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The puppet Act

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, December 5th, 2011 - 163 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags: ,

Funny how John Banks has got so much more out of his coalition deal with National than Peter Dunne did despite Dunne having more leverage than Banksie.

It’s almost like National wanted to pack all of their hard right policy into Act’s deal so they could employ it without dirtying themselves.

The truth is Bank’s serves at Key’s whim.

It surprises me National’s strategists think people will buy the charade that John Key is centrist but obliged to do all this right-wing stuff because Act’s twisting his poor wee arm.

However it does explain the pain they went through to keep Act alive.

163 comments on “The puppet Act”

  1. Nick C 1

    The Charter Schools policy in the agreement is excellent. Countries like Australia and the UK are already using these types of reforms to boost the competitiveness of their education system in the wake of new evidence suggesting they improve educational performance.


    The article demolishes all the myths about educational performance perpetrated by the teachers unions and then goes on to say:

    “So what are the secrets of success? Though there is no one template, four important themes emerge: decentralisation (handing power back to schools); a focus on underachieving pupils; a choice of different sorts of schools; and high standards for teachers.”

    • millsy 1.1

      Our schools are already charter schools. They enjoy far more autonomy than public schools in the USA and the UK.

      • Nick C 1.1.1

        Schools boards have a fair degree of autonomy, but our education system still lacks a choice of different sorts of schools. Non-state education is currently out of the reach of those in the poorest communities who cant afford it, which is where this policy is targeted. When we’re talking about the possibility schools run by Iwi and other groups that means a whole lot more choice.

        • millsy

          There is nothing stopping iwi from starting up their own schools already, or standing iwi reps on a school BOT.

          Anyway whats wrong with state education? Children are more likely to get a decent education in the public school. Do you really want to go back to an era were only rich people could get an education for their kids, and the rest were educated by church schools.

          If schools were funded decently, and they were made to give each and every kid an education, we wouldnt need to have this debate.

          • Nick C

            The thing stopping Iwi from starting their own school is that they would get little if any funding. The reason private schools survive (and indeed thrive) is because they are attended by the children of the relativly well off who can afford to both pay their taxes to fund the public system and pay their private school fees. A south Auckland based private school wouldnt get off the ground for that reason alone.

            The idea of Iwi taking over the school board is hardly fair or viable either; most kids probably wouldnt benefit from an education with a much greater focus on Maori values. It should simply be an option for those who would. All this model does is allow the child to take their public school funding to the charter school. If, as you say, the kids will always get the best education at a public school (absolute nonsense) then it wont be an issue as every will choose to stay at the public school and there wont be a market for charter schools.

            edit – Plus the evidence shows that more funding is not the answer.

            • millsy

              The reason why there is a market for the charter schools is because our schools have been starved of funding for the past 20 odd years.

              • Nick C

                How does that even make sense? You dont get more funding if you go to a charter school, you only get as much funding as if you had gone to the state school. Therefore its about who can use the equally limited resourses the best – the charter or state school. Again, if it were the state school the market for charter schools wont exist.

                And that even assumes your assertion about lack of funding being the main problem is correct, which it isnt.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Again, if it were the state school the market for charter schools wont exist.

                  Fucking right wing insanity.

                  There is no place in our society for a ‘market’ for core education. The ‘market’ should get on and do something useful, somewhere else.

                  And that even assumes your assertion about lack of funding being the main problem is correct, which it isnt.

                  according to Tolley schools not having National Standards is the main problem, but that’s bullshit too.

                  • Nick C

                    Does the word ‘market’ just shortcircuit everything in your brain without you actually thinking about how stuff works? It is called ‘choice’. If the state schools really are so awesome then there is no harm in allowing kids to take their money away from the state school if they want to, because nothing will change. The kids will make the ‘choice’ to go to the awesome state schools.

                    Honestly, I think you are just afraid that given the choice kids in South Auckland would go just about anywhere other than their current state school.

                    • vanakast

                      Hey Nick, I wouldn’t bother talking to these lefties about education, they worship the unions and won’t listen to reason or any evidence against their views, they have no desire to improve education whatsoever.

                    • Ari

                      I’m fine with schools operating on different models if for example zoning restrictions are relaxed so that kids who live in an area with a school that doesn’t suit them can get into another school that may not be so nearby, and then letting schools compete on non-economic grounds to see which models can be made effective, or even just so schools can prove themselves exception at implementing a particular model.

                      There are, for instance, democratic schools where students, teachers, and other staff actually run the school together, which would be an amazing model to see tried here.

                      None of that requires private or part-private ownership or capital to be implemented and I think this is where some implementations of charter schools fail as a model- in fact, I’d like to see private schools banned from experimenting in such a way, as it could be used as an excuse to avoid regulations that protect our kids and encourage schools to actually teach them.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      WE all ready see the ‘market’ working for private schools- they are closing down.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It is called ‘choice’.

                      Yeah choices designed and made available to the rest of us by those seeking profit first and education second.

                      That’s false choice mate.

                      Keep markets away from core infrastructure and core services.

                    • Nick C

                      “WE all ready see the ‘market’ working for private schools- they are closing down.”

                      Funnily enough that very much proves my point. When there is a market, bad schools close down. However no matter how systematically riddled with violence, drugs and underachievement a state school is it will never close down because of the zoning system. Unless they can afford to pay their taxes and pay private school fees kids have to go there.

                      Not that you named any examples tho. If there has been a drop in enrollment the global economic downturn is likely a factor. Most private schools are thriving: When was the last time you heard about St Cuths, Kings, St Kents, Christs College, Marsden, Scots College etc running out of students? Never, because these schools actually have to turn away students.

                  • In Vino Veritas

                    Colonial, I think you are in the wrong country. Why don’t you pop of to the Socialist Nirvana of North Korea. You will be right at home there. And it is one of the few countries that have a socialist regime that hasnt failed…………. yet.

                    • McFlock

                      POLS101: there is a difference between “communism” and the broader, overlapping term “socialism”. Forget about whatever ~ism they have in north korea.
                      Option A) you already know this and were being a lying dick
                      Option B) you’re too dumb to know this but insist on commenting anyway.

