Posts by chris

  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences…, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Thanks for that Steve, that was hard going but well worth it. It casts the response and ongoing fallout of the Canterbury earthquakes in a new light.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: On tour with The Boss, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Following my knee jerk, I’ve come to warm to this policy as the day’s gone on Sofie*, considering the alternatives or lack thereof. So thanks. As usual I’m convinced that there will always be someone more coherent raising similar concerns directly with the brass

    Despite marginal discrepancies I can’t reasonably hold the line that this policy isn’t a huge step in the right direction for the good of our country as a whole, regardless of practicalities and the impact it may have on Labours electability

    I’m also pleased to see my peripheral concerns getting some MSM air:

    Hamilton City councillor and former Labour MP Martin Gallagher said making tertiary education more affordable would benefit Hamilton as a university city.

    Labour’s policy announcement would come with a price tag but society had a vested interest in ensuring people had access to good quality training and education, Gallagher said.

    Of urgent attention was the eligibility rules around student allowances as children of middle-class parents often struggled to access any assistance.

    Rather than venting here about my generation and the baggage that came with it, it’s best I just wait and see what other announcements may be coming. Obviously qualifications will only take us so far without the jobs, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for employment ideas and policies as they’re announced.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: Protesting too much: responses…, in reply to B Jones,

    I don’t think that’s an argument not to improve things. That’s not how our forebears thought when they established the welfare state.

    Certainly, and obviously it’s a minefield of opinion, I’d prefer to await Christopher’s response before questioning his sincerity as his comment is not in isolation from what I’ve read elsewhere. As you hinted at above, these previous iterations will have impacted peoples’ ability to purchase a home or even to have children, and there remains, as you say, ample potential for things to go a bit awry.

    Above Russell suggested that this is cautious, and I can see that to a certain extent it is, but with 130,000 overseas borrowers still incurring 5% interest and potentially facing arrest, this policy – effectively granting a proportion of the next generation the opportunity to complete a tertiary qualification for nothing and leave the country guilt-free – is a problematic position to lead with at this juncture. Though I’d assume that of those 130,000 many are ineligible to vote.

    I just hope that at some point a politician or party emerges with the wherewithal to say enough is enough, it's time we cleaned this mess up before launching another vote winning crusade, because at some point some of these 130,000 are going to want to come home, and we're gambling on that happening in time for them to be eligible for NZ superannuation, if not they'll be a bonfire to contend with.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: Protesting too much: responses…, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Why should MY generation be shafted?

    It’s a longstanding and worthy question. If any party had been campaigning something similar when we were studying we’d most likely have been all for it. I’m torn to say the least because who could reasonably wish these borrowed educations on future generations.

    The inconsistency is highlighted by the decision to make this announcement just a week or so after Ngatokotoru Puna’s arrest, I must have missed Labour’s official response to that.

    The outcome could very likely be that future New Zealand Governments end up offering subsequent generations fee free Bachelors degree while concurrently arresting previous generations for failing to pay for theirs.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: Protesting too much: responses…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Just a word from the publisher: I know I said Rob’s next post would be on his own blog, but I was away for a few days and kinda dropped the ball on getting his masthead made up. Coming real soon now, promise.

    No probs. All good things take time, just be sure to include the promoter statement next year.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: On tour with The Boss, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    “Three years of free skills training, of apprenticeships or higher education right across your working life” is what Andrew Little/ Labour said.

    I’m unclear on the specifics of that, the Herald reported

    There will be no age limit, reflecting the increased importance of lifelong learning in the 21st Century economy.

    Well beyond your working life it would seem. Honestly Sofia, if Labour were proposing a system that would also enable me and other graduates from my generation an opportunity to further upskill to meet the challenges of a changing workplace then I’d be all for it, except that as stated in the fine print

    The first year will be available to all new school leavers from 2019 for all NZQA courses, including all apprenticeships, and to every New Zealander who has had no previous tertiary education

    So though Andrew Little said:

    "The nature of work is changing rapidly and our education system must keep up if we are to seize the opportunities of the future.*

    Great for those without any previous tertiary experience who are wishing to upskill, but essentially meaningless to those who may have studied earlier and found their qualifications are no longer bankable, in yet another case of the interest charged borrowers subsidising better opportunities for every generation on either side.

    As things remain, over 30% of people in my generation were born overseas and yet when compared to local births the population for our age bracket has only grown about 5%. We were seen as replaceable and our concerns thus became inconsequential, and this is just another policy that reflects that. The X in generation X was a crossing out.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: On tour with The Boss, in reply to andin,

    This policy is not geared to addressing the divide between the rich and the poor

    Well no, that has to be addressed by other means.

    It has to be addressed with every policy. Every single policy has to -in its way – take this into account, because that’s how serious the issue is, or at the very least every time a policy is introduced without accounting for the divide, and opportunity is missed and issue is exacerbated. Obviously I understand that entire generations have seen fit to stand by while lumping some of our students with huge loans and others not so much because of parental income, but were the shoe on the other foot and it were suggested that superannuation be means tested on the income of their children then that same generation (and most of us) would be appalled. And yet student means testing is something that Labour still doesn’t feel fit to prioritise.

    Having unskilled jobs is becoming a luxury if we can get them, but we’ve reached a point where (at least in this region) the number of applicants is so large that one can’t even get their foot in the door for an interview for a cleaning job at the local Countdown. To those within the hub these/ we are clearly little more than statistics.

    As for Libertarians, for me it really depends whether they’re of the left wing or right wing bent. Libertarianism and authoritarianism are on a different axis to socialism and conservatism e.g. the drug prohibition policies of successive Governments could be classified as being for the ‘benefit of public health’ by the socialists or to ‘protect the proles from themselves’ by the conservatives either way this is authoritarian (as opposed to libertarian) policy.

    The first casualty of Labours’ new policy is likely to be (zero fees) SIT and the Southland region. The winners will (as stated above) be those who live in close proximity to top tertiary institutions and especially those wishing to study high priced courses (which do generally lead to higher incomes), i.e. for the most part people who are generally already better off than those in the regions.

    Either way we’re still perpetuating a system where we are going to be producing some graduates saddled with debt and some with none whatsoever, for education.

    We need a living wage, and students need one too.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: On tour with The Boss, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    He was under permanent scrutiny, both in what he said and how he said it. And he carried it off with ease.

    I guess the only shame there is that they’re not going to be voting. Having an entire workforce under your lead against a few bigwigs is not in the same ballpark as adeptly and persuasively relying on language alone to turn an entire workforce or at least half of one to appreciate – let alone adopt – an ideological position.

    Especially when that ideological position is that the sovereign power of successive administrations to maintain their power to overregulate the freedoms and rights of voters should be defended.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Polity: On tour with The Boss, in reply to andin,



    As much as it pains me to beliitle this I’m not entirely convinced that it’s the solution. Certain free courses have long been available, so if you’re planning on studying any of these courses geared at people in poorer regions then it won’t make a difference:

    ~national-certificate in computing level 2
    ~national certificate in agriculture general skills level 2
    ~National Cert in Horticulture
    ~National Certificate in Forestry
    ~Certificate in Maori Studies
    ~Certificate in Maori Studies
    ~Certificate in Introductory Trade Skills Carpentry
    free of under 25s (fee free)

    This policy is not geared to addressing the divide between the rich and the poor

    The plan will not affect the existing living allowances and course-related costs. It would cost $265 million in the first year and $1.2 billion once fully implemented in 2025.

    When you factor in that for most courses offered in New Zealand, the courses themselves cost less than the annual living costs; many students are still being coerced into this 25 year old loan to live boat.

    Obviously many students can access a student allowance for living costs but those living at home whose parents’ combined income is $84,163.86 a year before tax and those living away from home whose parents’ combined income before tax is $91,448.30 then students will most likely require a government loan to assist them in paying for food/accommodation costs while studying.

    These are not inconsiderable sums, The median income from wages and salaries across all jobs in June 2014 was about $45,000 a year (or $865 a week) before tax, according to a Statistics New Zealand income survey. This includes full and part-time jobs. The full-time median income was about $51,000 ($989 a week).

    However the fact remains, that students are still not being treated fairly. Any student under 24 whose parents’ combined incomes are beyond these thresholds must consider taking out a loan from the government in order to assist in meeting the costs of survival while studying, as Tenants dig deep for place to call home.

    Most pressing is that parents are not required to act as guarantors for these loans regardless of a student’s age, currently 14b owed. Those students most advantaged by Labour’s new proposal are those living close to top tertiary institutions who may be able to remain living at home while studying.

    Some may argue that if both parents are earning over the median wage then of course they should assist with their childrens’ tertiary study, however ’parents should assist their children in accessing a tertiary education’ is not a provision that has been included in any New Zealand Government legislation to date. This is without also accounting for the number of children these median income earning parents may have.

    I’m hesitant to argue that our failure to provide a level playing field for our tertiary students via either the variable compound interest or means testing is an influencing factor on the above population (migratory) trends. But it’s highly unlikely to be a coincidence that every time someone complains about or gets arrested or dragged through the press for their student loan that they are all from the same generation; the generation that was charged interest on both their study and their living costs, and for the most part while studying. At the very least one expects that at some point someone asks where that generation (or at least 50,000 of them) disappeared off to. And why.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Hard News: The CRL and the nature of change, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    *I wonder how much of Bill English’s $100+ billion will be paid back in a decade and a half or will they still be crowing about making the interest payments

    $121b now. interest is currently at $186 a sec, so the cost of this CRL will be eclipsed between now and July. At least the CRL will leave a lasting tangible to show for the outlay (until such time as they just give up on it like they’ve done with the Napier-Gisborne line that Hilary mentioned). Meanwhile the rIght wing Church of Artificial Scarcity will continue to lead its congregation tussling over scraps; all risen for psalm 121, Either, Or but never And.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

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