Changes in Cabinet

John Key has announced a couple of changes in Cabinet roles.

Steven Joyce becomes Tertiary Education Minister, allowing Anne Tolley to fully focus her efforts on the Education portfolio, and in particular the implementation of the Government’s national standards policy.

Kate Wilkinson becomes Conservation Minister, a portfolio in which she is currently Associate Minister. This change reflects the fact that Tim Groser is frequently out of the country representing New Zealand’s interests in the Trade and Climate Change fields.

The responsibility for Tertiary Education has often been separated from the rest of the Education portfolio and having the Associate Finance Minister in charge of Tertiary Education shows how important it is.

Kate has already been taking a lot of responsibility for Conservation because of Tim’s absence and will have no trouble taking on her new role.

There are some big issues ahead in this portfolio including tenure review and what action, if any is taken after the stock take of mineral reserves under conservation land. These need the attention of a Minister who is in the country most of the time.

5 Responses to Changes in Cabinet

  1. pmofnz says:

    Lightening Tolley’s workload, ready for the unionist onslaught over standards.

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  2. Michael says:

    It’s good to see that John Key is giving Anne Tolley the room to bring the teacher unions to heel over national standards. Could bulk funding be far behind?

    I wonder by putting tertiary education under finance it will mean a stronger focus on the universities’ budget. I hope it signals a further move away from the bums-on-seats to holding the institutions to account and raising standards.

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  3. Neil says:

    Perhaps it’s a good chance for Ms Tolley to think thru her ridiculous plan to try to create equality between the haves and the have nots.
    What kind of career did Mrs Tolley come from ?
    Remember 60 years ago when we had standards based on exams which saw children move forward by passing exams. Remember the 14 year olds in Std 2. A big hairy legged boy sitting beside a sweet little inn ocent girl keen to learn.He never got to High School with his peers.
    Pouring money into the 20% of underachievers will achieve nothing.How many of that 20% have parents who actually care about reading or maths ? More likely procreating or avoiding work.

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  4. gravedodger says:

    So what you are saying Neil is that we must make no attempt to measure the teaching skills of teachers, just leave a lottery system that some pupils will survive and leave the rest to suffer the consequences of obviously substandard practitioners.
    I have had some exposure to the stupid protection afforded to teachers who either need more training or should be shown that they should seek a different career path.
    We have moved on in most sectors from accepting mediocrity in performance and accepting that lesser performers must be covered by the more competent. Why oh why do so many “educated people” want to perpetrate a system that leaves our most valuable resource having their one chance at the game compromised by a refusal of teachers and principals to accept what many teachers, parents and the nation at large see as a problem, ie measuring performance and ability.
    Nowhere have I seen in the proposed policy a return to the system where a child is nineteen in year 12 so that is at best obfuscation. However education is the most important sector that refuses to seek excellence and elimination or retraining of substandard performers.
    I don’t disagree with your last para but that is not what it is all about. Sadly some of the poorest teachers finish up at poorer schools where they can merge into the swamp of low expectation and do their time, leaving pupils coming out of the system with poor literacy, numeracy and self esteem.
    Parents, that is another problem altogether.

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  5. homepaddock says:

    The idea of standards is that teachers and parents know how all children, regardless of their ability or background, are doing. It’s got nothing to do with equality between the haves and the have nots.

    Helping under-achievers early ought to reduce the number of chidlren with out basic literacy and numeracy skills.

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