Audrey Young

Audrey Young on a Bronx Charter School

While in NYC covering the Prime Minister’s visit NZ Herald Journalist Audrey Young took time to visit the Bronx Charter School for Excellence.

Very insightful. The information that the teacher unions and all of those who like to blame the kids will hate is:

“The reputation of the Bronx is that it is low performing, it’s not great education standards. We don’t believe that,” she said.

“We believe that with very committed people, with enough resources and everyone working together with all the stakeholders, that you can be anything you want to be and that’s what we’ve proven here.”

[...]

“Expectation, confidence and attitude that you can deliver. I don’t think any teacher goes into the classroom saying they want a kid to fail. I think what happens is that you don’t know how to get a child to learn, then it is very difficult to look at yourself and say ‘I’m the reason why’.   Read more »

White House visits – Compare and Contrast

Two visits to the White house, different presidents, different Prime Ministers.

The left wing didn’t think Helen Clark was sucking up when she went:

Helen Clark and George W. Bush on 21 March 2007

Helen Clark and George W. Bush on 21 March 2007

Read more »

Another bumper sticker “trust us” policy

It is emerging that like all other policies announced by labour so far it is yet another bumper sticker policy slogan with no thinking or depth beneath it.

Labour’s capital gains tax policy is still in the same form as it was last election. Nothing more deep policy-wise has been revealed other than their “trust us” promise to implement a tax based on the recommendations of a so far anonymous working group.

Their electricity policy is the same…and now their immigration policy is being revealed as nothing more than an anti-immigrant slogan-fest.

Audrey Young attempts to drill down and finds that she can;t as none of the critical thinking or policy work has been done.

Labour leader David Cunliffe wants to cut the level of immigration but won’t say by how much. He said Labour did not have enough information to put a target on it.

“I think current levels are too high and they should be managed to a moderate sustainable level using the tools available to Government,” he said.     Read more »

Audrey Young has lost the plot

I agree that it is news that Labour has had a good week, after all, when was the last one?  But to say this was some sort of skillful recovery on behalf of Labour is going too far.

This has been by far the best week for Labour this year, due in equal parts to the Maurice Williamson scandal and Labour’s own good management of an important policy.

Good management?  Ok, let’s assume this is true.  Can anyone point out the different approach that Labour have taken?

Yep, they kept David Cunliffe from talking.

Cunliffe is now such a liability, they are having to send in the other troops.

It is a long time since “Labour” and “good management” have been used in the same sentence.

This is the first time since…  well, I can’t think of the last time.   Read more »

Cunliffe had to do it, the Greens are toxic

David Cunliffe has been forced into distancing him and Labour somewhat from the Greens.

Audrey Young reports:

Labour yesterday rebuffed a proposal by the Green Party to present both parties as a coalition Government in waiting during in the run-up to the September 20 election.

Labour co-leader David Cunliffe indicated that such a pre-election arrangement could have posed problems with post-election negotiations with other parties, such as New Zealand First.

The Greens never had a formal coalition with the three-term Helen Clark Government, sufficing with a less extensive support agreement and no ministers.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald tonight he envisaged that Labour would try to negotiate a formal coalition agreement with the Greens after the election, but until then he would be referring to a “Labour-led Government,” not a “Labour-Greens Government” – or a “Green-Labour Government” which had also been raised.

“I’m the leader of the Labour Party and my job is to maximize the Labour Party vote,” he said.

“The Labour Party will be the core of the incoming Government working co-operatively with the Green Party who are our longstanding friends.

But Labour would quite possibly be working with other parties as well “and whatever the coalition arrangements are, they need to be able to spread across more than two parties.”

He said it was important to maximize the reach “all the way from the greenest end of the green spectrum right to the political centre and cross-over voters and in order to do that, it is important that they have their brand and we have our brand, and they have their policies and we have our policies.”  Read more »

Audrey Young on Cunliffe and Labour’s poor polling

Audrey Young calls out Labour and David Cunliffe for their double speak when it comes to polls.