        • Vicky32

          but our education system

          You say ‘our’ but I thought you were in the USA?

        • Ianupnorth

          Nick, what you actually know about the Kura Kaupapa movement could, I suspect, be written on the rear of a postage stamp; Maori have, and will continue, to develop Kura as and when they are required, and I believe the leislation supports them to do so. Charter schools are merely a way for toffs to create schools outside of the state system for whatever ideological reason they want – very happy clappy.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Don’t really need more choice in schools. Just need more funding to public schools so that differences in people can be adequately addressed.

          Non-state education is currently out of the reach of those in the poorest communities who cant afford it…

          Private schools operating for profit are a dead weight loss. The government should not be funding them.

    • This is a Hayekian fantasy, you lovely capitalist system is collapsing around you head and you’re aroused by Charter Schools and a kiwi version of the British ‘big society’. This is an exercise in recolonising the working class to fit into the new form of feudalism that the British conservatives are planning. Meanwhile the capitalist crisis worsens. Europe and UK are facing financial collapse and depression. You won’t be able to use Charter schools to enlist Maori and Pacific workers into a new slave class you will end up retreating behind your walled estates as the riots come ever closer. Wake up idiot.

      • Nick C 1.2.1

        Oh Hai Dave Brown, hows life on the funny farm?

        • Colonial Viper

          The funny farm is where you live mate, the one which is rushing our capitalist world on to financial collapse at an ever increasing rate.

          Solve the exponentially growing sovereign debt crisis with even more exponentially growing sovereign debt, anyone?

        • Dr Terry

          I have been waiting for Nick C to resort to personal abuse, and at the expense of people with mental problems. This is the desperation of someone who has run out of a good argument.

          • Nick C

            Dave Brown didnt raise an argument tho.. He just launched into his communist drivel. As Barney Frank once said, I would rather have an argument with a dining table.

            • McFlock

              You disagree with it, so it’s drivel worthy of abuse.
              Does that mean that if you launch into free-market drive lyou’ll accept any abuse we throw at you?

      • Galeandra 1.2.2

        Don’t bad-mouth Hayek. He only pretended to be right to the core and lined up for his pension and medicare as a condition of moving to the States.

    • Tony P 1.3

      This article may suggest otherwise and reflects a growing concern worldwide about the problems of charter schools.

    • Dv 1.4

      Did you actually Note that in the link NZ is above UK, Aus, and USA on the rankings in math, sci and reading. They are second english speaking country in the PISA listings.

      I also thought that Nat Stds were going to solve the achievement problem.

      And what is it with Banks. Hullich was the outfit that prowled the malls in south auck signing up to dodgy kiwisaver investments. Banks was a director I believe.

      • Anthony 1.4.1

        Also doesn’t the fact that public schools would still exist mean that any supposed “free market” benefits of charter schools disappear?

        So another case of privatizing profits and socializing losses.

    • lefty 1.5

      Our schools are still producing young people who can think.

      They have been warned about this.

      It must be stopped and charters are the way to do it.

  2. millsy 2

    This deal is why I preferred National to govern alone.

    If the spending cap law was in place, in 1935 we would not have our universal health care system, free secondary education, the school dental scheme, rural electrification, roads, scientific research in things like agriculture, state housing, universal social welfare benefits, open entry public universities and polytechnics, public broadcasting, phone coverage to 99% of the country, free milk in schools, the correspondence school, etc

    This cap in government spending will destroy any sense of social justice and fairness in this country. It will literally starve our social infrastructure of much needed funds.

    I challenge Banks and Key to go to the intensive care unit at Auckland Hospital and explain why the patients there should go without treatment because this has been imposed.

    • Nick C 2.1

      Yeah because if government expenditure doesnt continue to rise at a rate greater than inflation plus population growth (its at a record high as a % of GDP atm) we will have to shut down the entire public health system and send people in intensive care out on the street to die..

      [well, that would eventually have to be one option. Super and health costs, a third of government spending, rise a lot faster than population+inflation. You tell us what you would cut. Eddie]

      • millsy 2.1.1

        Goverment spending needs to rise to pay for schools and hospitals. Remember, National closed 38 public hospitals between 1990 and 1996 to pay for Bill Birch’s tax cuts.

        Increases in government spending actually produce good things such as education and health care.

        • Colonial Viper

          Wow. You just gave Nick C a much needed history lesson.

          If New Zealanders knew a fraction of the shit which has gone on in this country in the last 125 years, most would not vote National ever again.

          Hence better to keep them in the dark, even National’s own supporters.

      • Nick C 2.1.2

        Happy to take that one up:

        1) Raise superannuation age to 67 and means test
        2) Freeze government spending on tertiary education and allow fees to increase at a much faster rate and bring back interest (but continue to make grades the only basis for entry). Its nothing more than free money for future lawyers, scientists and businessmen
        3) Legalise cannabis and other victimless crimes – will save hundreds of millions on police and corrections
        4) Have a bonfire of useless government funded agencies (did you know that the NZSO recieves $5.50 in government funding for every $1 it earns in ticket sales?)
        5) Stop funding large sporting events: http://www.nzbr.org.nz/site/nzbr/files/publications/publications-1999/should_governments_subsidise_stadiums_and_events.pdf

        • millsy

          So you would price a lot of people out of our universites then?

          And what about the elderley people living on the streets when you means test super?

          • Nick C

            “So you would price a lot of people out of our universites then?”

            I want people to pay for a benefit which primarily goes to them.

            “And what about the elderley people living on the streets when you means test super?”

            Do you understand what a means test is?

            • McFlock

              I want people to pay for a benefit which primarily goes to them.”
              That’s the student loan component (allegedly). The public good is paid for by the public. Although the private good payments have crept beyond what was deemed to be the dividing line between public/private benefits in the Todd Report.
              Again, if you knew what you were talking about, then you would know what went on in the 1990s.

          • Vicky32

            So you would price a lot of people out of our universites then?

            Of course he would! 🙂 You can’t have the children of the servant class geting a degree now, can you? Else, where will your grandchildrens’ nannies come from?

            • mik e

              Vicky they end up being so self centred that children get in the way have you noticed that with wealthy well educated people poor people carry on having families

              • Vicky32

                have you noticed that with wealthy well educated people poor people carry on having families

                I have indeed – and that then the wealthy criticise them for it!

