Red Alert

Archive for June, 2012

Tertiary education is an investment

Posted by on June 30th, 2012

Looking through the budget papers released today, I found myself wondering again at the lack of vision in the recent budget.

The adage that ‘a zero budget is what you get when you’re economy is failing’ rings true in the context of the documents. There is no vision for a better society and no credible plan to address the fundamental problems with our economy.

Amidst the budget papers Treasury has provided (some would say predictable) advice on reintroducing interest on student loans.  It could be argued that this is Treasury’s prerogative – and it is.  But generally Ministers will tell officials beforehand if they’re wasting their time – and energy will be put into more productive tasks.  I expect the advice released signals that National Ministers have been actively considering putting interest back on student loans.

National have never liked the interest-free student loan policy that Labour introduced, and have added an ‘administration fee’ since coming to government.  They’ve cut access to student allowances.  Generally, they’re not afraid to restrict access to those with aspirations who are from poorer backgrounds and are otherwise unable to afford to study.  That is because National see education as a cost rather than an investment.

More fool them.


Rare economic honesty from National

Posted by on June 29th, 2012

Less with less

You can read it for yourself in Treasury’s official Budget 2012 Information Release: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/budget/2012/pdfs/b12-2229337.pdf


By The Numbers

Posted by on June 29th, 2012

400 - Signatures for the stop asset sales petition were collected by Labour MPs this week in just one hour at Cuba Mall.
27 - June 2012, marked the final episode of Backbenchers as the Government axes TVNZ7.
10 - New targets from the National Government this week, show 10 new examples of John Key mistaking promises for progress.
1.8 - Billion – the amount added to the Crown deficit after KiwiRail slashes 6.7bn from the value of its business.
1 - National member brings more heat and more light to question time.


Funeral for TVNZ7

Posted by on June 28th, 2012

Today on the steps of parliament I received a petition for 36,000 signatures from New Zealanders who care about public broadcasting. hundreds marched along Lambton Quay with a coffin to mark the passing of our only public television station TVNZ7, which has its funding axed by the National Government on Saturday 30 June.

Labour, Green, and NZ First MPs were there en masse.

Even Peter Dunne turned up. He said a lot of words about supporting public television.

procession

Kiwi in crowdClare speaking

Clare with petition and coffin 2Petition fav


Turning up

Posted by on June 28th, 2012

It was disappointing to see my Depleted Uranium Prohibition Bill go down last night. With a 60-60 vote it doesn’t proceed.

And it was a shame that although support from Labour, the Greens, NZ First, Maori Party, Mana, and United Future should have delivered a one vote majority, the Maori Party cast only two votes instead of their full three.  The party has explained that Pita Sharples was away at the tangi of Hoani Waititi but casting only two votes meant they can only have had one of their three MPs in the House. Rules allow three votes if they have two or three of their MPs in the House, and two votes if only one is present.

Pita Sharples’ office has since apologised to me, saying they didnt realise the vote would be so tight. I appreciate that, but I did email their Whip and his assistant yesterday to say that we were relying on them voting their full quota to deliver the bill majority support.

First rule of democracy: you have to turn up.


Today’s Members’ bill ballot

Posted by on June 28th, 2012

Today at midday there will be a ballot for members’ bills. There are four places available on the Order Paper after the House managed to get through quite a few first readings yesterday. Labour has 33 bills out of 65 in the ballot, so our chances are looking good.

Members Day is one of the few opportunities opposition and backbench MPs get to set the agenda and debate the issues that we really care about. I’m really pleased my Labour colleagues have embraced this opportunity and all put something up for consideration (my colleague Lianne Dalziel had her Bill drawn in the last ballot and is presently working on a replacement).

You can see the full list of bills in today’s ballot after the break. I’ll post the results just after midday.

Update: The following Bills have been drawn from the ballot. Congratulations to these MPs: 

  • Overseas Investment (Restriction on Foreign Ownership of Land) Amendment Bill (Russel Norman)
  • Habeas Corpus Amendment Bill (Chris Auchinvole)
  • Local Government (Salary Moderation) Amendment Bill (Annette King)
  • Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill (Todd McClay)

(more…)


Rally for TVNZ7 tomorrow

Posted by on June 27th, 2012

marchposter_final


The Dolphin and the Dole Queue

Posted by on June 27th, 2012

Last Saturday Labour Party members and friends gathered in Titirangi to talk about the environment and green technology. It was great that deputy leader and Labour’s environment spokesperson Grant Robertson was able to join us. (UPDATE, and Grant’s speech can be found here)

I gave a speech about the unbreakable nexus between economic development and environmental protection. It’s called The Dolphin and the Dole Queue and you can read it here or follow the discussion it’s generated at The Standard.