It was disappointing to hear David Cunliffe suggesting today’s Herald DigiPoll survey putting Labour at 29.5 per cent is off the mark.

On the one hand he said he accepted that Labour’s polling has suffered from him using a trust for donations to his leadership campaign.

The next thing he is touting his party’s own internal polling which apparently puts Labour at 34 per cent.

The fact is that if Labour’s own polling is 34 per cent, it is at odds not just with DigiPoll, but with two other recent polls: Roy Morgan on March 6 which had Labour at 30.5 per cent and the Ipsos Fairfax poll a month ago which had Labour at 31.8 per cent.

The DigiPoll result of 29.5 is not much lower in reality but falling into the 20s is from 30 is like falling into a canyon and is devastating for any party with designs on Government.

Perhaps suggesting that Labour is still at 34 per cent is one of those things you say to prevent party activists from becoming too demoralized.  Read more »

3 strikes for burglars…now we are talking

Another good policy initiative from the Act party.

They want to extend 3 strikes to thieving ratbags.

Audrey Young reports:

Burglars would be sent to prison for a minimum of three years without parole on the third burglary conviction under new policy announced today by Act leader Jamie Whyte.

It would be a separate regime to the current three strikes law which requires a judge to sentence a convicted offender of a third serious violent crime to the maximum sentence without parole.

Act was responsible for the original three strikes law.  Read more »

Another reason to support Act

Jamie Whyte is stamping his new leadership on the Act party, even if he was dreadfully under-prepared on The Nation this morning.

Last week he revitalised Act’s flat tax proposal and today he is calling of the dumping of the Resource Management Act, the single biggest impediment to progress in this country.

New Act leader Jamie Whyte will today announce that Act wants the entire 826-page Resource Management Act to be dumped, describing it as a law that interferes with people and their use of property.

The radical policy move goes a lot further than the party’s current policy of modifying it.

“There are far too many powers currently being given to various times of groups and bureaucrats around the country to interfere with people and the use of their property,” Dr Whyte told the Weekend Herald.

[...]  Read more »

Suddenly the Act party is interesting again

Richard Prebble has made a big splash.

He announced that Act is looking at bringing back their flat tax proposal…suddenly Act looks interesting again. Audrey Young reports at the Herald:

Former Act leader Richard Prebble says the party will have to raise well over $1 million to fight the 2014 election campaign that he has been appointed to direct.

There was never enough money, he said yesterday, but he expected the war chest would begin filling.

“Act has got a solid cadre, if I can use that word, of donors and supporters, most of whom have kept in touch with the party and many have continued to give, though in the last year or two or three, less than they have in the past,” he said.

Mr Prebble was appointed campaign manager by the Act board on Saturday after presenting it with a review of the state of the party and an election plan.

The board had adopted an ambitious strategy, he said.

“They don’t just want to be an adjunct of the Government. Act wants to be the third force in politics.”   Read more »

A message for Cunliffe?

You’ve gotta love context driven ads. Looks at this effort from the NZ Herald.

A message for David Cunliffe? Context driven advertising adds hurt of its own to Labour

A message for David Cunliffe? Context driven advertising adds hurt of its own to Labour

Corin Dann was almost in tears last night, but being a top notch political analyst thought good weather was a factor in Nationals surge. The Greens appear to have been rumbled as complete loons, what with shrieking about racism when none was on offer, living in a castle, twerking and then cuddling up to Kim Dotcom.

Andrea Vance in Fairfax seems equally perplexed and she puts it down to Cunliffe’s lack of exposure.

Cunliffe suffered from a lack of exposure in the last month, dropping two points in the preferred prime minister stakes to 10 per cent.  Key maintained 43 per cent from the last TVNZ poll in October.

I think we saw plenty of him flip flopping and trying to explain the debacle that was his baby bonus.  Read more »