web analytics

Welcome to Finland

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, August 31st, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: schools - Tags:

There’s an excellent article in the latest issue of Smithsonian Magazine looking at Finland’s schools, and their incredible success.  On international tests they keep coming top, or near to it.

And there’s a certain irony in it – the Finnish don’t really believe in testing.

As such they’re not as proud of their PISA scores as they might be.  We certainly make a song and a dance about how well we do on them.  Much better than the UK & US, even above Australia…

Which makes it very odd that we seem keen to follow the policies that the UK, US and Australia are ditching and seen as part of their failure: National Standards.

Finland hasn’t just not gone down the National Standard route, they only have 1 exam – at the end of senior school.  Before that they trust their teachers.

Anne Tolley certainly doesn’t trust teachers.  She sees them as vested interests, rather than professionals whose interests are vested in our children.

She talks about our 20% failure rate of our schools – and the need to measure them.  Teachers will tell you they know exactly who the 20% are now.  If we want to fix the 20%, instead of spending our time constantly measuring them, we should put the resources into classrooms to enable teachers to deal with them.  Finland has lots of qualified teachers’ aides to work with slow or difficult children, so that they don’t hold the class up – indeed nearly 30% of children receive some special help.

Testing has unwanted side-effects.  The first is that we teach our children to pass tests, instead of to learn.  The test becomes the curriculum.  In Finland a wide variety of play and curriculum is encouraged, to develop children’s brains and their love of learning.  In the US, with the No Child Left Behind policy (from George W Bush, who wished to be the education president), Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic trumped all else.  Jolisa Gracewood wrote a chilling account of the consequences there.

It also produces league tables, which Anne Tolley has admitted to being powerless to stop.  Teachers will be judged on these tables, and thus they will want to make sure that the maximum of children will reach National Standards.  Good thing I hear you say?  Not if the logical consequence is that teachers spend all their time concentrating on the 30% below the Standard, leaving the 50% who pass anyway bored and unchallenged, and the 20% who are too hard to get over the mark… failing like they were before.

ACT’s answer is Performance Pay.  The obvious first question is how you measure performance.  The easiest answer is with the Standards and how many pass – which will just exacerbate teaching to the test, and really kill the chances of our children having a balanced education.  Good luck to anyone trying to get good pay in a decile 1 school – and good luck to any decile 1 school trying to employ decent teachers.  It will also lead to the Performance Pay Paradox – where performance decreases if you pay for it.  Teachers don’t become teachers for the money, but with performance pay it becomes the focus – instead of the children, who suffer for it.

Finland has a nice counterpoint in its neighbour Norway.  Also well below us in the PISA scores, it has also gone down the testing route.  Resources are going into testing and recruitment, instead of into the classroom.  Education is dictated to the teachers, not lead by them.

We need to decide whether we want to be Finland or Norway.  Whether we back the professional teachers or the amateur politicians.

Both National & Act’s simplistic solutions risk leading our children (and our future) to simplistic failure.

Although this post should be covered by the opinion section of electoral law and shouldn’t need authorisation, here’s mine anyway, just to be safe:
Authorised by Ben Clark, 54 Aramoana Ave, Devonport

57 comments on “Welcome to Finland”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    We need to equip ildren to be thoughtful, to be aware of themselves and others, to understand that they can play an important part in a society which values them, to teach them how they can gain skills and knowledge, and use them to solve problems, get things done and make a difference to the community.

    Private schools understand this, which is why they won’t have a bar of National Standards.

    • Ed 1.1

      I haven’t seen any report confirming that, CV – can you be sure there isn’t one private school that has followed Anne Tolley’s advice? Surely if they don’t they must be concerned that she may roll back some of the increased funding that private schools were given . . .

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        can you be sure there isn’t one private school that has followed Anne Tolley’s advice?

        I guess there might be a slow one out of that pack.

        Private school funding is not dependent on National Standards at all. The get to take it or leave it as they please, as befits Toff outfits.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Guessing here but I wouldn’t be surprised if private schools already had a similar testing regime to National Standards. Something along the lines of the Cambridge Exams. I suspect it’s where National Standards and other similar national testing systems came from.

      • Ianupnorth 1.2.1

        From what I have been advised Cambridge exams, whilst in mainstream schools, are a bit of a rort organised by Auckland grammar to attract extra $’s from families with bright kids, especially expats (like me) familiar with that system.

        As a parent I have spent about $1000 on these exams this year, and then was told by a teacher from another school that Auckland Grammar are like a master franchise, they take their cut, the school gets their cut and Cambridge get theirs – one big money making exercise.

    • Dan 1.3

      I think all schools understand this. I’m not sure why you think national standards will prevent our children from being thoughtful et al?
      Perhaps you’re confusing the standards with the curriculum?

      • fabregas4 1.3.1

        Because NS become a high stakes assessment and therefore the be all and end all. Reading, Writing and Maths will become the curriculum gods.

        On the other hand there is a general acceptance that after many years in the dark ages the curriculum is great. If only NS didn’t hamstring it.

        • Dan 1.3.1.1

          But national standards are in line with the curriculum! If you look at both documents (and the learning progression documents), you would see that they tie together well. National standards support the curriculum.
          If children have the core skills outlined in the standards (reading, writing and maths), it can only enhance the other areas of learning.

          • fabregas4 1.3.1.1.1

            Wanker. NS are not in line with the curriculum at all. They are ‘aspirational goals’ according to Key and Tolley. They were set, according to the MOE backwards from NCEA level 2. Drawing a straight line back to year 1 and dividing it into tidy little yearly progressions. A 7 year old is 1/2 a 14 year old.

            Except in reading when tracking back they didn’t count and to reach NS Year 1 kids need to be at Level 12 at the end of 12 months – regardless of their school and social capital. So for a kid with no pre school, no books in the home, poverty, etc it is unlikely they will get there, but for the kids at the other end of society – should be ok. We already know this.

            Spend the money where it will make a difference- I’d like a reading recovery teacher for example. Maybe an extra teacher in decile 1-2 schools? Something more than a new (and flawed) way to measure what I already know.

            • Dan 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Go and read both documents. It’s obvious you’ve not done this yet if you don’t believe the National Standards are in line.

              As for money, think about how much we’d all save if schools just got on and did what they needed to do with relevance to their charters. You might get that RR teacher after all!

              • fabregas4

                Dan you are a complete fuckwit with no idea what you are talking about.

                • Dan

                  Thanks for that intelligent reply.

                  • Blue

                    Looks like Fabregas needs to retuern to school and learn how to be an adult, and argue without wetting his pants. Some anger issues there I think. Might see him soon on Police 10-7 being hauled away for something unpleasant. Of course that won’t be his fault, it will be society that is to blame.

  2. tc 2

    If they’re so great why aren’t private schools forced into adopting them. They get public money and isn’t this just educational apartheid nat style.
    To me it’s simple, you enjoy some public funding you should be measured exactly as the public schools are. Hardly a national standard, and why pass up a marketing opportunity to show folks how great your elite private school is via those league tables.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Its the love of learning that we need to foster, thats the key to education.If a person loves to learn they will be passionate about it and will excel in their areas of interest.

    A big thanks to all those teachers out their who are busting their arse for our kids despite this Governments stupid meddling in your class rooms.
    Teachers are incredible people who do an essential public service and a big thanks to the NZEI and PPTA for supporting them at this difficult time, you often get maligned by self seeking politicians when you don’t deserve it.

    • JonL 3.2

      A good teacher, full of enthusiasm for their subject, has done it for me, every time – and, for others who have been having trouble…..

    • Dan 3.3

      Craig, as a primary teacher, thank you for your kind words. However I want to make clear that, if implemented without bias, fear and ego, National Standards are a powerful tool. They help us to realistically feedback to you about your child. Before, different communities had different standards, eg it was fine for a child in Manuwera to be at a different (ie, lower) level to a child in Takapuna, simply because of homelife, parent support etc. National standards are saying that children, no matter where they are, no matter what their background is, have the potential to achieve. And if they’re not achieving that potential, it is our (the teachers’) responsibility to be honest and open with the parents.
      National standards do not impact on a ‘good’ teacher. We still test and report back to parents, just as we’ve always done. We feedback to children whether they are above, at or below, just as we always have done.
      It’s a shame this tool has had such a bad rap.

      • fabregas4 3.3.1

        What rubbish Dan.

        First of all your assessment against the standards may be quite different from a teacher in another school. Just the other day on NatRad I heard a principal in Masterton who supported the standards say they will decide if the children reach the NS by using ‘Solway Park’ standards!

        It has never been ok for any child to be achieve at lower levels because of where they live. What you are describing, poorly, is the difference in starting points and social and school capital that children come to school with. Where NS have a particular impact is in the situation you describe and your hypothetical child in Manurewa starts at low levels and moves up six in a year (for example) but remains below standard and your imaginary kid in Takapuna lmoves up only four levels but is at the expected level.

        I don’t think that you understand NS at all.

        • Dan 3.3.1.1

          Fabregas4, I’m pretty sure I do understand National Standards. It seems more likely you’re not willing to listen to the opinions of others.

          My point about there being, in the past, different acceptable standards for different communities, stands. And, as you pointed out, said child in Manuwera who moves up, but is still below standard should be celebrated, as I’m sure any decent teacher would do. But, again, this isn’t new. A child below exemplars, but who had made progress, would be celebrated, too.

          You said that it’s never been ok for any child to be achieve at lower levels because of where they live. (sic) Of course it’s not okay. But then again, it’s accepted that 20% of our children have always failed at school. Us teachers like to believe we’re perfect, but we’re not. There are some children who are behind others and are hard work to get up to speed. And, while I’ve not seen it happen in my current school, I am aware that teachers can put children in the ‘too hard’ basket, waiting to pass them onto someone else at the end of the year. What have we tried to do in the past? What official responsibility have schools had to feedback to parents about a) how they are expected to support the child at home and, b) state, plainly and honestly, where said child is in relation to their peers across the whole country.

          If you honestly believe that different schools with different values/socioeconomic backgrounds have the same expectations of children, you’re living in a dreamworld.

          As for National Radio and Solway Park, I honestly can’t comment. I didn’t hear the article, and I’m concerned about the bias NatRadio show in their articles. But perhaps they’ve just renamed the standards to more suit their school? Who knows. If you find a link to the article, I’d be keen to hear it.

          • fabregas4 3.3.1.1.1

            I’m pretty sure that you don’t. How do you celebrate a child moving up when they get a report saying below standard?

            It’s not accepted that 20% of our children fail at school at all. That is Key and Tolleys line. And what does fail mean anyway?

            I don’t know any teacher who thinks they are perfect- again you are talking about yourself through a hole in your arse. Love the – its not me, not at my school line. Then how do you know this? Never seen kids put in the too hard basket either- rather I’ve seen teachers do all sorts of things above and beyond the normal expectations of teachers to get kids moving and acheiving.

            What official responsibility have schools had to feedback to parents about a) how they are expected to support the child at home and, b) state, plainly and honestly, where said child is in relation to their peers across the whole country. -They haven’t because you simply can’t.

            If you believe that NS will change anyones beliefs you are in a dream world. And actually i find it extremely offensive that you think that some schools have lower expectations because they are in lower socio economic situations. Let me tell you buddy that I teach in a decile 1 school. Everyone works their butts off every day, against the odds, to not only teach our kids but to care for them, and do all sorts of other community work too.

            You are a complete idiot. If you area teacher give up now.

            • Dan 3.3.1.1.1.1

              You celebrate any child who’s moved up. Even if they are below all the other children in the class (and they usually can work out where they are/believe they are compared to their peers), any child who has moved up is so happy.
              It’s crazy. I don’t understand how this is a new problem. It’s not National Standards who are saying children a ‘failing’, it’s the teachers!

  4. One factor in Finland’s results is that its teachers are highly respected and well paid.  Over there they are more respected than accountants or real estate agents.

    And part of New Zealand’s problem is the anti intellectual belligerence shown by some who think they know more than teachers who have spent their working career figuring out what works.

    • Tangled up in blue 4.1

      Over there they are more respected than accountants or real estate agents.

      That’s setting the bar pretty low.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        TUIB
         
        I did not express it that well but meant to equate pay with respect and noted that teachers were paid better over there than the likes of accountants and real estate agents.

    • Ben Clark 4.2

      Indeed, the Smithsonian article says that only 10% of applicants are accepted to the required Teachers’ Masters course (and indeed most teachers are PhDs).
      It’s a very high-status profession there. As it should be – our future depends on the success of our children, which depends on our teachers…

  5. Ed Aotearoa 5

    I work in education (primary and early sector) and I can tell you not one private school has adopted National Standards – why would they, it’s a bad policy, bad for children’s learning, bad bad bad

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Typical of National’s modus operandi. ‘National Standards’ for you, but not for me.

    • rd 5.2

      AND because there is no national moderation they are NEITHER National NOR Standards.

      • marsman 5.2.1

        National Party Standards.
        Roads of National Party Importance.

      • Dan 5.2.2

        When National Standards first came out, I went to several of the free pd sessions, where speakers said that national moderation is something they want. There was talk about moderating within zones (eg, with other local schools). It’s a shame that so many schools are anti the standards, otherwise we could perhaps get on with doing this!

        As an aside, I might be confused, but exemplars (which are examples of work according to level – predating national standards) and tools such as e-asttle were accepted at the ‘standard’ for a particular level. That hasn’t changed just because of of the Standards.

        • fabregas4 5.2.2.1

          You are very confused, and lacking in any real insight, within schools moderation of writing samples causes great debate – across schools? across the country? – a complete joke. And may I say a bloody waste of time. What is important is that teachers can identify what kids need to learn next not where they are at any given time. It is called Formative assessment – look it up.

          Exemplars and asttle have never been a standrd – except in schools with no idea.

          • Dan 5.2.2.1.1

            An exemplar is an authentic piece of student work, annotated to illustrate learning, achievement, and quality in relation to the levels in the national curriculum statement.

            The purpose is to highlight features that teachers need to watch for, collect information about, and act on to promote learning. Exemplars help to answer the question, “What is quality work?”

            http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Assessment-tools-resources/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum-Exemplars

            You said: ‘Exemplars and asttle have never been a standrd (sic) – except in schools with no idea.’ Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

            Debating during moderation is healthy. It stops any bias a teacher may have for a particular child. It’s showing that the teachers are not run by their ego, they are willing to ask for the opinions of their colleagues, and adjust as necessary. I welcome getting together with other teachers to look at comparable work.

    • Dan 5.3

      Hi, can you explain how National Standards impact on children’s learning? I don’t consider them at all when planning my class. They are used for reporting back to parents and to know, honestly, where a child should be (and is currently).

      • fabregas4 5.3.1

        Dan don’t ever apply for a job at my school.

        These questions are covered by these terms:
        Labelling kids
        narrowing the curriculum
        high stakes assessment
        affecting the kids at the top and bottom through a standards focus
        extra pointless work

        They are used for a whole lot more than what you so simply see and will be used for much much more – performance pay, closing schools, bulk funding.

        Schools will be labelled too – decile 1 schools will, short of a few exceptions be at the bottom of the heap- how will they get top teachers when the school is listed bottom of the local league tables.

        They are, you clueless dick, not simply for reporting to parents as you so glibly state – at there very best the could be used formatively – again look it up!

        • ianmac 5.3.1.1

          Don’t think Dan is a teacher. But at least its a change from the pro NS who only talk about obedience/compliance rather than the implications of implementations.

          • Dan 5.3.1.1.1

            Hi ianmac.
            I am a teacher. I am a primary teacher with an awesome class of years 5-8 in Wellington.

            Just to clarify.

        • Dan 5.3.1.2

          Let’s look at your points:
          1. Labeling kids
          Have we not always done this? We always talk about children being above or below. We have always known where they are through the testing we do, such as PATs, STAR, asTTle, e-asttle, probe, numeracy project (gloss, IKAN etc)…
          If you were concerned because a child wasn’t learning as well as you thought they could, what did you do in the past?? It blows my mind that now that National Standards are in place, we’re suddenly ‘labeling’ children.
          2. Narrowing the curriculum
          How? With better reading, writing and maths skills, children are more likely to embrace the rest of the curriculum with enthusiasm and confidence. Teachers are not expected to cut the curriculum and only concentrate on those three areas.
          3. High stakes assessment
          What? There is no more assessment than there ever was. I think you are getting confused with national standard examples overseas. Our National Standards is not a test.
          4. Affecting the kids at the top and bottom through a standards focus
          Good! We’ll be expected to tell parents if their children are above or below the standard and how we are supporting them. How is that a bad thing?
          5. Extra pointless work
          As in? For us? Reporting twice a year (mid year how child is progressing, end of year full report on all curriculum areas) For the kids? What, to make sure they’re learning? How is that a problem?

          What you are stating, with the pay performance, closing schools, bulk funding, it’s not happened! And if it did, we would all raise up, I’m sure. But, at the moment, National Standards are a great tool. And you are letting down your children and your community for not embracing them.

  6. ianmac 6

    Well said Ben. And I guess there is a flaw with NCEA in that requires constant testing which can lead to a total focus on the test rather than breadth of learning.

    By the way most teachers know that the so-called failing 20% is largely made up of kids with English as a second language, children living in poverty, and those who lack parental support. In Finland there is also a surprising diversity of nationality with many speaking Finnish as a second language- but they flourish! Wonder why???

    • Dan 6.1

      Perhaps it’s because, until national standards, it wasn’t a big deal for certain teachers if a child was behind but you could explain why.
      A child living in poverty/without parent support/English as second language/ insert excuse here usually still has the potential to achieve. Why was it okay in the past for teachers to lower the expectation for these children? Why has no-one gotten up-in-arms about this? Why is it now, when we are expected to work our arses off to raise achievement, even with those children you know will be hard work, that people are getting vocal?

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Teachers have been getting up in arms over this.

        And putting in lots of hard work trying to educate these kids.

        Long before NACT standards.

        The 35 million, if spent on extending, already successful, programs such as remedial reading would have helped a lot more, than spending it on testing to tell Teachers what they already know.

        Teachers and education researchers know that lots of summative assessment works against effective education.

      • fabregas4 6.1.2

        Speak for yourself dan. I have never seen a teacher with low expectations of children in my ten years of teaching – not one. Your arse should be being worked off whether there are these ridiculous standards or not. The reality, you moron, is that all the stuff that you list as excuses are real things! They affect achievement! you can’t pretend that they don’t. Over the last two weeks I have done more social work that principaling. NS won’t change this in anyway. But doing something to reduce all those things you call excuses would lift achievement almost immediately.

        • Dan 6.1.2.1

          Then you, fabregas4, are very lucky.

          Nobody is pretending that a child isn’t affected by their background. If you read my comment, you would have seen I was pointing out that most children have the potential to achieve, no matter what their background or home life is. And, if this is true (and I’m taking it that you believe it’s true?), then why can we not expect them to achieve, despite whether they have illiterate parents or whether their parents are the CEO of telecom?

          I’m giving extreme examples, but to clarify the point:
          Most children have the potential to achieve NCEA.

          Poverty and family backgrounds should be considered, of course, but should not be a reason for a school having lower standards to a school in a higher decile.

          If a child is not at standard at any time, the teacher should be doing all they can to get that child to standard, rather than saying they are ‘at the expected level’ for their own community.

          Pre-National Standards, a school created their own expected standards. This should have been done in accordance with exemplars and other tools for assessment, but, all too often, was based on the community limitations.

          If all teachers were doing this before National Standards, perhaps it wouldn’t have been implemented.

    • Rich 6.2

      Just FYI, Finland has several native languages. About 5% of Finns have Swedish as their first language, and there are also speakers of the indigenous Sami language.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    The main purpose of formal education is to programme children in the ways of the industrialism and to provide them with sufficient knowldege and skill to be useful to the indusrial-military-financial empire whilst preventing them from acquiring the knowledge and skill that wouild make them a threat to the industrial-military-financial empire (i.e. knowldge of the fractional reserve banking scam, knowledge of how corporations took over the wolrd etc).

    Despte all the barriers that the empire puts up, some children do have an innate ability to learn and achieve some degree of success within the system. Many have their inqusitiveness and desire to learn beaten out of the at a very early age by regimentation and a general lack of resources, and end up just turning up for shcool because they have to, drifting throigh the system until the are released.

    In NZ the main requirement of the empire at this point of time is for low-paid hotel workers, cleaners, shop assistants, shelf-stackers, truck drivers etc. plus a few people to work in industrial farming and process agricultural products.

    A dumbed-down populace is less likely to revolt. Hence all the dumbing down we have witnessed over the decades, culminating in youngsters who leave school with few if any practical skills and more or less completely detached from reality, but capable of text-messaging at ‘light speed’.

    • Dan 7.1

      According to the NZ Curriculum, the purpose of formal education is for young people to be:
      who will be creative, energetic, and enterprising
      who will seize the opportunities offered by new knowledge and technologies to secure a sustainable social, cultural, economic, and environmental future for our country
      who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Māori and Pākehā recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring
      who, in their school years, will continue to develop the values, knowledge, and competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives
      who will be confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners.

      (See http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-documents/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum/Vision )

      I bet you believe man hasn’t walked on the moon, either, eh?

      • fabregas4 7.1.1

        Dan, Dan, Dan – Curriculum Good, NS- bad. NS has a negative affect on curriculum. Just how much creativity, say in the performing arts will schools do when NS results portray them as failing schools? It will be all literacy and numeracy – getting kids to the very arbitrary standard. Dan give up teaching it is too hard for you to work out and your ability to think is seriously limited.

        • anarcho 7.1.1.1

          NS bad; Curriculum also bad.

          Curriculum is a construct that reflects political aspirations. NZ has lost elements of governance and mandate of education to the international economic model – PISA is a good example of the homogenising of education globally with a focus on literacy / numeracy and IT. The NZCF is a battleground of neolibs and conservatives – so we get lofty aspirations about the knowledge economy alongside a willingness to let the poor fail as they don’t possess the cultural /social capital to climb the ladder…

          While your comments re NS are spot on, I think it’s also worthy to cast a critical eye over the curriculum as well.

          • fabregas4 7.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough, National Curriculum are always a political construct – but i’d far rather have the current one than the seven tomes of yesteryear.

        • Dan 7.1.1.2

          Have you not heard of integrating topics? Why not, if a child is failing in writing and you are doing arts, get them to write a play and act it out? Or draw a picture and write about it?
          If a child is failing maths, why not have children create a song or dance to learn their times tables? Create a children’s book with a story for counting?

          How hard is this, really?? You suggest I give up teaching, but it seems like you’re the one that’s burnt out.

  8. Ianupnorth 8

    As usual this type of thread is bereft of Chris72, QSF, Higherstandard, etc.

    Another case of the tories knowing their friends have stuffed up the system, refusing to criticise their work and failing to even acknowledge this by their cowardly absence.

  9. joe90 9

    In a nutshell:

    Low student / teacher ratios.
    Well trained competitively selected teachers with manageable workloads.
    A minimum of bureaucratic interference, standardized tests etc kept to a minimum.

    But even with a social system and a student support programme to be envied they still have problems, especially literacy, and the difficulties encountered by the indigenous Sami sound awfully familiar.

  10. Placebogirl 10

    I was lucky enough to compare first-hand the education systems of New Zealand and Finland as a student: I did an exchange to Finland in 1995 (their schools were good then, too). The difference blew my mind: In highschool in Finland I studied philosophy, art and art history (at 16), a level of mathematics which I did not see again until my second year at university, developmental psychology… I also started learning Russian, and I could only pick that up because it was a new offering at my school; Finnish kids learn at least two languages other than their own (they do their mother tongue, which is Finnish or Swedish, and the other language plus at least one non-Finnish language). Phys-ed was actually fun, even for a lunkus like me. Lunch was provided, and students were trusted to come and go as they pleased, according to their timetables.

    After that, moving back to school in New Zealand, where I had to ask for special dispensation to take up a 6th subject (Finnish kids matriculate in at least 10 subjects, and study many more before that) and the teachers watched over us 7th formers like the place was a prison was a bit difficult.

    • ianmac 10.1

      Sounds Refreshing Placebogirl. No bells screaming at you? How about wagging school? I interviewed an American College girl a few years ago who said that the worst thing that could happen to her would be to be so sick that she might miss school. For me here I hoped that I would be sick or fake sick to avoid school.
      Sounds good in Finland. Wonder how they would respond if a Political decision was made to introduce National Standards?

      • Placebogirl 10.1.1

        There is no such thing as wagging in a Finnish high school–as in the very concept doesn’t make sense. Middle school finishes when you’re about 15, at that point you can go to trade school, if academics aren’t your thing, or high school if they are. At high school there are six terms in a year, and your timetable changes with each of them. You have gaps throughout the day (kind of like uni, but with more contact hours). You attend class if you want, or not, but it is up to you to do the work to pass your tests.

        Interestingly, and in stark comparison to this brouhaha all students address teachers by their first names in Finland, and it doesn’t seem to lead to a problem with respect.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    12 mins ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 hours ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 hours ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    8 hours ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    11 hours ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    13 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    13 hours ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    13 hours ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    17 hours ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    17 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    2 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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
    4 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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