My speech contextualised clean-tech and renewable technologies and how these might meet some of the pressing environmental challenges. It did this by placing in context:

  1. The gathering storm clouds of major environmental trends, such as climate change, fossil fuel scarcity and population growth;
  2. Why a strategic shift to a green economy which incorporates clean-technology and renewable energy is required;
  3. A reality check on the remaining ‘gap’ – that fact that, even with prompt action, major risks and adjustments will still exist;
  4. Rules of thumb for navigating future choices – evidence and analysis, the precautionary principle, and resilience economics.

There is no longer a genuine debate about whether our climate is changing. Instead there is an overwhelming consensus of climate scientists versus the old vested interests of polluters and their curious allies on the conspiratorial fringe.

The truth is our planet is near – if not past – the point where our ever-increasing demands on resources will surpass the Earth’s ability to sustain our civilisation in its current form.

Too many politicians appear to have calculated that frightening people with the truth just makes things difficult for them. Maybe that was true. Perhaps it still is. But the time for short-term thinking must end because the facts are clear.

Do you want future generations to have much more difficult and conflict-riven lives than we do; is it acceptable to you that your descendents should look back at us and ask “How could you have known what you did and yet you did nothing?”

There is huge potential for New Zealand in clean-tech and renewable energy. We’ve already got Lanzatech capturing industrial waste exhaust and turning it into energy. We’ve got SolarCity installing solar panels on thousands of roofs in Christchurch. Living Earth is creating compost from waste which might have gone to landfill. New Zealanders are doing amazing things in the clean economy which matter, and which help us get a slice of the $6 trillion potential global market.

But a core part of my speech stressed that a more serious and sophisticated analysis of the potential and limits of clean-tech is required. Yes, we must ensure New Zealand isn’t left behind and that our country maximises both the ecological and economic value of our necessary transition to a clean economy. But we must also carefully guard against the risks of “green-wash” and being overly optimistic that a move to a low carbon future means business as usual. Because it doesn’t. It’s going to take cultural changes around consumption and stewardship of the things we own and the land we inhabit, and we’re going to have to meaningfully reach out to the developing world so that their rise doesn’t countermine our progress.

New Zealanders must work through the challenges now because the rest of the world is racing ahead of us. We need to deliver a broad public and political push for sustainable economic growth and enhanced environmental protections, and we need to start today because our “clean green brand” is already being questioned overseas.

This change is sharply at odds with National’s “milking and mining” plan of ever-increasing pollution and kicking business leaders who dare to speak out against their dead-end strategy. So progress is going to be a big challenge.

I concluded that, while the challenge is huge, community engagement and activism is necessary and change is possible.

What do Red Alert readers think? How can we get the most from clean-tech? Is enough being invested in its development? How are we going to change attitudes and work together so we can enjoy fulfilling lives today while still saving this planet for our grandkids?


Uranium weapons bill a chance for NZ to lead

Posted by on June 27th, 2012

My Depleted Uranium Prohibition Bill is likely to get a first reading tonight. It is a chance for New Zealand to take a lead on banning the Agent Orange of the 21st century.

Depleted uranium is the by-product of processing uranium ore for use in nuclear reactors or bombs. It is incredibly hard and is used in armour piercing munitions. It ignites on impact and disperses a radioactive smoke which is also chemically toxic causing heavy-metal poisoning.

The US and UK used depleted uranium munitions in the 1991 Gulf War, in the Balkans in 1999, and in Iraq in 2003. They may have also been used in Afghanistan since 2001 although this is denied by the US. You might have seen a story by Michael Field in the Sunday Star Times reporting that NZ soldiers are urine-tested on return from Iraq and Afghanistan to check their exposure.

There is growing international concern about depleted uranium weapons. About one-third of the 800,000 US veterans of the 1991 Gulf War now claim disablity benefits for mystery illnesses, and depleted uranium has been suggested as one of the risk factors for the syndrome. There has been a sharp upsurge in cancers and birth deformities in Iraq after 1991 and 2003, most recently in Fallujah which was the scene of heavy US bombardment in 2004.

Medical studies conclusively linking depleted uranium weapons to health effects on civilians and combatants have not been done. The military powers using these weapons are secretive and obstructive. But there is growing concern and enough medical evidence that depleted uranium is a potential hazard to warrant a precautionary approach.

My bill bans depleted uranium weapons just like New Zealand has banned nuclear weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. Until the military users of these weapons are prepared to open up their records and allow conclusive scientific studies on the health risks I believe we should outlaw their use.

Belgium and Cost Rica have already legislated bans. If New Zealand adds its voice to this growing international movement we can make a real difference.

I am expecting the Opposition parties will support the bill to select committee. National MPs have indicated they won’t support it, and the International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons has replied to their concerns in an open letter published here.

You can bet that if depleted uranium weapons were being used on New Zealand soil we would take the precautionary approach. We owe the same duty of care to civilians exposed to depleted uranium in war.


Capital Connection Petition

Posted by on June 27th, 2012

Save The Capital Connection BannerTomorrow I’m going to table the petition to Save the Capital Connection. We have gathered  just over 1900 signatures in three weeks. Let’s see if we can get at least to 2000 by tomorrow.

Sign the petition here.  Follow the campaign on Facebook here.


A bit depressing

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

NZ’s only public broadcasting television channel TVNZ7 gets axed by the National Govt on Saturday, 30 June.

Today I asked the Minister of Broadcasting whether he would review this decision given the increasing viewership and popularity of TVNZ7. I also asked him whether proposals had been put to his government to keep TVNZ7 going and why they had been turned down.

Finally I asked whether he, as Minister of Broadcasting, was making sure that he was fulfilling his obligations by ensuring spectrum was allocated for public broadcasting TV for the future use of Kiwis.

Craig Foss is the Minister of Broadcasting. He didn’t seem to understand the questions. You be the judge.

Here is the transcript (more…)


Ten ideas for the Government

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Yesterday the Government released a list of ten “ambitious targets”, and despite ballooning debt, declining exports and slow job growth, there were no new ideas.

In question time today, Bill English confirmed they have no targets for making superannuation affordable, no targets for wage growth, no targets to grow the economy and no targets to reduce overseas debt.

It is just the latest laundry list of vague ideas with no meaningful milestones or policies to achieve real outcomes. It is simply a stunt designed to take the attention off the unpopular asset sales plan and the Government’s botched attempt to increase class sizes.

This list exposes National for once again tinkering around the edges instead of making the tough decisions needed to create a long-term, prosperous future for New Zealand.

While the Government is wishing for rainbows at the end of every street, it has little credibility when it is not dealing with the big issues we are facing as a country.

Here is an example of 10 key issues that National is not addressing:

·         Job creation

·         Economic growth

·         Reducing overseas debt

·         Securing superannuation for the future

·         Reforming our tax system

·         Investing in research and development

·         Supporting our exporters

·         Cleaning up the environment

·         Being tougher on foreign ownership of our land

·         Giving Kiwis a reason to stay in New Zealand

Those are just my first ideas at some “ambitious targets” the Government isn’t trying to address. I’m sure the erudite readers of this blog will have plenty of ideas of their own, please leave them in the comments. I’d love to hear them!


The last Back Benches #SaveTVNZ7

Posted by on June 25th, 2012
Well this is it. Wednesday night will be the last episode of Back Benches as we have grown to know it and love. I hope you’ll all watch it.

Thanks so much to the production team led by Maryanne Ahern, Caroline Bruner, presenters Wallace Chapman, Damian Christie and the rest of the team.

You’ve been provocotive, challenging, quirky, funny, outrageous, thoughtful and you’ve pushed us politicians to reveal ourselves. You’ve allowed the NZ public to participate in politics in new ways. Above all, you’ve belonged to all of us. Thanks.

THIS WEEK ON BACK BENCHES: Watch Wallace Chapman, Damian Christie, the Back Benches Panel debate the big issues on our final episode of “Back Benches.”

THE ECONOMY: When Back Benches began in April 2008, we were in the first few months of the Global Financial Crises—which has been at the centre of the New Zealand and World economies ever since. So, where are we today? Are we better off than we were four years ago? How have we fared compared to other nations?  What impact have decisions over the last four years meant to our financial footing? And when will the years of austerity be over?