          • Roy

            Um, what? The whole point of means-testing super is to continue giving it to those who need it, but quit giving it to those who are wealthy by other means and don’t need it. Nobody is going to end up on the street because for those who have no other financial resources, it is perfectly possible to live on super. The elderly who have super as their sole source of income are not the wealthiest wrinklies around, but they are not on the street.

        • Colonial Viper

          Add having a flat 49% tax rate and a Universal Tax Free Basic Income of $20,000 pa and we can talk.

          Have a bonfire of useless government funded agencies (did you know that the NZSO recieves $5.50 in government funding for every $1 it earns in ticket sales?)

          I see, stick everything which doesnt make money for capitalists this quarter on the bonfire too , right?

          • Ianupnorth

            Start with the bailed out banks!

          • mik e

            CV don’t forget to lock up the intellects and burn all the books
            Thats the problem with the right is that they see the price of everything but not the value to the community

        • Ianupnorth

          Is that the Act party manifesto?
          1) a Labour policy baulked at by the right – but something that we can agree on
          2) No, no, bloody no! Increasing peoples capabilities is exactly what the government should be doing. You actually make money by having innovation in science, technology, medicine and, dare I say it, business.
          3) If you legalise cannabis then by default you put it into the tax system – so government income increases. Then you also put it into the ‘stoned driving’ situation, so you ended up dealing with thousands of cases per annum – not an easy call
          4) So what? The measure of any society is its contribution to culture – art galleries and museums, let alone libraries, rarely make a profit. I hate opera, but I don’t begrudge them getting some support.
          5) Again, so what – you have to balance out the potential rewards for society, rather than the $’s

        • Half Crown Millionare

          Comrade Nick C.

          As you are regurgitating Brash word for word, it is obvious you are another Neo–Liberal Friedman Zealot who supports that dinosaur called Act. Fine, it takes all types to make up the world.

          Can you please clarify this for me?

          “Raise superannuation age to 67 and means test” When you talk about means testing are you applying this to a large catchment area that will include all those who hide behind trusts and other tax avoidance schemes or is it going to be applied to only the working classes, like the system they had in the east end of London in the last depression when my father who was a stretcher bearer on the Somme and a war hero was told to sell some furniture before he was given some so called “aid” .

        • mik e

          Nickc Wouldn’t it be better to have a comprehensive Kiwisaver scheme like National try and dsetroy every time their in govt then people can decide for themselves when they retire only those who aren’t in kiwisaver will have the later date1
          It never fails how dumb the rights politicians are.
          Thats why no right minded businessman would employ these hacks and why they end up being mouthpieces for poor policy!

    • Sinner 2.2

      If the spending cap law was in place, in 1935 we would not have our universal health care system

      Yep. Absolutely.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      National didn’t have to agree to this policy.

    • In Vino Veritas 2.4

      millsy, whilst I actually agree with a portion of your post, one point has been missed. To perpetuate itself, the socialist system needs to continue spending at an ever increasing rate (to the point where it cannot raise funds internally by taxation, and has run out of borrowing options). No socialist government will remain in power unless it continues to buy itself votes by giving people the ability to vote themselves an income. Therefore, a cap on expenditure will be definition, severly hinder any future socialist government.

      • McFlock 2.4.1

        Why does that objection not apply to democracy, full stop?

      • mik e 2.4.2

        Funny that ivvy leaguer like nationals $77 billion in borrowing labour had left the right wing government with balanced books. Borrowing Bills English Now he will have to introduce a severe austerity program to pay for election bribes new roading in Auckland.
        If there is any other economic bad news coming our way [already happening commodity prices falling world finances in meltdown]He won’t have any wriggle room left to stimulate the economy .Nationals growth of less than 0.1% per annum under the double dipton will be Negative figures for the rest of his tenure. want to place a bet ivvy leaguer.

  3. Blue 3

    Poor JK. He must be exhausted after haggling with Banksie for hours, begging him not to demand RMA reform or a cap on public spending.

    But Banksie had him over a barrel, and threatened to give permission for the release of the tea tapes if JK didn’t agree to do what he already promised he would do during the election campaign.

    Tough negotiator, Banksie. He showed JK who’s boss.

    • Hami Shearlie 3.1

      We now see why Banks and Brash were not charged along with their fellow director Peter Huljich in the Kiwisaver fiasco. Key thought he might be useful to National. The Nats picked the board who decided who would and wouldn’t be charged. So obvious, thanks Simon Power.! Wonder how Penny Bright is getting on with her complaint to the SFO about the Huljich fiasco?

      • Ari 3.1.1

        I can say for sure there were rumblings inside the National Party well before the election that it might be better for them to let ACT die. I don’t think National are really as keen on ACT as you think, and part of the coalition agreement will be ACT actually bargaining hard, but of course National will “unload” policy onto them that it can’t sell itself. Just don’t think that they’re all convinced that ACT is worth the price, or that EVERYTHING ACT does is approved by National.

        • mik e

          Its an Act resuscitation exercise nothing more after the rebranding their will be a brighter future for HAct or will it be the final curtain all bets are on my bet is that its all over given Nacts policy for the next three years and winnies speech in parliament!

      • Spratwax 3.1.2

        Yes, makes a mockery of Transparency Internationals latest rating for NZ on the Corruptions Perception Index. Does this reflect the level of awareness of the NZ public? Are NZ’ers perceptions soley shaped by the media? The election result was unsurprising if you look at it in this light.

        But Key will now show his true colours after biting his lip for three years and playing the fake centrist politician. In the next three years he will unleash his real self:- extreme right-wing, smiling assassin banker. Prepare for the fight against the last stand of the wounded right-wing, neo-liberalists.

    • Ianupnorth 3.2

      Who’d have thought the country would be held to ransom by a man who was a failed mayoral candidate, who only got in because JK told his party members to vote against his own parties candidate. Sounds like the script from a comedy – or JK’s NZ

  4. felix 4

    What a farce.

    Is the media going to accept this charade or call them out? Geoff Robinson called Banks “National’s poodle” this morning. That’s a start but it’s Key who needs to answer for this arrangement.

