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Liberty Belle: More Lunacy Sightings

Fri, 25 Feb 2005

Deborah Coddington Liberty Belle

More lunacy sightings this week – they're simply irresistible. Playcentres, it seems, now have to get a resource consent to protect their little charges from the sun's rays. I was told about the Welcome Bay Playcentre, which has not put up a new shadecloth because the consent would cost them $1000. They only found out about it because the manufacturer of the shadecloth had the good grace to tell them he'd had several orders cancelled because of this stupid goddam bureaucratic nonsense.

And it's not just restricted to the Tauranga locale – reports have come in from other early childhood centres having to pay up to $700 for a resource consent. For Pete's sakes, what next? The centres would quite possibly get taken to court under OSH rules for exposing the kids to UV rays, but they have to spend cash they simply don't have on complying with councils' regulations to comply with government regulations.

But we all know it's nothing to do with the authorities' desire to protect the environment – it's simply a way for them to collect revenue from ratepayers without upping the rates. It's extortion and it should stop. The Resource Management Act – passed by the National Government – should be dumped. Scrapped. Annihilated. Nowhere does this piece of appalling legislation mention 'property rights', and yet private property rights are the essential ingredient to protecting the environment. When no one owns the land, no one cares about it.

The greatest lunacy of the decade must be the NCEA – again introduced by the National Government. Darryl, who last year sat level 3 NCEA, emailed me and pointed out the lunacy of the Grade Point Average (GPA) – intended to relate marks for each subject to a score out of 100.

A student who gets Excellence for all standards of a subject will get a GPA of 100. Another student who gets Excellence in one standard and fails the rest of that subject will also get a GPA of 100. So failing more standards can increase a GPA: "In a subject," Darryl explained, "if I get one Excellence and the rest Achieved I could end up with a GPA of about 57, but if I get one Excellence and fail the rest, my GPA shoots back up to 100... I guess it's all a pathetic attempt at political correctness but in reality, having a useless qualification doesn't help anyone." Couldn't have put it better myself Darryl.

This just in from the Economist: "Tens of thousands of pupils and teachers in Paris and other parts of France took part in demonstrations against a proposed educational reform which parliament is debating. Critics said the proposal to increase the use of continuous assessment rather than examination would sharpen inequality and leave many students with useless qualifications." Allons enfants de la Patrie le jour de gloire est arrive!

Yours in liberty Deborah Coddington


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