinking punishing the children is just abuse and thats what you are is a child abuser and neglector!
        Redneck shallow narciscisstic that you and your ilk fisiani.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        What a load of bollocks fisi.

        We will give your kids food and force the parents who do feed their kids and pay tax pay for it.

        The parents who don’t feed their kids don’t choose to do that – they’re just not paid enough because some arse-holes feel that they need to be paid far too much.

        Nothing that National/Act ever does is for the betterment of New Zealand.
        Every policy is measured by “How many votes will this gain for National/Act

        FIFY

        Not a word about growing the economy or the responsibility of parents.

        Really? I’m sure that improving education will grow the economy. Not that I think growing the economy is a valid option but a well educated populace will develop society and understand why we need a stable state economy.

        • Fisiani 2.3.2.1

          Fisiani not fisi. Ad hominen 2

          [It’s common to use a shortened version of a nom when replying. For instance I’m usually referred to as RL.]

          • mike e 2.3.2.1.1

            Punish those who aren’t able to respond you are a cowardly bully fisianl

            • Fisiani 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Ad hominen 3. Wow
              Still no rebuttal.

              • RedLogix

                Simple.

                You claim that there a lot of parents who choose not to feed their children. Evidence please.

                • Fisiani

                  If I said that the Pope was a Catholic would you ask for evidence?
                  Some statments are so self evident that asking for evidence is insulting.

                  • mike e

                    Fisi he was a nazi and covered up pedeophilia in the catholic church
                    And your a pathetic intellectually vacant bullying pedantic trool.
                    so why is Finland at the top of the education pile.
                    So next your going to blame the children for having poor parents thats big of you!

                    • Fisiani

                      Not the old canard. The Pope is German. The young man was a member of the Hitler youth. Calling him a Nazi shows that you are simply misguided.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So apart from your Papal distraction Fisi, where’s your evidence?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey Fisi

                    The Government needs to be providing paid jobs for every unemployed parent who wants one. Time to stump up mate.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey Fisi you are a sad sack for not assuming that the vast majority of parents do the absolute best that they can for their kids, in the circumstances National put them in.

              • Draco T Bastard

                They must be awesome blinders, he can’t actually read anything that proves him wrong.

                BTW, just calling something ad hominem doesn’t make it so.

      • muzza 2.3.3

        Absolutely typical Labour. Not a word about growing the economy or the responsibility of parents.

        Given your posts on here I’ll assume you don’t know what growth “actually” is, but you would lap it up all day long if Key was lying to you about “more jobs more gowth”, eh bro!

        Oh and just where are those jobs, and growth, and that brighter future….

        Can’t tell if you are the level of recourse that the tr*ll employers get these days, and just no good at it, or if you are just really fucken stupid!

        • Fisiani 2.3.3.1

          Ad hominen 7.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.3.1.1

            DNFTT

            • McFlock 2.3.3.1.1.1

              I dunno – I find it quite endearing that our local toryboys will say that every hungry child is hungry by the choice of the parents, then enumerate every real and imagined “ad hominen”.
                       
              Seriously, this shit is impossible to make up.

          • mike e 2.3.3.1.2

            fisianal retentive you use your logic to push your prejudice.
            You are the type of person who doesn’t experience emotions vacant in other words.

      • mike e 2.3.4

        so leave these defenceless kids unfed while other children eat infront of them.
        let the teachers try and get these children to concentrate instead of teaching.
        heartless bastard.

      • Tracey 2.3.5

        Can you correct your typo in this post Fisiani, you accidentally wrote Labour instead of National.

        pop out into the real, fact based world. Many of the parents skipping brekkie for their children have chosen which meal the children can’t have due to lack of money. Many of those parents have only one meal a day themselves, if that, on those days. Before you ask me for proof, provide your proof that it’s a lack of responsibility that has resulted in the skipping of breakfast for the majority in this position?

  3. Dv 3

    national standards?

  4. blue leopard 4

    This speech is heartening to hear. Finally one of our 2 (traditionally) main parties speaking some sense. (Greens becoming a major party too now)

    “I want to see kids getting early advice about the path that interests them, leadership training, life skills, civics that follows their time at secondary school.”

    Civics is mentioned! Does this sentence mean that Labour are really considering introducing civics into our education? That would be EXCELLENT!!!!

    I am most heartened by the positive tone of this speech and am very partial to the ideas expressed in the “Transitions” section, which I feel would create particularly positive effects for students (and positive flow on effect for our country).

