Devolution of economics

It’s a very long since I studied economics (and I only did so because the lectures were later than the other subjects I was contemplating) but I think I get this:
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58 Responses to Devolution of economics

  1. Dave Kennedy says:

    Isn’t it ironic that our relationship with China is considered the most important of all our trading Nations and the US, which is held up to be the epitome of capitalism, is deep in debt and most of it owed to China. The most successful economies, like third ranked Finland, are Keynesian.

    New Zealand’s public debt per capita (52,000 pc) is about the same as Spains and worse than Greece.

  2. TraceyS says:

    Isn’t shameful that you don’t get your numbers right, Dave? New Zealand’s Public Debt is around US$16,300 per person. Greece’s US$29,200, Spain’s US$22,800.

  3. TraceyS says:

    “Third ranked Finland” Public Debt per capita: $23,713. Ease of doing business rank: 12th (NZ 3rd).

    From what I can make out from looking at the most recent data, Finland’s Total External Debt per capita is nearly twice that of NZ’s (around $52,000 – the figure Dave mistakenly quotes as “public debt per capita” above).

  4. Paranormal says:

    DK you’re playing politics again and not allowing the truth to get in the way of the story. The US economy is a basket case mainly because of government intervention that you advocate. For example their money printing (Quantitative Easing in weaselspeak) has been an unmitigated disaster significantly increasing debt with little to no real return.

    If you’ve ever tried to do business in the US you would realise how out of date your ‘epitome of capitalism’ remark is. With the combination of state and federal legislation the US is one of the most regulated places to do business.

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    You’re quite right, Tracey, I used the wrong table. It’s the combination of private and public debt that makes us come out badly.
    No less shocking though.

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I’d be interested to know which economy we should emulate that follows the sort of economic theory that you’d support.

  7. Paranormal says:

    DK – it’s pretty clear we’ve laid the groundwork in our own economy that works. If only you on the left weren’t always trying to buy votes with OPM we wouldn’t have half the economic issues we currently have.

    You may be surprised that the outcomes we want are similar, just that your prescription will provide more of the bad outcomes we both want less of – illiteracy, crime, unemployment, social dislocation etc.

  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    Actaully, Paranormal, all the negative things you describe are more likely to occur in unequal societies.
    Our high obesity rates, high rates of teenage pregnancy, high rates of incarceration (2nd to the US), high teenage suicide rate (worst in the OECD), poor child health and safety (2nd worst in the OECD) and plummeting academic achievement (dropped from 4th to 23rd) are all happening under this Government’s watch.

    It was improving slightly under Labour but there has been a definite decline over the last five years. It’s shocking stuff:—OECD/tabid/421/articleID/235513/Default.aspx

    The only ground work that has been done is to ensure that the already wealthy get an even bigger share of the cake and to increase inequality.

  9. TraceyS says:

    “The only ground work that has been done is to ensure that the already wealthy get an even bigger share of the cake and to increase inequality.”

    You’re one of the wealthy aren’t you Dave? You identified yourself as such. So how much of your “bigger share of the cake” have you given back to decrease inequality and to whom?

    (I trust you haven’t been spending on extra trips to Europe – those are bad for the environment you know).

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    I could always give more, Tracey, but I do give a reasonable amount to charities. I’m a Unicef Global Parent and have a monthly automatic payment going to Union Aid, most appeals that come our way we tend to support. I couldn’t tell you exactly how much of our money goes to charitable causes. Most of my current work is in a voluntary capacity and I don’t expect my costs to be covered.

    As for our trips to visit my wife’s family in the UK and her elderly mother, I am guilty, I guess I’ll just have to plant even more trees.

    We now have the situation in new Zealand where 10% of our people control 50% of our country’s wealth and the bottom 50% share 5% of our country’s wealth. This is a fact and I’m sorry it upsets you to the extent you need to make a personal attack on myself. I am certainly not perfect but my wife is a GP and I have taught for 30 years, both of us work to make a difference in our community.

  11. Paranormal says:

    I did say our prescription would be different, I just didnt realise how distorted you were. No wonder your prescription for a better economy is so distorted if you are relying on discredited texts like the spirit level. If you want to continue promoting the politics of envy you are doomed to failure.

    As for the stats getting better under Liarbour – again you’re allowing the leftist distortions to get in the way of the facts. Lets look at a couple:
    – The crime rate was increasing under Liarbour so badly they needed to distort the reporting. Police were made to go back through the stats and manipulate such issues as burglary crimes and reallocate them.
    -The gross experimentation inflicted on our school students by Liarbour that is NCEA is coming home to roost. As a [deleted – explanation @ 7:50 – Ele] on the NZEI you too are responsible for the failure of our school students.

