Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

What's Going wONg

WHAT'S GOING wONg
Pansy Wong's newsletter from Parliament

A comprehensive approach to education

There is an old Chinese saying that you can tell from a three-year-old what they will be like at 80. It is important that all children are given the chance to succeed, and this week National committed to giving Kiwi kids a head-start from pre-school onwards.

Trevor Mallard’s recent ranting about National’s schools policy has shown that he doesn’t have any credible solutions for our nation’s schools.

National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, released our schools policy last Friday, and this week Don Brash showcased the childcare tax deductions that working parents will be able to access under the next National Government.

Currently, many parents aren’t eligible for a childcare subsidy because they earn too much. The next National Government will ease the burden on working parents, particularly second-income earners and employed sole parents, by giving them a tax deduction on childcare costs. This policy is focused on making pre-school childcare more affordable for those already in the workforce, and tackling one of the barriers to employment that parents face, especially sole parents.

All kinds of childcare, from nannies to registered childcare centres, will be eligible for the rebate of 33% of costs up to $5000 a year, which will mean a maximum tax refund of $1,650 per child. This tax deduction would take effect on April 1, 2006.

National is also supporting parents and their children with a strong schools policy that will give every child the chance to succeed.

We will:

- Introduce literacy and numeracy standards.

- Provide reading and maths vouchers for pupils who don’t meet national standards by the age of seven.

- Immediately overhaul the NCEA and reintroduce demanding scholarship exams.

- Make available information on the performance of pupils and schools.

- Slash education bureaucracy by decentralising school management and redirect funding to school budgets.

- Provide more choice for parents.

- Improve choice by relaxing rigid zoning restrictions.

- Allow more school independence.

- Make teaching a sought-after occupation that attracts and retains top people.

- Introduce a plain-language curriculum.

Since Labour took office in 1999, 1,200 new education bureaucrats have been hired and spending in the Education Ministry and other central services has increased at ten times the rate of funding for schools. Labour is content to waste taxpayer money on pen pushers, while parents are forced to fundraise to top up school budgets.

National believes that parents and schools know what’s best for their children, not faceless bureaucrats sitting behind a desk in Wellington. We are committed to giving every child the best chance to succeed and we will restore confidence in the education system.

Facing up to the public

The election battle is gearing up with politicians facing the ethnic communities that make up 10% of our population. Asian and Indian Kiwis are flexing their voting muscles!

A range of groups are hosting political forums to hear first-hand what the political parties are offering them. I am pleased to see that MPs from across the political spectrum are fronting up.

Auckland’s Taiwanese Hwa Hsia society began holding their forums in 1996 with an audience of 3,000. Since then, hundreds have attended these meetings every election year, and the community came out in force last weekend to hear what the eight main parties had to say.

Judging by the kinds of questions coming from the audience, the Taiwanese community has the same concerns as the rest of the country – particularly about high taxes, law and order and the 111 system, the future of the NCEA, and immigration.

Labour MP Chris Carter told the meeting that Labour welcomes migrants and promotes diversity. I pointed out that Asian migration has dropped by more than 60% in the last few years, and every time Labour makes changes to the immigration system, New Zealand First congratulates Labour for adopting its policies.

This was too much for NZ First’s Dail Jones to resist – he promptly got up and congratulated Labour once again.

It’s going to be a fiery campaign - roll on election day!

Pansy Wong
www.pansywong.co.nz
www.national.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election