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The Tolley Challenge

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, September 18th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , ,

On Tuesday Anne Tolley, Minister for wrecking primary education, dropped this little pearl:

Panel to advise on national standards

Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced she will establish a national standards sector advisory group. … Mrs Tolley told the Otago Daily Times yesterday that the move was in response to growing unrest among principals and teachers over implementing the standards.

“It’s in response to the conversations I’ve had with principals and teachers. They are getting on with implementing national standards, but there’s been this disquiet around it.

“It just seemed to me that there was a real desire from these people to be involved.”

Got that campers? After all these months of warnings and pleadings and threats of action Anne has worked it out! The penny has dropped! It just seems to Anne that principals and teachers (“these people”) want to “be involved” in the process of determining what happens in their schools.

Words fucking fail me. No – they really do. The only words I have to describe my reaction to this should not be printed in a respectable family blog like this one.

I propose The Tolley Challenge. Can anyone find a comment made by any other minister, ever, in the history of New Zealand, that is as stupid, as arrogant, as offensive, as out of touch, as brain-fartingly idiotic a statement of the bleeding obvious as this clanger from Tolley? Anything even close? If so, share with the group. But for myself, I reckon Tolley is in a class of her own…

52 comments on “The Tolley Challenge”

  1. Blue Boy 1

    At least one teacher likes National Standards.!!!
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/09/the_bullying_principals.html

  2. ASA 2

    So the question has to be raised why such an incompetent remains in charge of a central government election policy? One answer is that she is a ‘stalking horse” to attract attention while other, much more concerning educational initiatives are being developed. Something isn’t right here. She is being hung out to dry by the cabinet heavyweights. What is coming? Vouchers for school funding? Selling school properties off to the private sector? Or something even worse?

    • ZeeBop 2.1

      National sat on its hands, waiting idle, always going negative on Labour. They might had had
      a few policies work through but essential the global economic game changer kicked most of
      their banal assumptions right out of the game. We have an inefficient, weak parliament, that
      requires oppositions to fear their own seats, as well as governments to fea their back benches.
      We need to double the size of the parliament. I was ddeply concerned when Labour started
      harping on about bi-elections being too expensive, I just hope they were just spinning to
      force key to jump early, or maybe even hold off, the next election. But really if you want
      better politicians, like better students, you need to pull from a large pool, like the
      private schools do. If however you are limited to a locality, a smaller pool of students,
      or politicians, you need to hold them to higher standards, expose them more to high
      standards. Principles should start a score card for politicians who use correct logic,
      reasoning, grammar, etc. Start rewarding the winners, the politicians who have the
      basics down. Poorly score politicians that hold onto their false passports for decades,
      and only when the Police come knocking start telling lie after lie, to get a lesser charge
      – alledgely.

      Have a standoff between principles of schools and teachers, two seperate lists of
      politicians who cut it and those that don’t. How hard then would it be for the PM
      to reshuffle and put a Tolley in the educational ministry? Very hard, if she was
      already down the list of poor acheivement – Nationally.

  3. ASA 3

    Following a tip I’ve received, I suspect the answer, as with a lot of things to do with our ‘independent’ (ha ha) government, is found overseas. My pick is that we will have a version of the ‘Swedish Free School” system imposed on us. I see the Tories in UK are also very interested in this model (“academies”), even though a quick google didn’t take long to turn up sites questioning the effectiveness of this model. However the right doesn’t follow logic when there’s a chance for their business mates to siphon more money from the tax payer. Is this a case of ‘watch this space?’

  4. ianmac 4

    It may be that Anne Tolley has a job to do in setting Education up for a major change. After all the schools are so resistent to changes (National Standards) that it needs something like Voucher per pupil, Bulk Funding, or indeed “Swedish Free School,” to give our poor little kids a fair go at being good economic investments.
    Why else would she be so obtuse over concerns which must be with the approval of Cabinet?
    Incidentally she does already have an Advisory panel but she largeky ignores their advice.

  5. Jum 5

    captcha: responsibility

    Who will be on panel b and will it resemble Paula’s panel of extreme right people haters.

  6. comedy 6

    “….should not be printed in a respectable family blog like this one.”

