Chris Hipkins

Labour will go after the student vote with major bribes

Labour is set to announce plans to cut the cost of tertiary education, with the policy likely to be the centrepiece of leader Andrew Little’s state of the nation speech in Auckland on Sunday.

Education spokesman Chris Hipkins, who picked up the role in Little’s November reshuffle, signalled at the time Labour wanted to cut the cost of post-school education and that lowering fees was a priority.

This week he would not confirm any details of a possible policy announcement on Sunday. Hipkins said there were “a range of options” available to Labour.

But he pointed to Labour’s track record in lowering financial barriers, such as capping tuition fees.

In 2005 its promise to make student loans interest free for all those remaining in New Zealand was seen as a key to Labour’s re-election.

Hipkins said cost was one of the main barriers to students taking up further study.

Education providers in the sector had seen cost rises of about 9 per cent, with average hourly wages rising 8 per cent, since 2009. Over the same period tertiary tuition funding had risen just 3.5 per cent – from $2.4 billion to just under $2.5 billion. Read more »

Labour’s negging strategy and why it isn’t working

A commenter noted today on the post about UK Labour:

Isn’t it ironic. Labour a party that stands for women actually practices the dating art of “Negging”, with voters. That is, they try to make the voters feel bad about themselves, and have a low self esteem, so that Labour can come in and control them.

Whereas, National, keeps telling people that they have the ability to achieve.

I like this. “Negging” is described as:

Low-grade insults meant to undermine the self-confidence of a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances.

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Labour’s next bribe



The Government is being urged to review the way schools are charging parents for student technology.

A number of education providers are requiring children to purchase tablets or other learning devices as part of their school stationary list, but Labour’s education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins, says parents shouldn’t have to foot the bill for such expensive items.

“There’s no doubt that kids need to be using technology, but simply transferring the cost of that onto parents isn’t really living up to our obligation to provide kids with a free education,” he says. Read more »

Audrey Young on Labour’s petty politicking

Audrey Young has an unusually robust column on Labour’s petty politicking in parliament.

The committee often known as the “powerful” privileges committee has an unusually full agenda owing to some blatant breaches of parliamentary standards by the Labour Party.

Labour leader Andrew Little has led a mini-revolt against the established protocol of showing respect to the Speaker, or at least not demonstrating disrespect.

The problem with the leader instigating such a revolt is that it leaves no place for the party’s wiser heads to go.

Little has dragged Chris Hipkins, chief whip, and Grant Robertson, shadow leader of the House, into the fray with him.

They must back up Little publicly or leave the leader out on a limb. There is really no choice. Instinctively they back him.

With all three on the case of the Speaker, it leaves Labour looking petty, always arguing the toss, not concentrating on the issues that matter, blaming the referee.

They may have convinced themselves their attacks on the Speaker define them as fighters to the core, but they often come across as bullies.

And they seem oblivious or unmoved by the extent to which they have lowered standards.

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Who is on quick dial for A Newpaper’s Education Repeater?

Encamped on the Left, a newspaper’s education reporter spent two days trying to tell the nation (or the few that still read the rag) why things are just too hard for lower income families and how schools are, therefore, on a hiding to nothing.

On day 3 she pretends to look for solutions and comes up with kids drawing posters at a few schools.

So she digs deeper into her inner circle and gets the response below from people who will never be in a position to do anything about anything – so they just waffle.

Only interesting solution is where Rashbrooke says give the families $1000.

What more we could do to close the achievement gap?

1. More support for kids with learning needs

Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins says he would like to see the amount of support for children with special learning needs increased.

“I would also like to see more targeted programmes like Reading Recovery available in all schools, along with similar programmes in maths. Having said all of that, we can’t simply pretend that the lives kids lead outside the school gate don’t have an impact.”    Read more »

Face of the day


Labour MP Chris Hipkins is calling for gun advertising to be regulated.

Today’s face of the day Chris Hipkins is campaigning for the removal of advertising for a legal business selling legal products, and shows once again Labour’s propensity to chase any passing car. My boss says, “He should stick to drinking pink cocktails and chasing teenage bunny boilers at university.”

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Hipkins misses the point in his bid to increase union membership

Chris Hipkins has missed the point in his one man bid to increase union membership for the NZEI.

Labour would introduce a minimum qualification requirement for all early childhood educators, seeking to curb the rapid growth of taxpayer-subsidised nannies and au pairs.

The party’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins says early childhood funding should be focused on boosting participation in quality, free services, and ensuring value for money.

“Instead it is going on subsidies towards nannies and au pairs for those who can afford to make that choice, while children from low-income families still top the statistics for non-participation,” he said.

“Surely the Government should be just as focused on ensuring that services are delivering quality as they are on increasing bums on seats.”

Mr Hipkins’ comments follow a Herald report from the weekend which revealed rapid growth in the home-based sector, with a record number of children – 25,000 – now in government-subsidised services which don’t require educators to have have any qualifications.   Read more »

A newspaper editorial ticks off the PPTA

A newspaper has an editorial this morning that gently ticks off the PPTA. It clearly wasn’t written by Kirsty Johnson.

The secondary teachers’ union has welcomed one Auckland school’s decision to abandon international examinations and offer only the NCEA. The Post Primary Teachers’ Association would like to ban schools using the International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge exams entirely, believing they undermine our homegrown educational credentials for school leavers.

It is concerned that schools offering the alternatives tend to imply the national qualification as not sufficiently challenging and lacking credibility. But it also blames the Government for using the NCEA to set national achievement targets as a measure of the return on educational investment. The union says the targets encourage “credit farming”, by which it means schools siphon students into courses that offer the most credits, though they might not be the courses the students need most. A paper circulated by the PPTA claims students “seek out courses which are perceived to deliver the most credits for the least effort”.

This is a concern if true. But it seems not to have occurred to the union that its portrayal of “credit farming” in the NCEA also reinforces the very perceptions it resents. The public should be insisting the PPTA’s members – who are professionals, as it often reminds us – do their utmost to encourage students to take courses that let them reach their educational potential.

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How the PPTA should have spun it *UPDATED

Living with a Master of the so called ‘ Dark Arts ‘ or ‘Spin Doctor,’ I have learned a lot about how to frame a situation. This skill is in great demand in advertising and in politics because it is the difference between a product or situation looking positive or negative. In its dishonest form it is called Propaganda because the spin contains lies, cherry picked statistics and omissions of pertinent facts. At its best it simply highlights the truthful positives of the product or situation.

The PPTA in their stance on Charter schools have gone for a very negative and adversarial approach. They have deliberately used statistics that don’t compare apples with apples when talking about funding of Charter Schools for example.They have told all sorts of lies, spun all sorts of stories and tried to destroy the people involved in the new schools. However the worm is starting to turn and the public are starting to see through the negative spin. Labour Party MPs are even defying Andrew Little on the issue by giving their personal support to Maori Education regardless of who provides it.

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Face of the day


Kelvin Davis, Associate Education Spokesperson for the Labour Party

Today’s face of the day is Kelvin Davis for choosing Whanau over Politics.

The next time you hear Labour hate on charter schools, don’t believe them.

Because the truth is a wedge of Labour actually thinks charter schools are all good. And this group is led by none other than its associate education spokesman Kelvin Davis.

The attendance of Davis and fellow MP Peeni Henare at a fundraiser for a Whangarei charter school is about much more than them defying the orders of Andrew Little.

It shows a major policy divide within Labour.

One side, led by education spokesman Chris Hipkins and the teacher unions have a pathological hatred for the privately run schools.

The other side, led by Davis, see that the schools can work particularly in Maori education.

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