Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: From soundbite to policy

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  • simon g,

    Any bets on how long before the Maori Party divorces the National /Act government?

    I don't know about the whole party, but I'd guess individual MPs will be wondering why they got dragged down the aisle. Here's
    the maiden speech from their newest recruit. It's a roll call of radical heritage.

    The real problem was the way the deal was done in the first place. In politics, you want to get your aroha in writing. They need at least one big, big reason to stick with the deal, through all the inevitable conflicts ahead. So the more they endure on National's behalf, the more the vague "reviews" will assume a greater importance, becoming a Holy Grail, to make it all worthwhile.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    That's a hell of a lot of heritage!

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Gosh, Metiria Turei is fantastic.

    Indeed she is. By far, the best of the bunch from here.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Any bets on how long before the Maori Party divorces the National /Act government?

    In support of their agreement with National,Mrs Turia said :

    “We face difficult economic times, the causes of which lie beyond our shores. The global economic downturn will particularly affect Maori people and workers. We are determined to minimise the harm caused by the predicted recession, and we believe our approaches to social and economic development can make a difference.

    Some could argue there has to be some pain for some to gain...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    So the second reading already. Amazing speed considering only 24 hours ago this legislation first came to our attention when the Greens got a paper copy of the bill and scanned it onto their website. This is a surely a new record for education legislation. Who knows what will be on the agenda for Saturday's urgency?

    What a great Minister of Education Meteria would be. Such an impressive speaker in this second reading. She showed how aligned the ideology of the Bill is with the No Child Left Behind law in the US and quoted an evaluation of that law that showed a 17% drop out rate of black students and those with disabilities from education in just 2 years. And challenged the Maori Party not to support it as evidence shows it will discriminate against, not assist Maori kids.

    And can someone explain why Anne Tolley, without a degree and not much apparent experience in the sector, got the Education portfolio over Alan Peachey who at least has a few years of secondary principal experience?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I've decided I like this Government. In a way.

    At the moment, it's so completely lost in its own rhetoric, in a world that they've created, and completely sure of the sources of all the problems they've located.

    New Zealand's problems can be attributed almost entirely to the interfering hand of Labour, who don't understand 'common sense' of the type most New Zealanders want. They've mistaken a mild discontent for a strong one, and think they have a great mandate to make the changes they want, rather than the room to make the case and build one.

    That kind of mindset leads to decision making of the type we're seeing at the moment. It means bad and rushed policy, things that don't work, and winters of discontent.

    While there's a human cost inflicted on the sufferers of these bad laws and policies, it is often much easier to reverse this kind of work than with policies that take longer to come to full effect, and thus have the effect of blending into the landscape, and becoming the policy landscape.

    It's early days, and predictions have a habit of going wrong, but I'm hopeful there's a silver lining to this cloud.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Yeah -'the newest recruit.'
    Didnt make herself exactly wellknown round the rohe.
    Has slanted her heritage.
    Isnt welcome.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And can someone explain why Anne Tolley, without a degree and not much apparent experience in the sector, got the Education portfolio over Alan Peachey who at least has a few years of secondary principal experience?

    Who knows? That difference of experience sure shows in the debate. I'm glad I'm not doing any work in education.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    She showed how aligned the ideology of the Bill is with the No Child Left Behind law in the US and quoted an evaluation of that law that showed a 17% drop out rate of black students and those with disabilities from education in just 2 years.

    And that's why they need the $3000 fines...

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Yeah -'the newest recruit.'
    Didn't make herself exactly wellknown round the rohe.
    Has slanted her heritage.
    Isn't welcome.

    She got elected. She can't be that unknown or unwelcome, surely?

    Which isn't to say she's popular with all, or carries great mana - I don't know her at all...

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Now former Education Minister Nick Smith is getting very excitable. How can he be so hyperactive so late on a Friday night?

    This ridiculous urgency process reminds of the late 1970s when I worked in the parliamentary library. In those days urgency literally went all through the night (now they finish at midnight) sometimes for days on end. Muldoon quite liked urgency. His other tactic was not opening parliament at all until half way through the year and then ramming through everything he wanted to do in frequent use of urgency.