    Comedy gold

  7. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 7

    Can anyone find a comment made by any other minister, ever, in the history of New Zealand, that is as stupid, as arrogant, as offensive, as out of touch, as brain-fartingly idiotic a statement of the bleeding obvious as this clanger from Tolley?

    “We live in a strategically benign environment”.

    “We won, you lost. Eat that.”

    “the only thing of which Taito Philip Field is guilty is being helpful.”

    Or, for sheer unintelligibility, this from Dr. Cullen: “We know, and National members know from reading the front page of the newspaper, that I have not merely stolen their fox but eviscerated it, strangled it, and thrown it back into their back garden, and they do not know what to do about it at that particular point.”

  8. toad 8

    I agree you’ve got to go back a long way (so far I can’t find an internet link) r0b, but how about this one:

    Colin McLachlan, Muldoon’s Transport Minister and drinking buddy (who preceded Muldoon’s other Transport Minister and drinking buddy Keith Allen of “my attackers names were Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Johnnie Walker” notoriety when Allen was discovered my a film crew pissed and passed out in the grounds of Parliament) acquired the nickname “Oars”.

    This resulted from an incident in which a rescue craft attempting to reach a plane crash in Manukau Harbour off Auckland airport was unable to be deployed due to an engine failure. McLachlan’s infamous reply when questioned about this: “But they had oars, didn’t they?

  9. Richard 9

    Warren Cooper, speaking as mayor of Queenstown (but while still a cabinet minister), in response to the issue of how much development is too much development in Queenstown:
    “We will leave it to the market will tell us when Queenstown has become spoilt” (WTF? Isn’t that your job as a council to plan so that Q’town didn’t become spoilt? What do you expect of a guy who pronounced the French president’s name as Jack Shrac.

  10. marsman 10

    John Key’s “teachers are out of touch with reality”.

  11. grumpy 11

    And thereby hangs the issue:

    “”….in the process of determining what happens in their schools.”

    The schools do NOT belong to the teachers and principals, they belong to the taxpayer AKA the voter, who have given National the mandate to introduce National Standards.

    • Zorr 11.1

      No they don’t grumpy.

      As a matter of fact the schools are not answerable to the government. They are answerable to their local communities. The central government funds them. There is a difference.

      • Swampy 11.1.1

        Schools are answerable to the government as they have to comply with many Ministry directives and policies, this is the condition of being State funded.

    • r0b 11.2

      the voter, who have given National the mandate to introduce National Standards.

      Arse they have. They gave National a mandate not to be Labour, to deliver tax cuts North of $50 pw, and to close the wage gap with Australia. One out of three ain’t good…

      • hamish gray 11.2.1

        Oh I didn’t realise you had your finger so thoroughly pressed on the pulse of the nation… you know, given they voted in a centre-right government and you’re so understanding of centre-right voters.

        National campaigned on this issue, among many others, and they won. In what universe is that not considered a mandate?

        And while schools are responsible to their local communities, that in no way dispels their responsibility to adhere to the government of the day, who democratically represents those communities. Arguing otherwise is just a means of justifying unelected teachers’ unions having sway over education policy.

        Australia has National standards – the public love it. They have easily accessible measures of their children’s progress (or otherwise) – the public love it. All intro’d under a Labor Government. But if the NZ Left think supporting teachers unions on this issue is going to win them the support of parents, well, good luck at the next election.

    • bbfloyd 11.3

      grumpy…im glad to hear that the term of apprenticeship for “half arsed pseudo intellectual” is relatively short and stress free. i was worried you were showing a stress reaction.

      you should use that name better. your namesake is a musical genius who produced all my work.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.4

      You’re an idiot. We fund the schools to do the best they can for our children and our country – not to do what an ignorant cretin like Tolley (Or the rst of NACT+MP) tells them to do.

  12. popeye 12

    Yes, grumpy…just like doctors in public health..taxpayer funded…guess you would have no issue if the Minister of Health mandated cheap and blunt scalpels…hospitals belong to the voter after all and bugger what the professionals think. Can you imagine where this country would be like if only had a democracy for one day every three years? Get real!