EDUCATION: We have talked about Education many times on Back Benches—Early Childhood, Primary-High School, Adult Education and University. In April 2010, we headed South to Dunedin to discuss University Life—from fees to paying back student loans. Now, in 2012—what’s the state of University Education? How are students affording Uni? Are they paying back their loans any faster or at all?

BINGING & BOOZING: One of the topics we have discussed more than any other is alcohol. The irony is not lost this pub politics programme. In 2009—the law commission released an issues paper on our liquor laws. While, the final report was to be published nearly a year later but we had our panel weigh in. Now, in 2012, Parliament is near deciding which of the 153 recommendations it will adopt. Will there be an increase in the purchase age? Will there be new sale restrictions? Minimum pricing? And will any of these changes actually make a dent in our binge drinking culture?

Join us for a night of LIVE pub politics from the Shepherds Arms Hotel & Speights Ale House on Tinakori Road: Wednesday, 27th of June. Our Panel: Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei, Labour MP Jacinda Ardern, Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira, National MP Chester Borrows, and United Future Leader Peter Dunne.   


Dear John

Posted by on June 25th, 2012

A retired constituent I visited on the weekend wrote this and passed it on to me. She despairs at the direction of the Government but is determined to retain her sense of humour ‘amidst the chaos’.

Words can be sung to the original ‘Dear John’ song.  I understand it may yet be turned into a YouTube ‘classic’.  Time will tell.

 

Dear John, oh how I hate to write

Dear John, I must tell you this tonight.

You are fracking precious land

For the global bankers’ band,

And for this we do not love you, Dear John.

 

Dear John, we’ve assets by the score,

Dear John, you would let them go off-shore,

Once they’re gone they’re really gone,

So we should be hanging on.

Not let others grab the power, Dear John.

 

Dear John, we know our country’s broke

Dear John, you would be a better bloke

If you cared more for the weak,

They’re the ones who cannot speak,

And their carers do not love you, Dear John.

 

Dear John, our education’s good,

Dear John, keep the teachers, this you should.

You’d have upped the classroom size,

You are taxing school-age guys,

And our kids say ‘could do better’, Dear John.

 

Dear John, you’ve been to see the Queen,

Dear John, what a joy that must have been.

While you were swanning overseas,

We paid all your first class fees.

Some can not afford a bus fare, Dear John.

 


Nanny Phobia Costing Lives

Posted by on June 24th, 2012

National’s irrational fear of being tagged with the ‘Nanny State’ label they successfully over-hyped against Labour has just jumped the shark.

3 News reported tonight that optics man Steven Joyce pulled a last minute flip-flop on making life jackets compulsory on small boats.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges, sounding like he was on morphine, gave National’s reasoning as not wanting to over-regulate.

What the hell? We have tragedies like  this happening all the time because our laws are inadequate and wearing of life jackets is unenforceable.

Frankly, this is even worse than National’s refusal to change the drink-drive limit.

It’s an utterly irresponsible decision from a Government more worried about the ‘optics’ than human lives.


By The Numbers

Posted by on June 22nd, 2012

An appetising, nutritious, numeric snack that boils down the week’s news, by David Clark

120 - Million dollars to merchant bankers by the Nats to pawn our state assets.

80 - Per cent of New Zealanders ignored by National on asset sales.

20 - June: the date the Mixed Ownership Model Bill would have passed had Labour not fought for our assets.

7 - The number of times Energy Minister Phil Heatley was told off in Parliament for failing to answer a simple question on power prices.

1 - Absent conscience when it comes to keeping his election promise never to sell off our water assets.


What’s fair Mr Joyce?

Posted by on June 21st, 2012

At the estimates (budget) hearing for Vote Tertiary Education yesterday there were some interesting exchanges. The ones around the lower than budgeted spend on skills training in Canterbury (despite the many offers/bids from training providers) has been well covered in the media.

We also quizzed Mr Joyce on the impact of abolishing student allowance for postrgraduate students and limiting eligibility on long courses. What this, and the written questions that we and the Greens have asked of him, show is the remarkable lack of knowledge about the impact of the policy. The best we can get is an approximation of the number of students who will be affected. No idea of the affect of the impact on particular groups such as women, nor any information on the reasons why people had extensions to the 200 week limit for allowances.

But the thing that really struck me about the answers Steven Joyce gave was when I asked him if it would have been fair to have “grandparented” all students currently enrolled in courses where they entered with the expectation of an allowance been available, so that they could finish the course under those conditions. After an ” I guess you could look at it that way”, we get a nod from Mr Joyce that he thought it was fair enough that those students would now not get an allowance.

Even if the government thinks cutting allowance eligibility is a good idea, I really think they could have looked at grandparenting everyone who is currently enrolled in a course where they would have got them. They are extending eligibility for some people (those with dependents) for a one year period. It would have been fair to have extended that.


What sort of government sells the country’s laws to a casino? (Op-ed)

Posted by on June 21st, 2012

Radio Live logo
This op-ed was originally published at RadioLive.co.nz.

It’s hard to tell exactly when the political tide changes; that precise moment when the people stand together and tell their government ‘we are the voters and you must change course’.

But when that tide does turn you feel it in your bones.

I felt it last week. I was picking my kids up from school and a teacher said “Mr Cunliffe, did you know John Key is about to sell our power companies? Those assets have been built up by generations of Kiwis! He has no right. You must stop him.”

A huge majority of New Zealanders oppose flogging off of our power companies, and Air New Zealand and Solid Energy too. But the National government is pushing ahead to line the pockets of ticket-clippers and their major donors.

I felt the tide turn in the huge pushback by parents over National’s shameless bid to increase class sizes, which was outrageously spun as a “teacher improvement” idea.

And I felt it in the sense of despair shared by so many over the Budget brought down last month.

The “Zero Budget” of 2012 will be remembered for sending a record number of New Zealanders to the departure lounges. We’ve already been losing 1,000 Kiwis a week, and with this hopeless government it’s going to get worse. If that weren’t bad enough, 52,000 more people are unemployed than when National was elected.

There was nothing in the Budget for hardworking, responsible Kiwis. On those things which matter most today – sustainable growth in the economy, jobs, exports and incomes – it utterly failed. Astonishingly, Economic Development programmes were cut by millions of dollars.

Do you know what the centrepiece of National’s Budget was? Increasing the tax burden of teenagers that have part-time jobs. Picking the pockets of paper boys and papergirls. That’s it.

And what a dreary June it has been.

The ACC saga has gone from bad to worse. The CEO and half of the Board have been bullied out in what looks like a last-ditched effort to save the Minister. What hope will that give to New Zealanders who’ve had their private information leaked? What about the thousands who’ve had valid ACC claims turned down, seemingly so National has a crisis as a pretext to privatise ACC?

The larger classroom sizes policy has earned John Key’s government an F grade. Schools were rightly shocked to learn they would lose as many as six or seven teachers, meaning up to 36 pupils in each class, along with big cuts to technology education such as woodwork.

National’s belated back-down was a welcome relief for parents, students and teachers. But the fact the policy was on the table shows how arrogant and out-of-touch the government has become. Every sensible person understands bigger class sizes means less one-on-one teacher contact time.

Next the Auditor-General announced a probe into the government’s shady SkyCity convention centre deal. What sort of Prime Minister stops a competitive tender until his preferred partner – a casino – has put a bid in? What sort of government would sell the country’s laws to a casino? And how can economic development minister Steven Joyce think it’s acceptable to push on with negotiations while the inquiry is underway?

We don’t do business or government like that in New Zealand. Our international reputation for open and transparent dealing must be protected. So it’s increasingly clear that, at a minimum, the SkyCity deal needs to be halted and Mr Joyce must be stood down.

Any way you look at it, it has been a time when New Zealanders took a good hard look at what they voted for. If recent polls are to be believed, they’re deciding it wasn’t this National Government.

So the tide has definitely turned and it’s not a moment too soon.


A response to Kennedy Graham

Posted by on June 21st, 2012

Sometimes in the past we in Labour have copped a bit of flak from those on the left for playing politics rather than focusing on the issues. It might have been deserved from time to time. Sometimes the criticism has been because we might have attacked our friends and allies in the Greens. Fair enough for people who don’t like this style of politics to draw attention to it. So, when the shoe is on the other foot, I think we need to call out misleading attacks on us.