    The relevant line of questioning is this:

    If this is really a case of ACT winning certain policy concessions from National and NOT, as it looks, just a bunch of stuff that National wants to do anyway, then what would ACT have done if National had said “no” to any of them?

    Playing the country like a guitar indeed, and the media are keeping the beat.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.1

      John Banks is not intelligent enough to be labelled a “poodle”! Poodles are the Einsteins of the dog world, along with border collies. John Banks is much more like a chihuahua – stubborn, arrogant, can be vicious, huge ego in small body, thinks he’s much bigger than he actually is!

    • mike 5.1

      “We are the government and so we will get on and run the operation as best we can … yup, it might all go to hell in a handbasket and if it does we’ll manage it.”

      ”But at the moment we are more confident than others.”

      The Government is committed to getting the books back to surplus in 2014/15.

      ”If there is some catastrophe in Europe and the place melts down, that changes the global economic outlook, there are always things that are beyond our control. But we are totally committed to trying to get back to surplus,” he [John Key] said.


      Just a wee bit of butt-covering there. A reminder folks, that things might get dinnamic, and if/when they do, it certainly won’t be his fault if he has to break a bunch of promises. So ackshully, they weren’t really promises in the true sense of he word, more like words that he said to manipulate people into voting for him.

      The Government is committed to getting the books back to surplus in 2014/15.
      “But we are totally committed to trying to get back to surplus,”

      The author of the article fails to notice that the wording of Key’s ‘commitment’ appears to have changed in the post-election world. ‘Committed to trying?’

      Imagine the wedding vows:

      Groom: “I promise to try to love you, in sickness and in health…”
      Bride: “Hold up. Back the truck up right there bitch…”

  5. seeker 6

    I hope Cunliffe is keeping an eye on this spending cap charade which sounds the death knell on social development and justice. What are we meant to do, watch people suffer and die as our social resources are left in negligent disarray while the two Johns sip their cuppas and wait for ‘growth’ to bloom???? Are they nuts?????

    As I say, I hope Cunliffe is watching this black comedy play out, ready to pounce when Key’s social and economic duplicity and incompetence hits the fan and lands us in a place far worse than a downgrade from S&P.

  6. Irascible 7

    Journal of Education Finance

    Perhaps these research papers will prove the Charter School efficiency is a myth not a reality.

    E-ISSN: 1944-6470 Print ISSN: 0098-9495

    DOI: 10.1353/jef.0.0019

    Dick M. Carpenter II
    Scott L. Noller
    Measuring Charter School Efficiency: An Early Appraisal
    Journal of Education Finance – Volume 35, Number 4, Spring 2010, pp. 397-415

    University of Illinois Press


    In an era of increased accountability and challenging times for public finance, charter schools built on decentralization, grassroots accountability, and market forces may provide, in the spirit of “educational laboratories,” lessons for increasing student achievement more efficiently through diverse and innovative management, organization, structures, and operations. Using stochastic frontier analysis, this study put that proposition to the test and found limited difference in technical efficiency, favoring noncharter public schools over charters.


    The impact of charter schools on the efficiency of traditional public schools: Evidence from Michigan

    Ni, Yongmei

    This paper examines the competitive effects of charter schools on the efficiency of traditional public schools. The analysis utilizes a statewide school-level longitudinal dataset of Michigan schools from 1994 to 2004. Fixed effect and two alternative estimation methods are employed. Overall, the results suggest that charter competition had a negative impact on student achievement and school efficiency in Michigan’s traditional public schools. The effect is small or negligible in the short run, but becomes more substantial in the long run.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Evidence was not needed for National Standards, evidence is certainly not needed for Charter Schools.

      • Ari 7.1.1

        The point of trying different models of education should be to figure out what works and port it into the general curriculum, not just to offer “choice”. If it actually helps us better determine the directions our schools could be taking as a whole, I’m sure such experimentation is valuable. The problems I have with it are that charter schools are often bound up with private ownership or overly competitive junk-science, which needs to be dumped out with the trash, and that schools shouldn’t be allowed to keep doing something that’s objectively not working for them purely in the name of choice or experimentation.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.2

      That is the US , where they have a system Labour removed in the late 1980s.
      Your point is ?

      If there is ‘extra funding ‘ for the charter schools, where is it coming from , with a cap and all that.

      Private sources of funding ? Yeah that has been thought through ? Who, Who much , For how long?

      Who new there was private money just sitting around waiting for something like this. ( to keep ACT alive that is )

      • kriswgtn 7.2.1

        The exclusive brethren no doubt

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          They have their own schools under the present system. ie teachers funded by the taxpayers

          • Lindsey

            The EB will be able to run charter schools where we the taxpayer still pay but they are free fron having to teach the curriculum (hard when kids are not allowed to read fiction) and will be able to employ their own untrained teachers (have to be untrained as they are not allowed tertiary education) We will still pay for it.

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      They had an educational historian on Morning Report saying that the charter schools in the US haven’t achieved much.

      Their main modus of operations is to move disabled and poor performing students into the public schools to make it look like they do better, while burdening the public schools with the more expensive students. When controlling for this deliberate card stacking, charter schools do no better on average than public schools and that’s despite having no regulations on hiring or salary policies and far few regulations. She said that charter schools tend to employ the young enthusiastic teachers who are happy to work, 50, 60 or 70 hour weeks, and therefore it clearly isn’t a model that an entire education system can be built upon.

  7. Hami Shearlie 8

    Poor people are not “people” according to Key and Banks. “Poor people are lazy, and their poverty is their own fault”. Circumstances like ill-health, bereavement etc are not to be sympathised with unless the “person” is in the upper bracket! Banks’ idea of “people” is his good buddy Pat Rippin who is now a bankrupt I believe, and I read that his family owe hundreds of thousands in rent to various landlords. My mother always said you are judged by the company you keep. And added to that, Banksie has his own problems with his Huljich dealings, doesn’t he?

  8. tc 9

    How much public money is banksie shucking us for, super, MP salary and already on a parliamentary pension…….on top of being a multi millionaire.

    Troughing it like never before, all he has to do is read someone else’s lines and vote like the puppet he’s always been….nice work if you can get it, what a farce indeed, one we pay for.