    I won’t go further on the social outcomes that fell under Liarbour following their entrapment into poverty of huge swathes of society to entrench a left voting base. Just look at the increase in sickness beneficiaries under Liarbour…

    You either really need to look at the stats yourself or you are promoting the wrong stats on purpose. If the second option is whats happening then not only are you a serial child abuser, you are a tool.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    It is a little concerning that Ele allows accusations of child abuse and other appalling personal attacks on her blog. Such accusations are about as bad as it gets and I note that they have been supported by others. I generally believe that when personal attacks are used in a debate then those that resort to them have lost the argument. However I do find the comments here about as distasteful as it gets. Good grief!

  13. TraceyS says:

    Dave Kennedy at 1:56 am. You should have gone to bed rather than write this for when did asking perfectly reasonable questions out of curiosity become “a personal attack”? You were free to not respond if you were made tender by the questions.

    However, had you asked the same questions of me I’d have been glad to answer them.

    The figures you quoted, in themselves, do not upset me. I know many people who are several times wealthier than me personally. Do I consider that their wealth should be shared out to others (including me) just because of the size of the wealth-gap between them and us and despite the fact that I am OK with my lot and quite enjoy my life as it is? Of course not. One of the first things any rational person realises when meeting a wealthy person is that wealth is not everything and wealth usually carries some downsides.

    My husband and I recently met a very wealthy farmer who kept looking at us and our kids and giving us the message over and over – it’s not worth it – your kids are more important the size of your balance sheet. We listened with open ears rather than looking with green eyes. When we got home I said to my husband; you do not have my permission to go to those places in your soul because I won’t, in fact can’t, go there with you.

    Do I feel disgruntled when doing my voluntary jobs in the community or making donations of time and effort to help all people in the immediate community, both rich and poor? Do I complain when someone gives a donation when I know they could afford to give much more? Hell no!

    Because I was raised poor (on “the bones of our arses” was my parents description growing up), I was either taught, or learned myself, not to envy others. To do so would have been extremely unhealthy for my development. So I grew up without many things other kids had – the worst of which were bitterness and jealousy. And I am blessed by the absence of those feelings.

    To return to your statement “we now have the situation in New Zealand where 10% of our people control 50% of our country’s wealth and the bottom 50% share 5% of our country’s wealth.” The 10 percent at the top are very wealthy – so what? That’s none of my business. For all I know they’ve made tremendous sacrifices to get there or maybe some of them are just lucky. Don’t know. Don’t care. I care about the ones at the very bottom who don’t have enough. And that’s not all of the 50% sharing 5% of the wealth because looking around me I do see a lot of people who are living pretty good lives compared to my experience growing up.

  14. Paranormal says:

    Excellent DK – now you begin to understand that the damage you are doing with the NZEI is very personal to me, and thousands of other parents. You think the poor outcomes experienced by the 40% of students you have failed is acceptable, and actually want more of the same with your blocking of anything but union approved schooling. That is nothing short of serial child abuse. I will continue to repeat it until it gets through to you.

    Now you’re showing up in public spreading your politics of envy that is designed to trap more and more people in poverty. That may just be icing to the cake to you, but people have every right to be angry with what you are trying to achieve.

    As I said above you are either naive and misguided or complicit in the rort. Either way you’ve shown here your inability to use the facts and yet when you are called on them move on to complain about abuse. Looks like you’ve earned it.

  15. TraceyS says:

    Dave, you lauded Finland’s economy and brick-bashed your own country for having high external debt.

    Finland’s gross external debt at the end of 2013 was nearly US$563 billion (US$103,402 per person) compared to New Zealand’s US$221 billion (US$48,207 per person).

    Unemployment there also 1.5 percentage points higher. They have higher average wages though!

  16. homepaddock says:

    Paranormal @ 6:14 – I agree with Dave K @ 10:33 that an accusation of child abuse is going too far, even with you explanation @ 11:16 – child abuse is usually taken to mean sexual or physical abuse.

    I’m not going to delete it because the 11:16 comment clarifies it’s not that and puts it in a political context. But no matter how strongly you feel about NZEI please find another term that isn’t as defamatory as child abuse in future.

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Thank you, Ele, but I still find the accusation unacceptable no matter what the context as it still calls into question my professional integrity in a defamatory way.

    Perhaps this link may add some explanation to why this sort of malicious attack concerns me:

  18. robertguyton says:

    Ha! There you are Dave. Comment long enough on Homepaddock and Paranormal, JC or whoever, will accuse you of some heinous behaviour or other. I got ‘Man-boy Association’ and ‘Stalker of white females’. It’s par for the course when you willingly debate right-wingers. It’s disgusting, as you have learned. Ele pretends to care, but she in fact sets the scene for such abuses. It will happen again, trust me, I know. It’s disgraceful, but that’s how it goes with National Party supporters. I saw it in the flesh at a politivcal meeting in Gore and watched as Bill English smiled in encouragement. It happens here on the National Party Southern Chairman’s blog and doubtless throughout the country. Nasty, nasty behaviour from people who have no moral compass.
    Remember, Key rings Slater regularly for “a chat”.
    What does that tell you?

  19. Paranormal says:

    So DK if professionalism is so important to you, with the failure to educate 40% of our students, why do you continue to promote the politicized unionisation of teaching. More of the same can only be described as one thing – which I have above and will continue to do.

    It’s just more politics for you but this is personal. As related previously my daughter suffered at the hands of your unionised ‘professionals’ as have other family members. You’re lucky it’s not my wife commenting – she’d be after your blood. I showed her what you’d commented previously. i can’t repeat what she said.

    As for you Guyton you’ve never been accused of being associated with the Man Boy Association.

    If you want examples of nasty – just look to the left for people that want to trap people in long term poverty for their own ideological ends. Now that’s truly nasty RG.

  20. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal your hatred for teachers and NZEI is clearly obvious and is clouding your ability to argue constructively. I struggle to understand where you got your figure of 40% failure or how NZEI is responsible for your daughters situation. My personal involvement has been in reviewing the IEP document to better support our higher needs children and supporting the development of our New Zealand Curriculum. I have spent several years teaching children with high needs and with a clear conscience I can think of no situation where I have supported any action that would cause harm. If you are making such highly charged and defamatory statements you need to back them up. I perhaps a personal conversation would be more acceptable to you

  21. Mr E says:

    Left wing bloggers don’t name call
    Nope not one little bit

    Their self professed principles
    That just would not at all fit

    Now wait for my name to be changed
    By a prolific hypo – crite

  22. TraceyS says:

    I am concerned that Dave suggests others here support Paranormal’s comments. Supposedly that is because the comment got some “likes”. Let there be no suggestion that those likes came from other commenters here.

    Name-calling is not something that I participate in even when previously taunted by Robert. To his credit, Mr E, he has tidied up his act a little.

    Paranormal – I too have a child failed by the education system. But, with respect, you’re never going to help change things by adopting such an extreme position.

  23. RBG says:

    How would you know that the likes on Paranormal’s comments aren’t made by other commenters here TraceyS? More mindreading. Unless you have access to some surveillance program that lets you identify who clicks like on Homepaddock, but you don’t, so you are just making stuff up again. 4 people liked when Paranormal called Dave Kennedy a serial child abuser and you don’t know who the hell they are, so stop acting so indignant and you have no right to complain when Dave Kennedy points out that others have liked the abuse from paranormal.

  24. homepaddock says:

    RBG – had I seen the offending sentence earlier I’d have edited it out because as I said in my comment @ 2:36 it was going too far.

    By the time I read it (mid afternoon) Dave had already responded and Paranormal had responded to his response.

    It’s possible that the people who clicked the likes were responding to the comment in general without approving or supporting the sentence.

    I have no way of knowing who clicks the thumbs up or down but sometimes it appears some people click like or dislike on some comments because of who says it rather than what they say.

  25. willdwan says:

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean physical abuse, which is how you seem to have chosen to interpret the remark. I think he refers to the disastrous ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’ experiment and its resulting carnage.

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    willdwan if you have to assume his intention than it is reasonable to also assume the worst, no matter what the context, being accused of being a serial child abuser isn’t nice.

    I am fully aware of the imperfections of our education system, which certainly isn’t perfect, but it is still so much better than what is happening in the UK and the US. There are two English (as in nationality) teachers in Invercargill who came to New Zealand because they did like the system they came from, sadly we are now heading in the same direction.

    Some aspects of tomorrows schools have been useful but now that we have lost our advisors, local inspectorate and the strong professional overview we once had, there are some things we need to reconsider. A review is timely but it needs to be professionally based, not political and based on research and evidence not pure ideology.

  27. RBG says:

    Homepaddock, you go on jim Mora and people are encouraged to visit this blog, you should definitely delete undeserved abuse like Paranormal dished out to Dave Kennedy. And no excuses about how they might have liked the rest of what he said, thats crap. Paranormal is a bully. As for TraceyS saying ‘let there be no suggestion that those likes came from other commenters here’ stuff that! I’m suggesting that some of them probably did. I don’t know and neither do you TraceyS, but who are you to say that no one should suggest it.

  28. TraceyS says:

    Clearly, RBG at 10:00pm, no-one knows who did or didn’t “like” it.

  29. willdwan says:

    Oh, harden up you great sooks! The internet can be rough sometimes. Imagine, if you can, what it’s like for us farmers. Here we are thinking we are working away, feeding a hungry world and providing this miserable country with an economy and you lot label us as planet wreckers, well on the way to committing genocide! You indulge in the most outrageous hyperbole with no thought spared for our feelings.

    Do us all a favour, and take another month off to sulk.

  30. homepaddock says:

    When I saw the offending comment mid afternoon I decided it was too late the delete it. However, on reflection if I don’t want that sort of personal and potentially defamatory comment – and I don’t – I need to demonstrate that so I’ve decided to remove the offending words.

    I accept that Paranormal wasn’t accusing Dave of child abuse in the way most understand it but that is the way most would understand it.

  31. Paranormal says:

    I’m a bully RGB? More name calling perchance? Calling it as it is can’t be bullying. For bullying look no further than the union thugs.

    Our schiool failure rates – depending which study you review 20-25% leave school unable to read or write. The OECD has commented that 40% of school leavers do not have reading writing or maths skills to survive in a modern economy. We need look no further than our universities that are having to provide remedial courses to bring their students skills up to what is required to enter university.

    NZEI actively politics against their employers requirements and demands more of the same one size fits all education system that has consistently failed NZ students. The campaign being waged against a system that parents can understand and appreciate – National Standards, is but one example of many.

    DK I went to your link. To coin a phrase it was a typical ‘wah wah’ we’d expect from the left. What was interesting is it reinforced the failure of your position. From your bleat it is clear that for you education is all about the teacher. Some news for you – education should be all about the student. One of your lines in particular – “that teachers should be paid according to the performance of their children”, as if that’s a bad thing, is indicative of where the problem lies at the heart of your ideology. Surely children’s performance and achievement is THE most important thing in education. Everything else stems from that.

    That’s why I’ll say again. You are on the NZEI board. The NZEI is actively and politically involved in maintaining their power rather than furthering the education of children. The massive failures as individuals and as a system mean we need to change the way we do things as one size does not fit all. To actively work against improving the outcomes for children, particularly the poorest performing is tantamount to serial child abuse. You are complicit in that.

    Your bleat also sums up the issue – the system of control you actively maintain through NZEI means that education is a comfortable sinecure for the incompetent. My daughter suffered at the hands of a bullying incompetent teacher who is still comfortably ensconced in the system.

  32. J Bloggs says:

    Paranormal: you seem to forget that the NZEI’s primary role has nothing to do with bettering the interests of children – which is understandable, as the teachers unions at all levels have managed to spin a line that the best interests of teachers are also the best interests of children. However, as the teachers union, it’s primary function is to look out for the interests of teachers. And where the outcomes for the two groups (teachers and children) diverge, the NZEI has a duty of care towards the outcomes for teachers over the outcomes of children. And I don’t have a problem with that. After all, that is what they are paid union dues to do.

    It’s also why I take any comment from NZEI (and the PPTA for that matter) on such issues with a grain of salt.

  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    I am really sorry that your daughter experienced a poor teacher Paranormal, but your arguments have no logic. There will always be teachers, police, doctors, lawyers and even politicians who let down their sector or profession, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the whole system is rotten. The vast majority of teachers, police, lawyers and even politicians work hard and are well meaning. I have taught with teachers who have been bullies and and I have been active in insuring that they change their practice or look for another job. My own children have had teachers who I have had to confront because of their unprofessional behaviour, but the vast majority of my children’s teachers were great and both have benefited from the education system and are doing well at university.

    Often NZEI is accused of protecting bad teachers when all they are doing is ensuring fair process that all should have. I think you will find that NZEI has actually been proactive in many cases when teachers deserved to be removed from their position. However I’m sure you could find exceptions, because we are not perfect.

    You are also making empty statements about the NZEI not considering child but just protecting teachers. The New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa has existed for over 130 years and started out as a purely professional body but took on the role of negotiating agreements at a later stage. A good amount of our work is about advocating on professional issues and doing the sort of work I mentioned earlier. You will see my name amongst the review group for the IEP document because my passion is definitely with improving outcomes for children.

    Some facts:

    NZEI did not outright oppose National Standards, we thought they should be trialed first before implementing across all schools and did not want them to became a high stakes assessment that would corrupt their intent. Our concerns were ignored and the Standards were implemented before they were properly refined, causing huge stress for children and teachers with the constant changes and adjustments. Now that they are used for league tables the focus is not on how they can be used to help children but teachers are forced to teach a narrow curriculum to ensure the school comes out well in league tables. Internationally respected qualitative research has shown that NS have had a negative impact on the culture of most schools.

    NZEI did not want larger class sizes for the same reason that parents also rejected that ridiculous idea. Most of the Government MPs send their children to private schools that promote the value of small classes.

    NZEI fought against the cutting of $400 million from the early childhood sector that saw budgets cut from well performing centres and kindergartens and raised the costs for parents. An article in this week’s Listener supports our concerns of having a larger percentage of unqualified teachers.

    NZEI was appalled at the process used to close schools in Christchurch at a time when children and families were vulnerable and needed some stability. Ombudsmen and a court ruling have damned the process that cut communities out of proper consultation and forced the Minister to do it better,

    NZEI has real concerns about the money being spent on the new Executive Principals and other new roles ($359 million) this works out at about $120,000 per school. Rather than having a corporate model of teaching where a CEO earns substantially more than anyone else we would have preferred to have more teacher aids to support vulnerable children and reinstate advisors (that have been largely sacked) to lift professional capability across the board.

