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Face of the day

Amanda Bailey

Amanda Bailey

Up until now I have chosen not to make Amanda Bailey face of the day as she had stated that she wanted to be anonymous.She is no longer anonymous thanks to her choice to make a joint statement with her employers to the press. Additionally she has kept her facebook page open to the public. Finally she has now gone to the Unite Union and is not only only going after John Key AGAIN but also her employers.

I disagree with her politics but I respected her right to stand up to John Key and be assertive as a good feminist should. It may not have stopped immediately but she did get her message across and he stopped his behaviour, apologised and tried to make amends.Many months later she chose to seek revenge through Wrongly Wrongsons’s blog. Again, though I do not agree with her, if she wanted to try to hurt him politically that was her right.

She has crossed the line now by going to the union. This nonsense about her being powerless must be challenged. Women are not fragile petals and she proved that by stopping him. She also proved that by very calculatedly getting her revenge through Wrongly Wrongson’s Blog. The story has dominated the media and even been talked about overseas. She certainly showed him that she was no mere pig tailed Miss to be taken lightly!
She has had her piece of flesh and John Key has been thoroughly maligned and punished. To now throw her employers under the bus, compounding the damage to their business that she has already caused with her actions, is a bridge too far.

Enough Amanda, enough. You are not only hurting your employers you are making yourself un-employable.

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Rodney Hide: A Routine and Regular Abuse of Power

Guest Post

Annmarie Foidl

Annmarie Foidl

Three weeks ago my mates were summonsed by Senior Insolvency Officer Annmarie Foidl. We all say WT…? I tease them. I am not called.

They turned up as ordered and Deputy Official Assignee Deborah Coles had them swear an oath. They are interrogated by Private Investigator Dennis Parsons and his sidekick Katherine Kenealy, both from InDepth Forensics, Hamilton.

Parsons questioned my mates about my movements and my activities.

Bloody Hell!

I rang Parsons. Kenealy answered and hung up.

I emailed and left messages for chief Official Assignee Mandy McDonald. I heard nothing back. Read more »

Charter Schools Perception Series: The Advocates Part One UPDATED

Image- Whaleoil.co.nz

Image- Whaleoil.co.nz

WHAT is your background in education Alwyn?

I started teaching in 1991. I taught at Tauranga Boys, which is a good school, then did a little time at Hamilton Boys and then taught at Saint Cuthbert’s college. During that time I worked really hard in the background doing some study looking at some other countries. In the end the questions were, what is really good about the New Zealand education system and what could change?

The bottom line is that for the vast majority of children in New Zealand if you place them in year eleven in good shape they will do fine.

Alwyn Poole has a BBS, MEd (Hons), Dip Tchg and a PG Dip Sport Mgt. He is a Principal and Academic Manager.

WHY is there a need for a new Middle School model?

I think one place that we are incredibly remiss in New Zealand is that we don’t ask our Primary School applicants to have a minimum NCEA level of two or three in Maths and a Science therefore we have got a whole heap of Primary teachers who are unable to be strong in those areas.

Children are coming to year seven quite often without a good background in those subjects.

So where do we fall down? The answer is in years seven, eight, nine and ten.

I think for many people Intermediate schooling has done its dash. And the first two years of secondary schooling are under valued and under resourced. You have got bigger classes and you put your less able teachers and you don’t put as much emphasis on it because the Schools are judged on year eleven, twelve and thirteen.

So at that year nine and ten time when the kids really need help developmentally and intellectually to be catered for at their best, is when in our New Zealand education system we choose to give them the least.

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About John Key and today’s ponytail hit job

A story broke early this morning (your time) about John Key, and a lot of people have tried to get me to spread it.  I’ve had emails, trolls have tried to slide it past the moderators, all before the main news orgs picked it up and exploded it in front of everyone.

You will probably have seen it by now.  John Key has a strange tic:  he likes pulling ponytails.

A waitress at a cafe that Key, his family and his protection officers are regulars at has penned a piece and shopped it to a leftie blog.   Key likes to pull ponytails.  He does it with his wife at his side.  In the open.  It’s clearly nothing sexual in his mind.  It’s a bit weird though, and an odd thing to do for someone in the public eye.

The usual suspects have also dug this little bit up out of the (of all places) Campbell Live archives.

I guess it’s just entertainment.

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Charter Schools Perception series: The Teachers Part Two

March this year  I was invited to visit three Charter schools, South Auckland Middle School, Vanguard Military school and West Auckland Middle School. Before I visited them I also visited a private school, Mt Hobson Middle School that has been in operation since 2003.

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Art in the hallway of Mt Hobson Middle School -Photo Whaleoil.co.nz

I did that because the Charter schools of West Auckland and South  Auckland are based on the model that Mt Hobson Middle school established when it opened in 2003.

West Auckland Middle school opened its doors for the first time this year but it has the 12 years experience of Mt Hobson Middle School behind it. Both Charter schools have a ratio of one teacher to fifteen students. Mount Hobson has a ratio of one teacher to twelve students due to space constraints.

Below is a transcript/ summary of my interviews with three teachers at West Auckland Middle school. Every teacher I interviewed was a registered and experienced teacher who had worked before in a State school.  The teachers at West Auckland Middle School on average are paid 3% more than their counter parts in State schools although one who is very experienced took a pay cut because he/she wanted to work there.

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The waning of Key’s National: the arrogance and irony

The life cycle of any political party leader is clearly understood.  What we are seeing now, the vulnerable John Key, the floundering of previously successful people that surround him, and people previously loyal turning their backs on him didn’t just happen in the last four weeks.