    Good stuff. Thank you Mr Shearer and your new advisor.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Civics is mentioned! Does this sentence mean that Labour are really considering introducing civics into our education? That would be EXCELLENT!!!!

      This would be very nice indeed.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Quoting his speech:

    And equip New Zealand with the best talent it needs to prosper in a 21st century world.

    But I bet he’s still thinking that a 21st century NZ is a farm.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Well, very large parts of it will be, won’t it?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        There’s a difference between large parts of NZ being farmland and farming being the mainstay of the economy. I think that Shearer and Labour will still think of farming being the mainstay. The problem with this thinking is a) it doesn’t develop our society and b) the ongoing pollution of our environment.

      • blue leopard 5.1.2

        “But I bet he’s still thinking that a 21st century NZ is a farm.”

        Actually, I just read a link that Pete gave in the ‘Something Amiss…’ thread, which was a transcript of a ‘Q&A Show late last year and contained Shearer saying:

        “First of all, I think trying to bring the party in line with research and development. I feel very passionately about New Zealand being not only clean and green but clever and talented, and I’ve been out to see a number of companies that are doing remarkable things. We cannot double our dairy industry. We have to use our brains and our talent to be able to drive through those innovative companies that are out there. And going around and seeing those companies and getting that on the table in our caucus has been possibly the most important thing that I’ve done.”

        http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/david-shearer-cuniffe-transcript-4588650

  6. Blue 6

    Finally there is some sense coming out of the Labour Party.

    Good stuff. I hope it continues 😀

  7. tc 7

    Encouraging, now please ensure that the education spokesperson nails the vacuous and arrogant Tolley/parata double down, also highlighting the money Clarks era put in compared to what shonkeys lot have done.

    Leaky schools v RONS etc

  8. chris73 8

    “Shearer also said he wanted to introduce ”clear and easy to understand school report cards so that parents know whether their child’s school is up to scratch”.

    In my (always) humble opinion Shearer is starting to get on a roll. His viewpoint on the roof painter was spot on and this is an excellent idea (I’ve always wondered why we don’t do school lunches like the USA or England)

    Hopefully Team Cunliffe will stop agitating and start supporting their leader. This is what will win Labour the next election.

  9. dancerwaitakere 9

    More of the 1/5 students failing MYTH.

    More of Labour buying into the Tories lines.

    More of an out of touch opposition that will lose the teacher vote.

    • blue leopard 9.1

      @ dancerwaitakere

      How is this speech out of touch? Would you explain further?

      • dancerwaitakere 9.1.1

        Shearer fails to understand divergent learning, and instead uses the 1/5 failing line to paint our teachers and schools as failures as well.

        He does not understand that the modern classroom has a number of children with learning disabilities, a number of ESOL children, and instead the “problem” is pigeon holed as being a Maori and Pacific problem.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Technically if a fail is 50% or less, and the tests are weighted, then it’s 1/2 that are failing.

    • Vicky32 9.3

      More of an out of touch opposition that will lose the teacher vote.

      Speaking as a teacher, I have to say that I don’t agree…

  10. Pete 10

    Between ditching John Pagani and this I am starting to warm to Shearer. It’s a good time to announce it too with Key out of the country and Hekia Parata too weak a politician to run an effective counter-argument by herself.

  11. It shows the pagani’s had such a detrimental impact on labour’s policies and now that
    the wolf has left the hen house,the hens are finding peace again.
    I am pleased to see shearer putting badly needed policies out there and they will be largely
    accepted and rejoiced by those who are labour grass-roots voters,the heart of labour
    has started beating again,long may it continue.
    If shearer continues on this path that may bring back those labour voters
    who turned away or didn’t bother to vote.
    But i am still a Cunliffe fan.

    • Pete 11.1

      Oh I’m certainly part of Team Cunliffe too, but time is starting to run short. If by the middle of next year Shearer is still leader, I’m going to quit my griping. The last thing Labour needs is to be in complete disarray as an election looms on the horizon – both in bedding down a new team and placating the losing faction and in sorting out their policy platform.

    • Bill 11.2

      starlight. What policies? All I read was that national are crap at education (true) and that labour won’t do what national are doing. But nothing about what labour will actually do! You know, speeching away kind of amorphously about how you want ‘great things’ and pointing out the fucking obvious about the guys in charge at the moment, isn’t policy.

      • starlight 11.2.1

        2 policies within the education framework is a good start,they are ‘free food for kids in
        low decile schools, reading recovery in schools,it represents the bigger picture of labour
        returning to the base,at least thats the hope,rome wasn’t built in a day,policies dont get
        built in a day,watch this space.

      • Dr Terry 11.2.2

        How startlingly little it takes for disenchanted people to jump straight back on to his bandwagon!
        Let’s wait for a few consistent speeches (with concrete intentions and plans) – I sense an awful lot of wishful thinking going on!

        • Murray Olsen 11.2.2.1

          Agreed, Dr. Terry. Nothing concrete has actually changed yet. I’d personally want an apology for introducing and promoting neoliberalism over the last three decades, for a start.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    The speech was poor, delivery almost useless. Shearer sadly is not getting better. His messages are mixed. This guy needs lessons real fast from say Brian Edwards! Im seriously close to resigning from Labour.
    Never thought that would be the case but seriously Labour are in trouble.

  13. Ac 13

    This is much more promising. Common sense here and no hidden agendas. Hypocrisy seems to be the best word to describe the governments plans for education at the moment. Need more skilled teachers, then we need chartered schools with unqualified teachers, larger class sizes then as they are, what the hell is going on, whose setting policy direction – a drunken sailer?? Good on you Shearer, some clear and precise direction for helping our children succeed.

  14. Bill 14

    Sorry to burst bubbles and all. But there is absolutely nothing of substance in that speech. Nothing at all. Go and read it. Apart from signposting private charity as a solution to meals in schools (wtf?), and reinforcing the b/s that only ‘winners’ count with the ‘nobody asks losers for advice’ olympics nugget, there’s the usual repeat jobs of ‘come back later’ and ‘we will be thinking about it’ and ‘we really want to listen to you…(until you say something)’

    Over the coming months I’ll be releasing a range of ideas for discussion.

    I want to hear from you. I want to hear ideas from parents, teachers, principals and our kids.

    I will outline some of our thinking in the weeks ahead.

    So I want to look at ways we can make that happen. I’ll be coming back with some specific ideas about this later.

    • Pete 14.1

      Apart from signposting private charity as a solution to meals in schools (wtf?),

      The alternative mode of delivery is building the catering facilities within a school to provide food for the kids. Contracting charities to do it might be better because: 1) profit wouldn’t be a motive unlike PPPs, 2) Food only needs to be prepared at a few locations and be delivered to schools, making a programme more efficient and 3) any new facilities funded by the programme could be used outside school hours to feed the poor and destitute.

      • Bill 14.1.1

        I think your dreamin’ a bad dream Pete. Tell me what’s wrong with building these facilities at ‘the few’ locations you mention and hiring people on full time fucking jobs to do the food prep and delivery? 100% government funded. Got to be more ‘efficient’ or whatever other buzz word, than funding fucking charities and paying people who would otherwise be engaged in paid employment, the fucking dole.

        • Carol 14.1.1.1

          Tell me what’s wrong with building these facilities at ‘the few’ locations you mention and hiring people on full time fucking jobs to do the food prep and delivery?

          Used to do that at schools where I worked in London. Now I think the food was better than no food…. but… the food tended to sit steaming in big closed tins…. stewed cabbage etc, was not very appetising.

          • Bill 14.1.1.1.1

            My primary and secondary schools both provided two course meals for all us kids. Primary school dinners were nothing to write home about. But at secondary school they provided a half decent menu. And as I recall the food was pretty good…even healthy by todays standards. And all cooked on the premises by employed staff. They weren’t all free. But for those from families who could pay, it was a far better option than the shameful (as considered in those days) packed lunch…and probably as cheap if not cheaper. And kids from poorer families got their meals free. So what would be wrong with free meals for kids whose families have community service cards and merely partly subsidised for the rest?

            • Carol 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Don’t get me wrong, I think school meals are a great idea, but best prepared on the premises. In the London schools where I taught,the children couldn’t tell who was getting a free meal and who was paying.

              I also ate many, many school meals in my time teaching in London. (though custard on most deserts was beyond what I could stomach…. hot custard on jelly?)

        • Vicky32 14.1.1.2

          funding fucking charities and paying people who would otherwise be engaged in paid employment, the fucking dole.

          Just my twopence worth – but dropping cluster F bombs doesn’t emphasise what you say, it detracts from it. All I can think is Tourettes much? Just saying…

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Contracting charities to do it might be better because: 1) profit wouldn’t be a motive unlike PPPs,

        Why would anyone in their right mind use charities or PPPs when a direct government service is more efficient?

        2) Food only needs to be prepared at a few locations and be delivered to schools,

        I suggest you tell that to Maccas. Actually, what Maccas use is pre-prepared food which is then cooked and assembled at the store. This model would probably be the best option.

        3) any new facilities funded by the programme could be used outside school hours to feed the poor and destitute.

        I don’t see why the food halls at a school couldn’t be used for that.

    • Blue 14.2

      There are two substantial pieces amongst the usual waffle.

      One – Extending the reading recovery programme to every school in the country.

      Two – Providing Government funding to assist charities to get free meals into all decile 1-3 schools.

      Both of those are good, solid, concrete actions that Labour is promising to take and that will make a difference to children’s education and opportunities in life.

      It’s a start in the right direction.

      • Dr Terry 14.2.1

        It is pretty sad when the best we can say of Shearer after quite some time now, is that this is “a start in the right direction”. Good grief!!

  15. Craig Glen Eden 15

    Exactly Bill I have seen year 8 kids deliver better speeches. Honestly.

  16. Southern Labourite 16

    Great to see David Shearer present his skills, talents and most importantly leadership. He’s picked up the ball on the issue of education, and not only has he picked it up but he kicked it into the goal. It’s good that he’s given something not only for the media to chew on but National as well.

    Labour doesn’t have to have all the answers, but that doesn’t mean it has to be on the back foot.

    • Craig Glen Eden 16.1

      “Kicked it into a goal” yeah his own goal sadly.

      • mike e 16.1.1

        Just seen TV, Shearer much better delivery excellent.

        • Craig Glen Eden 16.1.1.1

          How sad mike e that you actually think it was better, shit! The journalists sitting behind me obviously missed some thing then.

          • mike e 16.1.1.1.1

            What ever TV3 sound bites were perfect 90% pass for me the best I’ve seen from Shearer.
            What channel were you watching.
            This will be a confidenc boost for Shearer which is what he needed.

            • Craig Glen Eden 16.1.1.1.1.1

              I was there .

              • Colonial Viper

                Bunch of people around here seem to have lowered their standards to knee height.

                Peeps. Please stay real. On a bad day Goff can deliver a speech TEN TIMES more ROUSING than Shearer can on a great day.

                • blue leopard

                  …yeah admittedly I think Dr Terry probably got it quite right:

                  “How startlingly little it takes for disenchanted people to jump straight back on to his bandwagon!
                  Let’s wait for a few consistent speeches (with concrete intentions and plans) – I sense an awful lot of wishful thinking going on!” (11.2.2)

                  It is nice to see something more confident being said though.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I wonder if people here think that Shearer can do anything more than read off a teleprompter. Certainly the expectations seem to start and stop there.

                • felix

                  Damn straight CV.

                  He’s not the messiah, he’s a man who just about managed to do his fucking job at the minimum required level of competence for exactly one day in a row!

    • Dr Terry 16.2

      Well, SL, I can only say that I am happy for you.

  17. Raymond A Francis 17

    Great stuff, I was wondering about the 40,000 hungry school children
    A bit of a search shows that was the number of children being feed a year ago which would suggest the need is going to be a few more than that now

    The only real figures I could find were a Health dept report from 2002 that suggested 83000 went to school without eating breakfast. that was not to say they went hungry because as we know in the real world some make a choice not to eat but it still is a big number that will have only got bigger over the last 10 years
    I do have to wander why Labour didn’t do anything then

  18. gobsmacked 18

    It’s a well written speech. Who wrote it?

    Before we go overboard for Shearer, can I be the grinch that points out that anybody could have stood up and read it?

    Yes, it is good that the roof painter / Grey Power nonsense has gone. Permanently, I hope. And it’s good that Labour are focusing on a core issue. It ticks both boxes – something the base can support, and something swingers can like.

    But that simply means Labour have done their job today. I’d call that “competent”, not “excellent”. It’s what they should be doing every day. It’s what they’re paid for. If they can go another 30 days (let’s be kind) without another stuff-up, then they’ll get a pass mark.

    Labour/Shearer’s performance has been so poor in recent months that we breathe a sigh of relief when the Labour leader delivers a Labour speech on Labour policy. In fact, we should expect nothing less.

  19. Red Rosa 19

    At least something seems to be happening. Like most NZ’ers, I thought Labour had disappeared or gone bush.

    NZ education is mostly OK, and compares well with overseas, but definitely shows up the societal problems. To have 250k NZ children growing up in poverty is scandalous, and impacts on the schools themselves big time. A few simple suggestions –

    Wipe the existing funding to private schools – that’s $40m+ per year to start with.

    Drop the half hour Religious Instruction (Indoctrination?) per week in favour of some real education. Civics a good alternative.

    Shake up the Ministry of Ed itself. Sack the current Pom who is trying to privatise schools by stealth. Get some real initiative and focus into the outfit, starting at the top.

    Testing at primary level (Nat Standards etc) panders to the anti-teacher crew, but is mostly a waste of time – just digging up the plant to see how the roots are doing.

    Anyway, some signs of life!

    • Vicky32 19.1

      Drop the half hour Religious Instruction (Indoctrination?) per week in favour of some real education. Civics a good alternative.

      You do know that RI takes place outside school time, don’t you? THerefore you’re talking about extending the school day, and neither teachers nor parents would thank you for it.

  20. fatty 20

    So Shearer announces that charities will be encouraged to feed our children? That’s what we’ve been doing for the past 30 years
    I’m guessing next week Shearer will propose that homeless shelters should be used to give shelter to the homeless…can someone wake me up when Labour have something worthwhile to say?

    • Carol 20.1

      Yes, I’m not keen on using charities and private sources for funding services that are necessary to ensure children are able to benefit from the education… and to eventually contribute to society.

      Like most above, my reactions to Shearer’s speech are mixed…. better than bennie bashing, some positives, but not innovative enough…. still carrying some of the neoliberal assumptions we need to move away from.

      • Olwyn 20.1.1

        +1. For me it raises as many questions as it answers. Reading recovery is a good thing, but I would like to know whether it would be incorporated into the education system, or contracted in from a private provider. I would also like to know what, “partnering with communities and voluntary organizations” to feed the children amounts to practically.

        Furthermore, there’s this: ” I don’t believe we value teachers enough. We’re lucky that most of our teachers are dedicated, talented and professional.We need the highest quality teachers.” Who the hell would think we need mediocre teachers? This, along with the qualifying “most teachers” looks to me like a dog whistle modified by an editor’s pen. And the teachers’ union is notable for its absence.

        This speech looks to me more like a change of style than of substance.

  21. Carol 21

    I like this from Louisa Wall:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7641487/Call-to-lower-school-age-to-four

    Children could be packing their bags to start primary school a year earlier if a proposal to lower the entrance age goes ahead.

    The move would see 4-year-olds included on school rolls and would take early childhood education away from private operators and into public hands. The compulsory school age is six, although most schools take children at five.

    I worked at schools in London that had “nurseries” (ie pre-school, under fives classes) as part of the school. They were funded by the local education authority, with a qualified teacher in charge.

    They education was focused on social skills, pre-education experiences via play etc. It meant children were eased into the institutional educational environment – especially necessary for children from backgrounds lacking in formal educational capital. I think they started attending for part of the day.

  22. Carol 22

    Finland has provided free school meals for all children for 70 years:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-new-finnish-lesson-why-gender-equality-matters-in-school-reform/2012/09/05/3703ad4c-f778-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_school_meal

    In both Sweden and Finland, free school meals are offered to all pupils. This practice has been in place since 1948 in Finland, and was introduced to Sweden in 1973.

    As far as I can work out, these meals are state funded. Also apparently Finland has virtually no private schools.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/finland-schools-curriculum-teaching

  23. gobsmacked 23

    Reports on both main 6 pm TV news bulletins were a “win” for Labour.

    Images good, commentary favourable, only one soundbite failure (dopey/ropey). One is too many, but better than Shearer’s usual.

    I have no confidence at all that he can cope with the campaign challenges (remember, this speech was weeks in preparation, a “set piece” – in a campaign everything is 100 times faster and busier, you have to think on your feet). But that’s a separate issue from the policy announcement, and I suppose we can only cross our fingers and hope the caucus can eventually see that even the best message still needs a good messenger.

    (A propos … why do you think Key was responding on TV instead of Parata? For the very reason I’ve just given … nobody wants a self-imposed handicap, except Labour, alas).

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      To keep Parata clean for the campaign. You’re going to see Key start to front up on more controversial issues now because he will be increasingly disposable.