  13. Fabregas4 13

    On a more serious not – this new group is nothing more than a fob. What has happened is two things. Firstly the Principals Federation has asked Principals to contribute to a Nationals Standards fighting fund (to be used to educate the public about the Standards) and Tolley has finally worked out that Boards of Trustees in the great majority support their principals and oppose the Standards. She, if I may be so bold, is plainly nuts, delusional, and add any adjective that is a simile of the first two if she believes that she can bulldoze schools who communities know do there best with, from a world perspective, very average resources

    • r0b 13.1

      this new group is nothing more than a fob

      Had that smell about it. Last thing Tolley wants to hear is the actual truth or anything.

      Thanks for your input on these threads, and guest posts always welcome!

  14. Dan 14

    The NACT party education policy is very easy to understand: demonise the teacher associations. That fulfills two aspects of right wing ideology:
    1 get rid of unions because they get in the way of government savings, and because the associations work together to stop the crackpot right wing agendas from the US
    2 sets up conditions for a radical revamp of education: bulkfunding, vouchers, public/private partnerships, etc,etc

    All the press releases from the Minister emphasise the greedy teachers wanting 4%. She misses out all the clawbacks of conditions that the government wants. She misses the fact that police have scored about 7% over the same time period. She has misrepresented the fight against national standards once again to bag teachers for not knowing their place.

    I think Key and his mates know Tolley is totally out of her depth. It helps their cause to have teachers moaning because they would grab any opportunity to deregister or kneecap teacher influence in education. The tragedy is her incompetence will have such a negative effect long term on education in New Zealand.

  15. jcuknz 15

    Teachers do such a good job I cannot see why they get so het up about ‘national standards’ and voucher systems. Both seem excellent ideas. But then fortunately I am not controlled by a union and can think for myself.

    • ianmac 15.1

      The NZEI is not a Union.
      If you must have National Standards do it properly. Such a major shift in Education needs research and planning. NCEA took 5 years of planning in the 90s under Bill Englishes watch and even now 15 years later it still is being refined. National Standards were introduced this year with no planning and no research. A political stunt which must have an ulterior motive as Dan says. Agreed.

      • jcuknz 15.1.1

        I remember when I was vice chair of my ‘Union” branch and the chairman several times told me we were not a ‘union’. “A rose by any other name smells as sweet”

      • jcuknz 15.1.2

        Stop this stupid bickering and accept that the political masters have the authority and work with them to achieve the best result. I don’t believe your ‘no planning and no research’ comment .. that sounds like typical grumpy teacher mis-information. Sometimes ideas need to be forced over accepted dogma of self satisfied experts.

        • Maynard J 15.1.2.1

          I’m glad you have your political masters to think for you, as you cannot do so.

          I think it’s a pity the masters that think for you cannot very well think for themselves.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2.2

          Wow. It’s not the teachers that are spreading mis-information but NACT. They do this because they happen to be psychopathic liars and authoritarians who happen to think that they’re right even when all the evidence (multiple international sources of it) proves that they’re wrong.

      • Swampy 15.1.3

        Totally wrong, the NZEI is a union. Quote from website
        “Employees must join the union if they want to be covered by the collective agreement on their site. NZEI Te Riu Roa also negotiates regional or local collective agreements for advisers/reading recovery tutors in universities, early childhood education teachers and support staff working in both not-for profit and commercial centres.”

        By law the only parties that can negotiate collective agreements are unions and employers.

    • Fabregas4 15.2

      Teachers, thankfully, think for more than themselves. Instead they think about the children, the parents, their schools, their community, and then they get on to themselves. This is one of the reasons that the teacher unions need to be so strong because quite frankly anyone negotiating pay and conditions with teachers starts off knowing that teachers, in the vast majority, look at things in this order.

      Another thing teachers think about is education and they are clever enough to go to the trouble of seeing what systems like vouchers and national standards have done to education in other places around the world. Have a go at this yourself and then post again.

      • jcuknz 15.2.1

        Have you read David’s [kiwiblog] debunk of the teachers claims which shows relative to GDP NZ teachers are the best paid in the world? If you are driven by lolly then go overseas and experience the drawbacks to not being in NZ. The grass is not greener over the fence … it just seems that way until you jump over the fence.

        • Dave 15.2.1.1

          You’re quoting DPF’s figures on this blog? I mean your up at 3:30am, you seem dedicated enough to get the real data and run the crunching yourself. How about doing that rather than giving us someone else’s mathematical gymnastics?

          Health & Education are two departments where we should be investing all we can to ensure the professionals are of the highest calibre and supported as best we can, this includes the minister acknowledging that there is no mandate to upset the entire establishment to score some brownie points from King John Key.

          • jcuknz 15.2.1.1.1

            I happen to be in a different time zone to you at the moment 🙂 6hrs.
            The medical professionals are of the highest quality I assure you. It is the quality of life that keeps and attracts them to NZ .. sad that some have to go overseas to pay off their student loans.

    • Dan 15.3

      jcuknz,
      If you saw the teacher associations as a political party for teachers, then you might relax a little more. The rules are little different to the National Party: voluntary membership, toe the party line even if you disagree. Membership has grown steadily over the years. There are tons of opportunity to debate or disagree. In no way are teachers told what to think; Head office is very responsive to disagreement within the ranks but individual members are very dependent on head office reading the political winds correctly.
      You need to do some research on the efficacy of voucher systems: they tend to favour the affluent. As far as national standards go, it is not that teachers don’t want national standards as they already have quite a few. It has always been the process of instituting NACT”S new standards that has been the cause of unhappiness.

  16. Jum 16

    Grumpy,
    said: “The schools … belong to the taxpayer AKA the voter, who have given National the mandate to introduce National Standards.”

    I’m sick of righties saying NActMU had a mandate to do anything other than have Key smile and wave. Voters decided to have a change of face, not even a change of philosophy; they did not know Key et al were frickin liars. There was no mandate for the policy changes in education, law and order, selling assets, destroying democratic councils and using the earthquake (god is on our side crap) as a mandate for taking over New Zealand that various rightwing mps have tried to hang on New Zealand voters. The fault when all these policy changes turn to custard will be squarely on the hump backs of those mps and the cringing, benedict arnolds of media, half of them now paid by Key, but pretending to be objective before the election.

    The only fault I can hang on voters is they were too trusting with NActMU and didn’t do their homework.

    • jcuknz 16.1

      Nine years and it was time for a change as those in power get too entrenched with their circles of influence … a sad but true fact of life in a small incestual country like NZ.

      • mcflock 16.1.1

        And two years have taught an awful lot of people that change for change’s sake can be a pretty bad idea if you don’t know what you’re changing to.

    • hamish gray 16.2

      Of course they have a mandate – they campaigned on the issue, they were elected to be government and they’re now trying to implement the very policies they said they would implement. How is that a.not a mandate and b. lying?

  17. Fabregas4 17

    The worrying thing is that people who criticise unions don’t realise that most of the rights afforded them in their workplace came about because of the collective strength that unions bring to workers. Breaks/sick leave/holidays/anti discrimination and equal opportunity and pay wouldn’t be here (at least to the level they are) without unions. Since the mental nineties and the Employment Contracts Act some of these provisions have been stripped away or reduced – not at all leading to a better standard of living, or a better country -except for the rich.

    • jcuknz 17.1

      I agree F4 that unions are an essential part of the economy but that doesn’t mean one should not criticise the crass and un-helpful comments and actions of elected officials and those who elect idiots to positions they are not willing to fill themselves. We seem free here to throw mud at politicians I don’t see that union officers shouldn’t also be targets, at least by those who have put the time in.

      • mcflock 17.1.1

        15.1.2

        Stop this stupid bickering and accept that the political masters have the authority and work with them to achieve the best result.

        dissonant much?

  18. Jum 18

    No Hamish Gray, they don’t have a mandate. No NZ voter voted for all of National’s policies, especially the ones they forgot to tell us about, like sacking a legally, democratically elected ECAN, removing democracy from New Zealand and placing it under the bulk of the despot Brownlee, signed off by Key and English, so that NActMU can sell off assets and we can do nothing to stop it.

    Already at least 5 NAct ministers have tried to tell us that their particular loony policy has a countrywide mandate. That is patently a lie.

    1. They don’t have a mandate for any of their loony policy.
    2. They lied to get into this position of total unmandated power and undemocratic action.

  19. Fabregas4 19

    jcuknz

    I am usually really polite here (and everywhere else) but your comments above are just so dumb that I can only conclude you are dick!

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    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago

  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago