Nats' education policy 'gimmicks'
Mon, 10 Sep 2012 12:20p.m.
By Alex O'Hara
Labour says New Zealand needs a Minister for Children, and will introduce one if it wins the 2014 election.
Leader David Shearer says there needs to be a special focus on children to ensure they have the best start in life, but National says the current policies work and Labour's proposals are unnecessary.
The schoolyard has become the new political battleground, with Mr Shearer calling the Government's education policies "abysmal" and "appalling".
"We've got increasing class sizes, charter schools, a whole bunch of different... I would say gimmicks," he told TV3's Firstline this morning.
"Gimmicks that are not about making our schools better and making our learning environment for kids better either."
He says changes need to be made, including introducing a Minister for Children.
"We have a Minister for Racing, for heaven's sake, and we certainly should have a Minister of Children who can look at the specific issues around children and advocate for those in Cabinet, absolutely."
But National says that's unnecessary.
"All of our portfolios are focused on how we can attend to our most vulnerable children," says Education Minister Hekia Parata, "and the result action plan we released three weeks ago talked about an integrated approach."
National also says there's no need for Labour's $19 million proposal to provide a free daily meal to all decile one-to-three schools, as there are already mechanisms in place.
"For the vast bulk of them we provide fruit in schools, there's often a breakfast programme and more often than not some sort of emergency lunch," says Prime Minister John Key.
But statistics show more than 80,000 children often go without breakfast, and Labour says that's because current policies don't work. It says if elected in 2014, it will provide the world's best education and will make sure no child goes without.
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11/09/2012 5:38:36 a.m.
@jim There is a ministry of racing for gods sake. Dont you think there should be one for children and scrap the other. Nats have no sense of priority. We pay more for children after theyve been hurt than would need to be if it was preventive. No education no hope. At least David Shearer is trying to come up with positives to help with the poverty in nz. Bitching doesnt help so how about some of your brilliant penmanship going into some positive ideas.
10/09/2012 10:28:33 p.m.
No one asked for the Super Doopa Ministry that National created either Jim... so your point is National are just as stupid as Labour yes?.
True inequality in this country was created by National in the 1990's.. academics (you know doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers even.. which is what the Child poverty Action Group is made up of.. all agree on this point) all those highly intelligent excessively qualified people in our society.
So you are saying you know better than they do? Um, considering the bulk of your posts consist of parroting everything.. I doubt it.
The Head of the OECD last year came out and stated that New Zealand had the largest wealth gap in the OECD.. larger than Greece... he listed two causes... attack on welfare and Top earner tax cuts.
So the cause of the issue can be easily traced.... what party did both things recently? National would be the answer you seek.
Inequality is here.. you may not like it, you may not agree... but far more intelligent people than you or I do agree.
10/09/2012 3:33:07 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "Labour says New Zealand needs a Minister for Children, and will introduce one if it wins the 2014 election.
Leader David Shearer says there needs to be a special focus on children to ensure they have the best start in life, but National says the current policies work and Labour's proposals are unnecessary."
What will Labour think up next to get
Another BRAND NEW SUPER DOOPA Ministry that no-one has ever asked for or wanted.
This is true Labour DNA stuff Mr Shearer.
When you add the cost of this new Ministry, feeding all the school kids at decile 1 to 3 schools, paying all the school donations to enable a FREE Education for all students, introducing a Capital Gains TAX that no-one again asked for, plus removing gst off all food and raising the pension eligibilty and lastly raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour - THAT IS quite a full shopping basket you and LABOUR are offering the electorate Mr Shearer.
No doubt you will tell us how all these generous promises are going to be paid for!!!!!
10/09/2012 2:02:03 p.m.
More wages wont fix the problem, as it has never fixed the problem in the past.At the end of the day, people need to live within their means.Be it millionaires, or beneficaries.If you dont have enough to cover, you cut back on luxeries. Cut out the dope, smokes, alcohol, gambling, sky TV, HP, credit card interest for starters.If you truely can't afford your rent and the basics of food, because the rent is too high, move to where you can afford rent. Its what generations of Kiwis have done.The throw money at problems never works. What would happen if we raised the min wage to $20 as some are wanting? It will just add costs and we will be back where we are now, but everything just costing more. Thats because throwing money at the problem, while popular amoung the brain dead, its just inflationary and makes our money worth less, so while you get more dollars, you dont get any more value.NZ exports under Labour in boom years 2000-2005 grew a huge 5% in 5 years!Recession years 2008-2011 we have seen over 11% growth in exports in 3 years. Yes we all know, nobody can expect Labour to perform economically as well in boom years as National in a recession - that would be just asking too much!If we do move to free food in low decile schools? Why not all schools? Already NZ spends more per child on low decile schools than higher decile, and they get less return for it in achievement - why? Because throwing money at things solves nothing!If we dont teach the parents and the kids to live within their means, we wont achieve anything. We dont have poverty in NZ, need to look around the world for real poverty. As I illustrated (200ml milk and 50 gm cereal), can buy a good nutricous breakfast for 55 cents a serve at home, IF the parents can be bothered. What we have is choices that put other luxeries above fairly low costs of feeding kids breakfast - not lack of money.
10/09/2012 12:33:17 p.m.
Without any efforts to raise workers wages all this is just bandaid welfare policy. Australia is doing so well because they have higher wages. Lets all just cut to the most serious problem infecting NZs economic viability. And can we cut the hollow rigth wing rhetoric of having competing wages with China, thats patent nonesence. And lets face it, most of Fonterra's payouts to Farmers just go straight over the ditch to line Australian bankers pockets.
10/09/2012 12:24:12 p.m.
Maybe it's time they had a Minister of Politicians to keep these idiots in line and have the powers to sack them, they are all out of control.
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