    Anyhow we were rostered to work through the night in those pre-internet days in case MPs or their staff required urgent information for a debate. Our pay rate dropped to quarter pay after midnight - that's quarter pay - not time and a quarter. (Collective action by librarians to the parliamentary admin committee finally resolved that injustice)

    Mike Minogue used to be a frequent visitor as he found the library a refuge especially for a National Party maverick like him, with few allies and many enemies in his own party. Mike Minogue died just recently. I wonder what he would make of this new government - are there more like him waiting to emerge?.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    And can someone explain why Anne Tolley, without a degree and not much apparent experience in the sector,

    Metiria has said it in a nutshell for the last 3 days. Privatization is the momentum being created. Private schools will be exempt from these National Education Standards. Public Schools will require funding (remember, there is none) so public /private partnership will be hailed as the answer to lifting these "poor standards" we will find in public schools. I'd follow the money trail (actually I will) and Tolley will be backed somewhere along the path.
    Metiria has IMO,( along with a few others this week,) done a great job of educating the Nat / Act/Maori coalition that fluffy ducks don't cut it. Fortunately , Maori listened regards,90 day, fire at will. Act agreed with Labour that the Bail Amendment was only going to help a wee bit. Nice to see the smaller parties are willing to be educated.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I'm sorry if this sounds a little cryptic but;

    How should one treat a child who has been told that their efforts are below average/standard ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    George, nearly 50% of Te Tai Toka didnt vote - including a helluva lot of my olds & rellies
    =didnt make herself exactly wellknown round the rohe.
    And the fact she *wasnt* wellknown round the rohe speaks for itself.

    I wont go into 'slanted her heritage' but it is known.

    She got elected. In my opinion. by default, because Okeroa was a disasterously lowkey (read, lazy & incompetent) sitting MP who didnt compaign at all.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    I'm sorry if this sounds a little cryptic but;

    How should one treat a child who has been told that their efforts are below average/standard ?

    There was a time 81, when exams did this to half the candidates...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was talking to a bunch of my son's friend's tonight - one had been fired (he said) because he'd asked his boss to pay him minimum wage (apparently you have to pay a kid under 18 minimum wage after 90 days and he'd worked there that long) - when I explained about what National were doing the penny dropped - "but they can fire us every 90 days and never pay us minimum wage"

    Smart kids - that's what unions are for and why politics are important

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Paul, that's illegal under existing law, and while not paying the minimum wage will still be illegal under the new law, the firing won't be if it occurred within 90 days.

    Because the new law takes away any requirement for the employer to provide a reason for firing in the first 90 days (s120 of the ERA does not apply during this time), employees will have no idea under the law why they were fired (even if they have a very good idea in practice why they were fired). They will thus have no recourse against such scenarios as you've described above.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    If you went back and looked closely you would find Labour sucked just as much at the beginning as they did when they were dumped.

    The Labout Party will now go back to raising grass roots issues and annoying, for want of a better word, "activists" to try and rebuild the vote.

    When Labour eventually get back they will again step away from the issues of working people and play pretend as is their custom.

    It is not as if they ever had a vision or the talent to realise such. Their crowning achievement is that they drove NZ into a recession a good year to 6 months before the GFC.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    On Parliament TV they are now debating the Education Amendment Bill. This is surely post modern politics!

    Do they have wi-fi in the chamber? Imagine if a few were reading this thread and using our links for rebuttal.. that would be cool.

    Ian, agree totally on the heinousness of this homework situation. We maybe be reaching the critical point where we just register as conscientious objectors, and damn the torpedoes.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • sagenz,

    From the previous link about No child left behind.

    Here in California, which in 2002 had only 13.6 percent of students proficient in reading, officials promised to raise that percentage on average by 2.2 points annually from 2002 to 2007, but starting this year greatly accelerate the progress, raising the percentage of proficient students by 11 points per year through 2014.

    On what planet would you have to be living to think that 13.6% proficiency was adequate and that the system was working.

    On what planet would you have to be living to be cynical about those officials who deferred their responsibility to reach proficiency targets by back end loading them in the expectation the law would change to accomodate their failures?

    On what planet would you have to be living to think that if you did not aim for 100% those same cynical officials would not simply use exclusion to reach a target like 80%, thereby defeating the entire purpose of the changes.

    How cynical do you have to be to excuse a system that has 13.6% proficiency simply because it is GW Bush policy. Does anyone really think that a no excuses and no exceptions policy like this is going to be easy. Maybe it is a FUCKING GOOD THING that teaching is focused on core things like Maths and English rather than feeling good about yourself. It is a FUCKING GOOD THING that the policy says NO child left behind.

    Jolisa - Do what is right for your child rather than what is politically correct for your political views and circle of friends. And just to screw with your head. I turned down private school and went to an academically shit but politically right on state school but turned into a libertarianish Bush supporting Nat, whilst my expensively privately educated sister has spent her career in Green politics.

    It is experiencing the system that makes you realise how shit it is. John Key grew up in a shitty area and went to state school. helen clark was a boarder at a posh auckland state grammar school.

    uk • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • sagenz,

    Herceptin. Only those of a redistributionist mindset believe that someone else has to miss out on medicine when National increases funding for one drug. Genuinely growing the economy means Herceptin and all the other new drugs can be funded more quickly rather than writing pre judged reports to justify the choice forced by limited funds. I am a strong supporter of what Pharmac does with limited resources. But there is no way National can tell them it comes out of someone elses drug spending. It must come out of general taxation. FWIW for most of the last 9 years spending on health as a % of GDP has been lower than under National.

    Drug companies make good profits. They do that by investing in expensive long term and high risk research. That means on average we all get to live longer. Their high prices are justified by that. Stop those high profits and less research will take place. To an extent New Zealand free rides on the rest of the world as a result of Pharmac policy, but we have better free trade policy so screw the rest of the world on that one.

    Give the clinicians & patients choice. If 9 weeks works for most women and that is what they want then that is what they will get. If the clinician feels that the circumstances warrant 12 months concurrent treatment they should be able to prescribe that.

    uk • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • sagenz,

    Urgency - Why? Maintaining the Momentum! Methinks the knowledge there is soon a Christmas break and summer holidays has focused minds. It would be too easy to go through select committee and drift through the first few months of next year without getting any legislation through. Key went to Apec a few days after getting elected. He means to take swift action, not simply enjoy the trappings of power.

    ETS and the EFA were both crappy legislation written and passed under urgency through incompetence.

    I can balance the less democratic use of urgency in the opening days of this administration with the desire to get some early runs on the board. The repeal of the EFA without having its substitute is a sign that National are obviously prepared to revisit these issues next year with more thoroughness.

    I would be gobsmacked if the advice of professional educators regarding clinically diagnosed children who cannot face school is not written into legislation or enforcement guidelines. The fines are aimed at those parents who just do not give a f&*k.

    uk • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Only those of a redistributionist mindset believe that someone else has to miss out on medicine when National increases funding for one drug... It must come out of general taxation.

    Whether funding comes Health allocations or from the general fund or from wherever, it can only be spent once; the obligation to spend it most effectively remains.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB,

    Their crowning achievement is that they drove NZ into a recession a good year to 6 months before the GFC.

    Well, DexterX, it was a `technical' recession ... and according to Bollard is now technically over. Bollard says:

    "Those numbers in New Zealand can jump around and historically they tend to improve rather than getting worse. You may find that in a couple of years Statistics NZ says we didn't have a recession. That's quite within the bounds of statistical probability," he said.

    It will be interesting to see what this lot will do the economy now.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Jolisa - Do what is right for your child rather than what is politically correct for your political views and circle of friends.

    And they say Labour blew it because they thought they knew better than parents what was ""right for" their children.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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