    Such a hypocrite who tenure as akl mayor saw jobs for mates and an alleged expensive alteration to a high rise car park to accommodate his Bentley as he refused the mayoral space outside just to name one example…he’s in good company.

  9. Tom Gould 10

    The real John Key was finally revealed on Morning report today, the arrogant, demonising, eat the poor, John Key so carefully hidden from the public by his doting and fawning MSM buddies. Even old mate Geoff seemed surprised at Key’s ‘screw you’ attitude. It’s going to be a very profitable 3 years for MonKey and his kind.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Go long guillotine makers internationally, is all I can say.

    • Deadly_NZ 10.2

      I am listening to it now. But is it me or does Shonky sounds like he’s been at the bottle for brekkie.
      just a lot of slurred words.

  10. Spratwax 11

    Charter schools-applying free market principles to public schools-endorsed by The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Need I say more? You want to read this:


    Sounds like a coordinated effort of the American right wing to globalise charter schools and dumb down the populations. Cameron has intriduced them as well in Britain – Read this


    Only natural that a right wing government with no ideas of its own, with a right wing currency trader leader schooled by american banksters (even now) would introduce these radical changes.

    Boy, they’re not wasting any time, are they? I guess they’ve got 3 years to change the landscape and have everything in place for the technocrats to come in and take over the country with ‘austerity’ measures. Keep borrowing huge amounts of money so that we end up like Greece, but then have all the systems in place before the removal of the ‘bad’ elected government. Scary!

    I keeping an eye one the National Debt Clock http://nationaldebtclocks.com/newzealand.htm

    • seeker 11.1

      I am afraid your comment maybe scarily correct Spratwax. This is more fiendish than any Ian Fleming plot. Who is behind all this? Where is OO7 when he’s needed?

      • lprent 11.1.1

        I actually reread a pile of Ian Fleming books during the election. They weren’t quite sleep inducing (pity that)*, but got quite tedious with their plot lines, and eventually I switched to Loius L’Amour – which had the same problem after the first twenty books or so – but a least ranged over a few centuries.

        * the most self hypnotic book I ever read was a second hand history book I brought at the Hard to Find bookstore. Some may have noticed that I like to read, and I read fast. Well I also tend to read a little to excess and lose sleep over wanting to finish a 800 page book that I started at 2330. For a whole year I had perfect sleep because I’d open this book nightly on the trading of the Dutch East Indies companies from the 15th century to the 19th, read another couple of pages about what was stored in the holds of a trading fleet, their sources, disposition, and profits and fall asleep. I highly recommend it as a cure for insomnia.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    Notice that Banks gets a seat on the Honours & Appointments Cabinet Committee- where baubles are made ( and paid for )

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Note that Banks therefore gets to make appointments to hundreds of statutory boards and other bodies, filling them up with his Right Wing mates who will not only get paid by the taxpayer, but will also get to impede and fuck up the agenda of the next Labour Government.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1.1

        There will lots of brown paper envelopes left under his office door.

        Its a way to reward the donors , but National will get most of the spoils as they got much more money. Maybe a quota of one in twenty plus a knighthood for …cough …Brash

    • Hami Shearlie 12.2

      John’s knighthood is certain now, with Banksie to help the process along, then he’ll be off to Hawaii – so, what do the Nats do then? Steven Joyce? That would have the voters running for the hills! National have so many front bench mps and ministers who’ve been there forever – Tony Ryall, Nick Smith, Lockwood Smith, Maurice Williamson, Bill English, Murray McCully etc – and people say Labour needs to be refreshed! LOL – mind you the Nats do have a good sense of humour – Anne Tolley, Kate Wilkinson, Melissa Lee , Jo Goodhew(I’m in the John Key Party) – and I’m sure there are other jokes in their caucus I have forgotten!

  12. burt 13

    This is awesome. The end of the left-tard mediocrity where we pretend that one size fits all.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Works for corporates. What are you complaining about.

      • burt 13.1.1

        Wrong CV. It works for monopolies – remember monopolies – the things you love!

        • mik e

          burt what the free market has provided New Zealand monopolies duopolies cartels.

          • Colonial Viper

            And the free market moves towards those structures because they are the most profitable for private shareholders.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.2

      Yes we have gone from “too big to fail” to to “big to bail out” in 5 years.

      One size doesn’t fit all.

  13. Olwyn 14

    Now that we have seen a glimpse of their intentions, which they did not feel obliged to share before the election, it will be nice if the specials put them in the position where they need support or abstentions from outside of their ghastly cabal if they are to govern.

    • Hami Shearlie 14.1

      How very observant of you Olwyn! Maybe they should have waited until they were confirmed as a government, before showing us all who they really are? The specials could make a significant difference alright!

      • marsman 14.1.1

        What happens if the Maori Party go with National before the specials are counted? Hope they wait and see!

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Dream on .

          MP is just a formality for the National government. ( even if National renames the country Aotearoa)

          As the last cab off the rank for Key is NZ First.

  14. Hilary 15

    There was a high-achieving well-supported community school in Christchurch (the one the PM attended as a child). It welcomed all the local children and families in all their diversity. However the government closed it a couple of years ago, and the kids were scattered to bigger higher decile schools.

    So this new charter model imposes a model that will somehow improve the educational outcomes of such children?

    • Blue 15.1

      Privatisation is always good don’tcha know. The market can always do it better. And if they don’t, the government will bail them out.

      Guess now we know what happened to National’s missing policies during the election campaign.

  15. Rog Chapman 16

    I’m wondering when NickC was last near a school. He seems to be stuck in an early 1980’s time warp.

    • burt 16.1

      Perhaps he has only been near the school in his zone. Perhaps he has a bit of cash and has a good school zone… tell me how it’s OK to have the real estate you can afford as a proxy for the quality of the school you can attend – why is that right ?

      • rosy 16.1.1

        Tell me how it’s OK to have the means of travel you can afford (time & cost) as a proxy for the quality of the school you can attend – why is that right? Especially if it leaves the poverty-stricken with worse schools when the charter schools for those who have more flexibility get government grants that lessen the funds for those who have no choice but stay – why is that right?

        And why it might be OK that people who live near a ‘popular’ school can’t afford to enroll their their kids there because the over-subscribed school has decided to use money, not location as a proxy for their school zone? – why is that right?

        • burt


          You seem to have made no attempt to answer why it’s OK to have the value of real estate you can afford be a factor in allowing parents to choose their school is OK. Instead you just threw a whole pile of diversions into play, so I’ll answer them.

          * Means of travel and can afford (time & cost)

          I agree, imagine a school that only permitted students from more than 100 kilometers away on a day basis. IE: No boarding. Now imagine that school, like many, ran morning and afternoon sports training… add that to travel time. I’m sure I would be joining you against a government mandate that so categorically limited a schools uptake based on geographical boundaries which imposed a price barrier. If it were a private school then I would say to them; good luck with that one!

          * Popular schools using money to restrict entry.

          Well actually we already have this with private and integrated schools. Unless we are to have a pure communist model and have only state schools we need to accept this as reality. Plenty of kids living near successful private schools can’t afford to go there with our current model.

          So I think you rightly bring up the point that more state schools may become integrated schools and more private schools may enter the mix under a charter schools model. This will effect the relative monopoly position that public education enjoys so sure status quo is effected. How the living near but can’t afford is handled will be interesting to watch. Arguably being able to afford the worst house in a good school zone will no longer cut it.

          Here is something for you rosy. 7 years ago we rented out our house which was in a good college zone and rented in a good primary school zone. We are back in our house again now as we are done with primary school. How is that right, how has zoning worked out in this scenario. Now sure nobody likes moving, and it’s expensive but my our own actions which are legitimate in the zoning system show just how perverse the unintended consequences of the zoning rules are.

          But rosy, tell me how it’s OK to have the real estate you can afford as a proxy for the quality of the school you can attend – why is that right ? I’ve proven it’s happening, but I don’t think it’s what the advertising on the box said would happen.

          • clandestino

            Doesn’t happen in Wellington, kids can come from all over to attend high schools of their (parents) choice. Maybe it’s an Auckland thing…

          • rosy

            We owned a property in an OK school zone that then became popular – we lived a couple of hundred metres away. Is it OK that the school could arbitrarily change it’s intake area, and that meant our daughter could no longer go to that school and had to go to one 5 km away? Just so the school could ‘compete’ for students from an expensive new sub-division?

            I agree that it’s not right that real estate is a proxy for zone, but you’ve put that as a issue above all others. I used your sentences to fit in a few of the other issues, that’s all. Is it right that families that can least afford to take action to improve their children’s prospects are stuck with the worst of everything? It’s joke to say these families have choice in education and removing zones makes the situation a whole lot worse for them.

            My answer would be to get rid of independent/private schools completely. Improve the state system we have with comprehensive, well-funded primary schools, ensuring pupils get the assistance they need to ensure reading and comprehension skills – a national standard so to speak – it seems that’s all the rage these days… or is that so last year? And this leads into a public secondary education system that is meaningful to pupils with a variety of circumstances and future pathways.

            • burt

              My answer would be to get rid of independent/private schools completely.

              I thought that might be your position. The glorious state…. the peoples schools…. yeah, that will work…..

              • rosy

                Yep. Seems to work well for the Finns.

                • burt

                  Do you think we can cheery pick their social policies and have that work for us – or would you like to have all their social policies ?

                  • rosy

                    No need for leading questions Burt, I know my cherries might be quite different to yours. (P.S I live in a European social democracy at the moment, so I’m pretty aware of what your aiming to do, and you might want to check out some of their safeguards before picking your cherries).

                  • burt

                    Yes we might want to check out some of their safeguards before we cherry pick their policies. You surprise me though, everyone else seems to think status quo is the only option. I’m please you at least have an opinion driven by something else other than fear of change and the best interests of the unions.

          • red blooded

            Hey, make sure you don’t confuse ‘quality’ with conformity, or a smooth public image. The perception that particular schools (usually single-sex, always high decile, seldom interesting) are better than others is often just that; perception.

            • burt

              red blooded

              ERO reports… but sure, if you want to pretend that all schools are the same and parents are just stupid and have no idea what it best for their children then keep voting Labour.

              • mik e

                Well labour got better results in primary secondary and tertiary than this and the last Nact govt bean brained bean counters

    • Tom Gould 16.2

      Is Nick C really Nick K?

  16. Pascal's bookie 17

    remember all the hordes bleating about how Key wasn’t going to privatise ACC because if you squint at a dictionary it wasn’t pivatisation because all they were doing was Opening It Up To Competition(TM)?

    Sure you do.

    That talking point is no longer operative.

  17. dv 18

    A search for charter school on the ACT site asked ‘did you mean carter schools’

    • ghostwhowalksnz 18.1

      No mention of charter schools is correct

      But this is :

      Further increase the subsidy for independent schools so that parents who choose independent schools for their children do not lose so much of their child’s share of education funding.


      More subsidies to prop up failing private schools. Who would have guessed. -The market having decided in tough economic times the fees are too high so enrolments drop which means fees have to rise…..

      PS Cant believe my luck in finding the word subsidy in ACTs policies

  18. marsman 19

    Why are these nasty clowns even considering changing the school system and why all that wasted money and energy spent on National Standards. The OECD study cited below was conducted in 2009.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 19.1

      Its the latest version of the cultural cringe- nothing developed here is good enough when the stars and stripes version is available

    • Spratwax 19.2

      It’s all about reducing costs, cheaper teachers at the lower decile schools in other words, and funneling funding into private schools. Struggling private schools= solution: socialisation of losses.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.3

      Because an ill-educated, ill-informed population is the only way they can get votes.

    • burt 19.4


      The OECD stats mean diddly squat when 1 in 5 has basic reading and writing issues. Great we have some very successful schools and a broad base of mediocre. That might chart us well on a graph but real life aint that flash. Rip all the private and integrated schools out of the mix and see how well we stack up!

      But sure, tell me why we must not change from status quo where apparently our current state provider/funder split is just right and must never change.

      • mik e 19.4.1

        Bulk funding the last experiment national ran left even more failing students like the failed policy this experiment will have the same outcome want to bet burt. last time National were in power our schools slipped from 6th in the OECD to 16th under labour they got that back up to 4 th not bad aye burt .
        Joyces interfering with Universities has down graded them severely we have now only one university inside the top 100 that will be worse next year want to bet burt.

        • burt

          If it is worse next year then that is the fault of the primary schools 10-15 years ago, the secondary schools 4-10 years ago. So sure tell me how status quo today is just right.

  19. randal 20

    never seen kweewee so releived as when he and binky mated up on teevy yesterday.
    now he has someone on board who really knows how to rip off the taxpayers.

  20. mac1 21

    Marsman @ 19, maybe the time is past for asking these questions, for which we believe we have the answer and start instead to do the criticism of the rationale behind them. (Edit: I see one anonymous bloke and spratwax above have answered already in brief much of what I want to say.)

    it’s not for educational excellence for all- it’s for educational excellence for the elite who are the powerful and the monied. They and their ilk and progeny can then continue to be ‘our’ elite. We don’t in NZ enshrine this caste as our betters by giving them formal social status such as titles (though the move to put Banks into this role means that they would if they could persuade an egalitarianism-loving country to adopt the trappings of a caste system).

    The rest of the education system can be left to wither by lowering standards for teachers, controlling teachers by such means as psychological profiling at entry to shut out the undesirable liberals, raising work loads by imposition of systems upon the state system but not on the private system (such as National Standards) and by controlling the finances into the state system as opposed to the elite system which will appropriate state funds under the guise of fairness and benefit also from the wealth which its benefactors and beneficiaries will donate back into them, no doubt with the attendant tax breaks.

    The non-elitist state schools then become producers of factory fodder- not properly educated but with the tools to serve their caste masters.

    It ain’t happening? Check out the USA especially.

    The driving force behind this is greed, social conservatism, retention of power.

    Understand these motivations and you can explain most anything what this government does in terms of social policy, taxation, education or the health system, defence, policing, general expenditure.

    Today, I teach the last lesson of my teaching life as a state school teacher. I don’t think I would get past the psychological profiling that Minister Tolley would introduce if I were now to contemplate a teaching career as a young man. I don’t think that I would want to teach in a system that I fear is being planned for in our Brave New World. I don’t think that I am going to retire into a society that is as equitable, democratic or cohesive as when I started my teaching career forty years ago.

    • deuto 21.1

      “Today, I teach the last lesson of my teaching life as a state school teacher. I don’t think I would get past the psychological profiling that Minister Tolley would introduce if I were now to contemplate a teaching career as a young man. I don’t think that I would want to teach in a system that I fear is being planned for in our Brave New World. I don’t think that I am going to retire into a society that is as equitable, democratic or cohesive as when I started my teaching career forty years ago.”


      I just wanted to say a big thank you for your 40 years of contributing to NZ society through teaching our young – and wish you all the best for the future. I considered a career in teaching but did not do so, and have had regrets that I didn’t but tried to contribute in a different field.

      I fear that your comments and predictions may well be true and hope that you will not quietly fade into the background but keep up the fight.

      • mac1 21.1.1

        Thanks for that, deuto. I’m too much a fan of Dylan Thomas to “go gentle into that good night.” What I don’t know is into which category I come- a wise, good, wild or grave man- that he wrote about, Appositely, the poem was written to his father, a retired school teacher.

  21. John Banks provides another thick skinned and ignorant vehicle (similar to Tolley) to drive through even more ideological nonsense into our education system. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2011/12/charter-schools-in-nz.html

  22. randal 23

    kweewee, binky and dunny.
    chortle chortle.

  23. Uturn 24

    Banks and Key to turn Welfare into a vampiric endeavour. The Dominion Post tells us:

    “…Under the deal with ACT some of the more controversial recommendations of the Welfare Working Group will be adopted. They include contracting out employment placement services for beneficiaries to private sector and community organisations. Income management through third parties and payment cards will also be introduced.

    Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Sue Bradford, who is also the Mana Party’s welfare spokeswoman, said Key was using the deal with Banks as a cover to implement almost all of the Welfare Working Group’s recommendations. ”This goes beyond changes already announced by John Key and (Social Development Minister) Paula Bennett prior to the election.” National and ACT saw unemployment as a business opportunity rather than an economic problem the Government had a duty to solve, she said. ”Contracting out assistance for the unemployed has been a disastrous failure in the United Kingdom and it will be the same here…”

    Welcome to your Brighter Future… back to the 19th century. Hurrah!

    • fender 24.1

      It’s farcical the way Key is using Banks as an excuse for dirty deeds he is no doubt the architect of.

      How cowardly it is to hide behind the fukwit he tried so hard to get into parliament.

      Those Epsom people are going to feel very guilty after 3 years of these tyrants. Hope a disgruntled public don’t take it out on them, could mirror the nastiness of their puppet masters.

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        And the MSM let Key get away with it. Do all the children of newspaper journalists go to private schools or something?

  24. Ed Aotearoa 25

    Nick – are you out of your mind – have you seen the Stanford University charter school research that shows these schools generally do worse for vulnerable students than public schools

    and the current debate in Sweden


    where that country’s freefall in the PISA rankings is being credited to free schools (same as charter schools)

    the reason The Economist likes charter schools is because they fit in with the free-market ideology, and there are a lot of people with a lot of time and money out there massaging the huge amounts of data that float around the education sector

    Mark my words – Key has appointed a new Education Ministry CEO whose background is in introducing free schools. his mild-mannered reassurances this morning are about getting this on the ground, and then rolling it out widely. if that happens, then 5-10 years our education rankings will also be in freefall

    Thank god we have a very dedicated and skilled teaching workforce who will yet pour their energies into tempering ideological business-friendly extremism. Think how great we could be if teachers were actually allowed to teach

  25. National’s asset sales program was a bait n switch, slight of hand.
    While we were looking one way while….
    – schools get privatised
    employment services get privatised
    – our emergency power facility gets sold for a song
    I’m sure there is more shit coming down the pipe.

    • insider 26.1

      Whirinaki went for a song because Pete Hodgson panicked and spent way too much on a generator that is almost never used because it is too expesive and is in the wrong place. Don’t blame anyone but him if everyone now thinks it’s a dog. Genesis, Mighty River and Meridian could have all bid for it too and paid more if they thought it was worth it. They didn’t. Expect Contact to take it apart and shift it somewhere useful.

      • mik e 26.1.1

        You are a naive idiot it was built there because of unexpected long droughts that had put our power system under pressure as no new capacity had been built under the previous govts reign Mad max bradford remember that idiot probably a mate of yours. NZ didn’t need another Auckland blackout also under mad maxs and mayor banks reign.
        The reason it was built there w

      • mik e 26.1.2


      • mik e 26.1.3

        insider trader You are a naive idiot it was built there because of unexpected long droughts that had put our power system under pressure as no new capacity had been built under the previous govts reign Mad max bradford remember that idiot probably a mate of yours. NZ didn’t need another Auckland blackout also under mad maxs and mayor banks reign.
        The reason it was built there was that it already had resource consent as it was an emergency as well

    • seeker 26.2

      “I’m sure there is more shit coming down the pipe.”

      Likewise WJ. They are so cunning. Pure evil. And is so hard to out think evil, no matter how hard one tries. However,perhaps it’s not a just a case of out thinking it but outing it. Thank good ness we have this site to do just that.

  26. Tom Gould 27

    Word is that John A and John B did not hide their secret agenda from the public, because they talked about it openly in that cafe in Newmarket, remember? Just because the public are not allowed to hear it too, is no excuse to call him them cheats and liars.

  27. mik e 28

    something wrong when posting a new comment the old comment keeps coming up

  28. spratwax 29

    “That’s MMP for you, isn’t it”!

    We know he dislike’s MMP, but this is a nasty little ‘Nah, nah, nah, nah ,nah’ comment by Key- no response from the corporate media whose lameness is shameful.

    Key’s fake centrist facade is coming down this term and the real, nasty, heartless, right-wing Key is already rearing it’s head, day’s after the election

    • burt 29.1

      Brilliant isn’t it. The next election is a real contest between two policy directions rather than presentation. Excellent outcome, thank Key for getting on with it as he always said if he got a second term there would be reform.

  29. randal 30

    what sort of shite is nickc trying to peddle by claiming charter schools will increase competitiveness.
    you can only learn 1=1=2 once so tell me nick c how competitiveness works in education again.
    or do you mean you want to give the education system over to a gang of people who think they know how to educate others when they cant even get down and dirty in the ghettoes and make a difference there.
    oh but I forget.
    you dont get paid for helping people in distress or in need.
    only when you get a contract from the gubmint.national is in the bizz of handing everything over to noo noo heads.
    shame on them.

  30. FYI –

    Where is the review of ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’?

    How ‘cost-effective’ has it been to devolve the operation of schools to Boards of Trustees compared with the old Ministry of Education system?

    How much money could be poured back into education by cutting out the consultants and private contractors currently carrying out operational and maintenance work?

    As a (CENSORED) Independent Candidate for Epsom, I do not recall ‘National “B” Team ‘/ ACT candidate John Banks EVER raising the issue of education privatisation or ‘charter schools’ at either of the Epsom cnadidates meetings which I attended, or this message being placed ‘loud and clear’ up on his election hoardings.

    (For pictures of the messages up on some of John Banks election hoardings – check out http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz 🙂

    If you read the ‘Education Policy’ up on ACT’s website – education privatisation and ‘charter schools’ are nowhere to be seen.

    So – how can the voting public ‘cast an informed vote’?

    “Prime Minister John Key is defending the introduction of charter schools under a deal with ACT despite National never campaigning on it, saying “that’s MMP for you, isn’t it?”.

    No – it’s effectively more deceptive and misleading conduct – more proof that NZ is NOT ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ and that our ‘perceived’ status as ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ according to the 2011 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’ is just a load of CRAP.


    “ACT will keep working for a more vibrant and dynamic education system. A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to:

    • Continue awarding Aspire scholarships to underprivileged children;
    • Increase the autonomy that local principals and staff have in running their school. Boards and principals should be able, for example, to set teacher remuneration at their discretion like any other employer, rather than having a rigid, seniority based pay scale;
    • Further increase the subsidy for independent schools so that parents who choose independent schools for their children do not lose so much of their child’s share of education funding;
    • Encourage choice in assessment systems, whether they be NCEA, Cambridge International Examination, International Baccalaureate, or other qualifications.”


    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

    • seeker 31.1

      “If you read the ‘Education Policy’ up on ACT’s website – education privatisation and ‘charter schools’ are nowhere to be seen.

      So – how can the voting public ‘cast an informed vote’?”

      John Key should be held to account for what amounts to electoral fraud. Who is the authority to do this? Surely someone must be above the government to hold them to account when they defraud.

      Thanks for posting on the corruption in this country Penny. I just hope justice is seen to be done one day.

      • Colonial Viper 31.1.1

        Surely someone must be above the government to hold them to account when they defraud.

        So much for the Fourth Estate.

  31. Afewknowthetruth 32

    The purpose of formal education is to provide slaves with enough knowledge and skill for them to be useful to the empire whilst depriving them of the knowledge that would make them dangerous to the empire.

    Privatised schools would be just as capable as state schools of filfilling that agenda, whilst providing new opportunities for those who already have far too much to exploit the rest of society.

  32. Chris 33

    It’s so interesting how posts on The Standard get into the hundreds. Whaleoil gets about at best thirty, often zero, Cactus Kate even less. But look at how the right-wing twats make up so much of the hundreds The Standard gets? Odgers and Slater both describe their followers as their “army”. Do they see politics as “war”? Probably not, although Slater acts like he’s paid, and Odgers acts like she’s out to defend something. Is “Cambo” a mercenary for the right? Is nasty cathy scared of the Occupy movement? Both needn’t worry – Cameron will get bored when the last nail in capitalism (as we know it) is hammered home, and cathy can’t take it with her.

  33. drongo 34

    Yes, Key is more like ACT than ACT. Will be an interesting term, though. Numbers are tight and opinions aren’t as aligned as they may seem…and Key’s bored already, to boot.

  34. mik e 35

    No Key is back to smiley wavy golf promotion

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