The by-election simply has made it more visible in a shorter period of time.

When a new government takes charge, everyone is excited, full of ideas, and ready to go.  Ahead of them is the history of the previous government, something the voters got tired of.  Behind them?  Nothing.  They have yet to make a single mistake.

PMs and MPs are bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Nobody can criticise them on something they haven’t done, or failed to do.  They are new to their portfolios.  They are keen listeners and learners, willing to take in all the information officials and people on the ground are willing to impart.

From that pool of feedback, and some planning based on party ideology, a plan is made.  And it is good.  It always is.

The voters will generally see a government do things they promised to do to get into parliament in the first place.  This is expected.  It happens.  All is still good.

Wind forward to now.   Read more »

Media Ethics. Or, when to disclose when someone’s sleeping with the enemy

Over the last 48 hours, the news that an MP’s marriage is on the rocks has been picked up by social media and the press.    I decided it wasn’t relevant because who an MP sleeps with on their off-time is between them and their partner… or partners.

What is more interesting is the way that the media are dealing with it, and also their continued manipulation and silence about matters that are actually of public interest.

First, it seems Audrey Young has decided to move in on Rachel Glucina’s territory by writing about marriage difficulties of people in the public eye instead of politics.

Second, the NZ Herald are nothing but childish about this specific issue.

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Behind the tree-huggers, what the media isn’t telling you

Let’s start with the tree…it isn’t 500 years old. Sources inside the Auckland Council tell me that the council’s own arborists reckon it is barely 100 years old.

Then you’d think from the media that there is just one tree that needs saving without telling you that there are multiple Kauri on the site, some even bigger than this one…presumably they must be near a 1000 years old given their size. All bare this one are going to be retained in the development.

Anyone with basic history skills can tell you that Kauri in the Waitakeres were pretty much clear felled for their timber, except for one large pocket…which this tree is nowhere near. This will be a regrowth Kauri and as such is barely 100 hundred years old. There is no way that a 400 year old Kauri that close to the Manukau Harbour would have survived the clear felling of kauri.

Then we have the treehugger protesting a legal property development who has become the media’s hero.

But he  is a Green Taliban extremist from Australia who has done similar stunts in Tasmania.

The Hager lover has even written his own Dirty Politics Waiheke. Like most green types he doesn’t believe in freedom of speech.

Yet Waiheke has not been immune to the rise of the attack blog. Ever since being voted out of office in the 2013 local body elections, former Waiheke Local Board deputy chair Jo Holmes and her sidekick Jerry Flay, along with ‘anonymous’ guest bloggers have been publishing daily blogs attacking: The Mayor, the new Waiheke Local Board Members, especially Paul Walden, Denise Roche, Green MP based on Waiheke, her partner and daughter, me, and anyone associated with Green or progressive politics anywhere.

Far from being a discussion of policies and ideas, the daily blog posts have been heavy on the personal attack, making unfounded accusations and relying heavily on superficial comments on people’s appearance. As Martyn Bradbury points out “Politics can be angry, politics can be loud. – but hateful? Hate politics has no place in a modern democracy”

In the Waiheke Whale Oil ‘joholmes.com’, Denise Roche is referred to as ‘an old bag’, Becs Ballard is referred to as ‘Barbie’ I am called ‘a silly little boy’, and implications alluding to physical characteristics of Denise’s 15 year old daughter have been made too.

Whilst for many the blog may be a form of light entertainment, as it is far more entertaining than any satire of the subject material could be, it is scarily serious. Jo has written or hosted pieces in favour of single use disposable plastic bags, blogged against the public fruit tree project in Blackpool, railed against the concept of ‘fairtrade’, and has called Generation Zero (the youth climate change action group) “just like the Hitler youth”! Whilst it would be amusing if read as satire, like The Civilian, or The Onion, there is no reason to believe that the views expressed there are not genuinely held. Jo admires and models herself on Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog. I’ll say that again: Jo admires Cameron Slater, and proudly considers her blog the Waiheke equivalent.

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Concrete Cancer Coverup – Winston has Nick Smith over a barrel

Like a shark, Winston Peters can smell blood from a mile away and his target this time is Minister of Building and Housing Nick Smith.

The Government has been warned about the concrete cancer issue for near on six months now, and yesterday we saw a flustered looking Nick Smith start the ol’ political trick of shifting the blame to his officials.

Nick Smith gets up and tried to crack a funny about carpets and curtains, then tries to fob off the seriousness of the concrete cancer issue happening under his watch by saying there’s competitive issues at play within the building sector.

Really? Is that the best you can do Nick? Of course there are competitive issues inside the building industry, just like there are competitive issues across all sectors – But it doesn’t stop the very simple fact that there is a very real problem here.

You’ve got to give Winston credit when credit is due. Read more »

Russel Norman resigns as co-leader of the Green Taliban

A picture paints a thousand words:

A beaming Metiria Turei watches on as Russel Norman falls on his sword   Picture/ Felix Marwick, Twitter

A beaming Metiria Turei watches on as Russel Norman falls on his sword Picture/ Felix Marwick, Twitter

Russel Norman announced his resignation at 11am this morning in what Green sources tell me was really a bloodless coup.

Expect the male leadership role to now pass to Kevin Hague who has been plotting this move for some time.

Because of the way the Green constitution is worded this has been a bit of superb low bastardry from Kevin Hague.

Hague has consistently topped members votes in the Greens to retain his current number three spot and the Green constitution requires a vote from the members for leader…one Kevin Hague would have won easily after the Greens disappointing result in the general election.   Read more »