  24. mike e 24

    All he has to do now is say we are following the successful finnish model and not the failed US model.

  25. georgecom 25

    Extending reading recovery will do more to lift achievement levels than the rubbish National Party Nationsl Standards policy.

    • Craig Glen Eden 25.1

      Your right George and if it was just reading difficulties that teachers had to deal with that would be fantastic but it isnt. The problem with today is it was a c pass with regards to policy. Shearer himself was not strong he had two tele prompters to deliver that speech and how many weeks of planning. Voters didnt think Goff was good and lacked the x factor , well I have seen Phil Goff give better bad speeches than the one I witnessed today. Sadly the standard of our orators in the Labour Party has fallen so low its cringe worthy. We use to have people like Clark, Cullen, Maharey that would leave you inspired, now we have people repeating Nationals 1 in 5 bullshit line in Labour policy speeches. Seriously this is bloody amateur stuff. The sadest thing is while Labour performs so poorly the Nats can push a head with no fear even if they stuff up the voters will say oh well that wasnt the best but whats the alternative. In case Labour strategist havent worked it out you have to inspire people to vote, other wise they just dont. Lastly if Labour keeps repeating the 1-5 line do you really think teachers will vote for Labour after all this is the stick that National have beaten teachers with for four bloody years. Shearer Robinson you say you want to hear party members views well theirs mine. You guys need to do a shit load better or get another job.

      • vicks 25.1.1

        Forgive me if I have lost the thread but what teleprompters? If you are talking about his speech in New Lynn he had neither teleprompters or notes.

        • Vicky32 25.1.1.1

          Forgive me if I have lost the thread but what teleprompters?

          Exactly! The anti-Shearer people will go to such incredible lengths to denigrate him, that it makes my head spin!

  26. OneTrack 26

    But, but, we already have the best education system in the world. So, surely, that means there is no need for anything called reading recovery. Because nobody would suggest you need recovery from the best education system in the world. No, of course not. Shearer must have been misreported. I blame John Key.

    • felix 26.1

      Reading recovery programs are one of the things that make it a great education system.

      But no-one said it was perfect so you’re only arguing with yourself anyway.

      • georgecom 26.1.1

        Indeed. Our system is good because of the likes of reading recovery. A tried and refined local programme that is shown to make an impact on student achievement. Extending it makes absolute common sense. Use something that we know works and apply it to more children.

        Contrast that with National Standards. An experiement as best, hastily put together with a shambolic rollout.

        • Dr Terry 26.1.1.1

          Just one little question here george, IS Shearer actually “contrasting” anything with “National Standards”?

          • georgecom 26.1.1.1.1

            If the issue is lifting achievement levels then yes, reading recovery is one way to address it, National Standards purportedly another.

            I have provided my views already on the merits of sinking several tens of millions of dollars into a well tested approach versus sinking several tens of millions of dollars into a rushed muddled policy.

      • Tracey 26.1.2

        1++++

  27. Fortran 27

    Hooray – About time too -great new idea

    It could be called “Tomorrow’s Schools”.

  28. Bob 28

    Did David Shearer get Anne Tolley to write his speech as well? Or does he just agree with everything National is doing?

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/good-progress-career-pathways-students http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/funding-confirmed-tertiary-high-school that covers off the Transitions section of his speech, he also must love Hekia Parata’s press release http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/focus-quality-will-raise-achievement because that covers off the Teacher Quality section, when he talks about Accountability he demonises National Standards, then quantifies his statement by saying we should bring in a “beefed up to look into the health of schools and report on them in clear easily understandable language. I want to see a school report card. And, if the school is falling short in any area, I want to know what is being done to remedy that.” sort of like ummmm aarrghhh……National Standards.

    So the only real initiatives David Shearers speech gives us is the use of Reading Recovery and…..ooops http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sharples-welcomes-cross-party-support-reading-programmes

    Maybe David Shearer should have just said, we will feed children in Decile 1-3 schools, and carry on with everything National is doing!

  29. Anna 29

    Its not too much to ask that our children be taught science and history and that teachers be treated well, currently public schools have a deeply disconcerting absense of all three.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    9 hours ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    11 hours ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    13 hours ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    14 hours ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    17 hours ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    18 hours ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    19 hours ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    19 hours ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    1 day ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    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 How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    3 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    4 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    4 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    7 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    7 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    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 What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago

  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago