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:

        • 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

    • 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.

  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 🙂

    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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    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    11 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    13 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    13 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    13 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    13 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    14 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 day ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 day ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 day ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
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