Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: All Change

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    On that note, does everyone need to go to university? In recent years, it seems more and more people have been going to uni, not to expand their minds and discover the next E=MC2, but as little more than a passport to middle-class jobs. The decline in vocational options over the years in the Anglosphere has a large role to play in that.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    An Australian take from David Rowe.

    Did you know that ‘Mean fog throes’ is
    an anagram of Game of Thrones ?

    …or that, between GOT
    & American Football protests
    I can no longer hear
    the simple instruction
    "Bend the knee”
    in the same way at yoga!

    Cultural entropy, or erosion.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Some time ago we figured out that one of the key “influencers” with respect to Tertiary enrolments were school careers advisors; and yes, they were steering students towards what they felt were courses with jobs. At first sweep this is a rational argument, if you accept that a degree is merely a device necessary to obtain first destination employment and that there is such a thing as a life-long career pathway. On further interrogating it becomes clear that neither of these things are true. Degree level studies rarely provide pure vocational training (for good reason) and modern workers pursue multiple careers. Worse, many careers advisors (and employers) had no clear grasp of what modern degree studies look like. This meant that institutions had to put more into to informing careers advisors and marketing directly to parents/students with limited benefits all round.

    The situation is already quite bleak. The Education Ministry estimated that enrolments in HE could drop by as much as 7%. That was before the election. The bulk of new student enrolments will take place in January 2018. Were I parent or student, why wouldn’t I wait for proposed free fees legislation to kick in? I worry that many will wait until mid 2018 or Jan 2019 to enrol. Last year the whole sector under enrolled by an unexpectedly large amount which coincided with a dip in overseas enrolments. The more forward-looking institutions sought to cut costs last year and there isn’t a lot of meat left on the bone. The Student Achievement Component (SAC) hasn’t increased along with operating costs for several years now, a problem that was largely overcome by recruiting extra students, a solution which is no longer viable. If they do lay people off next year, they will do it in “unpopular” subjects, those people will not be re-employed if and when the tide comes in. For many Arts subjects this is a disaster, in turn New Zealand risks losing much of its world leading capital in terms of policy. A big boost to the existing SAC component is needed but I doubt it has been budgeted for in this round.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Prudence,

    I think the proposed inquiry into historical abuse in state institutions is seperate.

    The current mental health services provide effective mental health treatment they just need to be able to provide more of it.

    And the biggest obstacle to that is getting the staff and having appropriate housing so that acute units don’t fill up with people who have become well but don’t have anywhere to live.

    Labour’s proposal of placing mental health teams in GP practices sounds good but it’s predicated on finding quite a large number of extra health professionals when current staffing needs can’t even be met.

    It’s also likely to double up on roles as there are already care co-ordinators.

    It would make much more sense to simply provide more funding for existing services.

    Since Nov 2016 • 347 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    It would make much more sense to simply provide more funding for existing services.

    What I know about mental health services (which isn’t a hell of a lot), is that they are fragmented. ACC and DHBs being the most obvious. But drug and alcohol treatment providers also carve off fund claimable parts that are distinct from ACC and the diseases of the mind services.

    In an ideal world, DHBs would provide the appropriate services so that ACC would would have no business managing sensitive claims. The same might be aplyed to head injury claimants.

    I say that because the way a significant number vulnerable and possibly suicidal peoples mental health care is currently managed by what amount to an insurance corporation. They really are only about the money.

    Funding university’s to research and train clinical Psychologists and make a point of mentioning and affirming how valuable they are, would be one good job for a good and proper government to be getting on with.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Currently the NZPB is the only body appointed to accredit Psychologists - I don't have a problem with that as such. But, 1500 hrs (almost a year of full-time work) of supervised practice is a problem. There is an argument for quality over quantity regardless of how you define supervision.

    http://www.psychologistsboard.org.nz/scopes-of-practice2

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Good stuff.

    I’m in mixed minds about this. As much as I like the idea of finally seeing some Ministerial responsibilities going to the Greens, I’m wary of seeing a portfolio like Conservation shift outside Cabinet. That’s effectively the management of 1/3 of the entire land-area of New Zealand, plus it’s currently undergoing substantial stress and in need of transformation due to pest and tourism impacts.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    How his surly arrogance is ignored by his bosses at TVNZ is beyond me.

    It’s not ignored. He is popular…

    My spies tell me Hoskings basically calls the shots at TVNZ – threatening to simply walk out if any attempt is made to reign in his absolute editorial control of Seven Sharp. It remains to be seen if a new government may allow his bosses to grow some balls and yank his chain.

    Part of David Seymour’s tantrum this morning, from Newshub’s liveblog.

    I expect the entrenched right will launch an all out attack on MMP over the next three years as part of their electoral strategy. The neolib right bitterly opposed MMP because they thought it would prevent a tyranny of a majority of the governing cabinet ramming through legislation at odds with the will of the electorate. Once it dawned on them that MMP is a consensus based system designed to prevent radical change to the status quo and thus (perhaps inadvertently) entrenching the “reforms” of Douglas and Birch/Richardson, particularly when you had the two main political parties of the centre left and centre right embracing the new elite consensus, they supported it as furthering their ends. As long as MMP guaranteed the continuation of neoliberalism through “moderate” coalitions of the status quo, it retained the support of the hard right elites in business and their political lackeys.

    This election changed that. National has eaten it’s allies. Joyce’s arrogant electoral strategy of aiming to wipe out the minor parties in order to rule alone is in ruins, an abject failure. Unless it can somehow create a new allied party, it will never again rule under MMP. The leadership of the new coalition is publicly saying the current version of capitalism is a failure for many people, and it has a mind to to dismantle fundamental aspects of the global capitalist project – restrictions on the free flow of labour, fair pay bargaining, dismantling the slow privatisation of education, ending Bill English’s insane and cruel public housing free market experiment.

    Therefore for the right, the best opportunities for rule that will guarantee the unchallenged privileges of the neoliberal project is now a right wing plurality through a return to FPP. Therefore I expect an all out assault on the legitimacy of this government based on an attack on MMP. The biggest party has a right to govern. Coalitions of losers are undemocratic. The country is being held to ransom by one man 93% didn’t vote for. Coalition talks are for the weak, a strong government known on the night is the answer for the countries woes, etc etc etc.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    They may well attack and undermine MMP, but the next election will be fought under the current system, and there won't be any referendum (or even a change without one) until National take power again.

    For the past four terms (Clark's last, plus Key's three) there have been numerous occasions when an excited Gower/Dann/predecessor has stood in front of the colourful TV graphics and declared "Our poll says National can govern alone!". Polls showing a minor party under 5%, or National around 50%, have been the siren voices telling National that they can do it without coalition partners. It kept on happening.

    But then the actual elections happened instead, featuring those pesky voters deciding for themselves, and it turns out National can't govern alone. Key got there with electorate puppets, but they've gone, bar the irrelevant one they'll probably turf out of Epsom next time.

    If the Ardern government runs into serious trouble then National may well be able to get there in 2020 without friends, at which point they will be a majority government, elected under MMP, with a high wasted vote, which is exactly when the case for abolishing MMP will be weakest. Chances are, a single party government would swing opinion back the other way ("Remember the good old days when National had to compromise?").

    So yeah, there will be plenty of foot-stomping, but I don't think MMP is going to be ditched any time soon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to simon g,

    If the Ardern government runs into serious trouble then National may well be able to get there in 2020 without friends

    I would have thought that surely by now the idea of anyone being able to govern alone under MMP would be long laid to rest, but it seems some people like an evil clown staring back at them through the grate when they look down into the political sewer.

    National was unable to build a “rule alone” majority despite the extraordinary popularity of Key, the disarray of Labour, an assiduously cultivated new constituency of white middle class greedy home owners reinvented as property speculators and right wing migrants, and an uncritical, largely fawning MSM that gave them a nine year PR honeymoon. The stars are unlikely to align as favourably again for National.

    Incumbency alone is worth a few percentage points to the government while if (and this is a mighty big if) they use their power to build their constituency at the expense of National’s North Shore property speculators and authoritarian migrants (because the Key government ruled very much in the interests of only some New Zealanders I feel the new government is perfectly within it’s right to rule in favour of only those who support it as well) they’ll bring plenty of new voters to the polls in 2020.

    Mind you, the dinosaur men of the MSM like Barry Soper and Leighton Smith and the plain authoritarians like Garner and Hoskings will make sure this government doesn’t get a honeymoon like Key got. HDPA is pretty pissed today in the paper and the sense of angry grievance from the self-appointed ruling class at NZ First’s dolchstosslegende will only grow. The incessant trommelfeuer of the reactionary classes in the media will go hand in hand with the MSM ’s obsession with binary politics which will manifest itself in constant attempts to find trumped up cracks in the coalition (today over the Kermadec sanctuary, tomorrow charter schools, next week the water tax, etc etc).

    If the past nine years should have taught the left anything, it is the MSM is an active enemy. Part of my big if above is how exactly this new government moves to dismantle that right wing media model with a new broadcasting policy designed to increase the variety of voices heard, and allows them to go over the head of the MSM to their constituency. If this to be a real change government, it has to understand that the polarisation of New Zealand means it must use it's time in power to organise and mobilise it's supporters as much as possible.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    trumped up cracks in the coalition

    Clutching at their pearls or at straws. It will be one or the other.
    Maybe they will take a leaf from the book of sports writers, where fantastical coincidence and spurious statistics still hold currency. Where a woman PM can cause the fucking All Blacks to lose a game!
    A pox on all sports writers.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to izogi,

    That’s effectively the management of 1/3 of the entire land-area of New Zealand, plus it’s currently undergoing substantial stress and in need of transformation due to pest and tourism impacts.

    I guess, and knowing how John Key sullied the word pragmatism, that the minister of tourism would be wise to there ability to sell conservation spending as a good commercial investment. Let’s hope the ministers get together form good relationships, and have quite walks on the beach. Or drinks at the Koru club at least.

    The bovine tuberculosis people funded some cyanide paste down our side of the road. That was good, but the opossums are abundant over the road and they can migrate safely under the road bridge. I don't have any more fire power than yellow traps. So federated farmers and conservation – Koru club – could be a job for Mr Peters him very self.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to andin,

    Where a woman PM can cause the fucking All Blacks to lose a game!
    A pox on all sports writers.

    And the funny thing is MSM journos still have the chutzpah to sit around and ponderously complain about fake news.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    There is an argument for quality over quantity regardless of how you define supervision

    Tricky that one. It’s a serious business they are in. I like the team approach to health care. That means there’s different levels of qualification but nothing is managed by one person. It’s another form of supervision. All of the health systems are working towards new checks and balance techniques, following the airline industry’s.

    Clinical Psychologists and psychiatrists can be in positions of immense power in certain contexts. So it’s a good idea to not let any of them drift into what some of the clergymen are infamous for.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to andin,

    Where a woman PM can cause the fucking All Blacks to lose a game!

    I'm glad I didn't look at Public Address before settling in to watch my recording of 'that game' at 10am this morning....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to andin,

    sports writers

    “How about the Sports Minister? Does the Sports Minister have a sack?
    The Sports Minister should be sacked!
    As with certain other male members of the MSM, I find myself asking: is the sexism inbuilt, or is it just what they believe will appeal to their target audience?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to steven crawford,

    What I know about mental health services (which isn’t a hell of a lot), is that they are fragmented.

    I'm not sure it's fragmented. Mental health covers a very wide range of situations requiring a wide range of varied responses.

    From high security forensic units through to a few hours with a counsellor.

    There's always going to be organisations that have specialist areas and that will call for co-ordination.

    Current needs aren't some mystery to be explored through investigations.

    I think Labour would be better off just talking to staff at community mental health centres and inpatient units.

    Since Nov 2016 • 347 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    This is the kind of nonsense we're going to see a lot of, as we did back in 1999.

    Sure, a trip across the Tasman by our PM will really make a difference to Australian newspapers spouting predictable propaganda and Australian politicians chasing their own votes [/heavy sarc]. But no, the great god "perception" must be appeased. Except, it can't. So let them grasp reality in their own time, it's not her job to school them.

    The only thing she needs to do in Australia is stand next to Julie Bishop and let the cameras capture a cheerful grin, alongside a painful grimace.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Some things Labour could do in a short amount of time:

    - fund junior doctors in community mental heath centres. They can take significant workload off senior doctors and it provides a path into mental health – it’s hard to attract doctors into the field,

    - buy more motels. There’s a desperate need for short term emergency accommodation which can’t wait for some 10 year housing plan. Motels provide accomodation and also allow for a concentration of resources as health professionals can visit more people in less time. This can easily be done now and would have immediate benefit for not a great deal of money.

    - offer incentives for nurses to move into mental health. Currently student nurses spend a very small amount of time in mental health placements and often that brief experience doesn’t inspire interest in the field.

    - fund Community Suppport Workers in community mental health centres. They do a great job based in NGOs but they could also help with health professional workloads if based in the community centres.

    Since Nov 2016 • 347 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    I think Labour would be better off just talking to staff at community mental health centres and inpatient units.

    There's this thing with a buzz word "consumer engagement". The Health Quality and Safety commission have been doing that for a few years now. The reason isn't actually as you might think, just to be politically correct and post modernist.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to steven crawford,

    Let’s hope the ministers get together form good relationships, and have quite walks on the beach. Or drinks at the Koru club at least.

    I hope so. The Conservation portfolio's not the only thing I care about, but I care about it a lot. I have some respect for Eugenie Sage in that space, but right now being shunted outside of Cabinet, for what seems like political reasons, is the last thing that portfolio needs.

    Hopefully they have enough structure there to ensure that the Minister can get some genuine attention from Cabinet, beyond it simply throwing some extra cash from a tourism levy (as per Labour policy) and expecting the whole thing to run on cruise control.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to izogi,

    The Conservation portfolio’s not the only thing I care about, but I care about it a lot.

    Same!

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    National was unable to build a “rule alone” majority despite...

    After the 2014 election National had 60/121 seats. It had an effective majority after including its two finger puppet parties (ACT and UF), which it had retained on life support for that very reason.

    That state was weakened with the Northland by-election, but I can appreciate why some of National's elite would continue to be convinced that going for a complete majority remains a viable strategy.

    It's annoying, because parties are just dying out without replacement. That's only been less obvious until now because of National's strategic games in keeping its friends alive on a leash, despite nobody voting for them. In 2017 there were very few realistic options for government, short of everyone having to deal with a party that nobody wanted to deal with. Meanwhile people have demonstrably been wanting to elect other new parties which, despite being far more inspiring to voters than the ACT and UF zombies, cannot break an impossible threshold. If National had let go of its obsession with being such a dominating party that hides contradictory interests behind a brick wall, instead of letting those voters have some influence in which of those interests should be better represented, it might have been more open to letting MMP be adjusted to a form that makes it vaguely possible for new parties to actually get started.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    The decline in vocational options over the years in the Anglosphere has a large role to play in that.

    Anglosphere I can't comment on; however in New Zealand, for many many years' participation in vocational education and training has increased.

    Chief Executive of the Industry Training Federation, Josh Williams, pointed out in August, there's more apprentices and trainees that there are uni students.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    On that note, does everyone need to go to university?

    The short answer is no and the reasons to go need to change.

    Have finally gotten round to writing something about this.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

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