I am very annoyed at Kennedy Graham’s misleading blog about Labour’s non-attendance at Rio+20. It is pure politics and just plain wrong. I presume I am the person he is referring to when he says he spoke to a ‘senior Labour person’ about this last week. It is simply not true to say as Ken does that the reason I was not in Rio was because “I could not get away”. What I actually said was that I could not afford the cost of going. There is a big difference between the two. (In fairness to Kennedy he has now apologised for any personal offence, though the blog remains unchanged)

I would love to be there. I was at Rio+10 in Johannesburg as a member of the New Zealand delegation. I had spent the previous two and half years at the UN working on the preparations for the event. It was a big deal to me. On that delegation Nick Smith was there as the opposition representative. Just as ten years before at the original Rio Summit there had been an opposition representative on the delegation. This year the government decided not to issue such an invitation. I did raise with Amy Adams the funding for other MPs going to Rio and she said it was not happening citing “budgetary constraints”.

Kennedy’s blog follows on from a highly misleading media release from the Greens on Friday questioning if Labour wanted TPPA talks to be “open” on the basis of a question asked in Parliament that had nothing to do with ‘secrecy’ of the talks at all.

I look forward to being in a Labour-led government after 2014, which may include the Greens. That’s good, we’ve got lots in common, there are good people there and we will be able to forge a strong progressive government together. But in the meantime, if we are to have a more ‘political’ approach from the Greens, its only fair that they should be held to account. But don’t be alarmed folks, we really do like each other, its just modern politics. ;-)


If it’s not one thing it’s another in Education.

Posted by on June 20th, 2012

There is no seed of a doubt in the Public mind that National is bungling through the Education system and are creating a great big mess along the way.

First we see the bungle from the Government of introducing National Standards in our schools. The teaching profession informed the Minister at the time that testing of our Primary School children in reading, writing and math was a narrow measure of learning progress and had the potential to narrow the way in which NZs rich curriculum could be delivered.

Many schools are meeting the reporting requirements of the Ministry not because they think it makes a huge difference to learning outcomes for children, but because they have to.

We have since found that there is a huge variance between schools and within schools as to how the Overall Teacher Judgment impact on a student’s assessment. Parents want to know how well their child is doing while they are at school, their rate of learning and what can be done to improve their progress.

New Zealand needs well rounded engaged resilient and creative learners confident in who they are. National just don’t get it! And they are proving it day-by-day!

Classrooms around the country are full of children with diverse learning needs and the Ministers response this year – cram them into larger classes – it won’t make much of a difference! Well the parents knew that things had got out of hand and mobilized.

When their children came home from school saying that they might not have a technology, science, art, drama, kapahaka, music or extension teacher, parents became very angry with the National Government. Many of these parents were possibly National voters and now they question that support.

Labour tabled research in the House which showed that larger classes for our youngest, most vulnerable and disadvantaged learners did not improve achievement outcomes. Labour committed to reversing such a silly policy.

Vigourous lobbying, damaging polls and finally common sense prevailed and the Minister had to back down and turn around her decision on larger classes.

That initiative it was supposed to make a savings of $114m over 4 yrs and be used for Teacher Quality and now the Minister is scrambling around looking for funding to invest in Quality teaching – stump up with the funds Minister!

Quality teaching does matter and should never have been considered as a trade-off. Get rid of the Charter school initiative, cap the amount of funding for independent schools, reverse tax cuts for the top 3% of income earners and you will have the resources necessary to address the ongoing needs of professional development, mentoring and training supports for teachers.

Hot on the heels of this bungle was another blunder, a rush of blood to the head saw the PM promote league tables, ‘but it would depend on the shape of the reporting so that schools would not be disadvantaged’ we hear. Whatever that means?

League tables and ranking schools based on reading, writing and math confirms exactly what education professional thought would happen after National Standards.

League tables will end up changing the culture of teaching from a collaborative to a competitive environment, drive teachers away from vibrant decile one communities, narrow the teaching curriculum and further stigmatise our most challenged learners. Under National the education system will be designed for winners and losers rather than developing the potential of diverse learners and all children.

Round pegs into square holes that’s what National want.

A fine example of National saying one thing before the election and doing the complete opposite after the election. Who is driving education is it Treasury?, Bill English? Or the PM? – Because it certainly isn’t the Minister in the seat.

The Bungle Bluster Education Bus is the name for it they want you to get on board, that’s Nationals plan for a brighter future.