    NZEI have objected to the cuts to the Ministry that effectively cut our special education frontline services that has meant many of our high needs children no longer get the support that they used to.

    All other countries that have instituted systems where teachers are paid in relation to the marks of their children have seen children with high needs abandoned and stopped good teachers from wanting to work in low decile communities. It corrupts many teachers and schools by tempting them to rig results. Teaching is a complex job and the value of a good teacher is more than just results in tests. For some children I’m just pleased they attend school every day and want to be there and to blame a teacher because a child has gone back in their learning because of glue ear and their parents separating is a nonsense. Low decile schools have huge transience and to hold a teacher responsible for the class attainment when 50% shifted in or out over the year is just plain stupid.

    The majority of our documents are centered on what is best for kids and we strongly advocate for a public education system that delivers a good school for every community and child. A winner/loser competitive system just means lots of kids will be forced to attend schools that are failing and are getting no support. The Minister’s idea of giving more money to schools that are already successful is a nonsense.

    I challenge you to defend the list of changes implemented by this government in this post (you will note that most are supported with evidence, something that you never convincingly provide):

    Paranormal Ele continues to allow you to claim that I am complicit in serial child abuse and support that with sweeping statements that are appallingly ignorant in nature. I am really disappointed in the pure malice that exists here at times for anyone who expresses a counter view. This thread is has become similar to the vile ones i have seen on Whale Oil. I am really disappointed.

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Oh, harden up you great sooks!”

    Willdwan, It is very interesting that John Key claimed that the Greens “Go hard, very hard” in the house during question time. Interestingly we don’t resort to the personal abuse that National Ministers generally resort to in their answers. Going hard refers to being prepared to put forward an alternative view and doing the hard work of supporting it with evidence. Here I am engaging in debate on a blog that supports a different political philosophy and being subjected to personal abuse because of who I am not what i am saying. The vast majority of those commenting here have resorted to personal attacks rather than deal with the substantive argument. Is this part of the culture of the party you support or is this blog not representative of all National supporters? I actually chose to engage on Ele’s blog because I thought it was more principled than Slaters, but I am beginning to wonder.

  35. homepaddock says:

    “Paranormal Ele continues to allow you to claim that I am complicit in serial child abuse and support that with sweeping statements that are appallingly ignorant in nature. I am really disappointed in the pure malice that exists here at times for anyone who expresses a counter view. This thread is has become similar to the vile ones i have seen on Whale Oil. I am really disappointed.”

    I have removed the offending words, explained why and made it quite clear that I consider them unacceptable.

    I’ve left the rest because they give context and make it clear the accusations are about NZEI’s politics. I wouldn’t call that abuse and think doing so goes too far but so do a lot of other comments on several threads.

    You are familiar enough with this blog to know I rarely censor any comments no matter how objectionable I find them, even when they are personally abusive to others or me. Almost always that shows mud thrown sticks to the hand of the one who throws it rather than the one to whom it’s thrown.

    As often happens, people given enough rope hang themselves.

  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree that those who resort to personal abuse will be judged on the way they engage and rarely censor comments on my own blog. However it does concern me that such unacceptable comments receive support and that they continue to justified by yourself.

    Paranormal wasn’t just saying that NZEI supports child abuse (which is outrageous enough) but was directing the same charge at myself and throwing wild accusations around with no supporting evidence.

    Perhaps as a male teacher I am overly sensitive on this issue but I have seen too many male teachers have malicious charges of child abuse destroy their career. We hear in great detail about the very few who have committed serious offenses but for every one of those there are a number who have been wrongly accused. To have such charges made about myself, no matter what the context, when we all know that such accusations are about as bad as you can make (what is worse than a child abuser?) is just appalling.

    “To actively work against improving the outcomes for children, particularly the poorest performing is tantamount to serial child abuse. You are complicit in that.”

    Acceptable? Really?

  37. homepaddock says:

    “However it does concern me that such unacceptable comments receive support and that they continue to justified by yourself. ”

    I am neither supporting nor justifying them. I have made it quite clear that abuse was the wrong word.

    NZEI too often lets politics get in the way of eduction but it is ridiculous to call that abuse.

  38. Mr E says:

    Following your own logic please.
    “There will always be teachers, police, doctors, lawyers and even politicians who let down their sector or profession, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the whole system is rotten.”

    Make that –

    “There will always be commenters who let down the blog or but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the whole blog is rotten.”

    Trying to paint Ele in a negative light, is not fair, she has done what I consider appropriate in this situation. It appears to me you are promoting the unfair treatment you are getting from Paranormal. Or possibly you have some censorship wishes.

    I have been told politicians are “fair game”. I don’t pretend to treat them that way, but some do. Your very own leader – Russel is being dragged to court for statements that I think were defamatory. And some Green supporters have agreed with John Keys view that Colin needs to harden up.

    Yet you appear to have a violin out. Playing the victim, so to speak.

    I can’t support Paranormal’s abusive statement. And I am pleased they were removed. And personally I think he should apologise for the labels he attached to you. Play the ball – not the man, so to speak.

    I think politicians need to have pretty thick skins. At the moment, I’m not sure I can say that of you. Do you have the metal? The “chutzpah”?

  39. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I wouldn’t call that abuse..” I wonder what you would call abuse?

    Ele, if you were a fly on the wall of one of our NZEI executive meetings you would be aware of how wrong you are and how captured by the spin of your party. We are definitely engaging in a political environment but what motivates us is definitely the children that our the majority of our executive engage with everyday. You too are light on specifics and need to read the post I linked to.

    You probably need to talk to the boards of trustees of some of our rural Southland Schools whose members used to support National. They are angry at the way National Standards was forced on to schools in a bullying manner when they had genuine concerns (threats of sacking did not go down well). They are also angry at what their schools have to deal with in terms of Novopay and find the cuts in the services that they used to receive are also unreasonable. I can find you contacts if you want to pursue this.

    Mr E, I think that you would have to accept that i am generally fairly thick skinned and put up with a fair amount of personal abuse here and elsewhere. But I do have a bottom line and as someone who has spent over 30 years doing the best I can for kids and education, to have it implied that I am a child abuser is that line. To also have it justified because of a political context is also totally unacceptable. Child abuse is probably the worst accusation that anyone could make in relation to an individual or organisation and even in prison where our worst offenders reside, child abusers are regarded as the lowest of all by inmates.

    I am appalled at what this government has done to our education system and the lack of empathy and support shown to our most vulnerable children, but I would never apply the term child abuser to it or the Minister. Interestingly it is the Minister, not myself, who has had court decisions go against her for endangering the health and safety of children, but I would still not apply that label to her:

  40. Andrei says:

    Good Lord – this is inane.

    We are on the brink of the Third World War, perhaps the only hope of staving it off is a conference in Geneva due to take place
    tomorrow and as we speak any hope of that conference taking place is being sabotaged by evil men

    This is Holy Week and very unholy it is, blood is being spilled to advance the cause of darkness and chaos.

    Apologies for the threadjack.

    If you pray, pray for peace.

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Quoted from the TV1 link above:

    Parents and the Salisbury School board have vigorously fought against the move to close their school, arguing that sending the girls to a co-ed school would put them at risk of abuse.

    Justice Robert Dobson agreed the decision disregarded “the prospect of greater risk of sexual or physical abuse” to the girls if they were sent to a co-ed special needs school.

    He said the Government was also wrong to assume girls could be enrolled at Halswell college while it legally remained a single-sex boys’ school.

    The board had presented Parata with research that showed the girls were seven times more likely to be abused in a co-ed school.

    “Through this process, we have lost total confidence in Hekia Parata, and we think it is time that more hard questions are asked of her, and her Ministry’s competency,” McDonnell earlier said.

    “Justice Dobson is very critical of the Minister’s judgement and the Ministry’s processes.”

    National has also faced a public backlash over plans to close schools in Canterbury after the earthquakes.

  42. Paranormal says:

    Playing politics again DK.

  43. Mr E says:

    I always struggle to sympathise with a victim when they vilainize a third party in the very next breath.

  44. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E normally I would agree, but there was a clear case of hypocrisy when NZEI is accused of child abuse with no clear evidence and we have a Minister who has had a court decision found against her for willfully exposing girls to potential abuse. This was indefensible and anything that I could be accused of in my NZEI role pales in comparison. This is no unsubstantiated accusation and when you hear that this wonderful school has also had it’s funding cut for daring to stand up for their children it is even worse. The moral corruption is complete when you compare the attempt to close Salisbury School at the same time as doing this:
    and then this was revealed:
    and this:

    Phillipstown School is a Decile one School with excellent ERO reviews a strong roll and is still being forced to close because even after the original court decision too much money has been spent on the school it is being merged with.

  45. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Playing politics again DK.”

    This is a political blog, Paranormal but I would hardly call your engagement ‘playing politics’ it is much, much lower than that.

  46. TraceyS says:

    “…there was a clear case of hypocrisy when NZEI is accused of child abuse with no clear evidence and we have a Minister who has had a court decision found against her for willfully exposing girls to potential abuse…”

    I’m confused, Dave. Do you think that Paranormal is the Minister? Otherwise how is this hypocrisy?

    You are conflating and smearing now…

    I got an idea! Hows about we all stop this nonsense and go out to help the children in a real, practical way. Like Andrei alludes – we don’t know what’s just around the next corner…

  47. Paranormal says:

    No DK this is all about politics.

    You have nicely parroted NZEI talking points but have completely failed to be convincing when it comes to showing you are not playing politics with school students. For example your approach to Christchurch is just making what needs to happen even more stressful on those involved. Change can be embraced and a positive thing, or those with vested interests can create unnecessary fears in the innocent. The constant use of school children by NZEI as political pawns to send political messages continues to reinforce my statement about what you and your colleagues at the union are up to. It is nothing less than serial ….. to claim you’re there for the children is just rubbish when you are clearly there for your own power – as Mr Bloggs so clearly points out. it should be all about the students, but to you its all about the teachers (and consequently NZEI power and control).

    But lets bring all this back to where it started above – your clear and continuing inability to use actual facts. You are called on this time and again on this blog. Is it that you are merely repeating the lines you’ve been given or are you complicit in making it up to continue an ideology that traps people in poverty?

  48. I would like to say that David Kennedy is an extremely ethical person whom I have known for many years. I read this blog, and as a former teacher, I stand firmly on the side of NZEI. I’m afraid that this Government has been both heavy handed and inept in it’s handling of matters educational. Confused messages, attacks on all aspects of teacher and student representation across all levels, poorly implementd policies that have in themselves done nothing to improve our educational standards and outcomes, attacks on access to education at tertiary level, and the strengthening of unregistered teachers especially at pre-school and primary and secondary levels. When NZEI, just one of the educational unions to respond negatively to policies of a government that wants to reduce any form of representation for workers, says that what is being offered is a “step backwards”, I would read “a long way backwards”. This is a government that promised a bright future, and has
    delivered nothing positive for education at all.

  49. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, my supporting links are largely independent (Radio NZ, TV3, Stuffnz), none are NZEI sources and most are my own views. On the other hand I am fully aware that you have provided no convincing verification for anything you have stated.

    The court decisions against the Minister are fact and if you actually read my post on the destruction of our public education system you would find verification is mainly from MSM. Good luck with any further false accusations.

  50. Ray says:

    Enough, Mr Kennedy, enough!
    We know you are “appalled”,
    You have said so over and over in the fourteen posts you have made on this topic already.
    A point was made that the use of children as political pawns was “child abuse”, something I and many others would not argue with.
    That you have morphed this into something more sinister and sordid says more about you than the originator.
    Maybe the point has once again soared above your comprehension, or are you just playing the victim card, using a tactic I call the “Broken Wing Defense”.
    Like a sparrow feigning a broken wing you limp pitifully away from the nest, (or point), muttering “appalled” again and again until others follow.
    Or is it something else? It was you after all who introduced the sentence, “willfully exposing girls to potential abuse”, to a discussion about economics.

  51. Dave Kennedy says:

    Follow the thread, Ray. I never instigated any of the off thread conversation, nor the abuse that resulted. You’re the third person here to claim (without supporting evidence) that I am guilty of abusing children through my political actions.

    As for the final line, I was paraphrasing the court decision.

    “Justice Robert Dobson agreed the decision disregarded “the prospect of greater risk of sexual or physical abuse” to the girls if they were sent to a co-ed special needs school.”

  52. Wow. Commenting on this blog seems to be the equivalent of beating your head against a neo-liberal brick wall. Not only do you do yourself damage but the owner of the wall comes along to charge you with trespass and damage of property.

  53. Not meaning to wade into this, but I got the impression some people were blaming the NZEI for our poor education system. I’d think lack of funding, and inadequate training and pay, would have more to do with it.

  54. TraceyS says:

    “Commenting on this blog seems to be the equivalent of beating your head against a neo-liberal brick wall. Not only do you do yourself damage but the owner of the wall comes along to charge you with trespass and damage of property.”

    You are free not to do it. Think of the mutual benefits!

    “Not meaning to wade into this, but…”

    If you’re not meaning to, don’t!

  55. Dave Kennedy says:

    What started as something quite different ended up as a heavy attack on NZEI and accusations of child abuse. I thought this contribution from NZEI’s National Secretary should put things even more in perspective. Talk to any parent of a child at the unlucky 3% level of need and they will agree:

    OPINION: There is a group of stressed- out parents in New Zealand fighting on an almost daily basis to get a fair go for their kids.

    People like the solo mum who was told her wheelchair-bound son couldn’t be involved in class swimming because the school didn’t have the resources to pay someone to supervise him.

    Or the parents of the 9-year-old with autism, who is three years behind his peers and will soon have his meagre five hours of weekly classroom support reduced further.

    The Ministry of Education has estimated that 20,000 children (3 per cent of the student population) have severe learning needs and yet the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) is rationed to just 2 per cent of the school population. Another 40,000-60,000 children (4 per cent of the student population) have moderate to high-level needs and have to effectively compete to access other special education grant funding through their school.

    This means children aren’t just falling through the cracks – it’s more like a chasm. And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the effects of poverty on one in four children who face the additional challenges to successful learning created by transience, family stress, hunger and ill-health.

    Every one of us knows of a kid who would benefit from one-on- one and small-group attention.

    Into this bleak and underfunded picture comes the Government’s much-vaunted $359 million Investing in Educational Success scheme to “help raise student achievement” – particularly of priority learners such as children with special needs. When it was suddenly announced without consultation in January, teachers were floored by such a huge injection of money into the education system.

    But they were more stunned by the way it is to be spent – on a cadre of highly-paid executive and lead roles for principals and teachers to mentor across clusters of schools as a way of lifting achievement.

    The parents and teachers of children with special needs can only look at this massive windfall and wonder what might have been if they had been asked what they thought would give every child the opportunity to succeed.

    Instead we have an attempt to raise teaching quality that is untested, unproven and may or may not have a positive effect on learning. But it may also mean disrupted relationships between children and teachers, as the “best” teachers and principals leave their schools for two days a week to work with other schools.

    A fantastic teacher would surely have a diminishing impact in their own classroom if they are not there for 40 per cent of the time. Likewise, leading a school is not a three-day-a-week job for principals.
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    There is a question about whether these new roles are a Trojan Horse for a radical system change in our education system.

    The roles are to function within “communities of schools” and each community will determine achievement targets.

    Both the appointments to the new roles and the achievement targets are likely to be based primarily on national standards and NCEA results.

    This is a major sticking point. National standards are narrow, inaccurate and unfair. Teachers at the lowest decile schools can have class turnover of up to 50 per cent each year as families move to chase jobs and accommodation.

    At the other end of the spectrum, children live in warm homes with food in the pantry and have stable and educated families to support their learning. How can you possibly identify the most capable and passionate teachers based on their students’ national standards results?

    The elephant in the classroom of why some Kiwi kids under- achieve is child poverty. Every reputable study around the world agrees that it is the outside factors like socio-economic status that have the overwhelming impact on children’s educational success.

    Teaching quality is significant, but across the system it has limited impact if large numbers of children are living in poverty.

    $359m is an awful lot of money to spend on an experiment when there are other more obvious solutions for improving educational success.

    If the new roles are the pricey magic bullet that is going to override all the disadvantages of poverty, this Government is going to have to do a much better job of convincing teachers and principals.

    – Paul Goulter is the national secretary of NZEI Te Riu Roa, an education sector union.

    – © Fairfax NZ News

  56. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I am one of those parents who has fought for many years to get a fair go for my kid, but of neither solo-parent nor lower-socioeconomic heart-string tugging status.

    Regarding getting extra funding to help children in need, I was recently told that school could not “do anything” to help the child unless we got a test done for a condition that (going by previous assessments) he does not have. These comments were actually noted in his records: “can’t do anything because mother won’t get test”. Or very close to those words.

    They will not accept his current ed-psych assessment because the findings don’t attract extra government funding. So they want to look for a new “label” and in the meantime use the lack of their desired test-diagnosis as an excuse for ignoring (almost) all the professional recommendations they have been given to date. This is appalling enough, but worse considering this:

    Since we don’t expect the taxpayer to pay for extra help we offered to pay directly for teacher-aide hours in the classroom which is what he needs. You’d think a cash-strapped school would have leapt at this offer wouldn’t you? But no. Why do you suppose that’d be? I know exactly why because the question was answered by a previous teacher being very frank and honest with me.

    I’ve also had the suggestion that we will have to make up for deficiencies at school by filling in the gaps at home. One teacher in the same breath as he pointed out that our son needs to achieve so he (the teacher) can pass his performance appraisal! Should we make ourselves and our kid miserable so that a teacher looks good on his appraisal?

    Teaching at home doesn’t work for our family, it makes us all miserable. I am good at several things but teaching is not one of them. And by the time our child gets home, he doesn’t want to do anything that comes close to school work so put off is he by the daily experience and so exhausted by the struggle to keep up in the absence of the support that his parents are willing and able, without a moan, to provide for him during school hours.

    I do not agree with blaming teacher unions. However, politically, much is made of the downsides of capitalistic influences on schools. But socialistic influences are present too and also carry downsides. My donation to the school to help my child with teacher-aide hours would maybe come to about $10k per annum. They don’t seem to want it. Now if I sent a cheque which they could spread thinly across all kids in need do you think they’d turn it down? Hell no and my child who has a desperate need would be no better off because most of it would be directed to other kids. Directed mainly towards those who don’t have ‘rich’ parents by people who think that money solves every problem.

    You should be aware that there are plenty of people involved in education who recognise that the present system is underserving a whole bunch of kids with huge potential to do good things in the world. But they tend to speak in hushed tones. You might not hear them, but they are there if you want to open your ears. My reckoning is that not listening is just delaying the inevitable.

  57. Willdwan says:

    Since you are still carrying on about child abuse, I see a ‘Professor Fiona Stanley’ has just labeled people who are skeptical of the IPCC as child abusers. Lovely! Come to think of it, I believe Professor Richard Dawkins said something similar about religious instruction. I guess it’s ok if you are a tenured academic.

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