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


Free Press, 23 April 2018

Free Press, 23 April 2018

This last week we saw more evidence of the Government putting PR ahead of good policy.

Style over substance

On Friday, Jacinda Ardern was quoted using a Maori proverb at a dinner hosted by the Queen: “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, the people, the people.”

She implored other Commonwealth leaders to remember their role was to serve and improve the lives of their people.

Serving our people?

Contrast the Prime Minister’s rhetorical flourish with comments her Education Minister has made about charter schools, in which some of our most disadvantaged children have thrived.

“Charter schools are a blight on our educational system”, Chris Hipkins has said. “There is no place for them.”

The PM has no right to claim she is serving New Zealanders when her Government is stripping opportunity away from 1300 mostly Maori and Pasifika students.

Hipkins a no-show

Free Press isn’t surprised that Chris Hipkins didn’t want to show up on Newshub Nation this weekend to defend his indefensible charter school policy.

Union boss Whetu Cormick - standing in for Hipkins - completely failed to make the Government’s case.

A shambolic performance

Cormick wasn’t aware that charter schools mostly employ registered teachers.

He wouldn’t defend the state system’s abysmal record of failure of Maori students.

He couldn’t dispute the fact that charter schools are getting better academic outcomes for students.

Dogma over data

Asked if charter schools were failing Cormick said “it’s too early to tell” and in the next breath admitted “we believe they should be shut down”.

As Lisa Owen put it, the union approach to charter schools is one of ‘dogma over data’.

On the road, in the regions

Last week, ACT Leader David Seymour was in Otorohanga to promote his End of Life Choice Bill and in Taranaki to meet with people affected by the Government’s oil and gas decision.

Destroying an ecosystem

The Taranaki economy is an ecosystem in which businesses are interdependent.

Fitzroy Engineering, whom David visited on Wednesday, depends on the oil and gas industry and employs 400 highly-skilled employees.

By banning new oil and gas exploration, the Government will shatter that ecosystem and will have a much wider impact on the economy than it has so far considered.

Our energy future

The Government - and especially the Greens - like to say that cheap, clean technologies which can fulfil our energy needs are right around the corner.

If the Government is right, the oil and gas industry will have wasted massive resources through its current investments.

If on the other hand the Government is wrong, it will be depriving New Zealand of reliable energy sources which are vital to maintaining our standard of living.

Who’s right?

Who should we expect is more likely to be right about our energy future?

The oil and gas industry, which has skin in the game and every incentive to get their investments right? Or former student politicians looking for a PR opportunity?

Only time will tell.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>


Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>


Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>


Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels