Chris Hipkins

People don’t live the way the opposition expects, so they need persecuting

Labour and the Greens have launched an attack on Gloriavale for their schooling practices.

People aren’t living the way they expect them to live, so they need persecuting.

Politicians will demand answers from education bosses over what secretive Gloriavale school is teaching girls – besides how to expertly wash men’s clothes.

The Education Review Office will be hauled before the Education and Science Select Committee this month to explain why the extreme fundamentalist school is allowed to stop education early and steer all pupils towards life in the community on the South Island’s West Coast.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty, who has requested the briefing, and Labour MP Chris Hipkins, hope it will be the forerunner to a Parliamentary probe into the isolated sect’s school.

Delahunty is concerned that the school’s narrow curriculum, believed to be based on an American fundamentalist Christian course, prevents pupils, especially girls, from going on to tertiary study.

She understood the highest level of secondary learning was NCEA level 1, and there was a strict divide of subjects girls and boys could study to steer them for working inside the compound.

She is questioning how the ERO, which recently gave Gloriavale a pass mark, could rubber-stamp a school that appeared to be in breach of human rights legislation.

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The only charter school to fail was, of course, run by and for Maori

The only charter school to fail was, of course, run by and for Maori.

Isn’t it time we face the uncomfortable truth that we can’t let failed and failing Maori be in charge of lifting failing Maori?

An announcement on whether one of the Government’s flagship charter schools will close will be made tomorrow.

Minister of Education Hekia Parata will address media in Auckland and end months of uncertainty for the school and its students.

The kura, recently renamed Te Pumanawa o te Wairua, was one of five charter or partnership schools to open at the start of last year.

Located on a farm 65km in Whangaruru, northwest of Whangarei, the kura caters for Years 9-13 students who typically have been on the margins of the education system.   Read more »

Green killjoys bitter over Parliamentary rugby team

What a bunch of killjoys the Greens are opposing the traditional Parliamentary rugby tour.

The Greens are objecting to a corporate-sponsored trip for MPs to play in the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup.

Corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga, his colleague Commerce minister Paul Goldsmith and NZ First leader Winston Peters are among those who will skip parliamentary sessions in lieu of the September junket.

They’ll also be at the Rugby World Cup, which runs alongside the tournament.

Also on the team are Labour’s Damien O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Peeni Henare and Kelvin Davis, and National’s Alfred Ngaro and Mark Mitchell.

“If there are corporate lobbyists going, they have privileged access to ministers,” Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says.

It is not dissimilar to the Cabinet Club approach where there are select few who get to spend extended time with ministers and MPs.

“This isn’t the first time this has been raised.”

She added: “This is a trip to the Rugby World Cup, there is no point try to pretend that’s not what it is. And the fact that it has now been sanctioned as a parliamentary trip raises real concerns.”

In 2007, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark called for an inquiry into the Parliamentary rugby team after a trip to France.    Read more »

So now a Charter school isn’t spending enough money?

You’ve really got to love the Labour party.

First they complain that charter schools are getting too much funding, and now Chris Hipkins is complaining they aren’t spending enough.

The Minister of Education has been questioned over why a charter school has ended up with $2.5 million of unspent government funding sitting in its bank.

Hekia Parata has defended the funding of the school in Whangarei, saying it was performing well.

The first group of the publicly-funded private schools opened last year followed by a second group this year.

Labour MP Chris Hipkins challenged the minister today over charter school money, using Whangarei charter school Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa, run by He Puna Marama Trust, as an example.

“How can she claim that the funds being given to partnership schools are being used for education when He Puna Marama Trust received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year – yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving $2.5 million unaccounted for?”

The minister said Mr Hipkins was “quoting selectively” from the accounts.

She said the trust was responsible for other schools, including early childhood centres and an academy.   Read more »

Two Politicians, two very different parties but a common belief in a ‘ Fair go ‘

After the story of the Student teacher hit the headlines I approached three politicians for comment and their responses are below. Two of them have a common belief in a ‘fair go’ for the Student teacher which is heartening to see.

Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Education, Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins,Labour Party’s spokesperson for Education.

I don’t comment on specific employment matters.

On the general issue, I would expect all trainee teachers to be given full support to complete their qualifications. They should not be discriminated against based on gender, race, sexuality, past employment, or future employment prospects.

– Chris Hipkins

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Labour’s leadership puts head in sand and starts cleansing dissent

Matthew Hooton, in his NBR column tells the tale of how Labour are moving to shut down what they see as dissent inside their party.

Progress wanted Labour to take a more holistic view of who people are, how they live and where they want to be.  As they see it, in a 24-hour day, people want the opportunity to spend eight hours being involved in creating something meaningful and valuable at work.  They want another eight hours to enjoy time with their families and communities.  And they need the remaining eight hours for sleep in a safe, warm, comfortable home.

Progress believes this more well-rounded vision is a far more accurate echo of the message of Labour’s original founders than the views of the “self-serving unionists and gaggle of gays” they believe have undue influence on the party today.

Alongside Labour’s approved factions – the Women’s Council, Te Kaunihera Maori, the unions, Rainbow, the Pasifika Sector and so on – the new Progress group thought they might have something to offer.  It turned out they were wrong.

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Northland College has over $2.6M in unspent property budgets

Winston Peters, the Labour party and assorted other vested interests are crying a river of tears over Northland College and their unkempt buildings.

Apparently it is all the government’s fault, despite the school receiving far more in annual funding than any charter school gets, and it being staffed by union flunkies.

But take a quick look through the Ministry of Education property system, which is publicly accessible. You can drill in to project specifics.

It appears that the neglect set in after Jim Peters, Winston’s brother finished up as Principal in 2002.

And Northland College appears to have over $2.6million in unspent property budgets – no wonder the place is run down.

Northland College Budgets Allocated 2001 to 2014

Northland College Budgets Allocated 2001 to 2014

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Labour lies about door and Judith shanks them

Judith Collins has shown that she still has the goods, shanking Labour hard over the $30,000 door between offices that they have insisted on.

Audrey Young has the story:

National MP Judith Collins tonight released emails that show a $30,000 door that will separate Labour MPs from National MPs sharing a floor in Parliament House was opposed by the National Party.

She and six other National MPs were consulted about the door by National senior whip Tim Macindoe in January this year.

Mr Macindoe’s reply to her and the six other MPs he consulted says: “I have now heard from all of you in response to my request for your thoughts about installing an extra security door on Level2 and I’m pleased that you are all of the same view…Thank-you for replying and for the helpful reasons you provided for not wanting the door.”

Mr Macindoe said he had told Jim Robb, the Parliamentary Service group manager of precinct services, that National wanted to the status quo to be maintained.

Labour whip Chris Hipkins said yesterday the door had been proposed by National MP Gerry Brownlee after last September’s election, but omitted to say parties had been consulted in January to say whether they really wanted it.

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PPTA will be outraged over this!

The government is spending $298 million on four new schools via a PPP (i.e. a private company is making a profit).

Education Minister Hekia Parata last week signed the $298 million contract with the Future Schools Partners (FSP) consortium to finance, design, construct, and maintain Ormiston Junior College in Auckland, Aranui Community Campus and Rolleston Secondary School in Canterbury and Wakatipu High School in Queenstown.

Eventually this will cover 6000 students and the set up cost equates to $9.83 million per 200 children.

Charter Schools are all charitable and their set-up equates to $1.12 million per 200 children.    Read more »

Why do Labour not take the easy wins against John Key?

The Labour Party are dead set useless and concentrate on all the wrong things.

They have badgered the PM for being a dork and pulling a waitresses hair, and badgered so much that the voting public think that Key has been victimised because Labour have gone over the top on it.

They have been calling for a Minister to step down because something that his adult brother did, as if the minister had any control over his sibling. The public are again struggling to work out what Labour is on about for the simple reason that they know that if one of their family members did something dodgy that they had no control over they would hate to be held to account.   Read more »